As the much-publicized murder trial of Mrs. Ethel Mae “Kitty” Simpson continued in 1958, several witnesses testified to abuse she had suffered during the past few years at the hands of her husband, James Walter “Jimmy” Simpson, whom she had confessed to having shot and killed.

This fatal shooting occurred in early July 1958 while the Fort Worth area couple was camped beside the San Bernard River in western Brazoria County to participate in the annual Fourth of July Fishing Fiesta.

Marie Beth Jones is a member and former chairwoman of the Brazoria County Historical Commission. Contact her at 979-849-5467 or

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