Rae Ethelyn

born: 08 July 1918
Ogden, Utah,
United States of America
died: 01 April 2011
Los Gatos, Santa Clara, California,
United States of America
(age 92)

American child actress, the cousin of Leon Janney. She later became Rae Ethelyn Caplan.
Her Uncle, STUART KOHN was a commercial lawyer in NYC and told a close criminal lawyer friend that he would give him help if he came across a criminal conviction of someone who was poor and friendless and needed help for an appeal. (Sounds like "BOSTON BLACKIE"). CHARLES STIELOW was a poor, mentally challenged farmhand in rural Upstate NY convicted of murdering his wealthy employer and his housekeeper with a pistol in a robbery. He was convicted and sentenced to death in the electric chair in Sing Sing. The case went thru the normal court process and the sentence was upheld and a date for execution set. While on death row, the murderers there became convinced that STIELOW was innocent: "it takes one to know one". They convinced the warden that they may be right. He mentioned it to Uncle STUART's criminal lawyer friend and started a re-examination.
The story is so fantastic that it sounds like a TV crime show or B&W "B" movie:
+There's an evil private detective who forces a confession and lies about it to police.
+There's a secretly recorded admission by the detective by using a ruse.
+There's a fake forensic firearms "expert".
+There's another jailed criminal who confesses to the murders and then recants.
+There's a NY Governor who won't believe new evidence.
+There's an innocent man with trousers slit, head shaved and electric chair ready to go saying goodbye to his wife and kids.
+There's RAE's Uncle speeding 27 miles with papers to delay the execution with just minutes to spare.
+There's the "town without pity" that won't believe STIELOW is innocent even after he's pardoned as innocent.
Real name: Rae Ethelyn Kohn
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.


Dog Days
Girl at party

Hard Boiled

(click any image to enlarge)

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/discoveryui-content/view/24007561:70050?ssrc=pt&tid=12709471&pid=430121181128 (newspaper obit)
(Find a Grave obit)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/594291682/?terms=KOHN&match=1 (1918 May 25 "Deseret News" p.19: identifies "Uncle Stuart's" role)
https://newspaperarchive.com/the-kemmerer-republican-feb-16-1917-p-2/ (obit granddad: identifies all family members: Leon Janney's Mom: Rae's Dad & "Uncle Stuart", lawyer)
https://newspaperarchive.com/the-kemmerer-republican-jul-12-1918-p-1/ (birth announcement for 08 July 1918)
https://www.ancestry.co.uk/discoveryui-content/view/251958:1174 (1919 Sep 10 Mom's passport: 5 months in China without children: assists husband)
https://www.ancestry.co.uk/discoveryui-content/view/315205:1174?ssrc=pt&tid=115202058&pid=380165581132 (1919 Sep 12 Dad's passport: to China for 5 months business)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/597283561/?terms=KOHN&match=1 (1918 Mar 12 Dad is VP & GM Oil Co. in Kemmerer, WY)
https://newspaperarchive.com/the-kemmerer-camera-apr-09-1919-p-11/ (1919 Apr 09 Mom & "family move permanently to Pacific Coast")
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/112295049:6061 (1920 C SFO her bros. & Leon Jannet & his Mom w grma in hotel: No Rae or her parents)
https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/5187/images/41547_B138954-00762?pId=368300 (1928 Nov 25 Mom dies Berkeley, CA)
https://www.ancestry.co.uk/discoveryui-content/view/88633062:6224 (1930 C Piedmont CA living w bros and Aunt Nettie Fibush)
James Harper (information relating to death and real name)
Jim Jarvis (research and bio notes)

This page was last updated on: 12 September 2022