Many dentists have killed their spouses over the years. Some had well planned murder plots and other killings were done at a moment of extreme emotion.
In 1925 a Los Angeles dentist named Thomas W. Young gave his young assistant named Dorothy Leopold a diamond ring. She was questioned by police after his wife, Grace Young, turned up dead in his cabin in Beverly Glen, California. Young told police his wife Grace, age 37, had drank some whiskey at his dental office before they left for the cabin on February 21, 1925. He then said they quarreled and she slapped him so hard that it broke his glasses at a cafe they stopped at on the ride to the cabin. The dentist confessed to putting cotton in her nostrils and placing a cone over her face with Somnoform, which was a heavy dental gas used at that time.
Somnoform was a mixture of three liquid anesthetics: ethyl chloride, methyl chloride and ethyl bromide. It was introduced by Dr. G. Rolland, Dean of the dental school in Bordeaux, France, in 1901. The mixture produced a more lasting anesthesia than did ethyl chloride alone. But it was also more toxic, and it was discredited in the late 1920s. – Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, Schaumberg, IL
On the evening of February 23rd, Thomas Young brought Grace’s son Charles Patrick Grogan, age 18, to the cabin and had him mix up concrete outside the cabin. Dr. Young then put the body of Grace Young into the cistern and covered it with concrete.The body was found embedded in concrete in a cistern vault beneath the cabin on Saturday June 13th, 1925 . Between the time of Grace’s death and the discovery of her body, Dr. Young brought both Grace’s son and dental assistant, Dorothy Leopold, to the cabin for “pleasure” three times (St. Petersburg Times, Jun 18, 1925).
Grace’s son Charles Grogan became the heir to a million dollar estate from his late father, Pat Grogan, (the “ripe olive king”) after his mother’s death. Charles Grogan was surprised by the news that his stepfather had killed his mother and was immediately taken to the home of his grandfather. A police detective named Keyes, who had interviewed Dr. Young about the murder, stated that he thought Dr. Young was “money mad” and killed Grace Young for her fortune. (Logansport Pharos Tribune,Indiana June 15, 1925)
A newspaper in West Virginia reported that in 1903 Thomas Young’s brother Alexander Young had also killed his wife and then shot himself in a hotel room (Bluefield Daily Telegraph, WV June 18, 1925). Alexander and Thomas were the sons of Reverand T. Young, who had served in the Spanish American war and later became a lawyer. Dr. Thomas W. Young committed suicide in the county jail. He had strangled himself using a radio wire before the verdict was reached in his murder trial (Berkeley Daily Gazette August 8, 1932).
The Chicago Tribune had an article published on August 29, 1925 that stated that Grace Young had left 25% of the estate to Dr. Young. The net worth in 1925 of that 1/4 of the estate was about $60,000. Today, with inflation factored in, that same $60,000 would be worth about $813,000. Dr. Young had left the money to his attorney John S. Cooper. Grace’s father Frank W. Hunt filed a civil suit which continued where the murder trial ended after Dr. Young committed suicide in jail.
In 1932, Grace’s father, Frank W. Hunt, filed a lawsuit that he wanted guardianship over his 25 year old grandson Patrick Grogan. Hunt felt Grogan was mentally incompetent and stated that Grogan was in danger of losing $400,000 in real estate and $100,000 in personal property. Patrick Grogan had started off with about a million dollar estate left to him. Attorneys had also taken the estate to court for fees for defending Dr. Young in the murder trial and some of it went to legal fees.
Grace Hunt Grogan Young was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. The tombstone has her name inscribed on it as Grace Grogan and “Mother of Patrick” was carved into the stone. Her son Charles Patrick Grogan died in 1986 and is buried near his wife Marie Tremblay. They are both buried near his mother and his father, “The Olive King” who died in 1921. It is not known where dentist Thomas W. Young was buried.