Suicide Earns Experts' Vote In Flint Death
D.A. Drops Case as Murder Angle Folds
Unanimous rulings of suicide from State Police pathologists, specially summoned experts, and the District Attorney closed the book last night on the death of Miss Frances Flint, whose bloodstained stripped body was found Thursday evening in Wayland Woods.
Despite superficial suggestions of murder, in the distance of the death-inflicting rifle from the body, and the scattered condition of the Radcliffe graduate student's clothing autopsy provided a coroner's verdict of suicide as the only possible one.
Death Not Instantaneous
According to Drs. Harry J. McCann and Russell S. Fisher, who conducted the post-mortem, the .22 calibre bullet entered the left side of the brunette's head, and failed to penetrate the orbital region of the brain. Hence they concluded that the Vassar honors graduate would have been able to stagger 50 feet from the place where she actually discharged the weapon.
Police established that the girl had purchased both the gun and a box of ammunition at the Massachusetts Avenue branch of Sears Roebuck and Co. last Tuesday. Yesterday a salesman identified the girl, who is the daughter of Mrs. Dorothea C. P. Flint, house-mother of Elliot Hall, from photographs.
Also indicative of self-slaying, as interpreted by investigators, was a pool of blood over the area where the small bore gun was dropped. "As to why she took off her clothes, your guess is as good as mine," Massachusetts District Attorney James Conniff told reporters.
Under Doctor's Care
Revised testimony of friends of the deceased, as well as her physician, Dr. James H. Townsend, indicated that Miss Flint had been under treatment for a hyper-nervous condition several weeks before her death, and had manifested considerable strain and anxiety.
Her roommate, Puerto Rican Miss Margarita Silva-Santiago, pointed out that her friend was "in a terribly nervous condition. She had fallen back in her studies because of fear of not passing."
"Several times," Miss Silva-Santiago added, "she said to the other girls in the dormitory that she wished the world would come to an end." Miss Flint's other acquaintances recalled that she had been forced to drop some subjects from her History and Philosophy of Religions major because of the pressure she felt.
Dr. Townsend, who had been seeing her professionally for some time, observed that Miss Flint had been "in a state of depression" for several weeks