What happened to Hex Murder defendants, convicted in York County 80 years ago? Part II
This is Hex Murder defendant John Curry’s portrait of 7-year-old York countian Buddy Marrese. Curry charged $50 for the painting that entailed five or six Saturday sittings in his Thomasville home in 1960, according to Springettsbury Township’s Mary Jo Marrese, Buddy’s mother. Curry became a painter of sorts after his release from prison after his conviction in the death of Nelson Rehmeyer in 1928. Also of interest: What happened to Hex Murder defendants, convicted in York County 80 years ago? Part I and Hex headache cure: ‘Tame thou flesh and bone’ and Relative: Evil in Hex murder came from outside.
The Hex Murder defendants received prison sentences 80 years ago.
How did they re-enter the world again?
Well, one of the trio and the youngest, John Curry, took up painting.
His legacy is the most prominent of the three defendants.
His artwork hangs in area homes, as the following story appearing in the following York Daily Record/Sunday News (6/20/07) attests:
John Curry’s signature on the 1960 portrait of Buddy Marrese.
Mary Jo Marrese moved to York County 47 years ago and really, really wanted a portrait of her young son.
She scoured the area but could not afford the $100 to $200 fee local artists charged.
“I asked around,” Marrese said. “I was determined to have a painting.”
A friend told her of a friend at the YWCA whose husband was an artist. The woman at the YWCA encouraged Marrese to call her husband.
“They lived in Thomasville and he said, ‘Sure, bring him out,'” Marrese recalled. “He was a delightful man. He was willing to paint my son for $50. I was thrilled.”
Every Saturday for six weeks, Marrese would drop off Buddy at the artist’s house. Sometimes, she watched.
After the first sitting, Buddy never complained. He always had an airplane in his hands. The artist would tell him stories about planes.
“When Buddy got tired, he would let Buddy draw,” Marrese said. “He was a very, very nice, very gentle man. My son just loved him.”
The artist dated the painting 1960 and signed his name: “Curry.”
Marrese proudly displayed it.
A few years later, the antique group she belonged to met at her house. Somebody admired the portrait and asked the name of the artist.
“John Curry,” she said.
She wasn’t prepared for the group members’ reaction.
They knew Curry as the 14-year-old convicted with two others, John Blymire and Wilbert Hess, in the hex murder of 1928.
The person who framed the 16-inch-by-20-inch portrait confirmed it was Curry’s work.
“I treasure the painting,” Marrese said. “He really took his time on it.”
To see all Hex Murder posts/photos from the start, click here.
Or if you prefer, click on these individual links with their extensive collection of photographs:
Powwowing: ‘… It was here, and it had many adherents … , ‘Powwowing was done for good’, Hex headache cure: ‘Tame thou flesh and bone’, Relative: Evil in Hex murder came from outside, Hex murder fascinating tale of mysticism, occult: Part 1, ‘Trials of Hex’ makes sense of notorious murder case: Part 2 , Little-known facts about Hex murder trial emerge, Hex murder compared to O.J.’s, Anna Nicole Smith’s cases, Hex house visit offers surprises, Visiting the scene of the crime.