Virginia Patty Passenger Cruise Ship Death Aboard SS Admiral Benson Murder

Virginia Patty, 26 – Murder, SS Admiral Benson Passenger, June 4, 1926, Time of Death is unknown.

Time of Cruise Ship Death

William Tallman, a crew member on the Steamer Admiral Benson was arrested and charged with the murder of Mrs. Virginia Patty. Tallman worked as a radio operator aboard the steamship, that generally carried a couple dozen passengers on the voyages.

Virginia Patty, 26, was the wife of Portland, Oregon banker Frank D, Patty President of Pacific Bancorporation (First National Bank) in Portland Oregon. Police say she fought and died in silence in the bachelor apartment of “W.C Johnson”

Her body was found in a closet, held upright between two hooks by a silk scarf. She had been dead only a short time when police arrived. She had been beaten to death. The bruised condition of her hands indicated that she had battled with whoever killed her.

William Tallman, radio operator on the steamship Admiral Benson, which sailed between San Pedro today and San Francisco, was ordered arrested.

Mr. Patty’s chauffeur, Tallman’s father, in Oakland, California, and others, said Tallman frequently saw Mrs. Patty in the absence of her husband. Mrs. Vivian Brennan, who introduced Mrs. Patty and Tallman, said she attended a beach outing here last week at which Tallman manifested jealousy when Mrs. Patty told him things were “off” between them because of her husband.

The S.S. Admiral Benson was the Pacific Steamship Company’s Portland to California liner. It wrecked inbound at the Columbia River entrance near Peacock Spit outside of the North Jetty under the command of Captain C.C. Graham on February 15, 1930.

The Coast Guard removed all 39 passengers in lifeboats from Point Adams and Cape Disappointment. The crew of 65 and the Captain remained on board because it was believed that the vessel could easily be refloated.

By February 18th the entire crew was removed by breeches buoy due to increasing wind and seas. Captain Graham remained on board until February 24th when the wreck was abandoned. No lives were lost.