The Murder Suicide of Ralph and Reva Baily

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The Murder


On Thursday, May 14th, 1953, Reva Baily arrived at her home around midnight after her shift at Ohio Match Co. She had been working for Ohio Match for almost two months when the murder was committed. Ralph and Reva had been living separate and had set a court date to finalize their divorce. On the 14th, the day of the murder, Ralph had been giving his divorce second thoughts. He was said to have called Reva around 3 pm to ask to stop by later and talk. [1]

About a half an hour after Reva arrived home, Ralph called to inform her he had arrived. Reva and Ralph chose to speak on the front porch because Reva was not comfortable with Ralph entering her house. Ralph had claimed that he was sick and needed to go away for a while. When Reva refuse to go with him, Ralph began to get angry. He aggressively tried to force Reva into his car. When she refused and attempted to run inside, he blocked her. [2]

Reva's sister Hazel, who had been living with her sister for three months, heard the struggle and came out side to help. Once outside, Hazel witnessed Ralph with a gun. [3]

Reva ran behind a tree only to be shot twice in the chest. Then Ralph shot three warning shots at Hazels feet and shot Reva again in the back. [4]

Once the police had arrived, they discovered the body of Ralph Baily lying face up in the driveway. He had shot himself in the chest. Reva was discovered dead on the porch. She had finally collapsed there after be dragged from the tree by her sister. [5]

The police came to the conclusion that the cause of the shooting was Reva's threat of divorce. Reva had filed for divorce on the basis of Ralph's alcoholic problems.[6]

Newspaper Articles

  • May 21, 1953: "Man Murders Wife, Kills Self In Shooting Spree Thursday" by Unknown, Rittman Press, p. 1.


  1. Rittman Press, Thurs. May 21, 1953.
  2. Wooster Daily Record, Thurs. May 21, 1953.
  3. Rittman Press, Thurs. May 21, 1953.
  4. Rittman Press, Thurs. May 21, 1953.
  5. Wooster Daily Record, Thurs. May 21, 1953.
  6. Wooster Daily Record, Thurs. May 21, 1953.