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Billie's Early Years

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Crime Does Not Pay

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Evelyn Frechette took on the nickname “Billie” in her late twenties. Some people speculated she did this to honor her father William Frechette who died in 1913 when she was 7 years old. Other people said she chose the name “Billie” after hearing of her son’s untimely death. According to State Health Department records in Illinois the baby was born in 1928 in Chicago when Evelyn was 21 years old. He was born with congenital syphilis, a disease that left him severely retarded and as such Evelyn was unable to properly care for him and remanded him to the custody and care of Reverend Edward Brooks of Chicago.

Reverend Brooks once conducted the Beulah Home & Maternity Hospital in Chicago two doors from the garage where seven Chicago bootleggers were massacred on St. Valentine's Day, 1929. Reverend Brooks currently ran the Beulah Home for Unmarried Mothers in Beulah, Michigan. It was there at this facility that Evelyn's son Billie died of suspicious causes only 3 months after he was born. Needles to say Evelyn was devastated at this horrifying news and friends close to her at the time say that's how she became known as Evelyn "Billie" Frechette. Little Billie was buried in the "Beulah Cemetery" in Beulah, Michigan.

Billie did housework and waitressing in order to pay the bills. She met and married Welton Sparks. Their relationship quickly came to an end when Sparks was sent to Leavenworth prison in 1933. He was convicted of committing mail fraud. Later, Billie told reporters that she never fully understood what Sparks had done. "He never told me what he was up to," she said. "Being married to him didn't amount to much. I lost track of him right away."

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