|Dates||March 16, 1881|
|Location||Los Angelles, California|
|Motive||Revenge for rape|
|Conviction||Acquited by reason of insanity|
Lastania Abarta was a half-Basque, half-Mexican woman who shot Chico Forster.
During a time when women expected to save their virginity for marriage, she was courted by infamous womanizer Chico Forster while at the same time engaged to a lawyer. Her mother forbid contact with Forester.
Yet they continued their relationship under the watchful eye of her sister. When he suggested a relationship, she told him she was engaged. He responded that she shouldn't marry "that Black Indian".
She fell for his charms but wouldn't sleep with him. But one night in 1878, Chico suggested on eloping and getting married. He forged a marriage license to show his determination. Back during a time when people kept their promises unlike nowadays where breaking promises is constant, she accepted.
They went to hotel, not to have sex but to spend the night until the next day to get married, as Lastania believed. Chico wanted to sleep in the same bed but Lastania refused as she lived in an era that not surrendering her virginity until she got married.
Angered at not getting his way, Chico kept her locked in the hotel room for two nights. One night, Chico raped her, just another conquest and had no intention of marrying her.
Lastania's reputation was ruined and shunned by her mother. Overcome with despair, she bought a revolver with the intent on committing suicide. Just as she was about to pull the trigger, her sister Hortensia appeared and Lastania wept as she told her what happened.
Determined to restore her sister's honor, Hortensia made plans to make Forester to keep his promise on marrying Lastania.
On March 16, 1881, the two sisters found Chico Forester at another hotel, not surprisingly chatting up a woman. Hortensia confronted Chico, demanding he return to marry Lastania. He insisted he would. Hortensia called his bluff that he couldn't find a priest, having found one.
The smooth-talking Chico found excuses to delay the wedding. This confirmed to Lastania that he had no intention of marrying her.
Having been humiliated twice and having lost her honor to him, she fatally shot him in the right eye at point blank range.
Before she could shoot him again, a man came and disarmed her. With an icy demeanor, she remained calm and collected after she had shot him. Lastania had developed an inner peace about the murder because she believed she had done the right thing for her.
While she claimed she didn't remember what happened after being charged with homicide. Her defense team claimed that who lose their virtue can be so psychologically affected that they could have psychotic episodes. The all male jury acquitted her by reason of insanity.
With her honor restored, she found an honorable man, got married and lived the rest of her life in peace.