Crime History: Mildred Gillars, Nazis' 'Axis Sally,' convicted of treason

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On this day, March 10, in 1949, a District of Columbia jury found U.S.-born Nazi propagandist Mildred Gillars, nicknamed "Axis Sally," guilty of treason for her radio broadcasts.

At the start of World War II, Gillars was employed by the Third Reich as an English-language broadcaster, directing Nazi propaganda to scare American soldiers and spin stories of wives and girlfriends finding new lovers. She interviewed POWs, taunted American soldiers and revealed secret American troop movements.

At her trial, Gillars captured attention with a theatrical flair, long hair, tight dresses and red lips. Her attorneys argued she had been under the hypnotic influence of her married lover, a Nazi propagandist.

Gillars was released from prison after 12 years. She died in Columbus, Ohio, in 1988 at age 87.

- Scott McCabe

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