Kid McCoy's Motive For Murdering His Girlfriend

Charles "Kid" McCoy was a champion boxer known for delivering sharp and fast blows to his opponents in the boxing ring. McCoy was born Norman Selby in Indiana in 1872. He spent his childhood hopping trains with friends, and according to The Indianapolis Star, he was often involved in fights, which helped develop his skills as a boxer. At 18 years old, Selby changed his name to Charles McCoy and became a professional boxer. He invented the corkscrew punch, a technique that involves twisting the wrist as the punch is delivered. Per Expert Boxing, the motion adds power to a boxer's punch and can tear the skin.

Over the course of his career, McCoy participated in more than 100 fights and lost only six times. It's an impressive record, but he was also known to trick his opponents in order to gain an advantage over them. For instance, he told one opponent his shorts was slipping down, and when he took a moment to pull them up, McCoy punched him. He cheated on another opponent — who was fighting barefoot — by tossing thumbtacks on the floor of the ring. In another instance, as noted by Sports Illustrated, he told his opponent before their match that he must win, as he suffered from consumption and needed the money for treatment. As a result, his opponent didn't train as much as he could have. McCoy's sob story was a sham, though, and he trained hard and knocked out his rival.

Kid McCoy's personal life

Kid McCoy's personal life was interesting, to say the least. Aside from being a professional boxer, he also acted in theater productions and appeared in a few films during the early days of Hollywood (via People Pill). McCoy also bought a bar in Manhattan with his winnings, and it became a popular spot for men and women who wanted to have a good time. He invested his money as well, but he went bankrupt in the early 1900s. At different points in his life, he owned a car dealership, jewelry stores, and even a detective agency, but all of them eventually failed.

Throughout his life, McCoy married a total of 10 times, and three of those marriages were with the same woman. As noted by one of his spouses, per Vault, the professional boxer was a good man, but he was not fit for marriage. By 1922, McCoy reportedly went bankrupt again, and he had acquired thousands of dollars in debt. It was shortly after that when McCoy was once again the talk of the town, but it wasn't about boxing. Instead, the people were talking about how the champion boxer murdered his girlfriend.

Who was Theresa Mors?

In 1924, Kid McCoy was 51 years old when he met 30-year-old Theresa Mors. She was an attractive woman who was in the middle of divorcing her husband, Albert, a prosperous antiques and arts dealer, as reported by The Indianapolis Star. McCoy and Mors formed a friendship and eventually became romantic partners. The couple moved into a Los Angeles apartment together, and it seemed like Mors was going to be McCoy's next wife. However, she wasn't ready to jump into another marriage shortly after the demise of her previous one. Many assumed that the subject of marriage was one of the plenty reasons why the couple often fought.

On August 11, 1924, McCoy went home intoxicated to the apartment he shared with Mors. The couple got into another one of their fights, but this time, it ended in murder. According to the Los Angeles Times, Mors was told by her friends — Sam and Ann Schapp — that McCoy was a bum. The couple got into a fight after Mors told McCoy what her friends thought of him. There were also reports that Mors wanted to rekindle her relationship with Albert. On that fateful night, the couple's neighbor heard shouting and a gunshot. The neighbor knocked on the door, but no one answered.

The crime scene and McCoy's subsequent crimes

The following day, August 12, a janitor who worked for the apartment found Theresa Mors' dead body. Her teeth were knocked out, she was stabbed, and she also had a gunshot wound on her left temple. A pistol was near her body, and a photograph of Kid McCoy was placed on her chest (per The Indianapolis Star). McCoy was nowhere to be found. Later on, it was discovered that Mors was killed while wearing two diamond necklaces, diamond and emerald rings, and a diamond watch, but they weren't found at the crime scene. The pieces of jewelry were eventually located locked away in a safety deposit box that was under the name of McCoy's sister, according to the Los Angeles Times.

As reported by Marin Fire History, McCoy spent the night drinking after he murdered his girlfriend, and on the following day, he planned to kill Albert Mors as well. He headed to the antique shop that the Mors owned, but Albert was not there. McCoy held 11 people in the store hostage as he waited for Albert to arrive. He robbed his hostages and asked the men to remove their trousers to avoid escape. One man attempted to run, and he was shot in the leg. Tired of waiting for Albert to arrive, McCoy left the shop and shot Sam and Ann Schapp before he was apprehended by authorities while he was running through a park.

Kid McCoy's trial

Kid McCoy refused to admit that he was responsible for Theresa Mors' murder. During his trial, he stated that Mors was the only woman that he loved, and her death was a result of suicide. He claimed that his girlfriend shot herself because she was distressed about her divorce from Albert Mors. The prosecution argued that Mors couldn't have shot herself, as she was right-handed and the gunshot was on her left temple (via The Stacks Reader). The motive, as the prosecution stated, was money. He was furious when he found out that Mors excluded him from managing her estate, which was worth $110,000 (about $1.85 million in today's money).

The jury deliberated for 78 hours before they returned a verdict: guilty. However, his attorney was able to convince the jury to convict the former boxer of manslaughter instead of murder. Another trial was conducted for the three shootings, as reported by The MIT Press Reader. In total, McCoy was sentenced to 24 years in San Quentin State Prison.

Kid McCoy's life after prison and death

Kid McCoy was released from prison on parole in 1932 just after serving almost eight years of his 24-year sentence. As reported by The Stacks Reader, he was a model prisoner and didn't have a single offense during his incarceration. He was given the responsibility of showing new inmates around the prison, and he was the prison fire department's head. After McCoy got out, he found work at Ford Motor Co. and even married again.

In 1940, McCoy traveled to Chicago and checked into Hotel Tuller. When he went into his room, he took an overdose of sleeping pills. His body was found by the assistant manager the following day after the wake-up call he requested went unanswered, per Vault. He was 66 years old. Suicide notes were found at the scene. One was directed to Ford Motor Co. which instructed the paymaster to send his salary to his wife, while the other consisted of a short letter that ended with, "Sorry I could not endure any more of this world's madness." He signed the letter with his birth name, Norman E. Selby.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.