Did Bill threaten to ‘get rid of that son-of-a-bitch’ to Latin American Airline partner Mark Tancrel?
1. The phrase ‘son-of-a-bitch’ is not used by anyone but Americans. When Bill said that he did not use such a phrase, that the British did not use such a phrase, he was correct. And why would any British person – even one living in America – use such a clumsy phrase when they had a much pithier word for a dishonourable man: ‘bastard’.
2. As Tancrel clearly lied about the epithet, we have no reason for believing anything else he claimed Bill said.
3. At the time Bill was supposed to have made the threat against Haden, he was telling Tancrel that he was abandoning Latin American Airways and returning to Miami. While it is possible that they had a long enough conversation for Bill to ask Tancrel if Russell had shown him the letters indicating that Chubbie and Haden were having an affair, there is no independent evidence suggesting that they did have such a conversation. Bill didn’t mention it in his diary whereas he mentioned his conversation with Russell (see post 4).
4. Tancrel also claimed that Bill told Joseph Ince, in his hearing, that ‘I don’t think Haden Clarke has double-crossed me but if he has, well, I’ve seen a lot of dead men and one more won’t make any difference.’ The date of Bill’s encounter with Joseph Ince was 19 March, only 13 days after Bill left Miami. Not only did Joseph Ince refute Tancrel’s claim that Bill said such a thing, nothing had happened between Bill and Chubbie at that time. Tancrel was clearly lying.
5. Tancrel told Deputy Marshal Moe that he would do everything he could to see Bill ‘burn’.
It is highly unlikely that Bill threatened to ‘get rid of that son of a bitch’ to Mark Tancrel. It is absolutely certain that he didn’t make the ‘dead men’ comment in the presence of Joseph Ince, if at all.