Meta Bauer’s Trial

Although conveniently forgotten during Mary Stuart’s run as Meta Bauer, the character’s most famous storyline was when she shot and killed her ex-husband, Ted White, after his forcing their young son to take boxing lessons directly led to Chuckie’s death. Listeners heard Meta Bauer White, standing over her husband’s dead body after she shot and killed him, on September 22, 1950 say: “Do you know what fear is like now, Ted?” It was a soap opera first when Irna Phillips let listeners decide the guilt or innocence of Meta Bauer White, especially because listeners had heard her commit the crime. Below is a partial transcript to how this was originally presented to listeners back in 1951.

Announcer: “This is Bud Collyer, ladies and gentlemen, speaking from the courthouse where the trial of The People vs. Meta White [nee Bauer] has reached its highest point of interest. The defendant herself is on the witness stand. As you know, through the medium of radio, these court sessions have been followed day by day from one end of the nation to the other. I wish to remind you at this time that the final verdict of guilty or not guilty that will be pronounced on Meta White will be delivered by the listening audience – the audience who each day has heard the testimony, weighed the evidence and who will deliver the final verdict. You the listener will, within a few days, determine the future of Meta White… You know know, of course, that for the past few hours the defense counsel Ray Brandon, has been questioning Meta as to her past – her childhood and her girlhood. The defendant showed little evidence  of emotion until Ray Brandon questioned her about a baby – a baby and Ted White.”

The result was overwhelming. While the evidence (the audience itself was a witness) was beyond conclusive, the jury (audience) wanted her to remain on the show so much that they acquitted her, despite every single one of them knowing full well she committed the crime. (Guess she had better luck there than either Michelle or Danny.)

Last Updated February 14, 2016: I just added the signature block, but I would direct everyone’s attention to the comments below about how they should have tied this backstory into the Manny storyline once Mary Stuart was recast in the role.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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5 Responses to “Meta Bauer’s Trial”

  1. natnic Says:

    I’ll have to look for that episode at the GLClassics website. Irna wrote a never published autobiography. Her son has it and will eventually give it to the Irna Phillips archive in Wisconsin. I hope it gets published someday.

  2. Samantha Says:

    i wish they would have at least mentioned the trial when Mary Stuart took over the role of Meta.

    • glmanny Says:

      Exactly. It was ridiculous not to, especially during Michelle’s trial. Then at one point she even said to Harley if I had a daughter she’d been like you in such a way to imply she never had any kids. Hello Chuckie anyone? Just because he had a stupid name doesn’t mean he didn’t exist. Also when they started Second Chances, Meta’s answer was stupid about coming back to Springfield, like getting away with murder didn’t count? However, I’m still glad they re-cast. Mary Stuart was great and everybody needs an Aunt Meta. 😉

  3. glmanny Says:

    Reblogged this on Glmanny's Blog and commented:

    Remembering Meta Bauer’s Trial – one of the landmark soap opera storylines with a major Manny connection.

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