From the End: Eva Rablen, Mail-Order Bride

I’m experimenting with a new style I’m calling From the End. I’ll tell you the end of the story first, and then give you the background. If it goes well, I’ll write more posts like this.

There is a prison at the base of the mountains near Tehachapi that was constructed in 1932 to rehabilitate women. Today, the facility is a supermax all-male prison known as the California Correctional Institution.

In February of 1941, the cells were still filled with female prisoners. Through the grim passages passed a tall slender woman in her late 40s, following a matron.

Eva Rablen had been paroled by the board of directors at the California Institute for Women at Tehachapi, over numerous protests and against the recommendations of the Tuolumne County Superior Court and officials. She had been a prisoner longer than most other inmates: 11 years, 8 months, and 8 days. Eva was one of the original prisoners who was transferred from San Quentin to Tehachapi, as the new prison was typically called.

She had been infamous but it was a forgotten woman who emerged from behind Tehachapi prison walls. No one appeared to be waiting to greet her when she stepped outside, but she dunked into a waiting car that spirited her away.


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