Alice in 1943
|Portrayed by||Chad Morgan|
Alice Miller was a 22 year-old housewife who was hired as a factory worker assembling planes at Brill in 1943, until her tragic death in a fall a few months later. Her death was thought to be an accident for over sixty years until new evidence revealed she'd been murdered.
Alice's family was Jewish. She had relatives in Europe, including a cousin named Ivan, with whom she kept in touch. One of Alice's few activities was writing, and she kept journals, writing diligently. Alice lived a quiet life of tending to her home and garden, until the day her husband Nelson was called into service. To help pass the time, Nelson and their neighbor Dottie encouraged Alice to apply for work at the factory where Dottie worked as a secretary.
Her first day at work wasn't easy for the shy Alice, who nearly left at work because she thought her skills were so poor. She soon settled into life at Brill and started making friends with her co-workers, including Martha, Fannie, and Buddie Walker, the teenage son of the factory's owner Henry Walker.
Alice was concerned, however, about Ivan. She hadn't heard from him in month and was troubled when Fannie mentioned rumors of concentration camps in Europe where Jews were being exterminated. She set out to try and help Ivan somehow.
When Alice noticed that Henry Walker was pilfering supplies to sell on the black market, she confronted him about it, but did not turn him in. Instead she asked him to direct her to someone who could help and was sent to a dance hall owned by a man named Richard, who had connections in the Portuguese consulate and could smuggle Ivan into Lisbon for $2,000.
Nelson refused to help, not believing the stories about concentration camp, so Alice set about raising the money herself, keeping to herself what it was for. In the end, it was Buddie, who'd long had a crush on Alice, who gave her the money. He told her of a secret account his father had set up for him to take and run away to wait out the war, rather than be killed in action as his two older brothers had. Buddie, however, wanted to serve and didn't care about the money. He gave her the entire amount, as well as a kiss out in front of her house. Dottie saw this and chided them both for it, before Alice told her off.
Nelson came home wounded soon after and was less than thrilled about the more independent wife he found waiting for him. Dottie, who was clearly in love with Nelson, told him about the night with Buddie, and all but threw herself at Nelson, making it clear she'd be happy being a more traditional wife. Nelson, however, wasn't interested. He wanted Alice, but not the new Alice she'd become.
Nelson went to the factory to ask her to come home. Alice tried to explain that she still wanted to be with him but also wanted to have a life of her own as well. This only made Nelson angry, however. He grabbed her forcefully and pushed her from a scaffolding, causing her to fall to her death. Henry Walker witnessed this, but Nelson was able to buy his silence by giving Henry his war bonds.
Martha was suspicious when Henry said Alice had quit, though her body was found there the next day in her work clothes. Nevertheless, Alice's death was presumed an accident and remained that way until 2004. Alice's great niece Dana Hunter was reporting on a story about a reunion of the factory girls. Martha told Dana what she knew, then passed the information on the Dana's friend, Detective Lilly Rush, who decided to reopen Alice's case.
As the investigation continued, Alice's secrets finally came out, ultimately leading back to Nelson, who was arrested. Alice's friends Martha, Fannie, Buddie, and Richard were reunited as well, reminiscing about their younger days.