Horror comic books like these 1955 “Crime Stories” issues were under fire from several citizens groups, including the Norwood Women’s Club, who were concerned about a rise in violent crimes, especially in light of the recent South Norwood murder of 15-year-old Geraldine Annese in November of 1954.

At a meeting of the Executive Board of the Norwood Woman’s Club held Tuesday morning at the home of the President, Mrs. John W. Stonefield, it was voted that the Legislative Committee, of which Mrs. William Steele is chairman, write representatives at the State House urging them to support House Bill 188 which would prohibit the sale of criminal and horror comic books in Massachusetts.

This bill is an amendment to Section 30 of Chapter 272 of the General Laws and is designed to give local officials authority to rid the newsstands of objectionable literature and carries with it an increased, fine and imprisonment over the original law.

A statewide effort by federated women’s clubs to stamp out the menace of the comic and horror book has been inaugurated and the local club in their initial effort on the matter will attempt to help In getting the amendment to the present law passed, as other Norwood groups are doing.

A number of Norwood clubwomen listened to Charles Gibbons, former speaker of the Massachusetts House, last week in John Hancock Hall as he addressed women from all over the state at the Mid-Winter meeting of the Massachusetts State Federation of Women’s Clubs, and were roused by the earnestness of his words in urging their cooperation. He had departed from his announced topic at the meeting to speak on the comic book situation, and read 15 to 20 titles of such pocket book editions bought in stores in a number of towns and cities around Boston by men on his staff.

That the titles lurid, suggestive, and openly advocating crime made an impact upon the audience of nearly 1000 women, was attested to by the audible gasps heard around the hall. Mr. Gibbons’ final words urged each woman to make it her business to help in this attempt to rid counters everywhere of printed material designed to inflame and influence the young mind.