Back in 1934, it was a news story that swept the nation and even went international: the story of the arrest and trial of Eva Coo, a resident of Otsego County who was accused of murder. There have been books and a play about Eva Coo but now, there will be a film called "A Roadhouse Coup" produced, written and directed by Lori Kelly-Bailey of Tandem Cage Productions with Joel Plue as Line Producer, both of Oneonta. According to Kelly-Bailey, this movie will be filmed entirely on location in the areas in which Eva Coo lived, worked, and plotted to murder her victim. Those locations will be in Otsego, Herkimer and Delaware Counties.

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Eva Coo at the old Oneonta Police Dept. (Credit: Lori Kelly-Bailey)
Eva Coo at the old Oneonta Police Dept. (Credit: Lori Kelly-Bailey)

Here's the film's official synopsis:

Oneonta, New York. 1925-1935. A bustling Railroad Community during the time of Prohibition and Prosperity. This combination would provide the perfect opportunity for local entrepreneur and brothel owner; EVA COO. 

Eva was a boisterous and witty woman, able to seduce and swindle many an unsuspecting gentleman out of his money, property and Insurance policies.
A most unfortunate scenario for one Harry “Gimpy” Wright.

Harry was a somewhat “simple” man whom Eva provided room and board to in exchange for a portion of his inheritance. When Eva discovered that Gimpy had spent a good deal of the money, she grew angry with him and his value decreased significantly. 

To no one's surprise, Eva was listed as the benefactor on Gimpy’s life insurance policy, and so she hatched a plan to kill him and collect. 

On June 14th. 1934, Eva and her partner in crime, Martha Clift asked Gimpy to ride along and help them with an odd job on Crumhorn Mountain. Once out of the car, Eva hit him in the head with a heavy mallet, knocking him unconscious. The women then drove over his body several times until he was dead. Unfortunately, their perfect plan did not play out as they had hoped. Suspicions arose and an investigation ensued.

Eva was arrested, tried, and convicted in Otsego County Court in August 1934.
She was sentenced to death by electric chair and was executed on June 27th. 1935.

The cast will be made up of a blend of Hollywood Actors, well-known local Politicians, community members, and even descendants of individuals whose family members were in some way involved in the trial of Eva Coo. If you're looking to be immortalized on film, here's your chance. Producers are looking for adults with either stage or film experience to play major roles in the film. There will be an open casting call this Saturday, September 4 at Foothills Performing Arts Center in Oneonta, in the red brick production building, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Below are the acting roles producers are filling for this casting call:

- LEAD PROSECUTOR: heavy dialog. Banters with Eva Coo on the witness stand. This character is clever, confident, and a capable trial lawyer.

- HARRY NABBINGER: (age range 30 to 50) This character is Eva's lover and partner in crimes, described as dashing but drinks too much.

- HARRY "GIMPY" WRIGHT: (age range 30 to 50) This is the man that Eva abused and killed. He is poor, thin, and a handyman.

- *EVA COO: (age range 30 to 50) She is a brothel owner, master of manipulation, unafraid and unapologetic. She kills for gain.

Filming for this movie will begin in October in our local area.

Please bring a current photo of yourself. For more information about the movie and its producers, visit

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