Stanford White Murder
Evelyn and Harry
Upon her return to New York City, Evelyn found her relationship with White had changed. Certainly, he was still attentive, but she was a no-longer-innocent eighteen and Whites interest was waning.
Thaws affections, on the other hand, remained ardent. During her stay in the sanatorium, he saw to it that her every wish was granted. Evelyn had gourmet food, flowers and presents in abundance. Thaw even presented Evelyns nurse with a gift from Tiffanys. As she recovered, Thaw suggested they take a trip to Paris to speed her recovery. Afterwards, they would tour Europe.
Mrs. Nesbit balked at the idea of cutting themselves off from White. Evelyn, however, disagreed. She probably saw the writing on the wall, or she hoped that time apart from White would heat up his interest.
In any case, Thaw, Mrs. Nesbit and Evelyn journeyed to Paris. Unbeknownst to Thaw, Mrs. Nesbit carried a $500 letter of credit from White. Ever the gentleman, he had given the draft as a parting gift for emergencies. On the trip, Thaw spent lavishly on Evelyn and her mother. They wore new couture clothes each day and dined in the finest restaurants each night. Evelyns hands, arms and neck sparkled with jewels.
Thaw proposed, but Evelyn demurred. She claimed she wished to devote her life to the stage. A frustrated and confused Thaw persisted. For weeks and weeks, he persisted.
Finally, he asked her Are you a good girl? Pure?
Evidently, he believed her appendicitis to be appendicitis.
Evelyn tried to avoid the question, but he pressed her for an answer. He gripped her violently and shouted at her. Afraid he would wake her sleeping mother, Evelyn promised to tell the truth.
Was it Stanford White? asked Thaw.
True to her word, Evelyn told Thaw the vivid, sordid details of her visits to the tower apartment. She spoke of the red velvet swing and the drugged champagne. In this version, her screams were of terror and despair.
Evelyn dramatically claimed that in her ruined state, she could not marry Thaw. How could he live with the fact that White had deflowered his wife? How could such a splendid man as Thaw live with that humiliation? His family would disown him, and she could not live with that on her conscience. She cared for him too much.
The beast! swore Thaw as he wept.
Over the next weeks Thaws rage grew, but so did his ardor. Over and over, he demanded Evelyn recount the tale of ruin. She did so each time with enhanced detail.
Eventually, Thaw, Evelyn and Mrs. Nesbit traveled to London where Thaw discovered that Mrs. Nesbit had bought some lingerie for herself and Evelyn with Whites money. This led to a terrible falling out between the two, and Thaw packed Mrs. Nesbit off back to New York on the first ship that sailed.
The chaperone he promised to find for himself and Evelyn never appeared. Evelyn found hypodermic needles that belonged to Thaw who shot up both cocaine and morphine. His fits and tantrums became more frequent and violent. He and Evelyn traveled to Germany and stayed together in an isolated castle. Although she thought of escape, Evelyn had no money and nowhere to go.
From the beginning, Evelyn felt trapped in Schloss Katzenstein even though the little castle made her feel like a princess from one of the stories she had read as a girl. During a thunderstorm, a naked Thaw came to her bed. She struggled, but he only became more forceful and soon produced a dog whip.
He beat her savagely, despite her desperate sobs and pathetic pleas for mercy.
Then, to Evelyns confusion and terror, the rage disappeared.
I suppose you hate me now, said the remorseful Thaw.
She told him that she hated and detested him, but she did not escape. They traveled through Europe for weeks. Finally, Evelyn convinced Thaw to allow her return to New York.