Career Girls Murders
Career Girls Murders
The "Career Girls Murders" was the name given by the media to the killings of Emily Hoffert and Janice Wylie in their apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City, United States on August 28, 1963. George Whitmore, Jr, was accused of this and other crimes but later cleared. The actions of the police department led Whitmore to be improperly accused of this and other crimes, including the murder of Minnie Edmonds and the attempted rape and assault of Elba Borrero.
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    FORTIES
  • 2012
    Whitmore died on October 8, 2012, aged 68.
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  • OTHER
  • 1966
    The case of Whitmore and his treatment by the police was one of many examples used by the US Supreme Court when it issued the guidelines known as the Miranda rights in June 1966 by which, when a defendant is taken into custody and accused of a crime, he must be advised of his constitutional rights.
    More Details Hide Details The court acknowledged that coercive interrogations could produce false confessions, and in a footnote stated: the most conspicuous example occurred in New York in 1964 when a Negro of limited intelligence confessed to two brutal murders and a rape which he had not committed. When this was discovered, the prosecutor was reported as saying: "Call it what you want — brain-washing, hypnosis, fright. The only thing I don't believe is that Whitmore was beaten." Whitmore, who collected $500,000 in damages for false arrest, made a life for himself in Wildwood, New Jersey, where he operated a commercial fishing boat for a time. He was later disabled in a boating accident.
  • 1965
    The Delaneys were wired with listening devices, which were also installed in their and Robles' apartments. Over time, Robles talked about details of the murders that convinced investigators he was the real killer; he was arrested and charged on January 26, 1965.
    More Details Hide Details In the autumn of 1965, Robles was tried for the Wylie-Hoffert murders. His attorneys attempted to buoy the credibility of Whitmore's Wylie-Hoffert confession to create a reasonable doubt that their own client had committed the crime. However, prosecutor John F. Keenan replied by summoning Whitmore and the detectives who had arrested him. Robles' attorneys were unable to translate doubts about police interrogation methods to their own client's advantage, despite testimony that Robles had confessed to the Wylie-Hoffert murders while suffering from heroin withdrawal and without his attorney present. Delaney testified that Robles told him the motive for the murders was because Hoffert told him that she could identify him to police. It was pointed out by Robles' attorney that Delaney was given immunity in exchange for his testimony. On December 1, 1965, Robles was found guilty of the murders of Emily Hoffert and Janice Wylie and sentenced to life in prison, the New York Legislature having, just months before, abolished the death penalty, except in the cases of the killing of police officers, prison guards, and murders committed while escaping jail. He was found guilty, largely on the basis of secretly tape-recorded conversations about the murders. Despite the conviction of Robles, numerous questions regarding the police conduct in this case were left unanswered. "Police detectives, who may have been motivated by their sense of justice, resorted to highly questionable means to extract a confession from a suspect who was too weak to resist.
  • 1964
    The actions of the police department led Whitmore to be improperly accused of this and other crimes, including the murder of Minnie Edmonds and the attempted rape and assault of Elba Borrero. Whitmore was wrongfully incarcerated for 1,216 days — from his arrest on April 24, 1964, until his release on bond on July 13, 1966, and from the revocation of his bond on February 28, 1972 — until his exoneration on April 10, 1973, when, after what author T.J. English called, in his book The Savage City, "a numbing cycle of trials, convictions, convictions overturned, retrials, and appeals", Whitmore was cleared of all charges and set free.
    More Details Hide Details Whitmore's treatment by the authorities has been cited as an example that led the US Supreme Court to issue the guidelines known as the Miranda rights. On August 28, 1963, Patricia Tolles, 23, who worked at the book division at Time-Life, returned to her apartment on the third floor of 57 East 88th Street. There she found the apartment ransacked and covered in blood. In a bedroom were the bodies of her roommates, Newsweek researcher Janice Wylie (aged 21), and schoolteacher Emily Hoffert (aged 23). Both had been stabbed over 60 times with knives from their own kitchen, and there was evidence that Wylie, who was wearing only a towel, had been sexually assaulted. The case was dubbed the "Career Girls Murders" by the media because Wylie, the daughter of advertising executive and novelist Max Wylie and niece of novelist Philip Wylie, and Hoffert were representative of the thousands of young women who had come from all over America to New York to seek jobs and careers. Others like them now felt unsafe and the police were under pressure to solve the case. Hundreds of detectives were assigned to the investigation and thousands of people were interviewed, but as the weeks went by no arrests were made.
  • 1963
    The "Career Girls Murders" was the name given by the media to the killings of Emily Hoffert and Janice Wylie in their apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on August 28, 1963.
    More Details Hide Details George Whitmore, Jr., was accused of this and other crimes but later cleared.
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