Harry Kendall Thaw
American playboy
Harry Kendall Thaw
Harry Kendall Thaw was the son of coal and railroad baron William Thaw. His historical legacy is attributed to one notorious act—in 1906, he murdered the renowned architect Stanford White on the rooftop of Madison Square Garden .
Biography
Harry Kendall Thaw's personal information overview.
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Media portrayals of Mormonism far better than a century ago - Deseret News
Google News - over 5 years
Included among his reporting were stories about New York's corrupt Tammany Hall political machine and several articles about the original “Trial of the Century,” the celebrated murder of architect Stanford White by a jealous lover Harry Thaw in a
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Google News article
Memories of a colossal, national, overly covered trial - Athens NEWS
Google News - over 5 years
Every few years there's a brand new "trial of the century," going right back to the first decade of the last century, when Harry Thaw shot the architect Stanford White to death on the roof at the old Madison Square Garden. White had been a little too
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Literary Tales Of Real-Life Crimes - Wall Street Journal
Google News - over 5 years
Matters like Harry Thaw's 1906 murder of architect Stanford White, the ex-lover of famous beauty Evelyn Nesbit, Thaw's new wife. "Ragtime" concentrates on an upper-class New Rochelle family, but there are plenty of famous walk-ons, including Harry
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Lyric Theatre prepares to launch 49th season - NewsOK.com
Google News - over 5 years
Many historical figures also appear in “Ragtime,” including Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit, Booker T. Washington, JP Morgan, Henry Ford, Stanford White, Harry Thaw, Adm. Robert Peary and Emma Goldman. Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's Tony Award-winning
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The Discovery of America and New York in 1892 - Booktryst (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
... experiences Madison Square Rooftop Garden, later the scene for Harry Thaw's murder of architect Stanford White over the alluring Evelyn Nesbit; a New York barroom; the Eden Musée (a toney wax museum and art center); a casino; etc. and so forth
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Baseball's Bill James covers all the 'Popular Crime' bases - USA Today
Google News - almost 6 years
By Todd Plitt, USA TODAY Bill James revisits the 1906 murder of famed architect Stanford White by Harry Thaw, the husband of his former mistress, Evelyn Nesbit. By Todd Plitt, USA TODAY Bill James revisits the 1906 murder of famed architect Stanford
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FROM THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE; 100, 75, 50 Years Ago
NYTimes - over 6 years
1910 A Try To Prove Charlton Insane NEW YORK It is evident from to-day's [June 24] proceedings that young Porter Charlton's relatives hope to save him from submission to Italian justice for the murder of his wife at Lake Como, by seeking to prove him insane. In fact, the tactics adopted for the defence of Harry Thaw for the murder of Stanford White
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NYTimes article
QUEENS UP CLOSE; Murder at the Regatta
NYTimes - over 8 years
THE shoreline of Little Neck Bay, off northeast Queens, offers some of the most idyllic scenery in the city, particularly on weekend afternoons during summer when the breeze billows through an endless savannah of sails. Strolling under the sprawling catalpas and dense sycamore maples in Crocheron Park in Bayside, one might easily imagine oneself
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The Listings: July 8 -- July 14
NYTimes - over 11 years
Selective listings by critics of The New York Times of new and noteworthy cultural events in the Northeast this week. * denotes a highly recommended film, concert, show or exhibition. Theater Approximate running times are in parentheses. Full reviews of current shows, additional listings, showtimes and tickets: nytimes.com/theater. Previews and
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The Listings: July 1 -- July 7
NYTimes - over 11 years
Approximate running times are in parentheses. Full reviews of current shows, additional listings, showtimes and tickets: nytimes.com/theater. Theater Previews and Openings 'SUMMER PLAY FESTIVAL' Opens Tuesday. This well-financed showcase of new works generated much buzz last year; now it returns for a second year with eye-catching titles like ''The
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NYTimes article
The Listings: JUNE 24-JULY 1
NYTimes - over 11 years
Theater Approximate running times are in parentheses. Full reviews of current shows, additional listings, showtimes and tickets: nytimes.com/theater. Previews and Openings 'TWELFTH NIGHT' Opens tomorrow. The Aquila Theater presents Shakespeare's comedy about mistaken identities, unrequited love and the threats of a puritanical zealot (2:15). Baruch
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THEATER REVIEW; Love Triangle at the Garden
NYTimes - over 11 years
It was bigger than Michael, Martha and maybe even O.J. When the eccentric millionaire Harry K. Thaw shot and killed the famed architect Stanford White on the roof of the old Madison Square Garden almost a century ago, the subsequent ''trial of the century,'' the first of many in the 20th, was a perfect storm of celebrity scandal. There was a bit of
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NYTimes article
ESSAY; An Affair to Remember
NYTimes - over 14 years
IN April 1977, Janine, a Palestinian friend who worked for a travel agency in Paris, asked me whether I wanted a free charter-jet ticket to spend Easter weekend in New York. At the time, nothing seemed farther away. I was spending whole days at the Bibliothèque Nationale on Rue de Richelieu, arriving at 8:45 a.m., before all the others, to get a
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NYTimes article
NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: NEW YORK BOOKSHELF; The City's Past and Present In Fiction and Poetry
NYTimes - about 16 years
CONEY By Amram Ducovny Overlook Press ($26.95, hardcover) The Normandie was docked at the foot of West 46th Street. They left the subway at Times Square and walked west on 42nd Street. The movie houses lining both sides of the street were doing a lethargic business, not being air-climatized. The action or horror double features were unlikely
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THE GUIDE
NYTimes - over 16 years
Best Bet What's left of the area's rural heritage will be celebrated today at the 18th annual Long Island Fall Harvest Festival on the Riverhead campus of Suffolk Community College. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. there will be live music and other entertainment, line dancing, crafts and food sales, wine tastings, pony and hay rides, educational and
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Harry Kendall Thaw
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1947
    Age 76
    Thaw died of a heart attack in Miami, Florida on February 22, 1947 at the age of 76.
    More Details Hide Details At his death Thaw left an estate valued at some $1,000,000 ($ million today). In his will he left Evelyn Nesbit a bequest equal to one percent of his financial worth—the amount of $10,000 ($ today). He was buried in Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh. Notes Bibliography Further reading
  • 1944
    Age 73
    In 1944, Thaw sold the Kenilworth home and moved to Florida.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1935
    Age 64
    Ultimately, in 1935, a legal judgment ruled against Thaw and in Lopez’s favor in the amount of thirty-five thousand dollars.
    More Details Hide Details
  • FIFTIES
  • 1927
    Age 56
    In 1927, he contracted with John S. Lopez and detective-story author Arthur B. Reeve for a batch of scenarios focused on the theme of fraudulent spiritualism.
    More Details Hide Details This association generated a lawsuit against Thaw, who refused to pay his collaborators for the script work they had done. Thaw, rejecting the original concept, now conceived of a project to film the story of his own life. He asserted, therefore, the original agreement was no longer valid and he had no financial obligation to his partners.
  • 1926
    Age 55
    In 1926, Thaw published a book of memoirs titled "The Traitor," written to vindicate his murder of Stanford White.
    More Details Hide Details Thaw never regretted what he had done. Twenty years after having taken White's life Thaw said: "Under the same circumstances, I’d kill him tomorrow." In the late 1920s, Thaw went into the film production business, based on Long Island. His initial plan was to make short comedies and stories about bogus spiritualists.
  • 1924
    Age 53
    In 1924, he purchased a historic home known as Kenilworth in Clearbrook, a farming community in Frederick County, Virginia.
    More Details Hide Details While living at Kenilworth, Thaw ingratiated himself with the locals, joined the Rouss Fire Company, and even marched in a few local parades in his fireman's uniform. He was regarded as an eccentric by the citizens of Clearbrook but does not seem to have run into a great deal of additional legal trouble.
    He was ultimately judged sane and regained his freedom in April 1924.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1917
    Age 46
    In a New York Times article titled "Whipping of Boy Starts Hunt for Harry K. Thaw", dated January 12, 1917, it was reported that Gump in the hotel room was confronted by "Thaw, armed with a short, stocky whip rushing for him."
    More Details Hide Details After his assault of Gump, Thaw fled to Philadelphia with the police in pursuit. When apprehended he was found to have attempted suicide by slashing his throat. Initially, Thaw tried to bribe the Gump family, offering to pay them one-half million dollars if they would drop all criminal charges against him. Ultimately, Thaw was arrested, jailed and tried. Found insane, he was confined to Kirkbride Asylum in Philadelphia where he was held under tight security.
  • 1915
    Age 44
    His acquaintance with Gump dated to December 1915, and Thaw had worked to gain the trust of the Gump family.
    More Details Hide Details Thaw had enticed Gump to come to New York under the pretense of underwriting the teenager’s enrollment at Carnegie Institute. Thaw reserved rooms at the Hotel McAlpin awaiting Gump’s arrival.
    Soon after the court decision, The Sun, in July, 1915, weighed in with its own estimation of the justice system in the Thaw matter: "In all this nauseous business, we don't know which makes the gorge rise more, the pervert buying his way out, or the perverted idiots that hail him with huzzas."
    More Details Hide Details After Thaw’s escape from Matteawan, Evelyn Nesbit had expressed her own feelings about her husband’s most recent imbroglio: "He hid behind my skirts through two trials and I won’t stand for it again. I won’t let lawyers throw any more mud at me." In 1916, Thaw was charged with the kidnapping, beating, and sexual assault of nineteen-year-old Frederick Gump of Kansas City.
    On July 16, 1915 the jury found Thaw not guilty and no longer insane, and set him free.
    More Details Hide Details Throughout the two murder trials, as well as after Thaw's escape from Matteawan, a contingent of the public seduced by the publicity cant, had become defenders of what they deemed Thaw's justifiable murder of Stanford White. Letters were written in support of Thaw lauding him as a defender of "American womanhood." Sheet music was published for a musical piece titled: "For My Wife and Home."
    Nesbit and Thaw divorced in 1915.
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  • 1914
    Age 43
    Madison House in Gorham, New Hampshire for the summer under the watch of Sheriff Holman Drew, but in December 1914, Thaw was finally extradited to New York where he was able to secure a new trial.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1913
    Age 42
    Determined to escape confinement, in 1913 Thaw walked out of the asylum and was driven over the border to Sherbrooke, Quebec.
    More Details Hide Details It is believed Thaw’s mother, who had years of practice extricating her son from dire situations, orchestrated and financed her son’s escape from Matteawan. His attorney, William Lewis Shurtleff, fought extradition back to the United States. Thaw was taken to Mt.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1910
    Age 39
    Evelyn Nesbit gave birth to a son, Russell William Thaw, on October 25, 1910 in Berlin, Germany.
    More Details Hide Details Nesbit always maintained he was Thaw’s biological child, conceived during a conjugal visit to Thaw while he was confined at Matteawan. Thaw, throughout his life, denied paternity.
    On August 12, 1910, the court dismissed the writ and Thaw was returned to Matteawan.
    More Details Hide Details The presiding judge wrote: ".. the petitioner would be dangerous to public safety and was afflicted with chronic delusion insanity."
  • 1905
    Age 34
    They were wed on April 4, 1905.
    More Details Hide Details Thaw himself chose the wedding dress. Eschewing the traditional white gown, he dressed her in a black traveling suit decorated with brown trim. The two took up residence in the Thaw family home, Lyndhurst, in Pittsburgh. In later years Nesbit took measure of life in the Thaw household. The Thaws were anything but intellectuals. Their value system was shallow, and self-serving, "the plane of materialism which finds joy in the little things that do not matter—the appearance of things." Envisioning a life of travel and entertaining, Nesbit was rudely awakened to a reality markedly different; a household, ruled over by the sanctimonious propriety of "Mother Thaw". Thaw himself entered into his mother’s sphere of influence, seemingly without protest, taking on the pose of pious son and husband. It was at this time that Thaw instituted a zealous campaign to expose Stanford White, corresponding with the reformer Anthony Comstock, the infamous crusader for moral probity and the expulsion of vice. Because of this activity, Thaw became convinced that he was being stalked by members of the notorious Monk Eastman Gang, hired by White to kill him. Thaw started to carry a gun. Nesbit later corroborated his mind-set: "Thaw imagined his life was in danger because of the work he was doing in connection with the vigilance societies and the exposures he had made to those societies of the happenings in White’s flat."
  • 1902
    Age 31
    Landlady Susan "Susie" Merrill recounted a chronology of Thaw’s activities during the period of 1902 through 1905.
    More Details Hide Details Merrill was no ordinary landlady, but madame of deluxe Manhattan brothels, had rented apartments at two separate locations to Thaw, who presented himself under an alias. Using a false name and representing himself as a theatrical agent, Thaw then proceeded to bring girls into the premises where he physically abused and emotionally terrorized them. Newspaper reports speculated on an item brought into evidence by Merrill. The "jeweled whip" was insinuated into the proceedings, a graphic element suggesting the scenarios played out in Thaw's rooms. Money was paid to keep the women silent. A Thaw attorney, Clifford Hartridge, corroborated Merrill’s story, identifying himself as the intermediary who handled the monetary payoffs, some thirty thousand dollars, between Merrill, the various women and Thaw.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1895
    Age 24
    In Paris in 1895, Thaw threw an extravagant party, reputedly costing $50,000, which drew wide publicity.
    More Details Hide Details Thaw had reserved an entire floor in the luxurious Hôtel George-V. The attendees were Thaw himself and twenty-five of the most beautiful showgirls/bordello prostitutes he could assemble. A military band was hired to provide musical entertainment. For Thaw, John Philip Sousa’s marches were the favored party music as "they lifted the roof off the place." Each of the Parisian beauties found a unique party favor at the end of the meal. The dessert course was a $1,000 piece of jewelry wrapped around the stem of a liqueur glass. Exhibiting the classic characteristics of the skilled, manipulative sociopath, Thaw was able to keep the more sinister side of his personality in check when it suited his purposes and furthered his current agenda. He had the facility, when required, to impress upon others that he was a gentle, caring soul. The term "playboy" entered the popular vernacular, it is alleged, inspired by Thaw himself— a vivid encapsulation of the lifestyle he so vigorously pursued.
  • 1893
    Age 22
    The elder Thaw died in 1893, leaving his 22-year-old son three million dollars in his will.
    More Details Hide Details Upon the death of her husband, Thaw's mother increased his allowance to $8,000 enabling him to indulge his every whim, however outrageous, and gratify his sadistic sexual impulses. Thaw was the beneficiary of this monthly income for the next eighteen years. In addition, he held the distinction of being heir to a fortune estimated at some forty million dollars. Early on and for years into the future, his mother and a cadre of lawyers dedicated themselves to the business of damage control, shielding Thaw’s transgressions from any public scandal that would dishonor the family name. Monetary pay-offs became the customary method of assuring the required silence. One such notorious example occurred in Thaw’s London hotel room, where he purportedly devised a lure for an unsuspecting bellboy, whom Thaw proceeded to restrain naked in a bathtub, brutalizing him with beatings from a riding whip. Thaw had to pay out five thousand dollars to keep the incident quiet.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1871
    Age 0
    Thaw was born on February 12, 1871 to Pittsburgh coal and railroad baron William Thaw, Sr., and his second wife, Mary Sibbet (Copley) Thaw.
    More Details Hide Details The elder Thaw fathered eleven children from his two marriages. Thaw had five siblings, Margaret (born 1877), Alice Cornelia (born 1880), Edward (born 1873) and Josiah (born 1874). A brother born a year before Harry, died an accidental death in infancy, smothered by his mother’s breast while he lay in her bed. There was a history of insanity on his mother’s side of the family, and Thaw’s mother herself was known for her abuse of the servants, and episodes of ungovernable temper. In childhood Thaw was subject to bouts of insomnia, temper tantrums, incoherent babbling and, notably baby talk, a form of expression which he retained in adulthood. His chosen form of amusement was appropriating heavy household objects as weaponry to hurl at the heads of servants. The misfortune of others brought on fits of giggling. He spent his childhood bouncing from private school to private school in Pittsburgh, never doing well and described by teachers as unintelligent and a troublemaker. A teacher at the Wooster Prep School described the sixteen-year-old Harry as having an "erratic kind of ziz-zag" walk, "which seemed to involuntarily mimic his brain patterns." Still, as the son of William Thaw, he was granted admission to the University of Pittsburgh, where he was to study law, though he apparently did little studying. After a few years he used his name and social status to transfer to Harvard University.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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