Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Paul Kelly, Killer Actor

Questions Answered

Police heard over the transom that Mackaye and Kelly were an item, and Kelly was invited in for a chat with detectives just hours after Raymond's death was discovered.

Paul Kelly with Dorothy Mackaye
Paul Kelly with Dorothy Mackaye

His hands shook so that he could barely hold his cigarette.

He may have been nervous, but he wasn't coy. He admitted that he was in love with Mackaye and that he hoped to marry her one day. He insisted the fight with Raymond was a fair "duel."

Cops got another perspective from Ethel Lee, the Brooklyn-born maid who was the only eyewitness to the fight other than the pugilists themselves. Lee said Raymond had absorbed blow after merciless blow. The bigger, stronger Kelly put Raymond in a headlock and bashed him in the face six or seven times, the maid said. Raymond was knocked to the floor several times as Kelly needled him to fight like a man. He finally made a few flailing swings at Kelly before the final fist to his left eye ended the thrashing.

Police were anxious to speak with Mackaye, but the poor widow had collapsed at Raymond's funeral, and she was unavailable to detectives for days after — sedated with a sleeping powder.

More than a week later, she was finally interviewed at her home by a posse of lawmen — two lieutenants, three investigators and an assistant district attorney. She lay in bed with reddened eyes and responded dolefully to questions posed by Detective Lieutenant Joseph Condaffer.

Wasn't it true that Kelly was in love with her and that they hoped to be married?

"He was a serious-minded boy and talked about marriage quite often but it was so remote that I didn't even think about it," Mackaye said.

Wasn't it true that Raymond had discovered their affair?

"I told my husband I wouldn't stay away from him," Mackaye said. "He (Raymond) was so silly, ridiculous and absurd about our friendship — and insanely jealous. He wasn't in his right mind...He just didn't understand."

Cops went away shaking their heads over Mackaye's warped reality.

On April 21, a grand jury charged Kelly with murder. Four days later, Dot Mackaye and Dr. Sullivan were indicted for conspiring to cover up the true cause of Raymond's death.

No doubt Mackaye didn't see that coming.

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