Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Stanford White Murder

A Reluctant Marriage

Evelyn arrived back to her hotel, where the rooms White gave her were waiting. Soon, the fatherly Stanny came to call. He took Evelyn in his arms and she wept. Gradually, she told the horrible story of her trip to Europe and Thaws abuse.

White became enraged and even arranged for Evelyn to give a deposition to a well-known lawyer, Abe Hummel, regarding her experiences with Thaw. White claimed that Hummel could protect her from him.

Yet, Evelyns meetings with White became few and far between. He treated her with respect and affection, but he no longer trembled whenever he was near her. She heard stories of his attachment to other chorus girls. Then, she failed to receive an invitation to Whites famous Christmas party.

Meanwhile, Thaw overwhelmed Evelyn with more flowers, gifts and love notes. At first she resisted, but as the memory of the beating faded, Evelyns feelings softened. Thaw got down on his knees and begged.

Evelyn returned to him. More trips through Europe followed. More gifts. More jewels. Then, in 1905, Evelyn fell victim to a rare medical anomaly. She had a second attack of appendicitis. After a long recuperation, Evelyn left the hospital and found herself an apartment. She aimed to separate herself from Thaw, but he came around again and again.

Then, Mrs. William Thaw of Pittsburgh came to call upon Evelyn. She was blunt. Her son loved Evelyn, and it was her wish that they be married. Evelyn brought up Thaws eccentricities, but Mother Thaw dismissed them. She believed that settling down would cure her sons behavior.

Harry Thaw before the murder
Harry Thaw before the
So, Evelyn returned to her hometown and became the wife of Harry K. Thaw. She lived in the grand house with Mother Thaw and her husband. Evelyns new mother-in-law did her best to introduce Evelyn to Pittsburgh society, but even the powerful Mother Thaw could not overcome Evelyns reputation. Evelyn rarely received invitations anywhere and had no companionship her own age. Thaw sometimes paid ardent attention to Evelyn. Other times, he disappeared for days. By all accounts, she was bored and lonely, but resigned to her fate.

In the summer of 1906, she and Thaw decided to travel to Europe again. Before departing, however, they planned a two-week trip to New York City. On that trip, they attended the opening of a musical called Mamzelle Champagne where they would encounter the man Thaw called The Beast.