Annals of Crime #99


Original Caption:

New York -- Joseph Elwell, wealthy club man, was found mortally wounded in his apartment at 244 West 70th Street. Elwell is well known in Society circles as an authority on Bridge, Whist, and in addition is owner of a racing stable. He was discovered unconscious in the front room of his apartment on the ground floor of West 70th Street building by his housekeeper. There was bullet wound in his forehead. Police discount the death as a suicide, as the revolver could not be found though the empty shell was found. Money and jewels of the dead man were not touched. The body was discovered in a room locked from the inside. (1920)

7 comments:

Mac said...

Physical Graffiti: The early demos

D Cairns said...

A locked room mystery! I gotta find out how this turned out...

michaelE said...

Sounds like a case for Sherlock Holmes!

MichaelRyerson said...

Revolvers don't eject shell casings.

Loyolalaw98 said...

".....Joseph Bowne Elwell, the greatest bridge player alive, the so-called "Wizard of Whist", a tutor of the game to the King of England and the millionaire Vanderbilts. Author of best-selling bridge textbooks, an unofficial "spycatcher" and intelligence agent, a heavy gambler on the stock exchange, the owner of a large stable of race horses, a developer of Florida real estate, a dealer of bootleg liquor, and an industrious philanderer, Joseph Elwell is believed to be the inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby in his book, The Great Gatsby. But Joseph Elwell is today remembered for being murdered in June 1920 in a classic "locked room" mystery---to this day still unsolved. Someone managed to sneak into his art-filled house in Manhattan, shoot Elwell in the head, and vanish into thin air.....leaving Elwell in a room locked from the inside! The Slaying of Joseph Bowne Elwell is author Jonathan Goodman's fascinating account of the corrupt life and mysterious death of one bizarre man. The Elwell case has been used as the basis of many crime novels (including one of the most famous, S.S. Van Dine's The Benson Murder Case), films, and a play."
(Taken from http://neptune.spaceports.com/~queen/Whodunit_2.html)

Christopher said...

gangsters were colorful before the roaring twenties.

shadyguy said...

Found something about this:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60D1EFA3B5B1B7A93C5A9178FD85F458285F9

I guess two questions remain. Who is Mrs. Fairchild and what was her motive?