A Statuesque Killing...


Take one jealous drug addicted millionaire, an architect and America's most famous beauty and you're sure to end up with a dangerous and fateful concoction. And this is just what happened, all due to a false connection to a nude bronze statue named 'Diana', also known as 'Diana of the Tower'. In 1892, Diana was the tallest object on the Manhattan skyline. In Victorian America, this was as risqué as it got, commissioned by architect Standford White, she was created by American sculpture Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Diana is bathing by a woodland pool & senses she's being spied on and stands up nude and shoots her arrow at the young Prince & transforms into a stag. White placed Diana at the pinnacle at what was then Madison Square Garden & not the sports arena we know today, but an earlier building topped with an ornate tower and illuminated by a spotlight. Diana could be seen by every New Yorker. Children were rushed past by their nannies, so they wouldn't see the vision, old men used their spy glasses to view the naked beauty. This statue spoke to America, where modesty was on it's way out and overt display was on it's way in.



 A real woman who came to display this spirit, was Evelyn Nesbit. Many New Yorkers believed her face & figure was the inspiration for Diana. Like a supermodel of today, Evelyn was first famous for her looks and then famous for being famous. Her life became gossip and speculation in a new kind of newspaper, one that New York helped create: The Tabloid. At the same time she was the personification of every man's fantasy. Stanford White shared this fantasy.





 The famous architect was also a famous womaniser, even though married with children. He was rumoured to have secret love nests all around Manhattan where he seduced many young woman like Nesbit. He met her when she was merely 14 years old, he saw a breath-taking beauty and took her under his wing. At the turn of the century remember, it was considered nearly the right age at 14 to get married and have children - gladly times have changed. He invited Evelyn to one of his apartments and supplied her with champagne and pushed her on a red velvet swing. She became groggy and passed out. She woke up hours later with her clothes beside her & felt violated somehow. White made her promise not to tell anyone, not even her mother. Evelyn said in her own memoir that, 'I went in there a girl and came out a woman'. She didn't even tell the new man she became involved with after about it - at first, Harry Thaw, a millionaire playboy.




Born into a wealthy family in the 1890's, Thaw was a cocaine feign and indulged in anything possible. Standford White used all his influences in New York to shut Thaw out. The 2 men hated each other, understandably. Thaw had cocaine rages and threw furniture. When Standford White got him blacklisted from every club, Thaw took a tremendous front to this and got back at him by marrying Evelyn. On their wedding night, Evelyn revealed that Standford had taken her virginity, Thaw flew into a violent rage & over time came to assault his bride with a dog whip. Thaw realised that Standford White wasn't heart broken over this and it made him even more angry. He started on the notion that White ruined his wife and used her as a model for the statue that was at the top of the Original Madison Square Garden. Thaw's anger, fuelled by righteous indignation & cocaine, moved him into plan of action. He decided that White must pay with his life. 



On June 25th, 1906 in an open air theatre beneath the statue of Diana, Thaw & Evelyn attended a performance, seeing Standford White, Thaw took aim and shot him in the face. White fell to the ground, people screamed and rushed away. Harry Thaw shouted, 'I did this because you ruined my wife'! Beneath the statue that helped trigger Thaw's rage, Standford White dies in a pool of blood. The arrest & trial that follow caused a media frenzy in New York and beyond. It was the trial of the century. It resulted in a hung jury and at Thaw's second trial, Evelyn took the stand as the prosecution's star witness. The jury thought Thaw was right to defend his wife's honour and he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Evelyn, America's first supermodel faded into obscurity, dying alone after a long struggle of drugs and alcohol. And as it turns out, the statue that sparked the murder, wasn't even Evelyn at all. It had been created when she was only 7 years old, the real inspiration for the statue was Julia Baird


Moral of the story kids....jealousy & drugs don't mix...keep it clean & keep away from the crazies! All I can say is....scandalous, haha!! There is much more to learn about Evelyn, but I just stayed with this story, but do check more out as it's quite interesting!! Have a fun Wednesday dolls!!


65 comments

  1. in love with this post...
    such a scandal it was....
    I'll check back to older post!
    http://sepatuholig.blogspot.com/

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  2. So this lady was basically the first ever celebrity supermodel? Like in the style of a modern Kim Kardashian or something? That's an incredible story Doll and I really feel like I've learned something from reading it. It's a sad one for sure and I don't think that either of the two men were wholesome in the slightest but it's so interesting at the same time, I have to read up more on this, it's crazy the guy got away with killing Shaw too!

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  3. Lovely post, like all of your posts!:X Have a great day sweetie!

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  4. Wow, I had no idea! Loved the moral of the story ;)

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  5. Didn't know any of this- you're full of interesting facts and info :)

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  6. I had no idea - of the statue nor the story - great one though Kizzy - thanks doll and have a sunshiny day,A
    x
    ♥♥

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  7. This has modern day soap opera written all over it! Such a sad twist of events, but has me intrigued enough to want to find out more! Happy Wednesday:)

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  8. hey! nice blog! follow each other?


    http://areyougonnabemygirl.tk/

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  9. Great post and lovely blog! Thanks for shearing! If you get a second, I'd love to hear your thoughts about my latest "new in" post :)

    http://mademoiselle-s-blog.blogspot.fr/

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  10. Scandalous! Thanks for the interesting story! And don't forget to enter my giveaway!

    xx,
    LLE
    http://living-learning-eating.blogspot.com

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  11. Lovely story! Horrible - but lovely! ;) They should make a movie about this. I mean, the script is already there in the history books! Very intriguing! I do have to say I love these dramatic acts of vengeance love can cause. But it feels like it was more romantic back in the "good old days". *Sigh*... ;) xox

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  12. OMG! What a story. I feel sad for Evelyn though, poor girl. 14 year old. I think White deserved such end. Leaving the art side of the story beside...

    Hope you have a lovely day, Kizzy! Thanks for a nice read, great as always.
    xx

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  13. hey, you are too perfect to be real! and I am your new follower :) xo

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  14. great story, love the moral!

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  15. Very interesting story. I really want to see this statue up close now.

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  16. Ha, I'll write down that jealousy and drugs don't mix. Don't want to forget that :)

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  17. what a story! I love stuff like this!

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  18. Riveting...I love a good story with every type of immorality in it. Thanks for dropping in today. I deleted by accicent, the post you commented on and did not have time to rewrite the same post about my friend....boo. Thank you anyway darling doll. I will have to write about her another time. Damn, I really liked what I said too. have a great day. dawn suitcase vignettes xo

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  19. This had to be a HUGE scandal during this era. I can just see women and their nannies rushing by this statue with children in tow huffing and puffing muttering "This is disgraceful." HAH

    I love this post Kizzy! Very interesting! :)

    Have a wonderful evening. :) ♥♥

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  20. Oh my lawd! It captivated me from beginning to end Kizzy. In the end no one won!!! Jealousy is an ugly thing. Fantastic post!!!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  21. I love this story! It is so crazy and proves that they were just as crazy as we are!

    Rhe
    rhestyle.com

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  22. Oh my goodness, what a great story! This needs to be a movie. And yes, drug fiends never end well. So sad for the girl though...Hope you're having a wonderful week Kizzy--enjoyed every word of this!

    xo Mary Jo

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  23. YIKES!!! This is such a cautionary tale... I can imagine the gossip going around at that time... So much drama!!!

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  24. What an interesting post and I can just imagine the scandal and gossip surrounding these events. Crazy how young girls were when they got involved or "taken" by a man. The photographs are wonderful!

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  25. Totally scandalous and a very fascinating read! It's no surprise it didn't end well and the moral holds true. Hope you're having a great week Kizzy!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

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  26. wowwww¡¡ great post dear¡¡ xoxo

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  27. Wow. Great story! I'm not sure why I always think of drugs as a modern thing.

    http://mandycrandell.blogspot.com/

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  28. Lovely blog.
    http://xtheperfectmess.blogspot.com.au

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  29. Wow! Very interesting.
    After reading your post,
    I felt like I've read a really good novel.

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  30. thank you for this amazing story, I'd really love to know more about Evelyn and about Stanford White works and private life.
    Here in Italy, in the past, we had special laws that defended the honour and jealousy murders still happen very often.I find the story so modern!
    xxx

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  31. Money, sex and drugs - the world did not change much!



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  32. Thank you for posting the story!!! very interesting indeed!!! xxx

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  33. Thanks for this juicy history lesson! Passion and scandal will always be around and most likely have tragic consequences!
    Ahh and say no to drugs!

    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  34. Your posts never cease to amaze me. You are so knowledgable and have such amazing interests.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

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  35. Romantic and like on old movie - love the pictures!

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  36. This was really interesting to read. Thanks for the good story :) So sad though that all that happened and it wasn't even her.

    xo erica

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  37. I love old pictures like this. Really makes you think about how things must have been back then.

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  38. Such an interesting story! Evelyn sounds fascinating, I am off to google her! xo

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  39. I enjoy these readings about history. especially the one about Thaw and the nude statue.

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  40. The more I read it,the more I like it!!! xxx

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  41. I can always count on you for stories accompanied with pics that amuse and enlighten . . .

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  42. what an amazing and inspiring post!

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  43. Love your blog sweety, do you mind following each other?

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    Replies
    1. Hi sweety, i'm following you alread.

      I hope you follow back... xo

      Delete
  44. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post
    was great. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going
    to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

    Silver Replica Trophy For Sale

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  45. Good God, what a story! I'm with a few other comments, I could definitley see this as a film as well. Thanks for all of the info, I did not know about the full story. Jealousy is never good by any means. Enjoy your weekened lovely! xx

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  46. haha!! The title made me chuckle! :)

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  47. Great minds think alike! I did a post about this a few months ago. ;) You did a great job. There's a fantastic movie about this incident as well: The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing. Have you seen it?

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  48. I didn`t knew this story! like it <3

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  49. Great post!!!!!

    http://estilohedonico.blogspot.pt/

    xoxo

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  50. You surprise me with great historical stories and beautiful pictures every single time. I had no idea those people even existed - so thanks for educating me, once again :D

    Kisses dear!
    /U
    pug-a-licious
    Lil'Fit

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  51. lovely post again ...

    http://wardrobexperience.blogspot.de

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  52. I have always thought that truth is stranger than fiction. This tale is absolute testament to that! Evelyn, in that photograph, is such a beauty. So much like Helen (later of Troy), the face that launched a thousand ships.

    Is this Diana still in NYC? I don't recall it. I wonder if it has been moved or is now in a museum somewhere. -- J xxx

    www.thefoolishaesthete.blogspot.com

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  53. Haha, interesting post. And I've never really wanted to be a guy before, but I totally want to right now just so I can try to grow out a crazy moustache like that guy!

    Sincerely,
    Sabrina

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  54. lovely pictures. i love your blog! very inspiring. followed you dear! i hope you follow back. xoxo



    love,ace
    http://aceduchua.blogspot.com/

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  55. Love the story and what a great pictures!

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  56. Wow, what an interesting story! I love the history behind art or symbols! -Jessica L

    THEJESSICALBLOG.COM

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