TDISH: The Trial of the Century

One hundred ten years ago today, in 1906, a murder rocked the United States.  Harry Kendall Thaw, the son and heir of the great Thaw railroad fortune, killed Stanford White, one of the greatest architects of the day.  The murder took place in the rooftop garden of one of White’s masterpieces – Madison Square Garden (not the current one!).  Thaw had a history of mental instability and harbored a deep hatred for White who had been Thaw’s wife, Evelyn Nesbit’s lover before Thaw and Nesbit had been wed. Nesbit was a well-known chorus girl and model.  As such, all three of the people involved in the killing – victim, killer, and motive – were members of high society.  Thaw’s trial was covered extensively and hailed as the “Trial of the Century” by the sensational yellow journalism papers of the day.  He was found guilty by reason of insanity and was sentenced to a relatively short stint in an asylum.

Featured Image: “Evelyn Nesbit.” By Gertrude Käsebier – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ppmsca.12056. Public Domain.
Left Image. “Harry Kendall Thaw.” by Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:19, 24 April 2015 (UTC) – Library of Congress, Public Domain.
Right Image. “Stanford White.” By George Cox –; originally uploaded to the English Wikipedia (2006-03-27), Public Domain.
Lucas, Doug. “Harry Thaw – The Notorious Playboy of Old Allegheny.” Allegheny City Society Reporter Dispatch. Summer 2007.

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