Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jean Le Brun -- Flyboy Blues

Historical Ziegfeld Group
Days after her married lover, pioneer aviator Leonard Bonney, died while piloting his experimental aircraft In Long Island, New York,, Le Brun, a 35-year-old contralto who appeared in 1921 as the prima donna in Lena Dailey's Burlesque Show and later as a singer in Florida cabarets, joined him in death.  On May 10, 1928, Le Brun's landlady smelled gas escaping from the singer's apartment on the second floor of a brownstone at 63 West Eighty-eighth Street in New York City.  Authorities entered to find an automatic pistol on top of a table in the living room surrounded by live shells and newspaper clippings concerning the dead flier.  Unable to disengage the gun's safety, Le Brun opted for gas.  Forcing open the locked bathroom door, police discovered Le Brun's body face down on the floor.  She had carefully stuffed every opening in the room with paper before opening two gas jets.  Four neatly written notes explained the deed.  To a brother she wrote:  "My suicide is unavoidable.  I cannot live any longer...My sweetheart was killed in an aviation accident Friday and I cannot possibly live without him.  Bonney's widow, denying that her husband ever knew Le Brun, asked, "Could you blame Rudolph Valentino, for instance, for all the silly women who killed themselves over him?"

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