Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tamara Charle -- Only One Way

Photo:  J. Willis Sayre
Charle, 26, a vivacious French-Russian nightclub singer also known as "Tamara Zoya" and "Tamara Stephan," appeared in Albany, New York, in the musical shows The Cat and the Fiddle and Music in the Air.  On July 9, 1941, in that city, Charle shot her 4-year-old daughter (born after a separation from her husband) through the heart with a .22-caliber pistol in their room at the Ten Eyck Hotel.  The child's body was later found on the bed surrounded by pillows and dolls.  Foiled in the attempt to take her own life when the gun jammed, the despondent singer walked the streets of Albany for more than 12 hours before returning to the hotel, clearing the gun, then firing a bullet into her heart.  A note found at the scene read:  "To Whom it May Concern -- I wanted to go with the baby, but after the first bullet the gun jammed.  I then bought potassium ferricyanide.  That didn't work either.  There is only one way."  An autopsy revealed no trace of the poison.  In a separate letter to her estranged husband apparently referring to a telephone conversation, the singer wrote:  "I will not annoy you any longer after what happened last night."

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