Friday, December 20, 2013

Edward Mansfield -- Very Good, Eddie

Elsie Orr, 24, and sister, Helen Stolte, were known theatrically in the Bath Beach section of Brooklyn, New York, as the Carr Sisters.  Expert swimmers and divers since the age of 12, the pair was members of a water carnival show managed by Edward Mansfield, and following a two year run, were together again in the chorus of Very Good, Eddie.  Mansfield became obsessed with Helen Stolte, recently separated from her husband, but was opposed by Orr who warned her sister against having any involvement with him.  Orr was married less than three weeks to Edward Orr, a member of the Canadian Flying Corps, when Mansfield invited Stolte to Metuchen, New Jersey to pick up a car there he had promised to give her.  Suspicious of his intentions, Orr accompanied her sister to Metuchen on June 15, 1918.  Mansfield told the pair that the car was in a forest outside the town and drove them to a remote area near a rubber factory.  Stolte waited in the car while Elsie Orr walked into the woods with the theatrical manager to retrieve the vehicle.  Fifteen minutes later, Stolte heard moans coming from the woods.  Investigating, she found the theatrical manager standing beside a stream holding a bloody pen knife, his throat gashed, and drinking from a bottle.  Asked by Stolte where her sister was, Mansfield ominously replied, "Where she will never go on the road again."  Stolte fled the scene, returning minutes later with the police.  Mansfield lay unconscious on the ground from a near fatal dose of paris green while, nearby, Orr was found in a clump of bushes with her throat slit.  Mansfield expired from the overdose later that night in Metuchen's St. Peter's Hospital.

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