Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Alexander Winkler -- A Perfect Wedding Gift
A dancing instructor and manager of the vaudeville act Winkler's Madcaps, the 42-year-old divorced father of an 18-year-old daughter violently opposed the young woman's upcoming marriage to a waiter when, he argued, a prominent artist wished to marry her. Following a quarrel with his ex-wife over the proposed nuptials, Winkler inhaled gas at his apartment at 342 West Forty-fifth Street in New York City on November 18, 1916. Winkler was found holding a picture of his mother in one hand and a miniature of his wife in the other. He left several letters and in one, addressed "To the Public," wrote: "He died without leaving one cent of debt." Prior to taking his life, Winkler decided to leave his daughter a macabre wedding gift. In a telegram sent to his wife shortly before inhaling the fatal gas, he wrote: "Lilly's wedding present will be ready for shipment when you receive this." The shaken woman vowed, "Even his death will not prevent her from marrying the man she loves."