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."

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