Thursday, January 16, 2014

Murray M. Steele -- Saturday in the Park

Three days after Mabel Foy, a vivacious 22-year-old divorcee and vaudeville actress, turned down his proposal of marriage, Steele, the 38-year-old former manager of San Francisco's Kinemacolor Motion Picture Company, sent a bunch of white roses to her apartment in that city on September 28, 1912.  The accompanying note read, "I am going to the Park, sweetheart."  Later that day, Steele was found under the bridge just inside the Golden Gate Park, a victim of a self-administered dose of cyanide of potassium.  He died en route to Park Emergency Hospital.  Inside the man's clothes, authorities found $114.92 in cash, a picture of his beloved, and notes to his father and Foy.  To the actress he wrote:  "My Dear Little Mabel:  I am still so sorry and brokenhearted about your not wanting to marry me, that I do not care to live any longer.  I wish you good luck, and may God bless you.  Your devoted friend, Murray M. Steele."  Foy, who previously knew Steele back in his hometown of St. Louis, explained that the only reason she had not married him was that having been divorced for only three weeks she feared a bigamy charge.

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