Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jeannette Journee -- Sad Death of a Marmoset Lover

The 30-year-old vaudeville dancer married Henri Journee, a foreign middleweight boxer, over the strong objections of her wealthy physician father in Noble, Illinois.  Quitting their jobs to open a beauty parlor in the Bronx, the couple lost their life savings when the business failed.  Financially ruined, the former fighter took a job as a hairdresser in a New York City beauty shop.  Worried over their finances and distressed by her father's opposition to the marriage, Jeannette Journee became increasingly moody.  At noon on august 3, 1931, Henri Journee returned to their basement apartment at 247 West Seventy-sixth Street to find the door chained and a strong smell of gas seeping from under the door.  Fearing the worst, Journee summoned a policeman and together they forced the door of the apartment.  Inside, they found the former dancer dead in a chair beside the kitchen range, with gas escaping from four open jets.  Prior to taking her life, the woman had removed a pair of love birds, Jeanette and Henri, and Jimmy, a marmoset, into an adjoining sealed room to escape the fumes.  In a note to her husband scrawled on a piece of wrapping paper she wrote, "I have been bad luck to you, so I am leaving you never to return."  In a separate note, for "Dear Pop," she added, "You have killed me.  Give Henri my trunk for being so good to me.  I want to go to the morgue.  Be good to him for my sake."

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