Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1913 - Trading Wives Ends in Murder-Suicide

The Tacoma Times
January 16 1913


By Harry Burton
New York Jan. 16

The "eternal triangle" is an old story.  But something new and strange in love tangles has occupied the exclusive south shore of Long Island since millionaire Henry C. Edey, the other day, snuffed out his own life and that of his beautiful young wife.  This tragedy was the result of the latest thing in advanced matrimony--a "rectangle of love."

Henry C. Edey was master of a hilltop mansion at Bellport-by-the-sea.  He had yachts, motors, horses and servants to minister to each want.  He had a lovely wife and a beautiful little daughter. And yet--

One day Henry Edey chanced to see Mrs. Gardner Murdock (Nellie Corwin) walking down the village street.  Mrs. Murdock was country born and bred and her cheek was mantled with the rose that comes of tramping over breezy fields.

And Henry Edey WANTED this new toy at once.

So Henry Edey sought out Gardner Murdock, HUSBAND of the woman he had fallen in love with!

He invited HIM to his home!

He dined HIM and wined HIM and sent HIM presnts!

And then he asked Murdock to bring his wife over some evening.

Mrs. Murdock came.  And the Edeys became fast friends of the Murdocks who were not so rich and not so sophisticated.  And then, in a little while, it is said--

  Henry Edey declared that
he loved Mrs Murdock.
  And Mrs. Murdock de-
clared she loved Henry Edey.
  And Gardner Murdock ad-
mitted he loved Mrs. Edey.
  And Mrs Edey admitted
she loved Gardner Murdock.

Did they flee then from this "rectangle of love?"  

No., indeed!  They decided not to be "old fogies."  And so it happened, according to the inquest testimony of Mrs. Murdock that within a few weeks after "the general confession of intertwined love," Murdock and Mrs. Edey found themselves in Galveston, Texas, "to establish a residence" so that divorces might be procured and the two marriages eventually take place by which wives would be "swapped."

At this juncture of the visit to Galveston--which, by the way, Murdock now declares was "not a pre-arranged program"--Edey wired his wife to come home, saying negotiations were off, so Mrs. Murdock declares.  And so Mrs. Edey returned to the Bellport castle.

This was late in the autumn.  After that Murdock left Bellport to become an innkeeper on Staten Island and Mrs. Murdock went to Connecticut to visit relatives.  The Edeys remained in Bellport together.

Mary Edey, 12 years old, came home from school Christmas to spend the holidays with her reunited parents.  She was the happiest little girl anywhere, for it had looked once as though she wasn't going to have any "real" parents any more.

And then, one morning, two shots rang out in her parents' bedroom.  The little girl ran toward the stairs.  But the servants stopped her and went to investigate.

On the floor, stretched in death, lay Henry Edey and his young and beautiful wife.  In his hand a revolver still smoked.  He had just learned that Gardner Murdock was to sue him for $100,000 for alienating Mrs. Murdock's affections.

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