Great Crimes by John Escott

Great Crimes by John Escott

This book tells about the most famous criminals in the United States. This is not about ordinary petty offenders. These people became really famous by their deeds. Only the most interesting and unusual cases are presented in this story. Dr. Hawley Harvey Krippen met a young girl named Cora. Harvey’s first wife died long time ago. Later he married this beautiful girl. Cora was cruel, domineering and did not love her husband. She was dreaming about the career of the singer and wanted her husband to earn much more money. Doctor’s salary was too small to pay for the vocal lessons. Cora was not very good at singing. No matter how hard she tried to perform – she failed to become a famous star. One day she suddenly disappeared.

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Great Crimes by John Escott

Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen met Cora Turner in New York, in July 1892. He was thirty years old, and was working in a hospital, and she was nineteen. Crippen had been married before, but his first wife had died. He immediately fell in love with Cora, and six months later they were married.

At first they continued to live in New York, and Crippen joined a company which sold medicines. This was Cora’s idea. She wanted her husband to earn more money than the hospital was paying him.

Cora wanted to be a singer, so her husband paid for her to have singing lessons. Her voice was not really good enough, and she wasn’t very successful. Later, when the couple moved to London, she did begin to sing in theatres, although she was never famous.

Crippen was not allowed to work as a doctor in England because he had trained in America, so he continued to work for the American medicine company, and opened a London office for them.

Great Crimes by John Escott

In 1905, the Crippens moved to a house at 39 Hilldrop Crescent. They were not happy together. Cora was a cruel, violent woman, and the couple were always arguing, often because Cora spent more money than they could afford. She also liked to be with other men.

In 1907, Crippen fell in love with his secretary, Ethel Le Neve. Ethel wanted him to leave his wife and marry her, but Crippen would not – or was afraid to – do this.

Then, in December, 1909, Cora discovered that her husband and Ethel Le Neve were lovers. She warned Crippen that she would leave him, and take most of his money with her.

On January 31, 1910, two of Cora’s theatre friends, Paul and Clara Martinetti, came to dinner with the Crippens, and during the evening Cora and her husband argued violently. The Martinettis left early.

The next week, Crippen told neighbours and friends that Cora had gone to America to look after someone who was sick. This came as a surprise; Cora had said nothing to them about a sick friend, or about travelling to America. Then, some weeks later, Crippen sold several of Cora’s rings, and some of her other valuables, and in March, Ethel Le Neve moved into 39 Hilldrop Crescent to live with Crippen.

Later, when Crippen told the Martinettis and other friends of Cora’s that she had become ill and had died in America, they could not believe it and suspected that he was lying. Finally, one of the friends went to the police with the story….

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