That Shocked New York Society and Gripped the World

Colin Evans. Lyons, $26.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7627-9149-1
This meticulously reconstructed account of a 1917 murder trial features a lurid cast and copious melodrama. Almost as soon as Chilean heiress Blanca Errázuriz married New York real estate mogul Jack De Saulles in 1912, she suffered terrible humiliations. The rakish De Saulles schemed to get access to his wife’s family fortune to finance his business deals and taste for luxury, and was notorious for his philandering. The birth of their son, Jack Jr., failed to put things right, and after muddling along for four years, Blanca filed for divorce in 1916. Less than a year later, she shot and killed De Saulles in front of several witnesses during a custody dispute; she was acquitted during a sensational trial in 1917. As the marriage fell apart, De Saulles’s liaisons with actresses and Broadway stars, including the dancer Joan Sawyer, pulled Sawyer’s dance partner, a struggling tango dancer named Rudolfo Guglielmi (who became silent film star Rudolf Valentino), into Jack and Blanca’s orbit. While Valentino provides modern readers with a reference point, his rumored connection to Blanca is an aside in Evans’s (Blood on the Table) work, which documents one in a string of the era’s “wronged women” cases that all ended in acquittals of the killers. B&w photos, illus. Agent: Roger Williams, New England Publishing Associates. (July)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014
Release date: 07/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-4930-1167-4
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4930-1168-1
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4930-5010-9
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