The Daily Gossip of The 20's
March 27, 1920
Ellingson Girl Insane, State Expert Asserts
Her Trial for the Murder of Her Mother Is Expected to Begin Today.
New York, March 26.—Counsel for both sides indicated today that the trial of Dorothy Ellingson, 16 years old, charged with the murder of her mother, would proceed tomorrow, though others in close touch with the case saw a strong possibility that the defense would present a formal motion to end the trial and empanel a new jury to determine the girl is now insane.
Dr. Fred P. Clark, Superintendent of the State Hospital for the Insane, at Staten Island has issued a statement saying he considers her insane, basing his judgment on close observation of her behavior in the court house. It was understood that other alienists, subpoenaed by the defense, were examining the prisoner at the county jail today.
Sylvester J. McAfee, of defense counsel, said he had not received formal reports on her condition and could not predict whether the trial would be interrupted. He pointed out, however, that the defense, in outlining its case to prospective jurors all last week, had emphasized that possibility she was insane at the time of the commission of the crime. Her present condition, if it were brought into the case, would involve a new issue, he said.
Dorothy Ellingson is alleged to have cut her mother’s throat on March 24. The girl claims she had been having nocturnal visions and heard voices commanding her to do things. It is claimed that the voices warned her that her mother was a threat to her and must be eliminated.
GATSBY FOUND DEAD, at home estate!
Gatsby, 30, was shot dead in the swimming pool of his expansive mansion Thursday afternoon. Police have identified the murder suspect as local automobile mechanic George Wilson, who was found dead nearby, killed by an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Myrtle Wilson, George Wilson’s wife, was killed in a hit-and-run accident Wednesday by a yellow Rolls Royce matching the description of Gatsby’s vehicle. A possible motive was revenge.
Authorities have refused to comment further on the murder or the hit-and-run, as it is part of an ongoing investigation. However, a source close to the matter said the Bureau of Investigation is also involved due to Gatsby’s rumored association with bootlegging operations, as well as New York crime kingpin Meyer Wolfsheim.
Frequent visitors to the estate said Gatsby was aloof and secretive, leading to many rumors about his past. One acquaintance said Gatsby was a German spy during the war, while another claimed he was an Oxford graduate who once killed a man in cold blood.
His neighbor, Nick Carroway, said he was perhaps Gatsby’s closest friend, but even he knew little of the man.
“He seemed rather preoccupied with the past,” Carraway said. “He couldn’t escape it. It was kind of like he was in a boat, rowing against the current, but he couldn’t make any headway. Or something like that.”