Dr. Crippen Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1862 - 1910*** Full Name: Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen *** Occupation: American Homeopath *** Date of Birth: Dr Crippen was born on September 11th 1862 *** Place of Birth: Dr Crippen was born in Coldwater, Michigan, United States *** Family background: His father was Myron Augustus Crippen and his mother was Andresse Skinner. His father had been a merchant *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in Michigan *** Education: Dr Crippen attended Cleveland Homeopathic Medical College ***
Dr. Crippen Fact 1: Dr Crippen was born on September 11th 1862 and during the 19th century period in history when significant developments were made in biology, science, physics, medicine and technology.
Dr. Crippen Fact 2: Crippen had married and had a child, Hawley Otto. His wife Charlotte, however, died of stroke leaving the care of the only son to his father.
Dr. Crippen Fact 3: Unable to care for his son and work as well, Crippen entrusted the care of his son to his parents who lived in California.
Dr. Crippen Fact 4: Crippen qualified as a homeopath and having moved to New York began to practice there.
Dr. Crippen Fact 5: It was in New York that he met Corrine “Cora” Turner. Born to a Polish-Russian father and a German mother her real name was Kunigunde Mackamotski. As a singer who was trying to make a name for herself on the music hall circuit as a singer she went by the name of Belle Elemore. She often, frequently and quite opening had many affairs.
Dr. Crippen Fact 6: In 1894 Cora and Hawley Crippen were married.
Dr. Crippen Fact 7: That same year Crippen began working for Dr Munyon’s which was a homeopathic pharmaceutical company.
Dr. Crippen Fact 8: Crippen and Cora made the move to England in 1897 but unfortunately Crippen’s medical credential were not sufficient for him to continue his practice in homeopathic medicine and he was forced to seek employment as a patent medicines distributor while Cora found friendship with Lil Hawthorne and her husband/manager, John.
Dr. Crippen Fact 9: As a result of his very hands on management of his own wife’s career, Crippen was let go from his employment with Munyon’s and the couple were forced to take in lodgers to help supplement their income.
Dr. Crippen Fact 10: Crippen did manage to find further employment as a manager for Drouet’s Institution for the Deaf and here he met a young typist called Ethel Le Neve.
Dr. Crippen Fact 11: Crippen would soon discover his wife having an affair with one of their lodgers, by know they were living in Hilldrop Crescent, on the Camden Road, in Holloway, London. In a fit of revenge Crippen took up with Ethel and began his own affair.
Dr. Crippen Fact 12: In January of 1910 after a party held in their home Cora vanished. Upon being questioned about his wife’s whereabouts, Crippen claimed she had returned to the United States. Later, he would also claim that she’d died and her body had been cremated.
Dr. Crippen Fact 13: In the meantime, Ethel took up residents in his home and even began wearing Cora’s clothes and belongings.
Dr. Crippen Fact 14: At the instigation of Kate Williams, a friend of Cora’s, a police investigation took place but nothing untoward was discovered. At this point Crippen did acknowledge that he had lied about Cora’s having died in order to cover up the fact that she had actually left the country to return to America with another man and it was not something that Crippen wanted known publically.
Dr. Crippen Fact 15: Unbeknownst to Crippen his story was believed but both he and Ethel fled to Brussels where they booked passage on a ship bound for Canada.
Dr. Crippen Fact 16: It was only after the police realized he had disappeared himself that they instigated several more thorough searches of his home and found the remains of a body buried in the basement under the brickwork. Only the abdomen was recovered a skin sample from that proved it was human. The rest of the body remained unrecovered.Dr. Crippen Fact 18: As the Montrose was entering St Lawrence River Dew boarded her under the guise of a pilot. As Canada was a British dominion he was within the law to arrest Crippen. If Crippen had boarded ship for the United States extradition proceedings would have taken many months to organize. Instead he was transported straight back the England.
Dr. Crippen Fact 17: While this was going on in London, Crippen and Ethel were crossing the Atlantic with Ethel posing as a boy on board the SS Montrose. The authorities were tipped off as Crippen and Ethel were recognized by the captain himself and before they were out of transmitter range the captain had a message relayed to Chief Inspector Dew who boarded the next, faster, liner, SS Laurentic, headed for Canada.
Dr. Crippen Fact 19: The pair were tried separately at the Old Bailey, Crippen on the charge of murder and Ethel Le Neve tried for accessory after the fact. Ethel was found not guilty and Crippen was found guilty and sentenced to hang.
Dr. Crippen Fact 20: On the morning of November 23rd 1910 Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen was hanged until he was dead. On the morning of his execution Ethel set sail for American. His body was buried in the grounds of Pentonville Prison where he had been hanged.
Influence and Legacy: There would appear to be differing opinions as to whether or not Crippen was actually guilty. There is some suggestion that the gender of the corpse found was actually male and not female as well as a later DNA tests that failed to showed a match with alleged remaining members of her family. There is no conclusive evidence either way. Crippen was notably the first murderer to be apprehended due the use of radio telegraphy which was new state of the art technology at that time.
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