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William Earl Dodge Stokes couldn't get it straight: Retrieve the embarrassing love letters to your old girl friends BEFORE you get married. He waited until afterward and, well, keep reading.

The newspaper story below is the most interesting and thorough next-day coverage of the shootings that occurred four months after Stokes and Helen Elwood were wed. None of the principals in this scandal was exactly truthful the night all hell broke loose, and even after the matter was resolved in court, several questions were still searching for honest answers.

Despite the potential for tragedy, the evening was widely viewed as farce, and with good reason. This is the stuff that inspired Hollywood's screwball comedies. In some ways it resembles "Roxy Hart" and the subsequent musical, "Chicago."

LILLIAN GRAHAM, an aspiring singer and dancer, was befriended by W. E. D. Stokes a few years earlier after she and her married sister, Stella Singleton, checked into the Hotel Ansonia. At one time she may have entertained hopes of marrying Stokes, but seemed to resign herself to being a girl friend on retainer. She and Stokes exchanged many letters; in most of hers she asked for money.

Stokes had told her he was forbidden by law to remarry. In February 1911, of course, he and Helen Elwood did get married, in New Jersey. I've seen nothing about the effects of this marriage on Lillian Graham, but it may be safe to assume she was hurt and angry.

In the meantime she had befriended by Ethel Conrad, also a would-be actress who may have concocted a blackmail plot against Stokes, using letters he had written to Graham. Conrad visited Stokes at his office at least once. She claimed one visit was an errand of mercy, asking Stokes for help because Graham had attempted suicide. She said Stokes advised her to end her friendship with Graham, and claimed Stokes made several derogatory remarks about Graham and her family. Conrad also said Stokes complimented her on her looks. He also agreed to help her find a job.

STOKES CLAIMED Conrad later contacted him to say Graham was on her way to Europe and suggested he visit to apartment to retrieve his letters. He said that when he showed up at the apartment, Graham was there, and that both women confronted him and demanded $25,000 for the letters.

The women, of course, told a far different story. Both Graham and Conrad had recently purchased revolvers and insisted they used them on Stokes in self-defense. He was hit three times in his legs, but suffered no life-threatening wounds.

He wound up in a hospital, the young women went to jail ... but a day later they were bailed out by an enterprising vaudeville promoter who immediately booked them as New York City's latest act.

Stunned and hurt by all this was the new Mrs. Stokes, who would, for the moment, stand by her man when this case went to trial. However, it was no surprise that she and her husband went on to have a miserable marriage that for all practical purposes ended in 1919. By then Graham and Conrad were merely answers to a trivia question.


W. E. D. Stokes of the Ansonia, who is now 65 years old, was shot three times early last evening by two young women who say that he came to their apartment to get letters written by him before he married a young wife last February. (NOTE: He actually was 59 at the time.)

Mr. Stokes is a private patient in Roosevelt Hospital with injuries which his attorney described as not serious. The hospital doctors at midnight said Mr. Stokes’s condition was “serious, but not critical.”

The girls say that in the scuffle, which was carried into the hallway outside their their rooms, Mr. Stokes got the pistol of one of them away and took a shot at them, but he didn’t hit anything.

Lillian Graham, who said in the station house that she was 22 years old and a singer, and Ethel Conrad, three years her junior, who didn’t specify her occupation, were the two girls. They had a small apartment on the fourth floor in the Varuna at 225 West Eightieth Street, which is on the northeast corner of Broadway. They have been there only a matter of three or four weeks.

When the police got to the house, Mr. Stokes was lying in the hallway outside the girls’ flat. The women had run across the hall from their apartment into that of Pat Casey, the vaudeville booking agent.

Mr. Stokes said that three Japanese servants from Mr. Casey’s apartment had held him while one of the girls shot at him, and the Japanese, who were getting up a dinner party for Mr. Casey, were arrested with the women.

“This afternoon,” Mr. Stokes said, “I got a telephone message from a woman calling herself Ethel Conrad. She told me where she was, and said she had some letters that I had written to Miss Graham. She said Miss Graham had sailed yesterday on the Baltic and that if I wanted the letters I must come right away, as she expected to return to New Orleans with her brother at any time.

“I knew of Miss Graham, but I couldn’t remember that I had ever written her any letters. I decided, anyhow, to go up and see about it, and I got there about ten minutes of 6. I had no sooner entered the parlor of the apartment before both women faced me, and the door was locked behind me at once. I believe the women were alone in the apartment.

“Miss Graham then said she had some letters of mine, and wanted $25,000 for them, but she made no move to show me any letters. Then both women drew revolvers from their dresses at about the same time and pointed them at me. I thought they were only showing a little bravado and that they would soon cool down, but the first thing I knew Miss Graham fired.

“The shot hit me in the right thigh. In spite of the wound I jumped up and tried to run out of range of the pistol. Miss Graham was right behind me and she fired a second shot that entered the calf of my right leg. Then she jumped toward me and pushed the barrel of the pistol against my stomach. I grabbed her hand and turned the weapon away just as she fired. My hand was so close that it was burned by the powder.

“I then had hold of both Miss Graham’s hands and got the gun away from her, but as I did so she called to Miss Conrad:

“ ‘Now it’s your turn. Shoot him.’

“I got Miss Graham in front of me and used her as a shield, but Miss Conrad fired three shots in such a way that they would miss her friend. One of the shots struck me in the calf of my left leg.

“By this time I had worked my way to the door and opened it, and then jumped out into the hall, still holding Miss Graham. Three Japanese servants ran out from across the hall and when the women saw them they cried, ‘He’s trying to murder us!’ Then all three men jumped on me and began pounding me. As soon as I could, I yelled for someone to go for the police. Then I had Dr. Thornley, the house physician at the Ansonia, telephoned for.”

Mr. Stokes said that several abrasions on his face and a bruise on his neck came from the fists of the Japanese boys, who pummeled him.

Mr. Stokes saw his lawyers, Albert H. Gleason and Terence J. McManus, at the hospital. He told them he couldn’t remember having written any letters to Miss Graham, but said he had known her several years ago. He said there was a large pad of blank paper on the table in the woman’s flat, which made him think they were prepared to force him to sign some statement.

“I laughed,” said Mr. Stokes, “when Miss Graham demanded $25,000 of me, because I had gone to the house without a cent in my pockets.”

Mr. Stokes probably saved his own life by the quickness with which he struck down the pistol which Miss Graham pressed against his stomach. He knocked the weapon aside just as the girl fired and the bullet cut through his waistcoat and underclothing without wounding him.

Miss Graham says that she and her married sister lived at the Ansonia four years ago and that they knew Stokes at that time. A year ago she and her sister went to Belgium, where she was to study music. The sister remained on the other side and Miss Graham came back to this city and set up very light housekeeping in the three rooms and kitchenette with Miss Conrad.

She had some letters which Stokes had written her, and though she believed that there was nothing in them to cause anything like uneasiness, she hadn’t been back long before Mr. Stokes began to telephone to her about them. He didn’t like the idea of having Miss Conrad where she could lay hands on them, he told her.

Late yesterday afternoon, the girl continued, Stokes came to the Varuna and they discussed the letters. She was alone in the sitting room with Stokes and Miss Conrad was in the adjoining bedroom. She says that she told Stokes that the letters were destroyed, but he doubted her word and kept demanding the letters.

Then Stokes came toward her, so she told the detectives and the police matron in the West Sixty-eighth Street station, and tried to choke her. She had a gun-metal revolver handy –it was a .32 calibre – and she aimed it at his legs and fired. Miss Conrad came running in from the other room, and she, too, had a pistol handy. Both girls opened fire again.

Mr. Stokes got close enough to Miss Graham to grasp the revolver, and he tried to get it away as the three of them moved toward the door. Out in the hallway the door of Pat Casey’s apartment opened and the three Japanese appeared.

“What, shooting?” one of them said, according to the girls, and then they ducked back into Casey’s apartment. But Stokes says that the Japs caught hold of him, pinned down his arms and kept him from returning the final round that was aimed at him. He was about ready to have outside help by that time, and he yelled for somebody. When he did that, he says, all five, women and men, ran into the Casey apartment.

When the three reached the hallway in the scuffle, the girls say, Stokes managed to get the revolver which the Graham girl was pressing against his body. It was then, they said, that he fired at them.

John Bloom, the superintendent of the building, was on the tenth floor and heard him. When Bloom got there Mr. Stokes was leaning against the grating of the stairway, and pointing to the open doorway of the Casey apartment he cried:

“Those girls in there shot me!”

Bloom didn’t wait to see more than that Stokes wasn’t badly hurt and then he jumped into the elevator and ran down to send for an ambulance. Stokes called after him to get Dr. Thornley. Bloom telephoned and then ran out to Broadway to look for a policeman.

In one of the automobiles that was bringing back from Coney Island a load of children from the orphan’s celebration was Bicycle Policeman Edward J. Tully. He ran upstairs with the superintendent, found Stokes lying on the floor of the hallway alone, and at his direction went into the Casey apartment. Stokes repeated to him that the girls had shot him and added that he wanted the three Japs taken along, too, for helping the girls. The gunmetal revolver which Stokes had caught from the hand of Miss Graham was beside him and he handed it over to the policeman.

Dr. Thornley came in Mr. Stokes’s automobile. He helped the owner of the Ansonia, who didn’t have to be carried, into the elevator and downstairs to the waiting automobile. They went directly to Roosevelt Hospital.

The two girls and the three Japs were hustled into a patrol wagon and taken to the West Sixty-eighth Street station. Lillian Graham walked in with her head in the air. She was dressed in black and part of her face was hidden behind a very close-fitting poke bonnet of straw.

The younger girl, Ethel Conrad, had every appearance of being frightened out of her wits. She kept one hand across her face and drew her own bowl-shaped hat at far down as she could.

The Graham girl spoke right up and told her name, her age and where she lived and added that she was a singer.

Ethel Conrad refused to say a word and the lieutenant called the matron and had them taken to the women’s cells.

The Japanese trio walked up to the desk with broad smiles on their faces. Two of them, Roy Moto, who is a butler, and Yoshio Mura, chef, said that they lived at the Varuna. The other one, who said he was a butler, gave his address as 145 East Twenty-seventh Street. He said that George was the only name he had.

“Haven’t you got any Japanese name?” asked the lieutenant. Yes, he had, but he couldn’t remember it. He had an American name, Johnson. So as George Johnson he was booked. The three went back to the cells.

When the surgeons examined Mr. Stokes’s wounds they found that two bullets had gone clear through the flesh of the calves, but it was suspected that a bullet was still in the thigh. An X-ray photograph was taken and an operation may follow. Blood poisoning was the only danger apprehended. Mr. Stokes’s young wife and W. E. D. Stokes Jr., his son by his first wife, went to the hospital early in the morning.

The presence of so many Japs in one apartment was something that the police wanted to know about when they all got to the Varuna. Detectives Flynn, Devory and Walsh had been sent up from the West Sixty-eighth house. They learned that Mr. Casey was going to have a party last night and that he had called in George Johnson to supplement his regular staff.

The three Japs were in the act of getting dinner ready when the interruption came from the flat across the hall. Then they were lifted off their jobs and the things on the stove and in the icebox were getting cold and hot respectively.

Mr. Casey realized that his guests were expected about 7 o’clock and he sent in a call of distress to the hallboys downstairs. The boy on the telephone exchange got very busy and subsidized the two maids employed in an apartment just below Mr. Casey’s and had pots and pans rattling in no time.

So it happened that when the first taxi load of guests rolled up to the curb everything was ready. Several stout, middle-aged men in dinner jackets and straw hats and yellow sticks jumped out of their cab and went upstairs without any apparent idea that their host had been the neighbor of something out of the common.

One or two young women with trailing plumes on their hats and long, streaming cloaks over their shoulders followed just as blithely. Whether Mr. Casey was on friendly terms with his neighbors across the hall, and whether they had been invited, too, Mr. Casey didn’t care to specify last night.

“This is Mr. Casey,” said the hallboy who took up one or two inquirers to the door of Mr. Casey’s apartment.

“My name is McNulty,” said the portly man who had been designated. And that was all he cared to say about the way his arrangements had been demoralized.

In the rooms over the way the detectives found confusion all over the sitting room. What particularly interested them was that on the mantelpiece were piles of torn bits of paper on which there had been writing.

There was one whole letter addressed to Henry L. Stoddard of the Mail and Express and signed by Stokes. In it he said that Miss Ethel Conrad was a young woman who knew a great deal about women’s fashions and that she had held a position for some time on the Delineator, and he believed her to be very capable in her special department. He suggested that if the editor could find a chance of giving her employment he would not regret it.

Mr. McManus had a word to say about that letter. Stokes had never known Miss Conrad until about two weeks ago, when she went to him at his office in the Ansonia. She told him that she had lost her post on the Delineator chiefly because she had spent a great deal of time nursing Lillian Graham, with whom she knew he was acquainted. Miss Graham, it appears, had a protracted illness. Considering the friendship that existed between him and Miss Graham, Miss Conrad seemed to think that if Mr. Stokes could do something for her it would be very nice. For this reason, said Mr. McManus, Mr. Stokes had written the letter to Mr. Stoddard.

One of the torn pages of letter paper was pieced together in the West Sixth-eighth Street police station. On one side of it was a note written in ink from J. H. Clarke, a consulting engineer at 604 West 115th street, who has an office in the Temple Bar, to Thomas L. Wilson, an engineer in the acetylene gas business in Ottawa, Canada. The note reads:

Can’t get to dinner with you before the theater. Enclosed the tickets for you and will meet you at the seat of war. Miss Chase says for us to meet her at the stage entrance after the show and she will be delighted to take supper with us and meet Mrs. Wallace and yourself. I don’t count, evidently.

J. H. Wallace
August 31

Mr. Wallace said last night that he had never heard of either of the girls in the case and that he did not know that Wilson had either. He says that they knew Miss Pauline Chase, the actress, and that they had supper with her, as the note said, one night last August. Mrs. Wallace accompanied the two engineers. On the other side of the page was the following written hastily in pencil:

My Dear: The bearer of this, Miss Conrad, is leaving home under sad circumstances and I have met her on the train going to Plattsburgh, N.Y. Miss Conrad wants to become an actress. Perhaps Miss Chase would help her meet Mr. Frohman. Of course you would have to verify statements, etc. Put it that it may be the means of helping a human being who needs help. Sincerely, Wilson.

At the station house the girls handed to the matron two rolls of bills. Miss Conrad surrendered $17 and Miss Graham gave over $91. When the matron told them that they were in a pretty serious fix, Miss Graham was careless and said that Mr. Stokes was a “bad man,” but her companion made no effort to hide the fact that she was scared. She had refused to give her name at first and the greatest concession she would make was to tell that, to add that she had a brother in town and that she didn’t want anybody to come and help her. Both the girls stuck to the story that they had gone into the scuffle out of self-defense. They had pistols because they lived alone.

After her arrest Lillian Graham said that she had played in “The Soul Kiss” and played with the “Follies” on the New York Roof in 1909 and had been a member of a company playing at the Lyric Theater in 1910.

A member of “The Soul Kiss” company said last night that there had been no Lillian Graham in that company playing in New York, but that there might have been a woman of that name in the road company.

A representative of the Shuberts said that he had never heard of Lillian Graham and that so far as he could remember no show with a chorus had played in the Lyric in 1910.

Among the posters in the Graham apartment was one with the words “Great Emotional Psychic Artist, Lillian Graham.”

After talking with Mr. Stokes, Mr. McManus seemed to think that the police had made a mistake in locking up the three Japanese. He said that although Mr. Stokes had told the police that the Japanese attacked him when he ran out into the hallway of the apartment house, Mr. Stokes believed that the men had done so because they thought that he had shot someone and was attempting to escape.

A man who said he was the stepfather of the Conrad girl came to the police station late last night and asked what the charge against Miss Conrad was. When he heard, he shrugged his shoulders and walked out without giving his name.

William Earl Dodge Stokes is 65 years old and one of the seven children of James Stokes, who was a member of the firm of Phelps, Dodge and Co. and named this son for his partner. Edward S. Stokes, who shot [James] Fisk, was his cousin, and Mr. Stokes was associated with him in running the Hoffman House some years ago, with a result of long litigation and an attack by Mr. Stokes upon his cousin’s will.

Mr. Stokes is a graduate of Yale and is a lawyer, but has devoted himself chiefly to building operations. When he was 35 years old, or in 1895, he was married to Rita Hernandez de Alba de Acosta, daughter of a sugar importer. She was then under 20 and had not been introduced to society. (NOTE: Stokes was 41 at his first wedding; if this story's earlier statement – that Stokes was 65 – was correct, then he would have been 49 years old in 1895.)

Stokes fitted up a mansion for her and bought trotting horses and a stock farm for her. They parted in 1899 and the next year Mrs. Stokes sued for divorce in this county and got a decree. The court awarded $12,000 a year alimony and gave Mrs. Stokes the custody of their child, W. E. D. Stokes Jr.

Two years later she was married to Capt. Philip Lydig and her son then went to live with his father. It was stated at the time that Stokes gave her $1,000,000 to surrender the boy without court proceedings.

Soon after he was divorced, Stokes met Miss Lucette Riley, then about 28 years old. She moved into a large apartment, got horses and carriages and soon called herself Mrs. Lucy M. Randolph. She sued him in 1905 to compel him to support a boy, then 4 years old. The case was dismissed after the plaintiff’s case was in because she failed to show any written agreement by Stokes to provide for the boy.

On February 11 last Stokes went to Jersey City and married Miss Helen Elwood of Denver, a niece of the late I. L. Elwood, the wire manufacturer and partner of John W. Gates. She came here a year ago to study music and had been living at the Ansonia most of the time with Dr. and Mrs. Wilbur Alason Hendryx. In getting his license, Stokes said he was “over 45.” Miss Elwood said she was 24. (NOTE: Helen Elwood was the granddaughter of I.L. Elwood's brother.)

 


Mr. W. E. D. Stokes, proprietor of the Ansonia Hotel, told in the Tombs Police Court today before Magistrate Freschi of his relations with Miss Lillian Graham, who, with Miss Ethel Conrad, shot him in their apartment at Broadway and Eightieth Street on June 7.

Mr. Stokes testified that he had taken Miss Graham to dinner, for automobile rides, and had her as a guest at his stock farm at Lexington, Ky.

Showing every indication of nervousness, Mr. Stokes took the stand for cross-examination by Mr. Jordan, Miss Graham’s lawyer.

“I first met Miss Graham in 1906,” he testified, “when she came to the Ansonia with her married sister, Mrs. Singleton. After meeting the members of her family I called at the apartment often, and later took Miss Graham automobiling. She was my guest at dinner many times. I was first invited to the apartment to look at some pictures from Los Angeles.”

“Where was Miss Graham when you invited her to your farm in Lexington?” asked Mr. Jordan.

“She was in Memphis, Tenn. I wired her to come and bring her friends.”

Wanted to Get Letters
It develops that it was this telegram that Mr. Stokes was anxious to secure the day he called at Miss Graham’s apartment. It was found with a batch of eighteen letters now in the hands of the District Attorney.

“Miss Graham threatened to give the telegram and letters to Mrs. Stokes, and it was for that reason I was anxious to get them,” the witness said.

He further said he had not seen the letters since the shooting.

Mr. Stokes on the stand told a graphic story of the shooting, asserting that he had been lured to the place by Miss Conrad, who told him Miss Graham had gone abroad, and of an attempt to squeeze $25,000 from him.

Attired in becoming white gowns, the two accused young women, who are out on bail, arrived at the court at ten o’clock. They were accompanied by Mrs. John Singleton, of San Francisco, a sister of Miss Graham, and their lawyers, Messrs. Clark L. Jordan and Robert Moore. They often smiled broadly when Mr. Stokes went into the details of the shooting.

Tells of Telephone Call
After a few preliminary questions the witness said he was in his office at the Ansonia at half-past two o’clock on the day of the shooting, when he received a telephone call from Miss Conrad. She said she wanted to see him as she was leaving that evening with her brother for Mobile. She told him Miss Graham had gone, he said.

“All right,” Mr. Stokes testified he told her. “I’ll be over about six o’clock.”

“When I reached the house,” Mr. Stokes continued. “I asked the boy for Miss Conrad’s apartment, but he said he didn’t know her. The boy pointed toward Miss Graham’s door, however, but before I had time to knock it was opened by Miss Conrad.

“I walked into the parlor,” Mr. Stokes continued. “Before I had time to speak, Miss Graham appeared. Miss Conrad then slipped through a private hallway and locked the door. When the door was locked Miss Graham came toward me showing a revolver.

“ 'Now I got you,' she said. 'You insulted my dead mother and you made false and insulting statements about others of my relatives. You circulated reports around the neighborhood about me.' ”

“I started toward her,” Mr. Stokes said, “but she pointed the gun at me. Then Miss Conrad came in. She had her hands behind her back. ‘If you do as we say,’ Miss Conrad began, ‘you will be all right. Nobody saw you come here; we are two witnesses, and besides we have three women in a room who can hear every word you say. You often hear of wealthy New Yorkers disappearing. Well you can disappear the same way. Write what we tell you and everything will be all right.”

Mr. Stokes then told of the girls laying paper and pen before him, and telling him to write a denial of what he had said about Miss Graham. He refused and asked Miss Graham if she had forgotten the $150 given her to leave on the Baltic and $50 for spending money.

“They crowded around me then,” the witness went on, “but I said I’ll never sign your paper, because I never said anything about your relatives – meaning Miss Graham, nor I never told Miss Conrad any stories about you.

“Then Miss Conrad jumped up, waving a revolver, and shouted, ‘Death for you or give us $25,000!’ I asked them if they knew what they were doing, but they answered that if they killed me they could easily say that I had attempted to attack them. I told them I would fight the matter right there, and if it was death or one cent I would choose death.

“You Can Have Death”
“ ‘All right,’ Miss Graham answered, ‘you can have death,’ and fired. I jumped to one side. I felt a bullet in my leg. I struggled with Miss Graham for possession of the revolver and the other girl started shooting. The revolver Miss Graham held went off as I grabbed it, burning my hand.

“Before I had time to shout for help Miss Conrad ran to an open window and started to shout, ‘Murder!’ and ‘Police!’ I told her she couldn’t get the police quick enough for me. I then worked my way into the hall where several Japanese attacked me. Several men tried to get the revolver I had taken from Miss Graham, but I kept it for the police.

“When the police did arrive Miss Graham, who stood behind me in the hall and who had been urging Miss Conrad to get her revolver and blow my head off, shouted to the police that she did the shooting.”

First impression, at least in the case of Mildred Conrad, was deceiving. On the night of her arrest she may have seemed scared and reluctant to talk, but in the trial later that year, Conrad emerged as a defiant, brassy opportunist with an interesting past, though tame compared with the life W. E. D. Stokes had led.

Lillian Graham and Ethel Conrad were arraigned the next day and Stokes remained in the hospital. Injuries suffered at the hands of the three Japanese servants would turn out to be worse than damage caused by the gunshots. Stokes admitted he had had a relationship with Miss Graham and had made her sign a paper in which she admitted having other lovers. He also lured her to his horse farm in Lexington, Ky., where she claimed she was held as a virtual prisoner.

As for Stokes, well being shot three times, then beaten by three men ... well, that's obviously no laughing matter. But the "Shooting Show Girls" fiasco was widely regarded as a joke and hospital reports of Stokes' conditions were slightly suspect ... because there were those who felt Stokes was – and would remain – as sick as it was convenient for him to be.

Albany Evening Journal, June 12, 1911
Stokes Still in Hospital
NEW YORK, June 12 – Lillian Graham, a chorus girl, and Ethel Conrad, an illustrator, charged with shooting W. E. D. Stokes, proprietor of the Ansonia Hotel, in their apartments last Wednesday, were arraigned in the West Side Court today, but because of the inability of Stokes to leave the hospital, their preliminary hearing was postponed until Wednesday.

On the plea of their counsel, Magistrate Freschi consented to the release of the girls on $15,000 bail. Although confident of raising the required bail, no bondsman was present and they were remanded to the prison.

The two girls were held on an affidavit of Policeman Tulley in which he stated that when he arrived at the apartment of Miss Graham he found Mr. Stokes lying on the floor and that the millionaire accused the two of trying to murder him. The policeman stated that Miss Graham said: “Oh, yes, I shot him,” and that Miss Conrad said: “Oh, Lillian, you didn’t shoot him. I shot him.”

Turned out it was not the gunshot damage that worried Stokes; it was the effects of the punching and kicking of the Japanese servants who believed they were coming to the aid of two women in peril. Two months after the trial of the women who shot him, it became known that W. E. D. Stokes was afraid he had been fatally injured that evening at the Varuna apartment building, that he was dying from a "death blow."


Firm in the belief that he received a “death blow” over the kidneys during his fight with three Japanese after being shot by Lillian Graham and Ethel Conrad in the Varuna apartments eight months ago, Mr. W. E. D. Stokes will lay all the facts which he has gathered from noted physicians and jiu jitsu experts before District Attorney Whitman. Such a blow, Mr. Stokes believes, will eventually cause his death.

In a letter dated July 11 to Mr. Elijah Marshall Allen, the jiu jitsu expert and lumber merchant, Mr. Stokes writes:

“I see by the paper that you are skilled in jiu jitsu. Would you kindly inform me if there is such a blow in jiu jitsu as the death blow, and whether it is over the kidneys, whether it is the breaking of the left kidney, where the person does not die at once, but dies afterward from the bruising of the kidney?”

Mrs. Allen admitted her husband received such a letter while on their honeymoon and that he answered it, saying there was such a blow.

To determine the true character of the pain in his kidney, Mr. Stokes has employed the best scientists in the country and has conferred with several Japanese experts in the hope of ascertaining the truth.

Mr. Stokes is able to get about the hotel, but he is far from being strong, and on account of the nature of the injury and because of the complications that developed since the shooting, Mr. Stokes believes he may die within the year.

This belief is not shared by his attending physician, Dr. J. P. Thornley, though the latter will not discuss his patient’s condition.

NEXT: In the aftermath of the shooting (and before the case went to trial), another scandal developed over the way the case was investigated. This scandal involved the police and it, too, was the stuff of which movies are made.

 
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