Buffalo Courier-Express, March 29, 1933
GENEVA, Illinois, March 28 — Jesse L. Livermore, the “boy plunger” of Wall Street in bygone years, who began amassing millions in stock market operations as a youth of 25, was married here last Thursday to Mrs. Harriet Metz Noble, daughter of Fred Metz, wealthy Omaha brewer.

The couple had intended to keep the marriage secret until Saturday when it was to have been revealed at a family gathering in Omaha in honor of Metz’s 70th birthday, but the news leaked out today.

The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Frazier Bell, pastor of the Congregational Church, immediately after Livermore, who gave his age as 55, and Mrs. Noble, who said her was 38, obtained a license at the Kane County district court clerk’s office. According to Justice of the Peace Kaiser, Livermore gave the minister $35 to keep the wedding secret. It was the third trip to the altar for both of the principals.

Because of the nature of his business, Livermore's fortunes went up and down several times. Fortunately for his third wife, she had plenty of money of her own, which she would need before this marriage came to an end.

Her love and understanding was quickly put to the test. Livermore's mistress was none too happy when the broker married Mrs. Noble. The mistress's first name appears both Nadia (which would seem correct) and more often as Naida. Her last name was Krasnova, and she was described by reporters as an actress, and by one Livermore biographer as "a Greta Garbo lookalike." Livermore claimed she was an employee at his Chicago office who "was frequently late and sometimes didn't appear at all, so I discharged her." Whoever she was, Miss Krasnova lived and worked in obscurity after 1933.

In any event, on October 28 she filed a $250,000 breach of promise suit against Livermore. Like many such lawsuits, this one either faded away or was settled out of court.

If this jilted ex-girl friend weren't enough, Livermore had another one, in New York City. But dancer Lucille Ballantine was more understanding than Miss Krasnova. Three months after Livermore married, Miss Ballantine signed a five-year agreement by which Livermore would pay her $150 a month for keeping him "cheered and amused" after he left wife number two and before he married wife number three.

Miss Ballantine remained optimistic, guessing out loud that Livermore would become available before those five years were over and decide to marry her. Until then, she said, she continued to think of herself as Jesse Livermore fiance.

All in all, it was a newsworthy year for Livermore, most of it about his personal life. He was a secretive person, and that encouraged lots of speculation about the man who speculated for a living.

It seemed obvious, however, that things weren't going well for him. New York State was after him for back taxes, his mistress wanted a quarter of a million dollars, ex-wife number two had to sell her house and her jewelry to pay her bills, and despite claims to the contrary, the latest Livermore fortune was going down the drain.

Still ... he and his new wife lived in a Park Avenue apartment. He maintained an office in Manhattan and was driven around in a chauffeur. But even his chauffeur had no idea where Livermore went in the early evening of December 19.

Syracuse Journal, December 20, 1933
NEW YORK (INS) — Jesse L. Livermore, noted Wall Street plunger, was mysteriously missing today and the object of a widespread police hunt. Livermore, who began his market operations with a $5 bill and ran it up into millions, vanished as mysteriously as Justice Joseph Force Crater.

It was his bride of nine months, the former Mrs. Harriet Noble, who informed police she believed her husband had been kidnapped. He was last seen at 3 p.m. yesterday.

Much of what I read about his disappearance was in the New York Sun and the New York Evening Post. First day reports are often sketchy and confusing, and often contradicted a day later.

According to the first New York Evening Post story, Assistant Chief Inspector John J. Sullivan, head of the detective division, said Livermore was last seen December 19 at 5:10 or 5:15 when he left his office, having gone home for awhile earlier that afternoon.

In the New York Sun story, police said Mrs. Liverore last saw her husband when she walked him outside after his afternoon visit home. She said Livermore's car, with his chauffeur at the wheel, was at the curb, and she believed he was about to step into the automobile.

He had told his wife he had a dinner engagement that evening with friends at the Waldorf-Astoria. Expecting him at the hotel was Harry Aronsohn, whom he had known for several years. Aronsohn told police later that he waited at the Waldorf to a long time before deciding Livermore wasn't coming.

Back at the Park Avenue apartment, Harriet Livermore became increasingly worried as she waited in vain for her husband to return, or at least telephone her. Over the years there had been threats to kidnap Livermore or his two sons, who lived with their mother, Mrs. Livermore number two. Livermore took the precaution of hiring a bodyguard, mostly for his children. He had no bodyguard on December 19, and his latest wife feared he had been kidnapped. He was in the habit of calling her every two or three hours, never failing to tell her when he had been delayed.

As midnight neared, Mrs. Livermore called a friend, Alderman Edward V. Dempsey, who went to the Livermore apartment, then called police at 12:30 a.m. Police quickly swung into action, though they did not believe there had been a kidnapping. They started checking area hospitals — and morgues — thinking Livermore had been hurt or killed in an accident.

Livermore remained missing into the afternoon of December 20. The New York Evening Post, covering all bases, ran two stories that day — one about Livermore's disappearance, the other a biographical sketch which occasionally referred to the investor in the past tense. This could be taken as an obituary, should Livermore be found dead after the newspaper went to press.

But the news late that afternoon wasn't bad, merely mysterious.

New York Sun, December 21, 1933
The whereabouts of Jesse L. Livermore, large-scale Wall Street operator, during the twenty-five* hours he was absent from his home, remained a mystery today to police and the public, and apparently to Mr. Livermore as well.

Looking wan and tired, the speculator whose name has been familiar in financial circles since he started his stock market operations thirty years ago as “the boy plunger,” walked into his triplex apartment at 1100 Park Avenue, at 89th Street, early last night. He at first told detectives and Department of Justice agents that he had been “with friends.”

Later, however, it was announced in his behalf that “his mind had been a blank” and that he knew nothing of his own movements from the time he visited his office at 120 Broadway about 5:20 p.m. on Tuesday until he awoke about the same hour yesterday in a room on the thirteenth floor of the Hotel Pennsylvania.

Dr. A. W. Allen of 123 East 53d Street is attending Mr. Livermore, and called at his apartment today. He said when he left that the speculator was under orders to stay in bed a couple of days; that he was suffering from “nervous exhaustion” and that he had been a victim of amnesia.

Mr. Livermore’s nervousness was probably not alleviated during the day by the concerts performed under his window by a couple of cornet players and a German band. They appeared and re-appeared at intervals, apparently deluded by a knot of reporters into the hope they could pick up some Christmas money.

His return ended an intensive hunt by local police and state and federal authorities. The Department of Justice agents entered the picture when it was rumored that Mr. Livermore might have been the victim of kidnappers. Several of his friends said he had received threatening letters as recently as two months ago. Mrs. Livermore, the former Mrs. Harriet Metz Noble of Omaha, to whom Mr. Livermore was married last March, held to the same theory.

Yesterday’s search excited the attention of the nation; scores of newspaper reporters and photographers kept vigil during the day at the Livermore home. Ejected from the lobby of the building, they stood watch outside in the rain for a time, but finally established headquarters in a nearby drug store. There were, however, only three or four reporters and one photographer at the scene when Mr. Livermore appeared abouty 6:15 last night.

As Mr. Livermore approached the door of his home, after dismissing a taxicab half a block away, the reporters crowded about him and the photographer snapped several pictures. Mr. Livermore gruffly ordered them away. A few minutes later, Captain Louis Hyams, in charge of Harlem detectives, gave out a brief statement.

“He told us he took a cab down to his office at 120 Broadway after visiting him home at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon,” said Captain Hyams. “He said he fell sick in the cab.”

This information also had been obtained before Mr. Livermore’s return from Abe Kamarick, the cab driver, who was located yesterday by police and who said Mr. Livermore had shown symptoms of illness while riding downtown.

“What kind of ailment was it?” a reporter asked Captain Hyams, who replied that he did not know.
“Had Mr. Livermore been drinking?” the reporter persisted.

The captain grinned broadly. “Well,” he said,, “there’s no prohibition now, you know.”

Captain Hyams explained further that Mr. Livermore had said that after leaving his office Tuesday afternoon, his mind had been a complete blank until he awoke late yesterday in the Hotel Pennsylvania. When he awoke, Mr. Livermore is said to have explained he felt uneasy and as if his mind had been wandering.

An afternoon newspaper, shoved under the door as a courtesy of guests, gave him the information that he was the object of a wide search. He said he dressed at once, checked out and took a cab to the corner of 89th Street and Madison Avenue.

At the Hotel Pennsylvania an assistant manager, who had been on duty the night before and also at the time Mr. Livermore said he had checked out, asserted he could find no record of the Wall Street operator’s having been in the hotel. He admitted it was entirely possible Mr. Livermore had stopped there, but had been registered under another name. The number of the room Mr. Livermore said he occupied is occupied by a permanent guest whose name is not Livermore, it was said at the hotel.

The key to a Hotel Pennsylvania room which Mr. Livermore brought home with him yesterday is in Mrs. Livermore’s possession, it was said this afternoon by James A. O’Gorman Jr., attorney for the speculator.

Shortly after Mr. Livermore returned home, he was put to bed. A doctor was summoned and after an examination it was announced the speculator was slightly dazed and a little ill, but otherwise none the worse for his experience.

* The newspaper said twenty-six hours, and so has everyone since then even though Livermore was only missing for twenty-five hours. Thus I made a correction in the interests of consistency in a story that has the man missing from 5:20 p.m. on December 19 and returning the next day at 6:15 p.m.

A day later things hadn't changed much, except for a tiny detail or two, and while the mystery remained, the case was closed so far as New York City police were concerned. Federal authorities would pursue their own interesting theory, but their investigation would go nowhere. (The New York Sun, for no apparent reason, added another hour to the length of time Livermore was missing.)

New York Sun, December 22, 1933
Jesse L. Livermore, the Wall Street operator who returned to his home, 1100 Park Avenue, at 89th Street, on Wednesday night after a mysterious absence of nearly twenty-seven hours, remained in bed today recuperating from what his physician describes as an attack of amnesia.

Both the physician, Dr. Abbott William Allen of 123 East 53d Street, and Mrs. Livermore insist it was illness that caused Mr. Livermore to disappear, and local police have accepted their theories and dropped the case. The Department of Justice agents, called into the case when the kidnap theory was advanced, are said still to be investigating the possibility Mr. Livermore really was kidnapped and only released after ransom had been paid.

It is simply a nervous breakdown,” said Dr. Allen. “It was caused by amnesia. There were no signs of liquor when I examined him after his return home, following his visit and sleep at the Hotel Pennsylvania. He will be abed a couple days, and then up and around again as usual. His appetite is good. He did not need any opiates to induce sleep after his return home.

Mr. Livermore returned home with the key txo room 1395 of the Hotel Pennsylvania, where he told detectives he awoke late Wednesday afternoon after a period of mental blankness. At the hotel it was said that a man who registered as M. J. Lord of Washington had checked in the hotel at 7:17 p.m. on Tuesday and had checked out the following afternoon after occupying room 1395 in the interim.

Mrs. Livermore ascribed her husband’s illness to “various little things,” among them a $250,000 breach of promise suit pending against him and the selling of the estate and jewels he had given his former wife, now Mrs. J. Walter Longcope. Mrs. Livermore scoffed at the idea her husband was worried with financial or domestic troubles.

A day earlier it was reported the hotel room was occupied by a permanent guest. Now readers were left with the impression Livermore had registered as one M. J. Lord of Washington. You'd expect someone would investigate whether this was the case ... or whether there really was an M. J. Lord.

It would soon appear that the doctor and Mrs. Livermore had correctly diagnosed the cause of the disappearance ... though Mrs. Livermore had misled the press on an important point: Livermore was up to his eyeballs in debt. Financially, he was in a mess of trouble, and headed for bankruptcy.

Troy Times, March 6, 1934
NEW YORK (AP) — Jesse L. Livermore, once known on Wall Street as the “boy plunger,” has filed a voluntary petition in bankruptcy, listing liabilities at $2,259,212, and assets at $184,900, including life insurance policies at their face value of $150,000.

Schedules filed with the petition yesterday in United States District Court revealed a disputed claim of Naida L. Krasnova, an actress, for $250,000 alleging breach of promise to marry.

Samuel F. Gillman, member of the legal firm representing Livermore, said last night his client had “made three very large fortunes during his career, failed three times, and on each occasion paid 100 cents on the dollar, with interest, and hopes to do it again.”

Among the creditors who showed up during the bankruptcy hearing was Lucille Ballantine, the dancer, who hoped Livermore would make good on their agreement to pay her $9,000 over the next five years.

Livermore's lawyer, Samuel F. Gilman, said the woman had no standing in this matter, and was only seeking publicity, though he admitted his client had already paid the dancer several thousand dollars for "services rendered."

As for his assets, Livermore had little more than $28,000 in earnings from four annuity policies, and $22,000 of that went to his first wife, Mrs. Nettie E. Livermore.

He also received several thousands of dollars from friends, plus $10,000 from his father-in-law, Fred Metz.

Meanwhile, his second wife, Dorothea (or Dorothy; it appears both ways), was having even more problems. She had received Evermore, a large estate on Long Island, in the 1932 divorce settlement. Her marriage for former prohibition agent J. Walter Longcope was in shambles, partly because he was living off her, contributing nothing financially.

Within a year of marrying Longcope, she was so far in debt that Everymore, appraised at $1,350,000, was auctioned of for $168,000. In December, a week before Livermore's strange disappearance, his former wife also auctioned off her jewelery, valued at $250,000. Her creditors would receive only about $20,000 from the sale. (For example, a platinum wrist watch, encrusted with diamonds, sapphires and pearls, valued at $2,500, sold for $300.)

Not surprisingly, Mrs. Longcope divorced her husband in July, 1934, charging, among many things, that he was involved with Miss Lassie Honeyman, a Brooklyn heiress.

Livermore mounted his comeback attempt in 1935 in Chicago, where he had purchased a home two years before. As always, his success — or failure — was a matter of conjecture by the press, which, between bankruptcy hearings, had a habit of over-estimating the man's worth.

But the year would bring a different kind of crisis to Jesse Livermore.

However she had managed it, the former Mrs. Jesse Livermore, who lost her Long Island home and her jewelry, had wound up with her two sons at an estate in Montecito, California. With them was D. B. Neville, variously described as a New York broker, a house guest, the boys' tutor and as Mrs. Livermore's fiance.

Livermore and his third wife flew to California. He enlisted the doctors who took over treatment of the teenager, who was seriously wounded, but not quite at death's door, as indicated by the press. The boy made a full recovery; he and his younger brother, Paul, went to New York to live with their father awhile, though both would return to California.

Their mother was arrested to the shooting, explanation for which changed several times. For certain the boy and his mother had been drinking. Neville apparently was relied upon to tell the most accurate account of what happened, but at first he said the shooting occurred during an argument, later he said mother and son were clowning around.

In court several weeks later, the teenager took the blame, saying he forced the .22-caliber rifle into his mother's hands, then fell and tugged on the barrel, which prompted the gun to fire.

After he testified, the boy walked past his mother and was heard to say, "How did you like my dead pan?"

Mrs. Livermore was acquitted.

On March 20, 1937, an Associated Press story out of Hollywood, California, indicated that Jesse L. Livermore Jr., then 18, intended to seek a career in movies.

"I've got a name — it'll get me into pictures. It won't get me by, though," he said, adding he was interested in films "for mercenary reasons."

Apparently he changed his mind about acting. (His brother, Paul Livermore, had several movie and television acting parts for six years, starting in 1950. Both sons benefited from trust funds their father had established, though those trust funds were not nearly as large as newspaper stories indicated.)

According to "Jesse Livermore: World's Greatest Stock Trader," a book by Richard Smitten, Jesse Livermore Jr. was married on November 14, 1937, at the age of 18. The bride was Evelyn Sullivan, whose father, Hen Bletzer, ran a bar in Baltimore and was a boxing promoter. She gave her age as 20; reportedly this was her second marriage. Young Livermore's mother attended, his father did not, but as a wedding present he bought his son a Pepsi-Cola bottling franchise in Connecticut.

As for the aging Wall Street plunger, he never made another fortune, though he did well enough in 1937 to pay $800,000 in back taxes and buy that soft drink franchise for his son. Oddly, that same year he went into court to avoid paying a $450 bill for medical services stemming from the injuries Jesse Jr. suffered when his mother shot him two years earlier. He felt his ex-wife had enough money to pay it herself. In the end she and Jesse Jr. agreed to pay $300 of a bill that was reduced to $400. So far as anyone knows, Livermore Sr. did not come up with the other $100.

For all outward appearances, Livermore continued to live well, but appearances are deceiving. And ayone who looked closely may have noticed a lifeless look in his eyes. And that wasn't all ...

Mrs. Livermore was caught off guard and asked what he meant. He told her he was only joking. But he wasn't.

Syracuse Herald-Journal, November 29, 1940
NEW YORK (AP) — Jesse L. Livermorse won and lost four fortunes, any of them beyond the reach of better-than-average men; his wizardry was a Wall Street legend; but yesterday he wrote, “I am a failure,” and ended his own life.

“I am tired of fighting. I can’t go on.” Thus a weary,, 62-year-old man penned his own epitaph in a little leather-bound notebook, sought out a quiet corner in an ante-room at the fashionable Sherry-Netherlan Hotel, and fired a pistol bullet into his head.

Livermore was known as the “boy plunger” ever since his first stock market exploit won him $3 million back in 1907. He had other grandiose cognomens, too — “Wizard of Wall Street,” ”The Cotton King.” But at the end it was simply “Laurie” writing in farewell to “Nina.”

“Laurie” is a contraction of his middle name, Lauriston. “Nina” is his own name for his third wife, the former Harriet Metz Noble.

Police did not disclose the text of the note, scribbled over eight pages of the little memorandum book as he sat at a table in the hotel bar. But they did say he’d avowed his love for his wife and told her, “I’m sorry I have to do it.”

He had eaten lunch at the hotel’s bar, spending about two hours over the meal and writing in the book. Several hours later he returned, had several drinks, made a few entries in the book and then went to the ante-room of the washroom.

There, police said, he sat down and fired one shot with a .32-caliber revoler, the bullet striking behind his right ear.

The note was described as repetitious, but coherent, and indicative of a mind under emotional stress. There was other evidence that Livermore had been pondering his action for some time. Only the previous night he posed for a nightclub photographer with the words, “This is the last picture you’ll ever take of me.”

Police gave an immediate verdict of suicide and Assistant Medical Examiner Raymond Miles corroborated the finding after investigation.

Livermore, the son of a Yankee farmer in West Acton, Massachusetts, came out of New England to startle Wall Street early in the century. He first dipped into finance while working for a Boston brokerage house — profiting $3.12 on a $10 margin speculation — and found the taste so savory he quit his job rather than quit playing the market.

Working in bucket shops, where men bet on stocks as they bet on horses, he ran up his stake to $2,500 and came to New York City in 1903. He made $50,000 on his first operation, played Anaconda Copper with everything he had, and came out of the 1907 “rich men’s panic” with $3 million.

Dealing in cotton, wheat, steel, anything that promised a profit, Livermore went broke three times in the next 15 years. Each time he merely borrowed more money and went back into the market for exploits that made his black derby hat, his stub of cigar, his malacca cane and his swagger a familiar figure wherever men of finance gathered.

In 1925 he announced he was quitting Wall Street, but the game had too strong a grip on him. And in 1934, he was bankrupt for the fourth time.

Once again he tried a comeback, but never quite attained the heights of his previous ventures. He turned to the role of market adviser in recent years and wrote a book last spring, “How to Trade in Stocks.”

In it he denied that “blind chance” ever guided his operations and laid his success to “The Livermore market-key” which he said “took speculation out of speculating.” Every move he made, he wrote, was “buttressed by research, patience and a singular genius.”

“The only way I know for anyone to succeed in stocks,” he said once, “is to investigate before investing, to look before he leaps; to stick to the fundamentals.”

Livermore was married three times. His first marriage, to Nettie Jordan of Indianapolis, ended in divorce in 1917. He next married Dorothea Wendt, Brooklyn beauty specialist, the mother of his two sons, Jesse Jr. and Paul. That marriatge ended in the Reno divorce court in 1932.

In later years Livermore lived in comparative obscurity and turned away from the “shoot the works” policy which marked his earlier coups. In his lush days he spent as handsomely as he earned. One-hundred dollar tips to board boys in the exchanges were frequent; once he hired a special train to travel from Palm Beach, Florida, to Jacksonville, just because he was unable to get a lower berth on a regular train.

When he married the second time, he bought Locust Lawn, an estate at Greak Neck, Long Island, and developed it into a property appraised at $1,350,000. In 1933, it sold for $168,000 to satisfy the debts of the second Mrs. Livermore.

The estate was the scene of a spectacular robbery in 1927 when thieves broke into the house and made off with jewelry valued at $100,000, but left behind a $50,000 sapphire necklace because Mrs. Livermore pleaded that she would hate to lose it.

Livermore died just five years after the shooting of Jesse Jr., then 17, by a rifle in the hands of his mother in Santa Barbara, California. Young Livermore maintained the shooting was accidental and an inquiry absolved his mother of blame.

It was during a 1937 suit over payment of medical services for the boy that Livermore made one of his rare public statements over the amount his spectacular achievements netted him.

Although popular belief had it that he netted as high as $10 million from one deal, Livermore testified then that his profit on any single transaction never amounted to half that figure.

“But,” he added, “I can’t remember back 20 years or so.”

He went to court in 1937 to resist payment of a $450 doctor’s bill for his son, Jesse Jr., the ward of his second wife, Mrs. Dorothea F. Loncope. Livermore said his third wife paid most of his bills, that his son, then seventeen, had an annual income of about $1,800, and that under a 1931 separation agreement Mrs. Longcope “should have about $12,000 or $13,000 a year,” out of which to pay their expenses.

The suit, brought for medical service necessitated by the accidental shooting of young Livermore by his mother in 1935, was settled for $400.

The youth and his mother agreed to pay $300, but it was not known who paid the other $100.

Story includes portions of the Associated Press morning edition version which appeared in the Buffalo Courier-Express.

New York Post, January 26, 1942
Debts totaling $468,058 left a deficit in the $107,047 estate of Jesse L. Livermore, Wall Street plunger, who killed himself on November 28, 1940, a transfer tax appraisal showed today.

The largest debt was for New York State income taxes of $154,675 for the years 1936-38, inclusive. Second largest was to Mrs. Harriet Metz Livermore, his widow, for $93,000. Although the estate showed a deficit, Mrs. Livermore received $77,625 from a life insurance policy.

Two sons are named in trust agreements. Jesse L. Livermore Jr., of Kansas City, Missouri, receives the income from a fund valued at $28,093, and Paul A. Livermore, of the Towers Hotel, Brooklyn, receives the income from a fund appraised at $36,043.

That Jesse Livermore Jr. was living in Kansas City is a mystery. His brother was living with his mother, but Paul Livermore would soon be an Army flyer in World War 2. Neither brother would become a Wall Street wizard, but one of them would take his own life, though not in the fashion of his father.

More on Jesse Livermore and his family