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Crittenden once threatened to kill himself should Fair reveal the truth to his wife Clara; and Fair, for her part, allegedly once fired “warning shots” into a stairway after her lover.
Though Fair considered herself “spiritually married” to her beau, legal marriage continued to hold a certain appeal.
It is not known if his death was the result of suicide, or a duel.
In 1863, then, Laura Fair was once divorced and twice widowed, a great beauty, bold in business, and armed with a world more experience than her 26 years of age would suggest.
He had, after all, shot the man in Lafayette Square, in full view of the White House and a crowd of horrified onlookers.
* * * little more than ten years later, Laura Fair was in the San Francisco City Prison awaiting trial, scaring the socks off her medical staff.
– and her boyfriend, seemingly unaware that she had shot him the week before.
Her nurse, Jane Morris, had no doubt that the woman was insane. Attorney Phillip Barton Key, son of Star-Spangled poet Francis Scott Key.
Lonely and effectively abandoned by her husband’s devotion to career and prostitution – he was known to travel regularly to Baltimore for assignations in the city’s hotels – Sickles’s young wife Teresa acted on her crush one night after a posh costume ball, when she and Key climbed tipsily into her carriage.
She was dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, and he was an English hunter, who told the coachman to take the back roads home. C.’s big open secret, known to everyone except Daniel Sickles.
The question of insanity in criminal cases became part of American law in the course of two 19th-century murder trials, each involving a hotheaded protagonist, a lover’s tiff, and a killing in broad daylight.
Together, these trials set the tone for temporary insanity jurisprudence and showed that in American law and society, insanity is a gendered condition.
According to internal State Department memos the agency might have called off or intervened into investigations into possibly illegal, inappropriate behavior within it’s ranks allegedly to protect jobs and avoid scandals.