This photograph appears on the back cover of “Crimes of Passion” (1975 Verdict Press).

I don’t know which newspaper or magazine it is from, but it is a single page or part of a page . The reproduction isn’t that great but it does give a sense of the case was being covered.

The captions read,

Top Row

“Measurements were taken by the police at the scene of the tragedy – Williams Mews, Lowndes Square.”

“The Shot Man: Mr. Thomas William Scott Stephen, ex dress designer in Paris, who was found shot after the party.”

“The Accused : Mrs. Elvira Dolores Barney, daughter of Sir John and Lady Mullens who has been charged with murder.”

Middle Row

“Chief Inspector Hambrook C.I.D., who was in charge of the police activities, leaving the scene of the tragedy the day after.”

“Mr. and Mrs Barney after their wedding in 1928. Mr. Barney was a member of the prominent cabaret turn – The Three New Yorkers.”

“The Mother and Father of the Accused: Lady Mullens, escorted by Mr.Coleman, solicitor for the defence, behind whom is Sir John Mullens.”

Bottom Row

“Holloway Prison wherein Mrs. Barney awaits her trial on remand. Lady Mullens is seen moving from her motor-car to visit her daughter who, it is stated, has now recovered from her breakdown at the charge.”

“The Sympathy of the Crowd went out in typically English fashion to Lady Mullens when visiting Mrs. Barney in Holloway. The mother has paid several visits to her daughter since her removal on remand from police court to prison.”

The photograph of Elvira on her wedding day is one that doesn’t get published often. Is Elvira’s choice of outfit not a little odd?  I’m completely ignorant of such matters but it doesn’t strike me as particularly “bridal”.

The sympathy for Lady Mullens (I love that “in typically English fashion”) has been pointed out elsewhere. Giles Playfair (in “Six Studies in Hypocrisy”) sees the public support for Lady Mullens as the key to Elvira’s acquittal.

Michael’s family do not feature at all and this photograph of him, as far as I can tell, is the only one ever used in the press or in later accounts.

As it mentions several visits to Holloway, I’m guessing this item appeared towards the end of June, a week or so before the actual trial. A definite narrative is already firmly in place. The word tragedy is used twice, why not “shooting” or “alleged murder”? And whose tragedy – “the ex-dress designer in Paris” or the Mullens family?

 

 

 

 

Advertisements