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Episode 581: The Murder of Patricia Lonergan

1 Jam, 11 Menit

Episode 581: The Murder of Patricia Lonergan

11 Juli 2024

On the morning of October 25, 1943, the body of twenty-two-year-old Lion Brewery heiress, Patricia Lonergan, was discovered in a locked room in the New York apartment she shared with her infant son. Patrica was nude and had been bludgeoned with a candelabra. Suspicion quickly fell on her estranged husband, Wayne Lonergan, who had fled the country to Canada, where he was serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Wayne Lonergan was apprehended a few days later and returned to New York, where he was charged with the murder and two days later confessed to killing Patricia in a jealous rage. Despite his confession, Lonergan’s case went to trial and quickly became one of the most sensational trials of the decade. While the murder itself was a terrible tragedy, the extensive press coverage and intense public interest was on Wayne’s sexual identity and the supposedly scandalous lives of the two high society figures at the center of the case. Wayne was ultimately found guilty of the murder and served more than two decades in prison, after which he was deported back to Canada, where he resided until his death. Few people ever doubted that Wayne had indeed killed his wife; however, to this day many have questioned whether his sexuality and the couple’s nontraditional marriage biased the jury against him and led to an unfair trial. Thank you to the incredible Dave White (of Bring Me the Axe and 99 Cent Rental Podcasts) for research! References Anderson-Minshall, Diane. 2021. Did this queer man kill his wife? March 24. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://www.advocate.com/crime/2021/3/24/did-queer-man-kill-his-wife#rebelltitem1. Buffalo News. 1943. "Boats grapple for vanished RCAF uniform." Buffalo News, October 28: 1. Dunne, Dominick. 2001. "The Talented Mr. Lonergan." Vanity Fair, July 01. Levine, Allan. 2020. Details Are Unprintable: Wayne Lonergan and the Sensational Cafe Society Murder. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press. New York Times. 1944. "35 years to life given to Lonergan." New York Times, April 18: 1. —. 1942. "Husband is held for questioning in heiress' murder." New York Times, October 26: 1. —. 1944. "Lawyers rebuked in Lonergan case." New York Times, February 17: 20. —. 1944. "Lonergan choked wife, Grumet says." New York Times, March 23: 21. —. 1944. "Lonergan confession read; tells of bluedgeoning wife." New York Times, March 28: 1. —. 1944. "Lonergan defense is ended abruptly." New York Times, March 30: 1. —. 1944. "Lonergan guilty in second degree of slaying wife." New York Times, April 1: 1. —. 1943. "RCAF cadet's wife slain in home here." New York Times, October 25: 1. —. 1944. "State asks death in Lonergan case." New York Times, March 31: 1. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

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