Infamous New York Crime Scene Landmarks
Many of New York City's infamous crime scenes found their way into popular culture because of the fame of the victims or the nature of the crime. A handful of tour operators include crime scenes in their expeditions around the city, but it's easy enough to map out your own.
The Dakota, infamous for the murder of musician John Lennon outside its doors on Dec. 8, 1980, is a seven-story apartment building erected at 1 West 72nd Street in 1884. Designed by architect Henry J. Hardenbergh, the architect of the Plaza Hotel, the Dakota offers Upper West Side apartment dwellers views of Central Park. Famous former residents include playwright William Inge, film critic Rex Reed, actress Lauren Bacall and singer Judy Garland, in addition to Lennon and his wife and fellow musician, Yoko Ono. Filmmaker Roman Polanski set the movie "Rosemary's Baby" in the building. Lennon fans gather at the Imagine mosaic in the Strawberry Fields section of Central Park on the anniversary of his murder.
Kew Gardens in Queens was the site of the murder of Catherine Genovese, a young woman stabbed on March 13, 1964, while residents of surrounding buildings heard her cries for help but did nothing to assist her. Winston Moseley stabbed Kitty, as she was known, twice in the back, but she managed to stagger to the back door of her apartment building. Moseley returned and raped, robbed and murdered her. The murder led to the popularization of a psychological syndrome called the Bystander Effect, a set of circumstances that convinces people they are not responsible for helping someone in need. Genovese lived in a second floor apartment at 82-70 Austin Street.
57 East 88th Street
On Aug. 28, 1963, a man entered an Upper East Side apartment and raped and stabbed Janice Wylie, a 21-year-old part-time actress. When her roommate, Emily Hoffert, returned to the apartment, the man used bed sheets to tie her to her friend. As he was leaving, Emily commented that she'd remember him. At this, the man stabbed her to death. The incident became known as the "Career Girl Murders" and inspired the television show "Kojack." Besides the brutality of the murders, the case is significant because the wrong man served years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.
Washington Height's Audubon Ballroom was the site of the Feb. 21, 1964, assassination of activist Malcolm X. The founder of the Organization for Afro-American Unity and former Nation of Islam leader was shot midway through a speech by gunmen identified as Black Muslims. The Audubon Ballroom, originally built as a vaudeville house in 1912 by 20th Century Fox founder William Fox, gained significance for the African-American community in the 1950s when it hosted Mardi Gras balls for the King and Queen of Harlem, served as a venue for jazz greats such as Arthur Zutty Singleton and Red Allen, and became the meeting place for the Organization for Afro-American Unity. The building at 3940 Broadway Avenue is part of Columbia University.
Sparks Steak House
A hit team awaited 70-year-old mob boss Paul Castellano outside Sparks Steak House (sparkssteakhouse.com) on Dec. 16, 1985. Another team waited down the street, and John Gotti and Sammy Gravano kept watch from a car parked across from the restaurant. When Castellano got out of his limousine, the gunmen opened fire, killing him and his driver, Thomas Bilotti. Gravano later testified that Gotti ordered the hit for fear Castellano would order Gotti's death because of disagreements about the drug trade. Castellano is buried at the Moravian Cemetery at 2205 Richmond Road in Staten Island. Sparks Steak House at 210 East 46th in midtown Manhattan specializes in steak and seafood, and has an extensive wine list.
About the Author
Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.
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Crimes and Hauntings of NYC
Although the space now occupies an art gallery, the tales with in its walls and floors from previous years cannot be erased. A deadly love triangle led to the haunting of this penthouse. During the roaring chaos of New York in the 1920s, cyclist Albert Champion wed the youthful and money-chasing showgirl, Edna Crawford. It was on the newlyweds' trip to France when Crawford's affair with French native Charles Brazelle began. The lovers conspired to murder Champion, blame his death on heart failure and make off with his $12 million dollar fortune. The plan worked and the devious couple purchased the entire building located at 57 W 57th Street. Once making a home in the building's penthouse, Brazelle and Crawford's treacherous life together ensued. Brazelle imprisoned Crawford in their own apartment and hired servants to account for her every movement. Their volatile relationship consisted of drunken and violent fights, inevitably leading to Crawford’s death. During her beating, bodyguards stepped in and responded by ejecting Brazelle off the building. Urban legend has it that the following owners of this two-floor apartment could hear the sound of muffled arguing and high heels walking the floor above. Guests have even claimed feeling a presence follow them down the stairs. It’s likely these terrors contributed to the new residents committing themselves to mental institutions.
Don’t let the charm of this picturesque building fool you. Once the home of Mark Twain in 1900, this townhouse located in the Greenwich Village, is infamously known for hauntings of the 22 spirits who have died inside. This place is so inhabited by ghosts that even skeptics of paranormal phenomena are led to reevaluate their beliefs after experiencing this 1830s building.
One night back in the 1930s the mother and daughter who lived there at the time were startled when they discovered the apparition of an old man with white hair sitting in their living room. When asked who he was, the figure introduced himself as Clemens, saying that he had a problem there so he must settle there. In 1989, prominent attorney Joel Steinberg beat his 6-year-old adopted daughter to death in the home's second floor. Her ghost has never been spotted but has contributed to the houses new title “the house of death." Current residents of the house attest to seeing Twain's ghost on the first floor of the house at the bottom of the stairwell.
Rewind to August 28, 1963. Perched on the Upper East Side, the two young working girls of apartment 3C at 57 East 88th Street were found gruesomely murdered. Janice Wylie, 21, was raped by an intruder then brutally stabbed. When her roommate Emily Hoffert, 23, walked in, the man tied her up and as he was leaving it was her comment, “I will remember you,” that led to her demise. Ricky Robles, 20, eventually identified as the killer, is still imprisoned for the crime. This double homicide became nationally dubbed as the “career girl murders." Whether their spirits still linger or not, the horrific events that occurred in this apartment building is haunting in itself.
The Dakota building, located at Central Park West, is reputable for its perpetual paranormal activity. Various people such as workers, tenants and even celebrities have reported several ghost entities in the over-a-century-old building. In 1965, insideAmerican actress Judy Holliday’s apartment, the painters saw a 10-year-old boy dressed in early 1900s clothing as well as a figure of a man's body with the face of a young boy. As one painter was finishing up his work, the door that had been propped open abruptly slammed shut followed by the light flickering off.
Another spooky story — in 1989 a guest of a resident was waiting in the lobby when he saw a ghost of a young girl pointing the room next door. He described the girl to have long blonde hair, wearing an early 1900s styled dress. Multiple people are said to have seen the same girl bouncing a ball in the hallways. Meanwhile the owners of a third floor apartment reported furniture moving by itself in addition to hearing footsteps and other unexplained noises.
The building's electrician and tenants have also experienced strange paranormal phenomenas in the basement such as objects being thrown around the room. More bewildering is their sighting of the vision of a man that resembles Edward Clark, the one who built the Dakota, lurking in his own creation.
Low and behold, the incident that prompts this building as iconic for paranormal activity dates back to December 8th, 1980, at 10:58 pm, when John Lennon, beloved musician and tenant of the building, was shot dead under the building's archway. Years later, witnesses have claimed seeing the ghost of Lennon propped under the arch of the building's entrance where he was murdered.
This presence, however, seemed very much alive. His wife Yoko Ono describes coming across his ghost sitting at his white piano, turning to her and saying, “Don’t be afraid. I am still with you.” Interesting enough, Lennon himself has reported ghost sightings while living in the Dakota, specifically the one he called “the Crying Lady Ghost," who walked the corridors. After witnesses reported seeing his ghost, spiritualists and mediums have held sessions to help transition Lennon to the after world, apparently he had difficulty letting go and enjoys revisiting his area of tragedy.
NY HistoryJulia HoferCrime, Scandal, Murder, Society
The Career girl murders
Janice Wylie (above) and Emily Hoffert were “career girls” living on the Upper East Side when they were murdered in 1963. (Copy Photo)
Janice Wylie and Emily Hoffert were “career girls” living on the Upper East Side when they were murdered in 1963. (Copy Photo)
Janice Wylie (above) and Emily Hoffert were “career girls” living on the Upper East Side when they were murdered in 1963. (Copy Photos)
George Whitmore Jr. (above) was coerced into falsely confessing to the murders. The real killer, Ricky Robles (inset) is still serving time in Attica. (
On sunny, flawless Wednesday, Aug. 28, 1963 — 50 years ago this month — blond and vivacious Janice Wylie, 21, and her roommate, scholarly Emily Hoffert, 23, were viciously murdered in their apartment in what was thought to be the safe, fashionable Upper East Side.
Their slaying was dubbed the “Career Girl Murders” — the biggest, most sensational, most extraordinary crime and police investigation in New York’s history at the time, one that would have a chilling effect on the cops, on the prosecutors and on the courts nationally.
Wylie, from a famous family of writers, and Hoffert, the daughter of a prominent Minneapolis physician, lived in a $250-a-month, five-room apartment close to Central Park — number 3C, 57 E. 88th St. — a rent-controlled building with a uniformed doorman and an awning over the entrance. A third roommate, Patricia Tolles, 21, who worked for the book division of Time-Life, came home late in the afternoon and found the apartment in shambles. Frightened, she called Wylie’s father, who lived just two blocks away. In a bedroom, he discovered the girls’ bloodied bodies tied together with strips of torn bedsheets.
They had been stabbed numerous times, and Wylie’s nude body was covered with Noxzema, used in the sexual assault of her by the monster who had broken into the apartment. Veteran homicide detectives had never seen such carnage.
Wylie worked as a copy girl at the Midtown headquarters of Newsweek, where she ran errands for editors and reporters — filling paste pots, distributing wire-service copy and other routine tasks. Her real goal, however, was Hollywood, or Broadway, and she had taken acting classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse.
On the day of the murder, the magazine was bustling more than usual, covering the big story, the massive march in Washington, which culminated in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
But Wylie never showed up for her late-morning shift, which infuriated her co-workers who were covering for her. Calls to her apartment went unanswered.
Had she gone to the march? Was she on a date? Janice had many men in her life, as the cops would soon learn, which initially would lead them on lots of bizarre wild-goose chases to frustrating dead ends in their massive hunt for the killer, or killers.
Wylie was a society girl from power and privilege. Her doting father was Max Wylie, an important and creative ’60s-era advertising executive — a genuine Don Draper. He had served on the faculty of New York University and had written a number of novels, plays and textbooks.
His brother, Janice’s uncle, was the critically acclaimed author Philip Gordon Wylie, best known for his bestselling 1942 essay collection, “Generation of Vipers,” along with a slew of mystery novels and works of science fiction.
The other murder victim, Wylie’s roommate, was short, bespectacled, small-town Emily Hoffert, from Edina, Minn., who had arrived in New York just 39 days before she and Wylie’s lives were viciously snuffed out.
A shy brunette, Hoffert was the polar opposite of happy-go-lucky, blond Manhattan sophisticate Wylie, who liked to party at the Stork Club. Hoffert was a serious academic, with a degree from Smith College, who was about to embark on a teaching career. Hoffert and her older sister by five years, Mary, had been adopted.
“Emily and I were wonderful friends as well as sisters,” Mary Hoffert Bryson, 82, told The Post on the eve of the 50th anniversary of her sister’s death.
“My sister was a very bright, very good person, and when I decided I wanted to be an English teacher, she sort of went along with the same idea. She was very good in languages, and she had a double major in English and Russian literature. She was in New York just for that summer before she would start her first year of teaching. It was just a temporary place, staying in that apartment where the murder took place.”
On the day Wylie and Hoffert were slain, Walter Arm, a former newspaperman, who was the deputy police commissioner who dealt with the press, was in a Times Square bar knocking down a vodka and tonic when word of the murders was relayed to him. He immediately informed reporters that there was a major case brewing.
“There was the class aspect of the girls, the fact that they were prominent and the threat of living alone in Manhattan that touched a nerve,” says Kenneth Gross, then a young reporter on The Post’s police beat. “The murder, the day of the freedom march in Washington, a lot of things were tied together to remind people that the city and the country were undergoing some transformation. It was a great turning point in the culture.”
As the search for the Wylie-Hoffert killer continued, hundreds of men, many of them oddballs and sociopaths, were pursued and questioned, including dates of Wylie, whom the detectives always assumed was the target of the killer because of her looks and partying lifestyle.
Some investigators even speculated that the killer might have been a woman who oddly walked two babies in a stroller around Manhattan. Finally she was confronted, and the cops were startled to discover that the “babies” were actually two small monkeys swaddled in pink blankets.
Then George Whitmore Jr. surfaced.
He was a slow, meek, acne-faced 19-year-old African-American, an eighth-grade dropout who had never been in trouble with the law, who came from the crime-riddled Brownsville section of Brooklyn via Wildwood, NJ.
Some eight months after the Career Girl Murders, Whitmore was taken into custody in Brooklyn near the scene of where a young woman, Elba Borrero, had been sexually assaulted by a man who had fled. Whitmore had innocently been waiting to be picked up by a friend and taken to a job site. But in the police station house, he was railroaded by detectives pressured to solve the Wylie-Hoffert case, which had gone cold.
Whitmore was never physically abused. Instead, he was isolated in an interrogation room and, for almost 24 hours, underwent nonstop grilling from hardened detectives playing good cop, bad cop.
They lied to him that he would never go to jail, that Wylie and Hoffert were alive. All they wanted, they told him, was for him to simply sign a 61-page confession.
Unsophisticated, uneducated, brow-beaten — and without any legal representation — the frightened teenager finally agreed to admit to the Wylie-Hoffert murder, along with the recent assault of the Borrero woman (who would wrongly identify him as her attacker) and the unsolved murder of another woman, Minnie Edmonds, a 41-year-old black house cleaner who had been beaten and stabbed on April 14, 1964, some seven months after the Career Girls Murder. Edmonds was murdered about a block from where Borrero was assaulted.
Whitmore later explained that confessing was a way to stop the brutal questioning and be permitted to go home.
Bogus evidence also was used against Whitmore.
In his wallet, detectives had found a number of snapshots, most of them of African-Americans, but one crumpled photo was of two white girls, one a blonde. One of the veteran detectives with a tough-guy reputation who was investigating the Career Girl Murders, Edward Bulger, was positive the blonde was Janice Wylie, and Whitmore was forced to falsely confess that he had taken the photo from the victim’s apartment at the time of the murders.
When it came to suspects who were black, Bulger had a curious way of identifying liars he was questioning. He reportedly once boasted to two Manhattan assistant DA’s: “You can always tell when a negro is lying. You watch his stomach. If it moves in and out, he’s lying.”
To the cops and prosecutors, the snapshot was considered hard evidence, along with the coerced confession, to charge Whitmore, even though Wylie’s father and others who knew his daughter had emphatically denied that the blonde in the photo was Janice Wylie.
Much later, after it was clear that Whitmore had been coerced into confessing, investigators actually tracked down the two girls in the old snapshot. They told police that it had been taken years earlier while they were picnicking in a New Jersey state park, and it had long been lost. Somehow, Whitmore had found it and, for whatever reason, the teenager had put it in his wallet.
THE REAL KILLER
After his arraignment, and having a lawyer representing him for the first time — an attorney who didn’t believe he had committed the crimes with which he was charged — Whitmore recanted his confession. But the cops and prosecutors still considered him the Wylie-Hoffert killer.
“The world was different in the ’60s. There were very few minority people on the police force, or in the district attorney’s office, so the black population didn’t have much influence on the legal system,” says Jerome Leftow, who first represented Whitmore after his arrest.
A native New Yorker who practiced criminal defense law for some 40 years, Leftow, looking back, told The Post:
“The police were able to do things that were wrong. The district attorney’s office played around with evidence. That’s how they solved crimes back then. There was no one looking over anyone’s shoulder, and they looked at black people in a different way.”
After Whitmore truthfully recanted his confession — there was never any credible evidence that he had committed the crimes for which he was charged — Richard “Ricky” Robles, 21, a heroin addict and confessed burglar from The Bronx with a criminal record, became the prime suspect.
Another junkie by the name of Nathan Delaney, who was facing a drug-related charge, reached out to detectives saying he knew who killed Janice Wylie and Emily Hoffert, in hopes that he could cut a deal for himself. Delaney and his wife, Marjorie, told cops that on the day of the freedom march in Washington, Robles had shown up at the Delaney apartment in Spanish Harlem with blood on his shirt and had told them he had murdered two girls.
During questioning, police eventually learned that the murder of Wylie and Hoffert had been a robbery gone bad, Robles looking for drug money and finding the girls instead.
The police and prosecutorial mishandling of Whitmore would play a key role in the Supreme Court’s landmark 1966 5-to-4 ruling requiring law-enforcement officers to tell those arrested of their constitutional rights, known as the Miranda warning. In the decision, the justices pointed to the outrageous handling of Whitmore:
“Interrogation procedure may even give rise to a false confession. The most recent conspicuous example occurred in New York when a negro of limited intelligence confessed to two brutal murders and a rape which he had not committed. When this was discovered the prosecutor was reported as saying: ‘Call it what you want — brain-washing, hypnosis, fright.’ They made him give an untrue confession . . .”
And the events involving Whitmore would influence the 1965 abolishment of the death penalty in New York by the state Legislature, with an assemblyman citing the case of how a wrong man could have been sentenced to die.
Ricky Robles was convicted and sentenced on Jan. 11, 1966, to a term of 25 years to life.
Having turned 70 last Jan. 28, Robles is one of New York state’s longest-serving inmates, living in a 72-square-feet cell and mopping floors for a dollar a day at the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility, according to a prison spokeswoman. He comes up for parole again next year, but it’s doubtful he’ll ever see the outside again.
After Whitmore’s Kafkaesque ordeal — it would take almost a decade for him to finally be vindicated and all of the charges against him dismissed — he had returned to his hometown of Wildwood, fell in to anonymity and spent most of the $500,000 he had won after suing the city of New York for his false arrest. He died last year in a nursing home at the age of 68.
Observes Kenneth Gross, the ex-reporter who covered the case: “A lot of prosecutors knew that kid Whitmore was innocent. A lot of cops knew that kid was innocent. There was a lot of heat and a lot of pressure to get that case solved, and all those people were reluctant to give that kid any edge.”
Career Girls Murders
|Date||August 28, 1963 (1963-08-28)|
|Location||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Suspects||George Whitmore Jr.|
|Convicted||Richard "Ricky" Robles|
The "Career Girls Murders" was the name given by the media to the murders of Emily Hoffert and Janice Wylie in their apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on August 28, 1963. George Whitmore Jr., was charged with this and other crimes but later cleared.
The actions of the police department led Whitmore to be improperly accused of this and other crimes, including the murder of Minnie Edmonds and the attempted rape and assault of Elba Borrero. Whitmore was wrongfully incarcerated for 1,216 days — from his arrest on April 24, 1964, until his release on bond on July 13, 1966, and from the revocation of his bond on February 28, 1972 until his exoneration on April 10, 1973. This was after what author T.J. English called, in his book The Savage City, "a numbing cycle of trials, convictions, convictions overturned, retrials, and appeals", Whitmore was cleared of all charges and released. Whitmore's treatment by the authorities was cited as an example that led the U.S. Supreme Court to issue the guidelines known as the Miranda rights, with the Supreme Court calling Mr. Whitmore's case "the most conspicuous example" of police coercion in the country when it issued its 1966 ruling establishing a set of protections for suspects, including the right to remain silent, in Miranda v. Arizona.
On August 28, 1963, Patricia Tolles, 23, who worked at the book division at Time-Life, returned to her apartment on the third floor of 57 East 88th Street. There she found the apartment ransacked and covered in blood. The bodies of her roommates, Newsweek researcher Janice Wylie (aged 21) and schoolteacher Emily Hoffert (aged 23), were in one of the bedrooms. Both had been stabbed over 60 times with knives from their own kitchen and there was evidence that Wylie, who was wearing only a towel, had been sexually assaulted.
The case was dubbed the "Career Girls Murders" by the media because Wylie, the daughter of an advertising executive and novelist Max Wylie and niece of novelist Philip Wylie, and Hoffert were representative of the thousands of young women who had come from all over America to New York and other larger cities to seek jobs and careers. Others like them now felt unsafe and the police were under pressure to solve the case. Hundreds of detectives were assigned to the investigation and thousands of people were interviewed, but as the weeks went by no arrests were made.
Initially, police believed that the victims knew their killer. The level of violence found is usually an indication of a personal relationship with the victim. There were no signs of forced entry and the apartment, which was on the third floor of a nine-story building, was also guarded by a doorman. Though the apartment was in disarray, nothing appeared to be stolen, so robbery was not believed to be a motive. The victims' hands and feet were bound and then they were tied back-to-back to each other while Wylie was nude and Hoffert was dressed. Two bloody 10- to 12-inch carving knives were found next to the bodies and an additional knife in one of the two bathrooms.
Police theorized that the women were attacked and murdered in the bedroom where their bodies were discovered. They did not immediately release information regarding the rape of Wylie. In fact, they told the press that it did not appear that either had been raped, but allowed that an autopsy might reveal otherwise. They did say that the women had been slashed repeatedly in the neck and abdomen. The focus on interviewing the people named in Wylie's green address book did not lead to identifying a suspect. A $10,000 reward was established to aid in the apprehension of a culprit.
Janice Wylie's father, Max Wylie, penned a book "Career Girl, Watch Your Step!", a year after the murders, warning career girls of safety and the need to be aware and "feel threatened" as a defence.
Like Max Wylie, everyone initially believed that the attacks were against women who had careers, as both of the victims fit that profile. Women, specifically white women, were left to feel vulnerable despite their desire to gain freedom and independence through their careers.
Many other handbooks, aimed at the safety of single women, were written as an aftermath and issued by local police departments and public safety departments. These handbooks mostly emphasized the importance of prevention of the attacks including having male protection and needing physical security.
In April the following year, Elba Borrero identified George Whitmore Jr., a nineteen-year-old day laborer, as the man who had attempted to rape her a few days prior. Borrero would later acknowledge that Whitmore was the only suspect police had shown her.
When Whitmore was arrested, it was found that he was in possession of a photo of a white blonde woman. Brooklyn detectives Joe DiPrima and Edward Bulger jumped to the conclusion that the blonde in the photo was Janice Wylie, although her family denied it. The photo was that of Arlene Franco, a high school classmate of Whitmore, living in New Jersey, who had lost or discarded it in a park, where Whitmore found it and for some reason decided to keep it in his wallet. Whitmore immediately became a suspect in the Wylie and Hoffert double murder. Detectives DiPrima and Bulger proceeded to question Whitmore about the Wylie-Hoffert murders and after hours of leading questions Whitmore finally confessed.
New York City police announced that Whitmore had confessed to the murders of Wylie and Hoffert, as well as the murder of Minnie Edmonds (an unrelated murder) and the attempted rape of Borrero. The NYPD announced Whitmore had given details of the Wylie-Hoffert killings which only the murderer could have known, but Manhattan prosecutors noticed that every detail in the Whitmore confession was known to the police beforehand. Police stated he had drawn a detailed diagram of the apartment and had in his wallet a photo of Janice Wylie that had been stolen from the flat.
Whitmore repudiated his confessions, claiming he had been beaten during the interrogations; that counsel had not been present; and that his request for a lie detector test had been denied. Witnesses were located claiming Whitmore had been in Wildwood, New Jersey at the time of the Manhattan murders, watching a live TV broadcast speech of Martin Luther King Jr. at the March on Washington, 159 miles away from the crime scene. Despite Whitmore's discredited confession, New York County District AttorneyFrank Hogan did not dismiss the indictment against him.
On October 9, 1964, Nathan "Jimmy" Delaney (aged 35), a drug user and small-time dealer, was arrested for the murder of a rival drug dealer, Roberto Cruz del Valle. Facing the death penalty, Delaney offered to make a deal: in return for leniency, he would give police the name of the real "career girls" killer, and he claimed it was not Whitmore.
Delaney explained to police that on the day of the killings he had met an old acquaintance, Richard "Ricky" Robles, who had told him that he had committed the murders of Wylie and Hoffert. Robles, a 22-year-old burglar, had a long record of drug use and had been released from prison just two months prior to the murders. To support his habit, Robles needed anywhere from $30 to $50 per day.
Delaney told detectives that Robles had turned up at his apartment on the day of the killings demanding drugs while his hands and clothes were covered in blood. The shaken Robles told Delaney, “I just iced two dames.” His clothes had blood spatters on them; Delaney gave him a shirt and a pair of pants to change into. Delaney said he then went out to buy drugs with money Robles had given him.
Delaney and his wife, Marjorie, were fitted with wires and wires were also installed in their and Robles' apartments. Over time, Robles talked about details of the murders that convinced investigators he was the real killer; he was arrested and charged on January 26, 1965.
Second arrest and conviction
In the autumn of 1965, Robles was tried for the Wylie-Hoffert murders. His attorneys attempted to buoy the credibility of Whitmore's Wylie-Hoffert confession to create a reasonable doubt that their own client had committed the crime. However, prosecutor John F. Keenan replied by summoning Whitmore and the detectives who had arrested him. Robles' attorneys were unable to translate doubts about police interrogation methods to their own client's advantage, despite testimony that Robles had confessed to the Wylie-Hoffert murders while suffering from heroin withdrawal and without his attorney present.
Delaney testified that Robles told him the motive for the murders was because Hoffert told him that she could identify him to police. It was pointed out by Robles' attorney that Delaney was given immunity in exchange for his testimony.
On December 1, 1965, Robles was found guilty of the murders of Emily Hoffert and Janice Wylie and sentenced to life in prison. Just months before, the New York Legislature had abolished the death penalty, except in the cases of the killing of police officers, prison guards, and murders committed while escaping jail. He was found guilty, largely on the basis of secretly tape-recorded conversations about the murders. Despite the conviction of Robles, numerous questions regarding the police conduct, in this case, were left unanswered.
"Police detectives, who may have been motivated by their sense of justice, resorted to highly questionable means to extract a confession from a suspect who was too weak to resist. Their colossal blunders in the career girls murder case almost put George Whitmore Jr. on death row for a crime he certainly did not commit. No formal charges were ever brought against Detectives Bulger and DiPrima who consistently denied any wrongdoing in the case. But exactly how Whitmore was able to supply a 61-page confession to a double murder he never committed was never explained."
Robles, who had himself publicly protested his innocence over the original double-murders, did not admit his guilt until a parole board hearing in November 1986. He admitted he had broken into the apartment to obtain money for drugs and had assumed at first it was empty. When Wylie, who had been taking a shower, appeared, he attacked and raped her. Hoffert had turned up shortly afterward and he attacked her as well. Defiantly, she told him that she would remember his face and report him to the police, whereupon he murdered both her and Wylie. The three-member panel rejected granting parole, citing "the nature of the crime". No charges were pressed against the police officers who had obtained Whitmore's "confessions".
The case of Whitmore and his treatment by the police was one of many examples used by the US Supreme Court when it issued the guidelines known as the Miranda rights in June 1966 by which, when a defendant is taken into custody and accused of a crime, he must be advised of his constitutional rights. The court acknowledged that coercive interrogations could produce false confessions, and in a footnote stated: [t]he most conspicuous example occurred in New York in 1964 when a Negro of limited intelligence confessed to two brutal murders and a rape which he had not committed.
When this was discovered, the prosecutor[who?] was reported as saying: "Call it what you want — brain-washing, hypnosis, fright. The only thing I don't believe is that Whitmore was beaten."
Janice Wylie's mother and sister, Isobel Wylie and Pamela Wylie Sullivan, respectively, both died within five years of the murders, the former from cancer. Max Wylie committed suicide by gunshot in 1975 in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Whitmore made a life for himself in Wildwood, New Jersey. He successfully sued for false arrest and was awarded $500,000 from the City of New York. He operated a commercial fishing boat for a time, but he was later disabled in a boating accident. He blew through the award money, was unemployed for long stretches, and suffered from depression and alcoholism. Whitmore never married, but was the father of four daughters and two sons. George Whitmore Jr. died on October 8, 2012, in a nursing home of a heart attack. He was 68 years old.
Richard Robles was released on parole in May 2020. Prior to this, he was New York State Inmate #66A0003, imprisoned in the Greene Correctional Facility and denied parole multiple times. While in jail, Robles taught fellow prisoners computer skills and received an associate degree.
In popular culture
- The case served as the basis of the 1973 television movie The Marcus-Nelson Murders, which in turn served as a pilot for the crime drama series Kojak.
- A 1973 novel titled The Killings, by Edgar-winning author Clark Howard, also fictionalized the case, changing the setting from NYC to Los Angeles.
- In a 2009 episode of Mad Men (season 3, episode 9, "Wee Small Hours"), two characters hear the beginning of a radio broadcast, in which the newscaster reports that the bodies of the victims, Wylie and Hoffert, had been found in their apartment.
- The case was revisited in 2013 in Investigation Discovery's series A Crime to Remember (Season 1, Episode 2, "The Career Girl Murders").
- ^"2 Girls Murdered In E. 88th St. Flat; 2 GIRLS ARE SLAIN IN EAST SIDE FLAT Calls Girl's Father Sets Time of Death Had Master's Degree". The New York Times. August 29, 1963. ISSN 0362-4331.
- ^Oelsner, Lesley (April 11, 1973). "Whitmore Wins Freedom On Gold's New Evidence". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
- ^ abcd"George A. Whitmore: A plethora of false confessions". Northwestern Law Bluhm Legal Clinic: Center on Wrongful Convictions. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
- ^"George Whitmore Jr., 68; coerced confession was key factor in Miranda ruling". Boston Globe. October 18, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
- ^ abcdefgh"The Career Girl Murders". A Crime to Remember. Season 1.02. November 19, 2013. Investigation Discovery.
- ^ abcd"One Niece of Philip Wylie: Two Girls Found Slain in N.Y. Flat". Tucson Daily Citizen. UPI. August 29, 1963. p. 19. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
- ^ abcd"Philip Wylie's Niece, Another Woman Slain in N.Y. Apartment". The Hammond Times. AP. August 29, 1963. p. A2. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
- ^T.J. English (March 15, 2011). "3". The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge. HarperCollins. p. 2. ISBN .
- ^"March On Washington, Coinciding Murders Redefined Liberties". NPR.org.
- ^ abcJohnson, Marilynn S. (2011). "The Career Girl Murders: Gender, Race, and Crime in 1960s New York". Women's Studies Quarterly. 39 (1/2): 244–261. doi:10.1353/wsq.2011.0006. JSTOR 41290299.
- ^ abcPeters, Justin (August 28, 2013). "The "Career Girls Murders" Might Be the Most Important Criminal Case That Most People Don't Know About". Slate.
- ^ abc"The Whitmore Confessions and Richard Robles Trial: 1965 – Confessions Discredited – Jury, Button, Wylie, and Borrero". Law.jrank.org. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- ^ abcGado, Mark. "The Career Girls Murders". TruTV.com. p. 6. Archived from the original on September 14, 2019. Retrieved June 9, 2009.
- ^"Jobless Youth Confesses, Brutal Slaying Of Girls Solved". The Charleston Daily Mail. AP. April 25, 1964. p. A2. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
- ^Mark Gado. "The Career Girls Murders". CrimeLibrary.com. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
- ^"The Whitmore Confessions and Richard Robles Trial: 1965 – Richard Robles Arrested". Law.jrank.org. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- ^"Career Girl Defied Killer, Court Is Told". The Des Moines Register. AP. October 26, 1965. p. A2. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
- ^ ab"THE CAREER GIRLS MURDERS — 'I Was Like a Ghost!'". Trutv.com. Archived from the original on December 30, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- ^"Miranda v. Arizona: 384 U.S. 436 (1966): Justia U.S. Supreme Court Center". Supreme.justia.com. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- ^"The Whitmore Confessions and Richard Robles Trial: 1965 – Whitmore Retried In Assault Case – Court, Miranda, Rape, and Defense". Law.jrank.org. June 13, 1966. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- ^"George Whitmore Jr 68 Dies Falsely Confessed to 3 Murders in 1964". The New York Times. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- ^Messing, Philip (September 19, 2016). "The Career Girl Killer knows he's going to rot in jail". New York Post. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
- ^"The Marcus-Nelson Murders (1973)". IMDb.com. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- ^"Wee Small Hours". Mad Men. Season 3.09. October 11, 2009. AMC.
-  The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge by T.J. English
88th 57 street east
And what does this all mean. As I understand it, the party is canceled, and you rolled lips on me. Now I'll explain everything, - answered Sasha and, taking a folding chair, sat down in front of the entrance. - The fact is that I decided to put you in a kind of friend zone. I'm tired of suffering alone in friends and timidly hoping for a miracle.Touring the MOST EXPENSIVE Listing in the Country!
On a small carved table there is a tall thin vase, in which a rose is the same color as my. Dress, a roll of expensive wine and two large blown glasses with the remains of wine; next to the table there are two deep armchairs, in one of which He sits, the other is free; opposite the window there is a large square bed, covered with a velvet burgundy bedspread; and on the window the same curtains hang down in heavy folds.
And We, We are alone, and I terribly want intimacy with Him.
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I already got stuck in this pipe. Hmm, I decided to take a chance, but you have to go for a beer. Im still old. Mmmmmaaat (there should be another word here, but its too inappropriate and I let it go :)).