The True Story of An American Tragedy
September 14, 2007 4:56 PM Subscribe
100 years ago last July, young Chester Gillette took his pregnant girlfriend Grace Brown boating in a lake in the Adironakes. Out on the water he clubbed her unconscious using a tennis racket he had brought along for the purchase, and threw her body overboard, drowning her & his unborn child. 100 years ago next March, he was put to death for the crime, which went on to become the basis for a great American novel, two movie adaptations (some would say three) & as befits a good tragedy, an opera. It's arguable that the soft lens of history plus the addition of the bias of the book & film adaptations have positioned Gillette in a kinder light than he deserves; his crime itself has never fallen out of vogue, sad to say.
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