Astor Trial Ending in Purple Prose


We’ve tried to stay away from the Astor trial but, as with O.J.’s, we’ve been sucked into the thrilling climax. Today we hear that superannuated boychild Anthony Marshall is “depraved” (but not, as with Officer Krupke’s charges, on account of he’s deprived), and that he and lawyer Francis X. Morrissey Jr. “preyed on a physically and mentally ill 101-year-old woman to steal millions of dollars — dollars that she had intended to go to help the lives of ordinary New Yorkers.” Of course this was the Assistant D.A. Joel Seidelmann’s closing summation, so maybe he embellished a little. Nonetheless during the peroration Mashall “began to shiver,” and at its close was left “shaking,” says the Times.

Seidelmann also read aloud from Vanity Fair, perhaps to show his style influences, and used charts to compare Marshall’s extravagant purchases with the hardships his mother was forced to endure at Briarcliff Manor and the Knickerbocker Club. We wonder that Marshall, who fell down a lot during the trial, didn’t come to court swathed in bandages to win sympathy.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Kirke Bartley will have to go a long way to top this. Perhaps he will rule that Marshall be brought from this place and hang’d by the neck until he be dead. The judge has already evinced a grisly sense of humor.