The Devil and Holy water at Wimbledon: The Reverend and the murderer

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The Devil and Holy water at Wimbledon: The Reverend and the murderer

There is a mystery that still lingers in the sparkling and summery London air, a mystery that has Wimbledon like a starting point, and that even today does not have a really precise conclusion. It was 1879, the third edition of the Championships, a tournament called at that time Lawn Tennis Championships.

The final was played between Anglican Reverend John Hartley, the vicar of Burneston, in North Yorkshire, and his alleged future assassin Vere St. Leger Goold. the challenge was won in three sets by Hartley (6-2, 6-4, 6-2), but it is the adventures of Vere St.

Leger Goold which followed that match, to arouse great fanfare. That of Vere Goold is a blood story, and its reconstruction, even today, is not simple. These are the most interesting highlights of the story. His career as a tennis player saw him win six titles.

He became the first Irish tennis champion in 1879. His post-tennis life after 1883 is very intricate. Reports (though not all agree with each other) say he was seduced by the charming French lady Marie Giraudin, owner of a tailor shop in Bayswater, London.

The woman already had two marriages behind her. The couple contracted debts, and, in 1907, Mrs Goold persuaded Vere to go to the Monte Carlo casino. The two lost all their savings within two weeks. But luck made them meet the wealthy Swedish woman Emma Levin, widow of a Stockholm broker.

The woman was in Monte Carlo accompanied by a friend, Madame Castellazi. It would seem that Marie Goold or her husband Vere borrowed 40 Pounds from Madame Levin, but she wanted the debt to be settled soon. Lady Levin went to the Goolds to collect the loan before leaving the city.

Madam Castellazi was waiting for her at the hotel, and when she didn't come, at midnight, she went to the police. Meanwhile, Vere and Marie Goold had left for Marseille. Blood stains were found in the suite, as well as some blood-stained objects.

Madame Castellazi recognized Madame Levin's parasol. The Goolds were in Marseille, in a hotel, about to go to London. They had left a large trunk at the Marseille train station and one of the station's employees, Mr. Pons noticed that it smelled of blood.

The French police found the trunk and inside were found the remains of Madame Levin. Vere Goold confessed to being the murderer, perhaps to protect his wife. Vere Goold was sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island, and he committed suicide on 8 September 1909...

Marie Goold died of typhoid in a Montpellier prison in 1914. History is still today controversial and stained with blood. perhaps Vere was only plagiarized by his wife, perhaps it was he who killed Madame Levin, perhaps it was his wife. A mystery that still lingers.