Official Blog of Author MICHAEL THOMAS BARRY.
A blog which discusses varied topics that are related to the authors many books. Michael is a columnist for CrimeMagazine.com and a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books.
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Monday, February 24, 2014
Jean Harris was Convicted of Murdering Dr. Herman Tarnower - 1981
On February 24, 1981, socialite Jean Harris is convicted
of murdering Dr. Herman Tarnower, the author of the bestselling The Complete
Scarsdale Medical Diet. Harris, the headmistress of an exclusive girls'
school, shot Dr. Tarnower at his Westchester County, New York home on March 10,
1980. Harris claimed that she had been trying to kill herself but that Tarnower
was shot when he tried to wrestle the gun away from her.
Harris and Tarnower had been a couple since they met in
1966. However, Tarnower was a notorious womanizer who never followed through on
his vague promises to marry the 56-year-old Harris. In the late 1970s, Harris
discovered that Tarnower was having an affair with a younger woman.
Nonetheless, she assisted him in writing and editing The Complete Scarsdale
Medical Diet, which became a surprise sensation, earning Tarnower wealth
and fame. However, at the first sign of success he dumped her. Harris drove
from her school in Virginia to Tarnower's home on the eveing of March 10. She
used her key to get in and went up to his bedroom with a loaded .32 caliber
gun. Harris later claimed that she went there with suicidal intentions.
However, the fact that Tarnower was shot four times seemed to contradict her
claims. Rather than maintain that she had killed in the heat of the moment,
which would have dealt a manslaughter conviction, Harris insisted that the
shooting was an accident. Her gamble failed when the jury convicted her of
murder and gave her a life sentence. Harris was a model prisoner who used every
opportunity to bring attention to the plight of women prisoners. She wrote the
well-received They Always Call Us Ladies about the prison system in
1988. Her sentence was commuted by New York governor Mario Cuomo in late 1992.
After her release, Harris continued her work on behalf of female prisoners. She
died on December 23, 2012.
Michael Thomas Barry is a columnist for www.crimemagazine.com and is the
author of numerous books that include Murder and Mayhem 52 Crimes that
Shocked Early California, 1849-1949. The book can be purchased at Amazon
through the following link: