Wednesday, January 20, 2021

No. 1 - Elvira Mullens Barney (1904 – 1936)

Though considered one of society’s “Bright Young Things,” the “morally dubious” daughter of Sir John and Lady Mullens was just a tempestuous coke addict who got away with murder.

 

Separated from her supposedly violent American singer husband, John Sterling Barney, and living with an “extravagant, bisexual waster” named Michael Scott Stephen in 1932, Elvira Mullens Barney gave a dinner party at her “prodigally furnished” Knightsbridge home – known as the ‘Love Hut’ – at 21 William Mews on the 30th May that year. Early the next morning, shouts of: “Get out, get out! I will shoot you! I will shoot you!” were heard in the mews followed by: “Chicken, chicken, come back to me. I will do anything you want me to.”

 

Undoubtedly the inspiration for Eveleyn Waugh’s character Agatha Runcible in Vile Bodies and possibly also Elvira in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, Mullens Barney’s single shot at close range with a .32 Smith & Wesson revolver killed her lover in the doorway of their bedroom. On her arrest, she launched into an “uncontrollable violent outburst and paroxysm of rage” and “slapped a policeman in the face when he suggested she put on a warmer fur coat.” She is said to have then added: “I’ll teach you to say you will take me to a police station. Now you know who my mother is you’ll be a little more careful in what you say and do to me!”

 

Placed in a private cell at Holloway Prison with a “telephone, powder-puffs and a grand tea-gown” whilst awaiting trial at the Old Bailey, Mullens Barney was ultimately surprisingly cleared of both murder and manslaughter on 5th July 1932. As he left court, the judge at the trial, Mr Justice Humphreys exclaimed: “Most extraordinary! Apparently we should have given her a pat on the back” whilst Mullens Barney was said to have headed to a celebration party and shouted: “I am the one who shot her lover – so take a good look at me” as she took to the dance floor.

 

To escape public and press outrage, “spoilt child of fortune” Mullens Barney moved to France. She was found dead on Christmas Day 1936 after “a typical long night of drinking and taking cocaine” in a hotel room in Paris with signs of haemorrhage around her mouth. Her sister, Avril, meanwhile made her third husband divorcé Ernest Simpson (whose ex-wife Wallis had become wife to Edward VIII in 1937) in 1948 and was killed in a car crash in Mexico in 1978.

 

The Roll Call - SOCIAL BUTTERFLIES

< Categories
Socialite who got away with murder Elvira Mullens Barney (1904 – 1936) – Elvira Mullens Barney’s lover Michael Stephen was shot dead in her Knightsbridge house in 1932. She was cleared but died of a drug overdose.

1

Elvira Mullens Barney (1904 – 1936)

Kyra Kennedy – Wildchild and scion of the Kennedy dynasty – A bit of a wildchild, Kyra Kennedy is the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. She has been accused of cyberbullying and claims to be “somewhere between psychotic and iconic.”

2

Kyra Kennedy

Theresa Doyle (AKA ‘The Grim Eater’ and ‘The Phantom Mourner’) – Funeral crasher from Slough, Berkshire

3

Theresa Doyle (AKA ‘The Grim Eater’ and ‘The Phantom Mourner’)

Socialite and fashion designer Andrew Warren – Known primarily as the best friend of Donald Trump’s daughter, Tiffany, and for his Just Drew brand.

4

Andrew Warren

Gianna Lahainer (AKA ‘The Merry Widow’, also known as Gina Lombardi)

5

Gianna Lahainer

Jeffrey Slonim –Entertainment reporter and walking ad for Ralph Lauren

6

Jeffrey Slonim (1960 – 2016)

Oliver Rothschild (AKA “The Fake Rothschild”)

7

Oliver Rothschild (AKA “The Fake Rothschild”)

The Ranting Crasher

8

The Ranting Crasher

The Inspector Clouseau lookalike

9

The Inspector Clouseau lookalike

Sabine Getty (née Ghanem, AKA ‘Sabine G’)

10

Sabine Getty (née Ghanem, AKA ‘Sabine G’)

Maya Henry (AKA “The It Girl with a Heart of Gold”)

11

Maya Henry (AKA “The It Girl with a Heart of Gold”)

Judy Taubman (previously Judith Mazor Rounick, née Jehudit Mazor)

12

Judy Taubman (previously Judith Mazor Rounick, née Jehudit Mazor)

Danielle Rollins (née Danielle Deaton)

13

Danielle Rollins

The Iain Duncan Smith lookalike

14

The Iain Duncan Smith lookalike

Lara Asprey (AKA “Lady Lara”)

15

Lara Asprey (AKA “Lady Lara”)

Debbie Bancroft

16

Debbie Bancroft

Alexandra Tolstoy FRGS

17

Alexandra Tolstoy FRGS

Lady Elizabeth Anson (AKA “Lady E”)

18

Lady Elizabeth Anson

Charlene Marshall (AKA “Miss Piggy”, née Charlene Detwyler Tyler and previously Charlene Gilbert)

19

Charlene Marshall (AKA “Miss Piggy”, née Charlene Detwyler Tyler and previously Charlene Gilbert)

Thomas Gilbert Jr. (AKA “Tommy Gilbert Jr.”)

20

Thomas Gilbert Jr.

Texan socialite Lynn Wyatt - A Black Belt First Degree in TaeKwonDo and generous “old school socialite” philanthropist, Lynn Wyatt describes her personal style as: “Class with a bit of dash and never trash”

21

Lynn Wyatt (née Lynn Sakowitz)

Peter Cary Peterson (AKA “PC”)

22

Peter Cary Peterson (AKA “PC”)

Sara Vestin Rahmani

23

Sara Vestin Rahmani

Hermé de Wyman Miro

24

Hermé de Wyman Miro

Kathy Prounis

25

Kathy Prounis

Elyse Newhouse

26

Elyse Newhouse (née Elyse Applebaum)

Manthe Penton Harrap

27

Manthe Penton Harrap

Denis Doble

28

Denis Doble

Justin Fichelson

29

Justin Fichelson

Lady Annabel Goldsmith

30

Lady Annabel Goldsmith

Bienvenida Buck

31

Bienvenida Buck (AKA “The Spanish Firecracker”, born Bienvenida Perez-Blanco)

Randy Harris

32

Randy Harris

Marcus Prinz von Anhalt

33

Marcus Prinz von Anhalt (born Marcus Edward Eberhardt)

Solomon Akhtar

34

Solomon Akhtar

David West

35

David West (also known as “Dave West” and “Lord David West of the Manor of Hollesley”, 1944 – 2014)

Brian Crawford

36

Brian Crawford ( – October 2014)

37

James Gartshore-Boulter

38

Alessandro Carnicella

39

Cole Rumbough

40

Ivan Pun

41

Fernande Grudet (AKA 'Madame Claude')

42

Christie Brinkley

43

Scott Harvey-Nicholls

44

Sally Farmiloe-Neville (1954 – 2014)

45

Nicky Rothschild (née Nicky Hilton)

46

Mr Frizzy

47

The art loving duo

48

Lady Joan Oliphant Fraser

49

Ruth Madoff (née Ruth Alpern)

50

Grant Harrold

51

Denise Eisenberg Rich

52

Tamsin Lonsdale

53

“Lady” Sandra Bates

54

Alice de Janzé (nee Alice Silverthorne and also known as Alice de Trafford and Comtesse de Janzé, 1899 – 1941)

55

Miriam “Muffie” Potter Aston

56

Candy Spelling

57

The Bouquet of Christie's

58

Donna Air

59

The Julian Assange lookalike

60

David Patrick Columbia

61

Baroness Gabriella Langer von Langendorff

62

Baroness Stefania von Kories zu Goetzen (1939 – 2013)

63

The Autograph Hunter

64

Fernando Peire

65

Alexandra “Lexi” Abrams

66

David Pun

67

Georgia Davies

68

Ricardo Garcia

69

Nell Diamond

70

John B. Goodman

71

Holly Candy (born Holly Rachel Vukadinović)

72

Euan Rellie

73

Orlando Hamilton

74

Jacqueline Branston

75

Paris Hilton


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9 COMMENTS

  1. A scandal I’d not heard of before. I have a friend who lives in William Mews and I’m sure she’ll be fascinated to read this.

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