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1955

New York, New York: Low lifes in New York’s high society and the shooting of the century.

Where are they now?

Elsie Woodward died at the age of 98 in 1981.

Princess Marina Torlonia died in a car accident in Italy in 1960. She left behind two children from her first marriage: a daughter, Marina Shields and a son, Frank Shields. Frank Shields is the father of American model and actress Brooke Shields, making Marina Torlonia her grandmother.

The Woodward children, Jimmy and Woody, both committed suicide – Jimmy in 1976 after struggling with substance abuse for years and Woody in 1999 after a painful divorce. Both men killed themselves by jumping out of buildings.

What the episode didn't tell you

Before dating Billy Woodward, Ann was seeing Joan Crawford's ex-husband, movie star Franchot Tone.

In 1952 Ann commissioned Salvador Dali to do her portrait. When Dali showed Ann the completed portrait, Ann was horrified by what she saw. Her face was mask-like, her body distorted. Ann refused to pay. Dali sued her and the case went all the way to the NY State Supreme Court. Eventually, the Woodwards paid Dali $7K. The painting was put in a closet until Ann’s death.

Billy Woodward met writer Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, in the 1950's in Saratoga, New York. One of the Bond books is dedicated to Billy Woodward and Fleming even created a character inspired by him.

Billy Woodward inherited the racehorse Nashua after his father’s death. Nashua became one of the great American racehorses of all time, inducted into the Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. In 1955, the year of the shooting, Nashua won both the Arlington Classic and The Wood Memorial Stakes among many others.

The Woodwards' 28,500-square-foot Manhattan townhouse at 9 East 86th Street, which was built for William Woodward Sr. in 1916, sold for $14.7 million in 2004.

Backdrop of an era

  • Scrabble debuted on the board game market
  • Dr. Jonas Salk successfully tests Polio vaccine
  • The Supreme Court orders school integration “with all deliberate speed”
  • Bill Haley & Comets' “Rock Around the Clock” tops billboards chart
  • “The Johnny Carson Show” debuts on CBS-TV
  • Eisenhower is the first president to appear on color TV

From The Headlines

“Widow Cleared … ”


“Once beautiful blonde was a haggard, tearful figure”

Used with permission of The Associated Press © 2013. All rights reserved.


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