I was always fascinated by the story of her murdering Dr. Scarsdale.
Dr. Scarsdale's #1 diet tip was to avoid lead.
I read a couple of books about that case: "Very Much A Lady" by Shana Alexander and "Mrs. Harris" by Diane Trilling. I liked them both, but Trilling's was the better book in my opinion.
Alexander's book was more sympathetic to Jean Harris; I think she actually met Harris and they became friends.
Trilling's book unapologetically revealed Harris as the incredibly fucked up woman that she was and pretty much told it like it was and not the way Harris always tried to make it out to be (Harris was VERY delusional). Harris must have read the book, because in her first prison memoir she rages at Trilling, taking potshots at her appearance (Trilling attended Harris's trial) and saying that she thought Trilling was "senile (she was anything but)."
Quite simply, Jean Harris was a bitch who went nuts and killed her awful lover when he started phasing her out of his life. For me she was never a sympathetic figure. She LOVED being treated like shit by Tarnower. It's hard to feel sympathy for someone like that.
I believed Jean Harris.
Tarnower looked like a lizard. Guys like that seem to like "classy" women -- and then love even more to humiliate them.
Which movie was better? The Ellen Burstyn or Annette Bening one?
I'd love to see the Annette Bening movie but it's not online anywhere. God forbid I actually have to buy a DVD lol!
I can't remember the name of the play in which Raquel Welch played Jean Harris. I do remember how she got fired because she didn't move her arms when she walked.
"I believed Jean Harris"
You believed that she shot him four times by accident? You believe that Herman Tarnower was a wonderful man (despite his treatment of her, that's what she always said)? Boy, are you naive!
I liked Ellen Burstyn's version of Harris, which focused on her trial. In fact, I think the script was an exact transcript of the trial. The one with Annette Benning was way over the top, although Benning gave a good performance. Benning looked much too young for the role, though, and she was about a thousand times better looking and sexier than Jean Harris ever was. Ben Kingsley was Brad Pitt in comparision with Tarnower, who was repulsive to look at. But you know something? A lot of women found him VERY attractive. A former lover of his said that "you could get violently attracted to this man." What the fuck was wrong with these women? Didn't they have eyes? But I guess the whole doctor-as-God thing really reeled them in and made the ugly doctor seem handsome and heroic. His being rich and famous didn't hurt, either.
As a lover, Tarnower was a put it in, pump, squirt, pull it out kind of guy. Nothing romantic about it. "Sexually, Hi was an elephant", one women said, speaking of his lovemaking style. Supposedly he had a big cock. Even so, I sure as hell would never have fucked him.
I guess the money and prestige were attractive because he was FUGLY.
LOL@ R8! I recall that Seinfeld episode!
neither one was what I would call a sympathetic character, though Shana Alexander tried hard to make Harris look more like the victim. In a way she was but she lost that status once she resorted to a firearm.
The characters in this story were not pretty especially the fugly DR T. So what if he had an elephantine cock? If he was a total cunt to the woman who cares how hung he was. She might have been unhinged BUT women can be that way when they are scorned. Tarnower was a silly prick who thought he could get away with what he did to her.
R9 Women are very beguiled by money and power. You could present the fugliest hobbit in the world to them and if they're loaded or in a position of power they can lose their mind. On the other hand, straight men are very visual.You see them being pussywhipped by a hot woman and they can't even fight for themselves.
He had strength, and she had none, and yet they both reached for the gun.
[quote]Born into an upper-middle-class Ohio family, Jean Struven was a bright and beautiful girl who went to Smith College with Barbara Bush (whom she admires very much) and Nancy Reagan (whom she does not). She graduated magna cum laude and married soon after "because that's what girls did."
[quote]In 1965, after a quarrel over her failure to get the boys to brush their teeth before bed, Harris announced to her husband: "Jim, it's 10:30 and starting right now I'm not your wife anymore."
[quote]She was 42 and she was starting a new life. That new life included not only a new career as an educator and later headmistress of the exclusive Madeira School for girls in McLean, Va., it also was the beginning of a romance with New York cardiologist Herman (Hy) Tarnower, then 56.
[quote]The doctor was a wonderful dancer, a witty conversationalist, fabulously wealthy and, according to Harris, "a great lover of life."
[quote]He also was a great lover of women. And not necessarily one at a time. According to diaries kept by the servants who lived in his Westchester County mansion, it was not unusual for him to alternate women as overnight guests. After more than a decade with Harris, Tarnower took up with his medical assistant, Lynne Tryforos, and while Harris spent her school vacation rewriting his best-selling diet book, he was squiring Tryforos--20 years Harris' junior--to dinner parties.
[quote]It was everywoman's nightmare. And Jean Harris snapped.
Barbara Walters said Jean's sentence was a miscarriage of justice.
Every year she signed a petition and wrote the parole board urging for her release.
That got her in hot water with ABC News and she forbidden from conducting any interviews with Harris due to this conflict of interest.
Once Harris was released the interview ban was lifted, and as such Walters did a post prison interview with Harris.
What Lizard men like Tarnower fail to understand is that you can chase after the WASPs all you like, but if you mess with them, their Anglo will go all Saxon on your ass and you will end up filled with bullets.
I can only find one photo of Lynn Tryforos online. It's from 1971. Or maybe it's an old picture of Harris.
[quote]Many say that girls’ schools in those turbulent years needed a hand. It was, after all, at this time that a dead baby in a plastic bag was discovered at that genteel Connecticut school, Miss Porter’s. Anyway, when the problem did come to Madeira, it was less natural, more horrible. A man had taken to roaming the grounds. It seemed to go on and on. A malaise overhung Madeira until the deranged male was caught, and locked up.
[quote]What happened next is not crystal clear. At any rate, the man was at large and the school wasn’t told. Hitherto harmless, he struck. One of the pupils was assaulted and tied to a tree. She died of exposure. It seemed that the sickening event preyed on Barbara Keyser’s mind. She did everything that could be done, but the memory didn’t leave her. It hung about the school like memories of a bad dream.
[quote]Barbara Keyser retired three years later, in 1977. The board of alumnae in charge of choosing a successor thought long and hard. They decided they knew exactly what they were looking for. A woman was needed with managerial skills appropriate to the modern business of education. Also, one of them says, “we wanted somebody womanly.”
"Barbara Walters said Jean's sentence was a miscarriage of justice"
Barbara Walters is an idiot, at least on the subject of Jean Harris. What did she want, for Harris to go scot-free on an insanity defense?
She came to Tarnower's house with a loaded gun (a box of extra ammunition was found in her car) and shot him not once, but several times. And it was an "accident?" What crap!
Jean Harris said she went to Tarnower's that night (she drove six hours to get there, in bad weather) to feel "safe" with her beloved Hi one last time before killing herself. But she also said later that she hoped he would see how distraught she was and say "let's put the kettle on and have a cup of tea and talk about it."
I think she want over there hoping he would soothe her and maybe make love to her; if he had there probably would have been no shooting. But she claimed she found some of Lynn Tryforo's things in the bathroom and smashed a mirror, whereupon he slapped her and told her to "get out of here! you're crazy!" That preceded the supposed struggle for the gun. But I think that when he told her to get out she blew him away in anger. And then concocted the suicide/gun struggle story.
The jury didn't buy it. They rightly convicted her of murder. She didn't help her case any. Every day she came to court "all dressed up like Paddy Pig" the judge said, in fashionable outfits and mink hat with detachable collar. She came across on the stand as bitchy, snobbish, and self-serving. She never considered herself responsible for Tarnower's death; it was just an unfortunate "accident."
I never pitied her. Some people considered her the "victim" of a cruel lover, but she was no victim. She was besotted with Tarnower and would have tolerated anything as long as she was able to remain his main squeeze. But he was putting her out to pasture and she knew it; she was an insanely jealous, angry woman.
What surprised me most about Tarnower was his love of blood sports. Usually Jewish guys go in for reading and theater and such -- nice restful pursuits.
I remember her case occurred around the same time as The Facts of Life early seasons.
It was like Mrs. Garrett gone wrong.
This case was in the papers for months.
We haven't had a good society shooting for a while now.
I always confused her with Betty Broderkick.
Only a bunch of 'mos would celebrate a cold blooded killer
[quote]We haven't had a good society shooting for a while now.
But we had that guy who kept his wealthy (aunt? stepmother?) in squalor as he waited for her to die of dementia.
I went to Camp Greenway as a child which is the boys and girls camp that is held at The Madeira School in McLean, Virginia, where Jean Harris was headmistress at the time of the murder in 1980. She supposedly drove straight from the school to Tarnower's in order to commit the murder.
If I recall correctly, some years before in the 1970s, a young girl was raped, tied to a tree and then murdered right in front of the school. The counselors would tell these stories around campfires when we were growing up. And then they'd be like "They're all TRUE." There was also a hobo or something that lived in the woods near where pitched our tents.
Basically, I went to Camp Crystal Lake!
Tarnower put the moves on my Mom at a dinner party in the time when he and Harris were supposedly a couple. My Mom told me that Tarnower was a run of the mill womanizer.
Harris knew this and remained with him. In my opinion she had to be a moderately unhinged woman to stay in that kind of a relationship. Masochist- dysfunctional.
Driving to someone's home unannounced with a gun? To commit suicide? Why not do it where you are. Nah, she did it- she came unhinged, and probably was a very troubled woman. My Mom told me Tarnower was a creep, but then she also said such men were a dime a dozen and most sensible women know how to avoid them. And certainly not a reason to kill someone.
Just my 2 cents.