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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 18, 1914)
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The Omaha Sunday Bee MagazinePage
.v V Surprising Revelations of the V WA'f l
Surprising Revelations of the
Ingenious Methods of
Mr. Eaton, Gentleman Thief,
and Others Who Are Victimizing
and Resp ectability
in a New Way
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: t T ? J
Mrs. Jacques Bastanoby
Whose Troubles Bepin at the '
. Cabarets and Tea Dances.
IN the criminal world, as In the inflttt
trial and busInoBi world,' new ; coadl
tlona of. life' lve opportunltle for WW''
- inethodg. The "Ti1 : Rooma," ' the
"Cabarets" and the "Danclns Tea", rea
taurants have opened a sew field for
erlmtnals... Preying, like woltes around,
these places, ' the ille ' estimate , that
B.00O criminals In New Tork are now mat
ing a comfortable UtIdk. ' ' ' '
The now rather notorious ease of Her
bert P. Eaton i and his victim, Mjra.
Arthur E. Pike, has shed a flood of llcht
on the ; operations of these scoundrels.
Other cases have shown that robbery Is
not the only harm to womankind that baa
followed the breaking down of old social
restraints through the Insidious Influence
at the tea room with Its accompaniments
ef muslo and dancing. .
T'je unmasking if Mr, Herbert F. Eaton ,
Ijnglish gentleman, traveller, , society
man, dancer and burglar has been fol
lowed by some very Illuminating revel
. tion. The police are now able to under
stand the steadily growing complaints of
hitherto unezplainable robberies. Mr.
Eaton la not alone in his peculiar field of
activity; the police records Indicate that
there are many others who are victimis
ing the patrons of the tea dance restaur
ints In the same way. ,
1 Eaton was not a thug. He had the manner
and the personality of a man of breeding.
He was careful never to force his atten
tions on a prospective , victim. It la be
lieved that he worked at times with a
young woman confederate and through
her was able to be formally Introduced to
respectable patrons of the placee he fre
quented. But Eaton's own adroitness and
; resourcefulness were often sufficient to se
cure an acquaintance with a woman of
, wealth without the formality of an intro
duction and yet without arousing suspi
cion' or feBenttr.eilt;
tAn Instance of this
will' be given fur
ther on. ,
. It stands to reason
that when a' woman '
dances with' a man she does not know
she enters upon a perilous path. The "the
tiansant" Is a queer institution that gives
everybody who can pay the price of ad
, mission or of refreshments an opportunity
to f dance. The manager must see that
his women visitore have partners to dance
with, and it need hardly be eald that If he
can find good-looking,- well-dressed young
men for thla purpose he is only too glad
to have them and will ' hot Inquire
very closely Into, their character. It Is
proved from recent cases that the most
fashionable and dignified hotels In the clt
have been the means of promoting these
The fact that these dances are held in
the daytime allows young girls and yonng
married women an unusual freedom to at
, tend them. The old institution of the
chaperon has been more or. less aban
doned fqr daytime affairs. A. girl or a
woman who Indulges In the intricacies of
the modern dance with a man can scarce
ly help developing a certain intimacy with
- him, even though she may .never have
' met him betote. After the dance she can .
hardly refuse his request to escort her
home, especially if he U gotng the same
way, and In many cases she would not
deny a good dancer the privilege of call-s
ing on her. Thus chance acquaintance
carries a stranger straight Into the in
timacy of the home. .
New Dangers for Tboughtleis Women
Keen observers of life estimate that
there are Just as many men who frequent .
the tea rooms simply for the purpose of .
making the acquaintance of attractive
, women as for the sake of robbery. The
Intentions of these men may not he aJ-
ways of the worst, but It is certain that
on the whole they are a social danger. A ,
girl has no opportunity of Judging the
character of a man whom ahe meeta un
der such conditions, and too oftea she l
' not guarded by family and friends against
the dangers of chance meetinga.
Sirs, Pike's experience illustrated only '
some of the dangers of this thase of city
life the ease with which the friendship
of highly resectable woman could be'
cultivated und,er cover of the afternoon
, dance and the criminal acts it might lead
to. Mrs. Pike, who is the wife of a cotton"
broker and lives In a handsome apart
ment at No. tit Riverside Drive, 'wea
ahocked recently to find that 'her place
had been robbed of $1,900 worth of Jewels
and a quantity of valuable clothing. When
ahe turned the matter over in her mind
ahe waa forced to admit that suspicion
rested on a certain "Mr. Wllliama," a
very attractive young man she had mot at
a tea at the Hotel Astor, one of the most
dignified and fashionable hotels in the ;
Mrs. Pike was listening to the strains
Miss Marie Kohn, Whom Eaton Met at the Hotel Manhattan. Eaton De
' voted Himself to Admiring Miss Holm's Valuable Dog
and Won Her Confidence.
of "the fox
trot, the new
.being an en
could not help
could not re- ,;
member who. '
it was, Intro- ' ,-.,... - ' .
duced her to "Mr. Williams.'' and he Im
mediately asked her to dafice. He was a
splendid dancer and . perfectly familiar
with all the new dances. The young man
was well and quietly dressed, his solid
shoulders set off by a fashionable black
cutaway coat trimmed with broad braid,
short la the tall and cut in front to show
"Mr. Williams" talked agreeably with a .
cultured English aocent He had thick
" curly hair and a merry dark eye. , He had
been a soldier in the Boer War, Just for. '
the sake of adventure, you know, and a
. gold ' miner la California. His conversa
tion was delightfully entertaining. Mrs. .
Pike mentioned that she was a grand
daughter of J. Bpenoer Turner, once a
. noted cotton broker. '
"Oh, yes." eald "Mr. Williams." "My
people in Liverpool knew him. I remem
ber my father telling me about Mr. Tur
ner's funny American stories after dinner.
- "Sometimes we get a bad impression
of Americans from your ordinary tourists
with their American flags and all that
sort of beastly thjng. Your grandfather
was one' of those delightfully cosmopoli
tan Americans who are the most charm
ing people la the world."
All the circumstances were calculated
to disarm suspicion in (Mrs. Pike's mind.
"Mr. Williams" had not even sought her
acquaintance, fehe had a delightful after
noon, which . ended all too soon, though
the hour was late. When she said she
was going home up Riverside . Drive and
he said he was going the same way, she
naturally eald .. she would be pleased to
have him go with her.
- They rode in a motor "bus. On the way
ahe dropped her purse and after fumbling
with It clumsily for a minute be returned
it to her. When ahe returned home she
found she, had . lost the key to her apart
ment She had another one made
The meeting with ."Mr. Williams"
started a pleasant friendship which lasted
up to the time of. the robbery.. The rest
of the facts are well known to newspaper
readers. . Mrs. Pike received a telephone
message from Eaton in which "Mr. Will
lams" offered to return her Jewels tor '
t$A, failing which he would create a
scandal. By arrangement with the police
ehe met him and in a struggle "Mr. Will-
lams" was shot by ev detective. )
Investigation tbowed that be was . a
young Englishman of respectable family
named Herbert F. Eaton, lie was earning
a fair salary in a New Tork business house
' as a stenographer and had been led Into
evil ways by the extraordinary opportuni
ties offered by the tea rooms and the rest
of the promiscuous- topsy-turvy social life
of New York.
No sooner was the Pike case pebllfhed
than another of Eaton's victims made ber-
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self known. This was Mls Marie A.
Kohn, a, Frenchwoman of considerable
wealth, t who came to New York a few
years ago. . A year before the Pike case
Miss Kohn was robbed of $12,000 worth
of Jewels. When ehe visited Eaton's flat,
by invitation of the police, she found them
The story Miss Kohn told revealed an
other way In which a designing man
might make the acquaintance of a woman
he didn't know. This is the pet dog meth
od of approach.
Miss Kohn went to the Hotel Manhattan,
also one of the most fashionable and dig
nified hotels in the city, to have tea and
listen to the muslo. As she entered she
noticed a good-looking young man with a
bright eye and curly hair. It was Eaton,
but on this occasion he was travelling as
Miss Kohn was carrying her prize pet
toy Pomeranian, "Baby." As she passed
the young man, he stopped and patted
"Baby" with a friendly but not forward
manner, as it he really couldn't help it.
"Pardon me,", he said. "1 hope you don't
mind my patting her. That is really the
most perfect specimen of a 'Pom' I have
An .Introduction Through the "Dog
They went info .the tea room together
and the young man talked about dogs in
the most convincing manner. He stood
"Baby" squarely on her feet and then said:
"Oh J you quite i too delicious little bow
wow! She has every point perfect from
the tip of her nose to the end of her tall.
You know, my mother took first prize for
toy 'Poms' four years In succession at the
Swansea dog show, but she never bad any
thing finer than this.
. "My name is McDonald," be added.
Miss Kohn, who has the exaggerated
love of pet dogs that some women show,
was naturally carried away by "Mr. Mc
Donald's" .charming dog talk. When she
was going to leave he asked her which
way and she said "No. 609 Madison ave
nue." He got possession of ber key by a
trick and induced her to wait for him
while be pretended he was golag luto bis
hotel When she went on to bur apart
ment she found she had been robbed. -
Eaton's methods have come as a sur
prising revelation to the police. A bur
glar is usually confronted with the neces
sity of entering his victim's house or apaitr
ment by force. This is embarrassng, be
cause he must work late at night when
he ' cannot be observed and it Is bother
some to carry plunder along the streets
at such hours. But Eaton'a system 'of
always providing himself with a latch key
avoided these embarrassments.
When Eaton crowded into the Fifth '
Copyright, 1814, by tb Btar Company. Uraat Britain Illirhta Iteierved.
avenue bus to accompany Mrs.
Pike to her Riverside Drive apart-.
ment it waa for the purpose of
seourtng her pass key.
At a lurch of the 'bus, as it
swept around the corner of Seventy-second
street, Eaton clumsily
lost his ' grip on the strap, drove
his knee heavily against Mrs.
Pike's arm and knocked her pocket
book to the floor, with apologies
for hij awkwardness be busily set
. to work picking op the contents
of the bag but he slipped up hie
sleeve the latch key.
When Baton went forth from
toe Manhattan Hotel and accom
panied Mies Koha in ber walk
to her Madison avenue apartment it waa
with the Intention of getting possession -of
her house key. Swinging his cane
Jauntily as they walked along, side by
side, Eaton suddenly turned at a crossing
1n front of an automobile, stepped back
halt a step and brought the handle, of his '
cane down upon Miss Kohn's handbag.
Cards, coins and various things scattered
about the pavement.
With quick eye Eaton spied the' latch
key. Letting his overcoat fall from his
arm to cover the key, Eaton, with many
apologies, assembled the contents of the
bag and slipped the key into his overcoat
The unsuspected possession of 'the
latch key was literally, the key to Eaton'a
system. And the possession of the latch
key had still another value. It gave Eaton
a' handle for blackmail. If his victim
realized who had robbed her Eaton was
able to silence her with the threat that he
. would declare that ehe had given the key
to blm and that ho had been a welcome
visitor at her . apartment Pew women
relished tbe Idea of having thla assertion
made to their, husbands.
Remarkable testimony to the demorallra
tlon caused by "dancing teaa" was given
by Mr. Jacques Bustanoby, part proprietor
of a noted New York resort where par
ticularly alluring entertainments of this
character were given. In asking for a di
vorce from his attractive young wife Mr.
: Bustanoby said that she had fallen under
the Influence of a wicked man while fre
quenting various "hotel teas'' in company
with an older woman.
"My wife waa very young and very inno
cent Oh, yea, very innocent," said Mr.
Bustanoby, "but they take her to teaa and
give her drinks and dance with her and
she lose ber head. 1 am ver busy and
can do nuszlng.. ' I forgive her once, and
than they take her to those hotel teas
again, it is one shame I"
If the eipert who provides this kind of
antertalnmeut thus testifies to Us dangers,
can the ordinary man and woman have
any doubt about them?
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