Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Interior Decorator Stereotyping

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (1949)

12/12/1949: An interior decorator shot to death his three children and his wife before committing suicide.  His suicide apparently gave a reason but asked that it not be released.  A reporter heard police mention the murderer’s “fear of disgrace.”

Category: family

Suicide: yes

Cause: unknown

Weapon: pistol[1]

[1] "Father Wipes Out Family, Kills Himself," [Dunkirk, N.Y.] Dunkirk Evening Observer, Dec. 12, 1949, 1.

Disgrace that requires murder/suicide and unrelease suicide note?  There is a stereotype of interior decorates, along with hairdressers, fashion designers among other professions.  Does anyone know how far back the interior decorator stereotype goes?

If he was gay in 1949 and feared release of this information (perhaps by a blackmailer), suicide might seem the easiest way out; it was still a felony back then, and more stigmatized in a way that even robbers and burglars.

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