Jefferson Market Courthouse in New York

A Love Affair with a Landmark in Manhattan: An Arresting Drama in Greenwich Village. [Opinions expressed are the views of OLD JEFF unless attributed to other - - potentially less-reliable - - sources, i.e., newcomers who have not been around since 1832 on Sixth Avenue.]

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Go ask Alice....

Janus the Roman god of doorways takes the place (temporarily) of Old Jeff, who is away visiting the Jeffersons, and uses this opp to reminisce in January about famous dates in the Women's House of Detention on Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village.
• • Go ask Alice Crimmins how freedom felt in January.

• • Thirty years ago, in January 1976, inmate Alice Crimmins became eligible for a work-release program and was permitted to leave prison on weekdays to work as a secretary; this meant that she got every other weekend off. By August 1977, The New York Post was reporting that Alice had spent the previous Sunday "as she has spent many balmy summer Sundays of her prison term -- on a luxury cruiser at City Island." • • In July 1977, redhead Alice married the proprietor of this deluxe vessel, her contractor beau, Anthony Grace. In September 1977, Alice Crimmins was granted parole, after thirty months in prison and nine months in the work-release program. A new petition for retrial was denied, and she vanished into obscurity.
[• • Condensed from: The Collected Essays of Albert Borowitz 1966-2005 • • "The MEDEA of Kew Gardens Hills"]
• • The Alice Crimmins case broke in July 1965 and grabbed headlines for the next twelve years, a veritable tabloid sensation.
• • This real-life mystery has been dealt with in several works. Here in Greenwich Village, dramatist John Guare [author of the theatrical hits "Six Degrees of Separation" and "The House of Blue Leaves"] spotted Crimmins being transferred to the Women's House of Detention after the verdict. He penned a Crimmins-inspired play "Landscape of the Body," which opened at the Public Theatre on Astor Place in 1977.
• • Alice and Anthony: Happy Headline-Free New Year!
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• • Photo: 1965 Alice Crimmins & husband Edmund arrive in court

Jefferson Market.