“Julian Carlton said he was from Barbados and he had good credentials, having worked previously for a prominent Chicago caterer. There was not much more known about him.”
Mass murderer said to be from Barbados… but was he?
September 15, 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of the mass-murder of seven at ‘Taliesin’, the Wisconsin estate home of famed Welsh/American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The murderer, Julian Carlton, and his wife Gertrude had always been reported as being from Barbados, but later accounts say the couple was ‘reportedly’ or ‘said to be’ from Barbados – indicating some doubt. It might be that the doubt originates only from the hundred years since the crime, but could it be that Julian and Gertrude Carlton only said they were from Barbados?
Can any of our readers confirm or deny that the Carltons were from Barbados? Julian Carlton was said to be 30 years old at the time of the murders, making him born around 1884.
Could it be that Julian and Gertrude Carlton only said they were from Barbados?
‘God’s judgement’ or a mentally ill man gone berserk?
In 1914 many folks said that the murders were God’s judgement upon Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress for their open adultery. Pretty mistress Mamah Borthwick Cheney was the younger wife of one of the architect’s clients when they started a torid affair in 1903. Frank Lloyd Wright left his wife of 20 years and six children for the delights of Mrs. Cheney and scandalised Wisconsin when he built an estate for her that the newspapers of the time dubbed the “Bungalow of Love”.
“At lunchtime, Mamah and her children settled into a dining area. Carlton served them soup, then, as they lifted their spoons to their mouths, he came up behind Mamah and split her skull with a hatchet.
He quickly did away with her son in the same way. Martha ran, but the killer soon caught her and delivered four powerful blows to her delicate skull.”
Julian Carlton set fire to the home and axed others who tried to escape. He was found after swallowing acid and died in jail of starvation seven weeks after the murders. Carlton never disclosed his motivation for his crimes.
But was he a Bajan?
New York Daily News: Cook massacres seven at Wisconsin home Frank Lloyd Wright built for his mistress
Murderpedia: The murders at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin
Wikipedia: Taliesin Studio Attack and Fire