The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Steinheil, Marguerite

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STEINHEIL, Marguerite, French woman, central figure in a mysterious cause célèbre: b. Beaucourt, 16 April 1869. She came of a wealthy family named Japy and was married to Adolphe Steinheil, an artist. They lived in Paris, where Mme. Steinheil became prominent in a distinguished circle, including many of the most famous Parisian lights in politics, art and literature. She was on terms of intimacy with President Faure, and gossip connected here with his sudden death, but no proof was ever produced. On the night of 30-31 May 1908 Mme. Steinheil's husband and her mother, Mme. Japy, were murdered and robbed and Mme. Steinheil herself was found bound and gagged upon a bed. She was later accused of committing the crime, but was acquitted after a sensational trial. There were rumors of political complications, enhanced by a mysterious pearl necklace supposed to have been given her by President Faure. How much or little of truth was in the rumors and accusations rife at the time of the trial has never become known, and no light has ever been thrown upon the crime of which she was accused. After her acquittal she lived in England in retirement. Author of ‘My Memoirs’ (New York 1912).