Roland Burnham Molineux (1866–1917) was a paint-factory chemist and social climber from Brooklyn. He was arrested for having sent a bottle of poisoned Bromo‐Seltzer to the manager of the Knickerbocker Athletic Club after an argument. The manager's cousin, Katherine J. Adams, took some and died. He was charged with murder in the first degree for having caused her death by poisoning. The proceedings lasted from November 1899 to February 1900, making the People v. Molineux the longest and one of the most expensive trials in New York history to that date. After two mistrials Molineux was found guilty, but the verdict was appealed, and he was acquitted in a retrial after three years in prison. He then wrote books as well as a play. Tensions related to the production of the play apparently proved too much for the author, for shortly after the play closed he was committed to an insane asylum where he died four years later.
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