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A Royal Canadian Air Force Pilot Murders His Wife

31 pages21 minutes


Wayne Lonergan was jailed for more than 20 years for the bludgeoning/strangling death of his socialite/heiress wife, Patricia Burton Lonergan. The 22-year-old beauty was murdered while he was in New York City on October 24, 1943. Lonergan joined the Royal Canadian Air Force following one of many arguments that he had with his wife. Wayne, an Irishman, had wed the Jewish heiress, whose family name was originally Bernheimer. The family fortune, a beer dynasty, was established by Max Bernheimer, Patricia's grandfather. The young couple eloped to Las Vegas in 1940 after the death of the heiress' father William O. Burton. A regular attendee at the finest nightclubs in New York, Patricia was escorted to the Stork Club on the evening of her murder by a 43-year-old divorced Italian interior decorator. They did not return until a taxi dropped them off at Patsy's residence around 6 a.m. on the morning of the murder. Patricia was found completely naked on her bed inside the opulent triplex where she lived at 313 East 51st Street in Manhattan.

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