Charlotte Gray

On an island paradise in 1943, Sir Harry Oakes, gold mining tycoon, philanthropist and "the richest man in the Empire," was murdered. The murder became celebrated as "the crime of the century."

The layers of mystery deepened as the involvement of Oakes' son-in-law, Count Alfred de Marigny, came quickly to be questioned, as did the odd machinations of the Governor of the Bahamas, the former King Edward VIII. Despite a sensational trial, no murderer was ever convicted. Rumours were unrelenting about Oakes' missing fortune, and fascination with the story has persisted for decades. Gray explores the life of the man behind the scandal, a man who was both reviled and admired—from his early, hardscrabble days of mining exploration, to his explosion of wealth, to his grandiose gestures of philanthropy. And Gray brings fresh eyes to the bungled investigation and shocking trial in the remote colonial island streets, proposing an overlooked suspect in this long cold case.

Call number: 364.1523 G
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Essay: Murdered Midas: A Millionaire, His Gold Mine, and a Strange Death on an Island Paradise