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High School Harry

Cincinnati Ghost Story for WhoDeyWeen

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What (or WTF) is Halloween (my very favorite holiday) without a good ol' fashion ghost story.  Enjoy!

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2017/10/27/ghost-eden-park-definitely-out-there-90-years-after-she-murdered/790591001/

The ghost of Eden Park is 'definitely out there' 90 years after she was murdered

Sarah Brookbank, sbrookbank@enquirer.comPublished 3:14 p.m. ET Oct. 27, 2017 | Updated 5:09 p.m. ET Oct. 27, 2017
   
 

Imogene Remus couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday night. This is her story, and we tried everything we knew to get in touch, but our efforts to get her thoughts were met with only the rustle of leaves.

Of course, she's been dead for 90 years but there are those who think she's still available for interviews.

The Enquirer sent this breaking news reporter to Eden Park to investigate rumors that the gazebo is haunted. Echoes of music from 1927 filled the Spring House Gazebo and we asked if Imogene was there, but no ghost appeared.

But without proper ghost-hunting equipment, who's to say spiritual activity wasn't happening? Maybe she didn't like the songs we played?

Ninety years ago, Imogene Remus was gunned down in Eden Park by her husband, "Bootleg King" George Remus. Her husband finally had enough of her (despite serving three years locked up in various cells) and divorce wasn't going to be enough.

George Remus, "King of the Bootleggers," was acquitted

George Remus, "King of the Bootleggers," was acquitted of the murder of his wife, Imogene. (Photo: The Enquirer/Ray Albert)

"The much-tangled domestic affairs of George Remus, once multi-millionaire bootleg king of Cincinnati, came to a sudden – and dramatic – climax yesterday," The Enquirer wrote on Oct. 7, 1927.

The day their divorce was to be finalized, George and his chauffeur followed Imogene's cab through Walnut Hills in a Hollywood-style chase. As the cab driver tried to get away, the Buick with George inside slammed into the back of it. 

Imogene, dressed head to toe in black to mourn the loss of her marriage, scrambled from the cab and tried to run. George ran after her, grabbed her by the wrist, pressed his pearl-handled revolver against her abdomen and fired one shot that hit nearly all her vital organs. 

Her daughter Ruth ran out of the car and tried to stop him from firing again. Imogene was taken to a hospital by a witness and died two hours later.

"I am now at peace after two years of hell. I'm satisfied I've done right," he told reporters at the jail after he turned himself in.

George Remus defended himself in court claiming temporary insanity. A jury found him not guilty and rumor has it that some jury members were bribed.

If the rumors are true and Imogene does haunt the park, it's no wonder. It would seem she has some regrets or revenge to mull over. 

 

The stories go like this - a woman in a black dress and black hat seems to be in distress or just observing nearby Mirror Lake. She can be as real as any person or just appear as a shadow. Then she disappears, as ghosts are known to do.

Dan Smith, owner and operator of Haunted Cincinnati Tours, said over the past 10 years tour groups have seen plenty of activity at Eden Park. 

"People have gotten a lot of weird photos," Smith said. "She's definitely out there."

Smith said more often than not there's activity during tours. He said when questions are asked, the lights of their instruments turn on, possibly indicating the presence of a spirit. 

 

 I remember my grandfather talking about George Remus.  He was quite the celebrity back in the day, a real Roaring 20's bootlegger.  He was an anti hero type beating the government at its own game with its own goods.  He was probably the richest bootlegger of his day, more money bootlegging than Al Capone (who had other rackets adding to his cache), Enoch "Nucky" Thompson in Atlantic City and Joe Kennedy.

Unlike the others who made their own or smuggled it in, Remus, through bribes and connections, gained control of all of the legal alcohol used for medical purposes by the U.S. Government during prohibition.  And there was a lot of it.  What he did was simply traffic it under the table to others, no violence or bloodshed.

 

He kept a much lower profile than Capone and most of the other dealers in illegal spirits, but he was well known and loved in Cincinnati.  A lot of his money went into helping the local down and out during the hard times.  The article mentions he beat the murder rap with bribes but also his popularity.  Imogene  Remus was also pretty well hated because she apparently set him up to take over his fortune, and had an affair with the FBI man she worked it through, Frankie Dodge.  They pretty much blew through George's fortune while he was in prison and she flaunted it to George via mail and visits laughing in his face.  The train of thought in those days was different and the locals looked at the murder as "she had it coming".  Let's not forget George was a rather famous and successful attorney in Chicago for 20 years before he used his smarts and connections to corner the national legal alcohol supply.  As it mentions in the article, George beat the murder rap on a "temporary insanity" defense.  The Government then tried to have him committed to an insane asylum but he beat THAT rap by using the testimony of three psychiatrists used by the prosecution saying he was NOT insane.  Pretty sharp cookie.  With most of the fortune blown by Imogene and Frankie.  George spent the remaining 20 years of his life living in a boarding house in Covington.

 

George Remus was featured prominently in the Ken Burns documentary "Prohibition".  He is also a character in "Boardwalk Empire".  I don't know if Remus did this in real life but the character in "Boardwalk Empire" is the one who always spoke of himself in the third person, "George Remus does not concur with this idea" stuff.  His mansion at the top of Price Hill (stunning view of the valley) was host to numerous fancy parties, etc. and one of the showplaces of Cincinnati.  It was also the model for the BE Remus's house in the TV show.  He was captured running around the  circular Ottoman in the drawing room while he was wearing his bathrobe and underwear speaking in third person.  The mansion is gone and all that remains is a vacant lot (with a spectacular view) and parts of the foundation.

 

All that said, obviously too much time on my hands today (plans for dinner later) and a Happy WhoDeyween to all.

 

 

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