Details Are Unprintable: Wayne Lonergan and the Sensational Cafe Society Murder

November 30, 2020
Details Are Unprintable: Wayne Lonergan and the Sensational Cafe Society Murder

The narrative of Details Are Unprintable primarily unfolds overa seven-month period from October 1943 to April 1944—from themoment the body of twenty-two-year old Patricia Burton Lonergan isdiscovered in the bedroom of her New York City Beekman Hillapartment, to the arrest of her husband of two years, WayneLonergan, for her murder, and his subsequent trial and conviction.But this story goes back in time to the 1920s, when Wayne Lonergangrew up in Toronto and then forward to his post-prison lifefollowing his deportation to Canada. It is the chronicle ofLonergan in denial as a bisexual or gay man living in an intolerantand morally superior heterosexual world; and of Patricia, rich andentitled, a seeker of attention, who loved a night out on thetown—all set against the fast pace of New York's ostentatious cafésociety.Part True Crime and part a social history of New York City in the1940s, this book transports readers to the New York World's Fair of1939 when Patricia's father William Burton first encounteredLonergan; the Stork Club, 21 Club, and El Morocco to experiencewith Patricia a night of drinking champagne cocktails and dancing;and the muggy New York courtroom where Lonergan's fate wasdecided.What truly happened on that tragic night in October 24, 1943?Should we accept Lonergan's confession at face value as the jurydid? Or was he indeed a victim of physical and mental abuse by thestate prosecutors and the police, as he maintained for the rest ofhis life? This book considers these, and other, key questions.