Evelyn Hoey & Her Mysterious Death

Evelyn Hoey

Evelyn Hoey was a popular Broadway singer who died under mysterious circumstances

She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on December 15, 1907 (some sources say 1910). Her father, Henry Hoey, was a chemist, and her mother was a dress designer. Evelyn began performing on stage at the age of ten. After graduating from West High School she moved to New York City in 1926. Her first professional job was with the Greenwich Village Follies. She made her Broadway debut in the 1928 musical Yours Truly. Then she went to London to star in a production of Good News. Composer E. Ray Goetz saw her and cast her a torch singer in his Broadway show Fifty Million Frenchmen. The blonde haired, blue-eyed beauty won rave reviews for her lyrical voice. Evelyn appeared in the 1930 film Leave It To Lester and in several musical shorts. In 1932 she returned to Broadway in Walk A Little Faster and popularized the song April In Paris. She also sang on the radio and performed in nightclubs. Evelyn began dating Henry Rogers Jr, the song of a wealthy oil executive, in 1935. Their romance was tumultuous because Henry was jealous and temperamental.

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On September 11, 1935 she attended a party at his Pennsylvania farm. The couple started drinking and got into an argument, When she attempted to call her mother Henry pulled the phone out of the wall. A few hours later Evelyn was found dead in an upstairs bedroom with a gunshot wound in her head. Henry claimed she had committed suicide but the police suspected it may have been murder. The District attorney requested that a grand jury investigate the case. William Kelley, who attended the party, testified that he and Henry were both in the living room when they heard the gun shot. Victor, Evelyn's vocal coach, said she was worried about her voice and had considered suicide in the past. A finger print expert testified that only Evelyn's prints were found on the gun. The grand jury concluded that the twenty-seven year old had committed suicide with a revolver. However her family always believed she was murdered by Henry. She was buried at Oak Grove cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Evelyn Hoey Suicide Scene