Sunday, September 25, 2022

ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING's Child Bride Connection | Earl Stokes (42) & Rita de Acosta (15)

Rosemary Counter opined in her Vanity Fair piece, "The Apartments That Inspired Only Murders in the Building Have Their Own Bloody History" (July 6, 2022), that "Though it’s filmed at the nearby Belnord, the Arconia building in the Hulu series seems much more closely linked to the Ansonia—a real-life apartment complex [on Broadway between 73rd and 74th Street] that’s been home to murder, mayhem, and a swingers club."

The Ansonia building in New York City.

Counter related that the Ansonia has everything from Juliet balconies to marbled staircases with four-bedrooms going for about nine million:
Made up of 17 stories and around 400 unique units, the building is every New Yorker’s real-estate dream come true: Parisian-inspired with Juliet balconies, round turrets with gray terracotta details, and an opulent archway entry. Inside are hardwood herringbone floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a sweeping marbled staircase spiraling beneath a grand domed skylight. Today, a 3,000-plus square foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom unit in the building is listed for almost $9,000,000.
Earl Dodge Stokes and Rita Hernandez de Alba de Acosta

But it's Earl Dodge Stokes, the Ansonia's founder, who's most relevant to this blog, because, per Counter, Stokes was: "[...] said to be very fond of young, newly pubescent, girls." Consequently, after Stokes spied a photograph of Rita Hernandez de Alba de Acosta, a 15-year-old heiress, he decided that she would be his nymphet bride.

Born-and-bred New Yorker William Earl Dodge Stokes, with a million dollars in his pocket having sued his own brother after their father died [...] spotted a photo in a shop window of 15-year-old heiress Rita Hernandez de Alba de Acosta and decided she’d be his teenage bride. He was 42 and said to be very fond of young, newly pubescent, girls. 

Interestingly, Counter wrote that it was "thought" (i.e., assumed) that Rita "reluctantly" married Stokes, but that it was money that was her tipping point. (Ah money - the bane of teen OnlyFans stars and schoolgirl prostitutes.) And was it the money that kept Rita around for six years of marriage?

It’s thought that Rita reluctantly married him for money, produced a single male heir, and walked away around age 21 with what was rumored to be the largest divorce settlement on record at the time—$2 million in cash and $36,000 annually in alimony, allegedly.

Counter may have been wrong about why the teen heiress married Stokes, but Counter was correct about Stoke's foundess for (much) younger women, because, per the New York Times, subsequent to his divorce from de Acosta, 59-year-old Stokes married 24-year-old Helen Blanche Ellwood.

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