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Episode 544: The Career Girl Murders (Part 1)

Morbid

07-03-2024 • 59 min

On August 28, 1963, Patricia Tolles returned home from work to find her New York City apartment ransacked, a bloody knife in the bathroom, and her roommates, Emily Hoffert and Janice Wylie, nowhere to be found. Patricia went to the lobby and called Janice’s father, Max Wylie, who came over immediately and searched the apartment, finding the bodies of his daughter and Hoffert in one of the bedrooms. Labeled by the press as the “Career Girl Murders,” the murders of Wylie and Hoffert shook the relatively quiet Upper East Side neighborhood and left many residents—particularly young women—feeling vulnerable and afraid.


Thank you to the wondrous Dave White of Bring me the Axe Podcast for research!


References

Anderson, David. 1965. "Jury that convicted Whitmore to be questioned on race bias." New York Times, January 15: 19.

Bigart, Homer. 1963. "Killing of 2 girls yields no clue; police question 500 in a month." New York Times, September 27: 1.

Buckley, Thomas. 1964. "Youth is accused in Wylie slaying." New York Times, April 26: 1.

Clark, Alfred E. 1963. "Girl got phone threats 10 days before murder." New York Times, August 30: 13.

Gansberg, Martin. 1964. "East Side tenants sigh in relief at capture of slaying suspect." New York Times, April 27: 21.

Johnson, Marilynn S. 2011. "The Career Girl Murders: Gender, Race, and Crime in 1960s New York." Women's Studies Quarerly (The Feminist Press at City University of New York) 244-261.

Jones, Theodore. 1965. "Jury finds Robles guilty in Wylie-Hoffert killings." New York Times, December 2: 1.

—. 1965. "Witness says Robles pondered murdering girls." New York Times, November 4: 40.

Kihiss, Peter. 1964. "Brooklyn indicts 3-slaying suspect." New York Times, April 29: 48.

Lefkowitz, Bernard, and Ken Gross. 1969. The Victims: The Wylie-Hoffert Murder Case and its Strange Aftermath. New York, NY: Putnam.

National Registry of Exonerations. n.d. George Whitmore, Jr. Accessed January 17, 2024. https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetailpre1989.aspx?caseid=358.

New York Times. 1963. "2 girls murdered in E. 88th St. flat." New York Times, August 29: 1.

—. 1975. "Max Wylie, writer, murder victim's father, is suicide." New York Times, September 23: 24.

—. 1946. "Suspect in slaying of 2 career girls found sane here." New York Times, October 17: 31.

—. 1964. "Whitmore guilty of rape attempt in Brooklyn case." New York Times, November 19: 43.

Roth, Jack. 1965. "Trial fading out in Wylie murder." New York Times, January 22: 17.

The People of the State of New York, v. Richard Robles. 1970. 27 N.Y.2d 155 (Court of Appeals of the State of New York, September 24).

Tolchin, Martin. 1964. "Victim describes Brooklyn attack." New York Times, November 13: 30.

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