Intro Mauritian acquitted of Murder
A.K.A. Freddy De Marigny
Birth 29 March 1910, Mauritius
Alfred de Marigny (March 29, 1910 – January 1, 1998) was a French Mauritian acquitted of the murder of his father-in-law, Sir Harry Oakes.
Table of Contents
– Sir Harry Oakes murder case
– Marriage and children
– Later life
– Published works
Marie Alfred Fouquereaux de Marigny, whose real name was Alfred Fouquereaux, “de Marigny” being his mother’s name, was born on March 29, 1910 in Mauritius to a well-off French family. He died on January 1, 1998. He let people address him as Count, but it is clear that he was not part of a noble family (Fouquereaux). De Marigny assumed the French title of Count from his mother’s side of the family.
Sir Harry Oakes murder case
De Marigny married Sir Harry Oakes’s daughter, Nancy, the day after her 18th birthday. It was de Marigny’s third marriage; both of the first two were also to wealthy women, who broke off those relationships soon after marriage. When Sir Harry was murdered on July 7, 1943, de Marigny was the main suspect and was arrested shortly after. At his trial, detectives which the Duke of Windsor, then Governor of the Bahamas, had brought in from Miami claimed to have found de Marigny’s fingerprint near the bed of Sir Harry Oakes. The defense argued that the fingerprint had been lifted and placed in the bedroom. Nancy Oakes supported her husband throughout the trial and testified on his behalf. There is a theory that Sir Harry was murdered because he was going to reveal the existence of a scheme involving the Duke of Windsor and Nazi German money being laundered through Mexico. Implicated in this treasonous venture, as well in as the murder, are Harold Christie and his brother Frank. It is typical of the good burghers of Nassau, the very same people whom de Marigny despised, that any scandal involving “one of their own” is swept under the carpet.
The jury acquitted de Marigny of the murder charge but gave a recommendation that he was an “undesirable alien” and should be removed from the island. The deportation recommendation is rumored to have been influenced by his unpopularity among the ruling class on the island. (The Duke of Windsor had described de Marigny as “an unscrupulous adventurer [with] an evil reputation for immoral conduct with young girls”.) Following his deportation, the de Marignys settled in Cuba before separating in 1949.
Several books have been written about the case, including one by de Marigny himself. Many theories have been advanced, including suspected Mob involvement, but the Nassau newspaper editor John Marquis insisted in his book Blood and Fire (published in 2005) that the murder was strictly a local affair, planned by wealthy Nassau whites to prevent Oakes moving his money to Mexico. Marquis’s book was described in the Wall Street Journal as one of the top five books on unsolved crimes. It implicated Sir Harold Christie in the plot and blamed the Duke of Windsor – then Bahamas governor – for orchestrating a cover-up by importing two crooked Miami detectives to conduct the investigation.
Marriage and children
De Marigny was married four times:
– Lucie-Alice Cahen for four months in 1937,
– Ruth Fahnestock Schermerhorn (1937-?)
– Nancy Oakes (1942–1949)
– Mary Morgan-Taylor (1952–2011)
His fourth marriage was the only one to produce children (3 sons).
De Marigny went to Canada toward the end of World War II and enlisted in the Canadian Army in July 1945. He lived in Quebec for three years before being deported. He spent various amounts of time in the United States, Jamaica, Haiti and the US again before finally moving to Central America.
He died in Houston, Texas, He was survived by his wife, Mary; sons Morgan and John; grandchildren William, Alexandra, Elizabeth, George, Charlotte, and Mary Catherine. He was preceded in death by his son, Philip deMarigny.
– More Devil Than Saint (Bernard Ackerman, 1946)
– A Conspiracy of Crowns with Mickey Herskowitz (Bantam/Crown, 1990)
– “untitled”. TIME. 1946-04-22. Retrieved 2008-09-15. Count Alfred de Marigny, acquitted in 1943 of the unsolved Bahamas murder of his father-in-law, wealthy Sir Harry Oakes, turned author with a personal history: More Devil Than Saint (Bernard Ackerman; $3).
– Blood and Fire by John Marquis (LMH Publishing, 2005)
– A Serpent in Eden by James Owen (Little, Brown, 2005)