Mrs. Goold seems to have been a serial killer. She had been married three times. Crime historian Jay Robert Nash notes that her earlier life had been one of an “adventuress” and that “her first two husbands died mysteriously,” adding that “there may have been more husbands who met the same fate.”
[Jay Robert Nash, Look for the Woman, 1981, p. 169]
FULL TEXT: Marseilles, Aug. 31. – The terrible murder of Mme. Emma Levin and the finding of her dismembered body in a trunk at the railway station here continues to be the subject of almost universal discussion here and at Monte Carlo where the tragedy occurred.
The grewsome confession made by tie man Goold now in custody for the crime borne out as it was by the confession of his wife who is also in custody is not believed by the magistrate who him and the theory of insanity finds a good deal of acceptance.
Goold a man of fifty-four is described as amiable and clever excellent company with a hobby for amateur photography. He comes of a good Irish family being the youngest brother of Sir James Goold who succeeded his uncle in the title in 1900. On the death of an intermediate brother Frederick Goold. In 1900 he laid claim to the title and has used it is said that he even went so far as to offer his elder brother the real baronet who is in Australia, $500 if he would waive his claim.
~ Mrs. Goolds Career. ~
Mrs. Goold is the daughter of an iron monger called Girodin at La Scone Isere and was born in 1860. She was brought up as a dressmaker As mere she is recognized as a woman of great energy with complete authority over her husband Marie Girodin who lived with her father and mother while first married to a young man of St. Marcellin, contrary to parents wishes. A week after the wedding the young woman left her new home with a little money. She took refuge in Geneva where she worked for some times a dressmaker and then proceeded to London where she met Goold.
It is sixteen years since she married Goold at St Mary of the Angels Paddington Soon afterward the business is believed to have decreased and they went to Montreal in Canada and established a large dressmaking business catering for the best society. Three years ago they retired and went to 18 Adelaide terrace Waterloo Liverpool where they adopted the title of Sir Vere and Lady Goold. There they lived in apparent affluence and appeared to have been accepted by one section of society as thorough gentlefolk of high degree.
~ Makes Good Impression. ~
Mrs. Goolds is described by one who knew her then as an accomplished amiable and generous woman a French lady to her finger tips. Much of their time was spent in travel. During the last three years they have occupied a charming suite on the first floor of the Villa Menesini in the Boulevard des Moulin Monte Carlo where they were accompanied by their niece Mlle. Girodin.
Mme. Emma Levis was the widow of a great Stockholm merchant who died about eight years ago. She moved in good society and was well-to-do. She was always smartly dressed and was very intelligent. Her mother still lives. During the last two months the victim of the tragedy staying the Hotel Bristol Monte Carlo where she made the acquaintance of the Goolds.
Mme Levin had no children of her own. She adopted some years ago a little girl of poor parents who lived in Switzerland. She kept the child for several years and became very much attached to her but the parents ultimately insisted upon their daughter being restored to them Mme Castellazi a Swedish lady who knew Mme Levin at Monte Carlo spoke very highly of her to a representative of the Petit Parisian Mme Castelfezi said that the only fault to find with her was that she was too fond of jewelry and took an ostentatious delight in wearing it. She possessed fine diamonds her jewelry being estimated to be worth more than $10,000 and on Sunday evening she left the Hotel Bristol at Monte Carlo where she was staying wearing the greater part of them.
~ Disappears at the Villa. ~
On Sunday August 4 at 5 o’clock Mme Levin entered the Villa Menesini and was not again seen alive At the time it is said that she was wearing most of her valuable collection of jewels.
Whatever happened at the villa on Sunday night it is certain that Mme. Levin murdered there. A servant girl states that she heard sounds of a struggle and a voice cried out: “Let me alone.” But the next step in the drama was the arrest of Mr. and Mrs. Goold at Marseilles on Tuesday. They had with luggage from Monte Carlo that morning and had left a largo trunk at the station with instructions to dispatch it to London. They themselves drove to a hotel where they used the name of Mr. and Mrs. Javanach. A porter named Louis Pons noticed that blood was oozing from the trunk and in spite of Mr. Goolds assertion that it only contained poultry informed the police Mr. and Mrs. Goold were then brought back to the station and the trunk was opened in their presence. It contained the butchered body of Mme. Levin.
The head and parts of the legs were missing They were found in a small portmanteau which Goold was holding. The woman had several wounds on the head and she had been stabbed several times in the chest Mr. and Mrs. Goold were then arrested.
~ First Blame Another. ~
The Goolds first account of the tragedy admits the mutilations but denies all responsibility for the murder Mrs. Goold declares that when Mme Levin visited her home a man rushed in with a knife in his hand and killed her. He shouted: “You wretch. You have ruined me. Now I am going to kill you.” Mr. Goold stated that the woman was killed by a man during the absence of himself and his wife and that they decided to cut the body in nieces and put them in a trunk in order to avoid scandal An examination of the villa revealed that the walls of the dining room were splashed with blood. Two saws a chopper a knife and a dagger were also discovered.
[“Think Goolds Crazy – Marseilles People Horrified by Trunk Murder – Strange History Of Accused – Dressmaker and Third Son of Irish Baronet Make Fortune in Canada and Live High Life in London Move to Monte Carlo Where Woman Who Wore Much Jewelry Is Slain.” The Washington Herald (D.C.), Sep. 1, 1907, p. 3]
The couple were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. The trial revealed that it was Mrs. Goold’s idea to kill and dismember their victim.
For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.