In 1926, Rudolph Valentino’s death triggered a string of women committing
suicides. The first one was Agatha Hearn, NY who could not stand the thought
that the Sheik was gone forever. Waiting outside Campbell’s funeral parlor
in NY was enough catharsis to many mourners, but Mrs. Hearn believed her
grief was too great for that; so she shot herself. When her body was found,
a sheaf of Valentino photographs was clutched in her hand. The second one
was “A Bronx housewife attempted suicide of ‘my love for him’ but failed.
The third one “In London, Peggy Scott, 26 year old dancer, made away with
herself and left behind a note:
It is heart breaking to live in the past when the future is hopeless please
look after Rudolph’s pictures. The fourth one “In Japan, two girls clasped
hands and leapt into a fiery volcano”. The fifth “In Rome, where the death
was regarded by some as a greater calamity than Caruso. Mussolini exhorted
women to become mothers not suicides. “What can best be described as grief
riots were staged by women in many parts of the world.