Posts Tagged With: Stephen Weinberg
5 Sep 1926 – Dupe Shows Up Again – Acts as Manager for S. George Ullman, Former Manager of the Late Rudolph Valentino
Ethan Allen Weinberg, ex-convict and leading quick change artist has now added S. George Ullman, business representative of the late Rudolph Valentino to his long list of dupes. Mr Ullman believing Weinberg’s statement that he is both an M.D. and a member of the NY Bar, has permitted Weinberg to represent him at the offices of the Manhattan District Attorney where this Baron Munchausen of Brooklyn spent an hour yesterday discussing the demands of the anti-Fascist element for an autopsy on Valentino’s body. As one of Weinberg’s dupes Ullman is in excellent company. When not hob-knobbing with the representatives of the District Attorney’s Office the last few days, Weinberg has been issuing statements to the press explaining that he has been in charge of Pola Negri’s hysterics and denying that she and Rudy were affianced. A letter bearing the imprint of S. George Ullman and signed with his name in ink, reached the newspaper offices yesterday. Mr. Ullman thanked the press for its co-operation and asked that the diagnosis of Valentino’s preoperative condition made by Dr. Harold D. Meeker, be given publicity. This was made to offset the cause of death had been foul play of some sort. The letter was dated 23 Aug and apparently dictated by Ullman before he left for Hollywood. At the bottom of the letter was written, above Mr. Ullman’s initials: “This report was concurred in by three reputable surgeons who were consulted this a.m. together with the legal aspects by Sterling C. Wyman, medico-legal expert who was a dear friend of Valentino”. The last straw to break the camel’s back of “Dr.” Wyman’s identity was furnished by the man himself. His suspicion aroused by questions the writer had addressed to him over the telephone early yesterday, Wyman-Weinberg called up the office of “The Eagle” sometime later to assure the City Editor that really everything was quite as it should be. Of course, he said, he was a doctor, he was a lawyer also, and he combined the two professions by engaging in the legal or judicial aspects of medicine. But he certainly was a doctor, with a degree. Why, he was on staff of the Flower Hospital, Manhattan, from which he was telephoning at that very moment. No, he added, he would not remain at the hospital very long. He was going out of town would leave in a few minutes. Whereupon the hospital officials were questioned about him. Over the telephone, a minor clerk said, yes, there was a Dr. Wyman on the hospital staff, and only a few minutes ago he had left word he was going out of town and would not be back until Wednesday. But a personal inquiry at the hospital on E. 64th Street considerably modified this first bit of information. Hospital officials looked up their records and found no Wyman or Weinberg on their list of doctors. “He comes here frequently to visit with one of our interns” she explained. “Everybody knows him as Dr. Wyman and I suppose that’s why whoever answered the telephone was under the impression that he was on our staff. But he’s not on the staff. “Would you”, she was asked, “recognize him from a picture”? She thought she could and a photograph of Stephen Weinberg as he looked when convicted in the Brooklyn Federal Court for impersonating a Naval Officer was shown her. “That’s he”, she said. That’s Dr. Wyman. At 556 Crown Street, a 32 family apartment house a block from the Carson C. Peck Memorial Hospital, “Wyman” has been a man of mystery for the past two and a half years. He is known as Sterling Clifford Wyman to tenants of the house, but there are many residents of the section who recall him as the Ethan Allen Weinberg, whose gigantic hoaxes have kept him before the public ever since his peculiar abilities manifested themselves years ago. The man who has been so many times in the toils of the law is even buffaloing the Police Department at present. Posing as a physician and getting the necessary letters of introduction, he boasts a police card which permits him to sail past traffic signals in his three motor cars, when the coveted P.D. sign is attached. According to neighbors in the house ‘Wyman” advertised last autumn for a chauffeur, and engaged one only after he had kept 40 applicants for the job waiting all day in the lobby and on the sidewalk. “He went to the Valentino funeral looking like a million dollars” said one neighbor. “He hired a Rolls Royce for the occasion and was gotten up in the most expensive funeral attire he could secure”. This was done to impress Joseph Schenck, Ullman, Norma Talmadge, Douglas Fairbanks, Richard Dix, and all the other celebrities who gathered at the Actors Chapel St Malachy for the funeral services of Weinberg’s “dear friend” Valentino. The fact that Brooklyn’s indefatigable Baron Munchausen has popped up again in the self-styled role of dear friend of Valentino in the not to be wondered at. According to physicians, who have examined Weinberg on the many occasions of his clashes with the police, has “ideas of a grandiose nature” whenever a celebrity bobs into the limelight also. When the venerable Austrian surgeon Dr. Lorenz, came to NY Weinberg called on him, represented himself as Dr. Clifford Wyman, and said he called as the personal representative of Health Commissioner Copeland and wanted to co-operate at the clinics. Lorenz offered him a salary as his secretary. Acting as go-between in the clinic waiting room. It was an easy matter to extract a $5 dollar bill from a mother eager to get place and preferment for her crippled child. Copeland exposed the imposter and “Wyman” dropped out of sight. Calling at the Waldorf with his accustomed savoir faire, he presented himself as Lt. Com. Ethan Allen Weinberg to the Princess Fatima of Afghanistan. The lady with the emerald coquettishly set in her nose was delighted with the persuasive man in naval uniform. He offered her what appeared a perfectly good letter of introduction and said he could get her an audience with President Harding. If her credentials were satisfactory. In a flutter the lady offered them, as well as an expense account, to the ingratiating officer of gallant address. He actually introduced her to the President at a private three minute audience. As Weinberg was leaving the White House, however, he was nabbed by Secret Service Agents impersonating ordinary individuals may not be a jail offense if no fraud, larceny or forgery results, but impersonating an officer is a very different matter. Weinberg got 15 months in Atlanta Penitentiary and was released Feb 1924. One of is most amusing pranks with the press was when the Harold McCormickes returned from Europe a few weeks before they were divorced in Chicago. Weinberg got a pass for the revenue cutter which went down the bay, telling the ship news men he was attached to the McCormick retinue. This time he again used the first name of Sterling, dropped the last name of Weinberg and was Capt Sterling Wyman he was using with George Ullman. He told the ships newsmen he could officially deny the rumored McCormick divorce and was sure it would never take place. He told the McCormick’s he was a reporter. At the Manhattan Hotel where Harold McCormick stayed for 24 hours the Brooklyn fraud managed to stay for 24 hours before McCormick booted him out. Representatives of the Kings County Medical Society, reading in Manhattan newspapers of a “Dr. Sterling C. Wyman, of 553 Crown Street, who had been in constant attendance” on Pola Negri declared yesterday there is no physician by that name. In the telephone book Wyman fails to use his alleged medical title. Weinberg in duping his victims uses a long list of aliases. When he was sentenced in an Atlanta Prison for 18 months in 1922 for impersonating a naval officer he was charged by the Federal judge in Washington D.C. as Stephen Weinberg, alias Stephen Wyman, alias Ethan Allen Wyman, alias Clifford G. Wyman, alias Sterling Wyman. It was as Dr. Sterling C. Wyman, that he duped Ullman. It was as Capt. Sterling Wyman that he once rode for 24 hours in the rolls royce of Harold McCormick. Posing alternately as lawyer, physician, or officer of the Navy or Army this chameleon of Brooklyn has now gotten into the limelight again. His methods never vary. He is always interviewed by the press and enjoys for a time all the éclat of the limelight which his victims enjoy. Then he is discovered, he disappears and bobs up six months later under a change of alias, smiling and debonair, suave in a way really likeable. His nerve is truly great. “He has ideas of a grandiose nature” said the physician. This accounts for the fact that Weinberg never tricks anyone except a celebrity, swaggers up to reporters and gives out interviews which are sure to reveal his identity to anyone familiar with his case and maintains placidity when he is thrown out, only to bob up later in the society of some other notable. He remained in Dannemora from Oct 1917 to April 1919, having been sent there from Blackwell’s Island, to which he was committed on the charge of forging the name of Senator William Calder to a bank recommendation. Asked yesterday, if he were any connection of the man of the many aliases, Dr Sterling Wyman indignantly replied he was a Brooklyn M.D. in good standing and the author of “Wyman on Medical Jurisprudence”. At Kings County Medical Society, however, he stated that he certainly is nothing of the sort and that his name fails to appear in the directory of the American Medical Association as a doctor in good standing anywhere in the United States. Weinberg appears happy only when he is near the great. He forges and impersonates apparently for this reason only. He is in his own way a genius. He got himself before the Republican National Convention with a letter expressing the hope that his “efforts would meet with unrivaled victory” and he got a letter from Senator Pat Harrison which carried him before the Democratic National Committee. He knows nothing whatever about medicine. But he once convinced the Foundation Underpinning Co. that he did, and on his forged credentials that sent him to Peru where for three months he practiced medicine on the employees of the company before his deception was discovered. Weinberg was born in Brooklyn in 1893, the eldest of six children. He graduated from P.S. 18 and from Eastern District High School, from which he was graduated with honors in 1903. Somewhere he has acquired the Phi Beta Kappa Key sign of the honor of the fraternity to which only a few brilliant scholars are eligible. In November, of the same year Francis Cushman whose term expired in May 1903, appointed the young man as his personal page in the House of Representatives. Returning to Brooklyn, Weinberg blossomed forth as an orator in the cause of woman suffrage. He was made secretary of the Brooklyn Organization and was the only male delegate to the National Council of the American Woman Suffrage Association in 1909. At this time, he resided at 71-a Maurer Street and his mother was proud of him. The following year he was appointed Consular Agent to Port de Aubres, in Northern Africa, by the U.S. Minister to Morocco, who became acquainted with Weinberg when he was a page in the House. But Weinberg never got to Morocco, instead, at eh earnest request of his father, he was sent to Bellevue Hospital for observation. Employed as a demonstrator for airships in a Manhattan Department Store, living in a comfortable home, he had for some inexplicable reason taken a camera and flash powder from the store. From this time on Weinberg never again ran straight. In 1913, he was arrested for posing as “Lt Com Ethan Allen Weinberg, King’s Guard Consul General for Romania. In this capacity he tendered a dinner at the Hotel Astor to Dr. Alfonso Quinores, Vice President of San Salvador, and was arrested the next day for violating his parole from Elmira Reformatory, to which the man of many parts had been sent at earnest behest of his distracted parents. His next offense was the forging of former Senator Caider’s name. No man living has gotten away with the grand gesture more often than Weinberg, who in his way, is an artist. Impossible to cross his vivid trail again and again and no take off one’s hat to the man’s persistent nerve, audacity and aplomb. It is doubtful if there is anyone who under certain circumstances would not “fall” for the persuasive address of the man who in his own novel way is one of the famous personages of this borough.