A local history lesson: John E. Mack was a District Attorney and later a State Supreme court Judge from Poughkeepsie. He was a Democrat when that word was not even used in these parts. His fame came when another Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt decided to enter the political arena. John Mack nominated him for President twice. But when he was District Attorney he represented the County in the case of Harry K Thaw. In 1908 Thaw was sent to a mental hospital in Dutchess County when he was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the infamous shooting of the architect Stanford White at the old Madison Square Garden. The dispute was over his wife Evelyn Nesbit who according to testimony had an affair with Stanford White.
John E. Mack was the person who succeeded in keeping Thaw in Mattawan, the mental institution in Fishkill, in spite of many legal maneuvers to get him released. This all occurred from 1908 until 1913, when Thaw escaped to Canada aided by his mother. The Wikipedia story is long but filled with interesting aspects of the case, such as Thaw’s life, the first use of the word “playboy” to describe him, and many other juicy details.Harry Thaw on the left, Stanford White on the right and John E. Mack with his famous string bow tie in the center below.