Saturday, March 29, 2014

Le Figaro Director Shot by Finance Minister's Wife and Killed

M. Gaston Calmette, director of the ‘‘Figaro,’’ was yesterday shot and killed by Mme. Caillaux, wife of the Minister of Finance, in his bureau in the offices of that newspaper
writes the New York Herald in a special section.
Mme. Caillaux called at the ‘‘Figaro’’ offices about five o’clock in the afternoon and asked to see M. Calmette. After waiting a while, she was shown into M. Calmette’s office and immediately drew from her muff an automatic pistol and shot him three times. The shooting was the sequel to the campaign recently waged against M. Caillaux by M. Calmette in the columns of the ‘‘Figaro.’’ At the police-station, Mme. Caillaux declared that she did not intend to kill M. Calmette, but wanted to ‘‘teach him a good lesson.’’ She explained to the police commissary that the affair arose out of a letter which M. Caillaux wrote in 1901 to a woman, a photographic reproduction of which appeared in the ‘‘Figaro’’ last Friday. Mme. Caillaux said that she was very shocked by the publication of such a letter, and declared that she wanted to prevent any more letters of the kind being published. An eye-witness of the tragedy declared later that M. Calmette, as he was being carried downstairs, preparatory to being removed to hospital, said, in a fainting voice: ‘‘I have never done anyone any harm, but I have merely done my duty.’’
In Our Pages, 100 Years Ago (1914)

Check out Herbert Mitgang's book review of
Edward Berenson's The Trial of Mme. Caillaux