Friday, May 13, 2011

The strange case of Elizabeth Brady Cabot Winslow

She's got one of these over-the-top Boston Brahmin names, "Elizabeth Brady Cabot Winslow," which ranks up there with Thurston Howell III, and on her own blog on Friendster, she is self-described as "one of the 50-100 most intelligent people in the world."

Despite all that, she claims a giant conspiracy is against her - one that caused her to be electrocuted at a public telephone, among other things.

She gives a rapid-fire account of all the things she's done in the world: an editor for World Book Encyclopedia, she was a former Vegas showgirl and once stopped an entire sporting event when she entered because she was that gorgeous. She was a super-genius and member of MENSA besides, a polymath in many fields, and was the heir of a family that became the basis for the movie. A member of a rich and politically connected family, she has an alphabetically listed "enemies list." One of them, her cousin Ted Knappen, I was able to find. Just like she said, he was a vice-president of Greyhound Bus.

I have to admit, I was intrigued by this person's story - mostly because she used the term "impecunious" correctly. I can man-up and admit when I don't know something, and I had to get a dictionary and look that one up (it means "poor"). That's not exactly a word that rolls off the tongue of your usual bum.

Ms. Winslow's names and contacts were so specific that I found it unlikely her stories of being connected and from a good family were entirely false.

What I suspect happened to Ms. Elizabeth Winslow is, she was a genius, attractive and successful young woman who, around her mid-forties, was the victim of a very real medical condition: paranoid schizophrenia.

This condition alienated others and left her impoverished. Being poor, she lived in areas where there was a lot of crime and she was often the victim of crimes and robbery. In short, she isn't someone to make fun of, but a victim of mental illness that wrecked her promising life. I feel a great swell of pity for Elizabeth Winslow and I hope she finds the help she deserves.

There was one part of her story that I could check out personally. She claimed to have gone to Coral Gables High School for one year in 1959. I'm not a teacher anymore, but I knew the area and I substitute-taught there once and did observation hours as an undergraduate education student. For those that don't know, Coral Gables High School has the reputation of being a "rich kid" school in a "rich kid" area. Anyone that lives in the Coral Gables neighborhood, a district of Miami that is pretty wealthy, would in fact probably be well-off.

I managed to find two references to an Elizabeth Winslow in the 1959 Coral Gables Yearbook. She was indeed on the swim team, just like she said she was on her website. And it certainly is possible she was a Vegas showgirl.


Eizabeth Winslow is the second from the left on the bottom row.



More research may be needed; a wealthy, attractive and intelligent girl that fell into poverty due to mental problems would make for a good story.

17 comments:

JAZ said...

I was a roommate of Liz's in Arlington Va in 1982. She was a very interesting person....and yes, I believe suffering from some sort of illness. She got so bad one weekend, I moved out quickly the following Monday. Stayed with my boss and her husband for a few days until I could get another apartment. I lost track of her and always wondered what happened to her. Only lived with her for 5 months, but it was an "eventful" 5 months. She was interesting, sad, puzzling, irritating and sometime frightening. wonder where she is now......

Julian Perez said...

I believe Liz's father died in 1982, which apparently was the point where everything started to get really bad.

Were you the room-mate in Arlington she claimed set up a phone racket on her telephone? According to her she took you to court to have you thrown out. Apparently the apartment was also bugged and at one point she was robbed and her novel and other materials were stolen. Do you remember anything like that?

Are you by any chance Lisa Macy, or know her?

By the way, I could be way off on the schizophrenia, I'm not a doctor, and some other people have told me borderline personality disorder.

Rocky Bottom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miike Justice said...

Who's Lisa Macy? Don't hold out on me, Julian Perez. I'm just as interested in Ms. Winslow as you are, and I'm still trying to find out whatever became of her. Some dude she calls out on her website says he saw her around 2002 (when she stopped updating her site) and said she was homeless and hostile. But there's an address listing for her in Tempe, AZ (where her brother lives), so she probably just went to live with him

Damn you, Liz Winslow, for arousing my morbid curiosity.

Julian Perez said...

I have absolutely no idea who Lisa Macy is other than this: she's on Liz Brady's "hit list for criminal activities" as a room-mate in her apartment is Arlington, VA in 1982.

Obviously she's different than the one who supposedly bugged her phone she forced out circa 1982 as that's a "he."

Anonymous said...

Hi, I too have caught the elizabeth winslow bug. I am an outbreak worker trying to get her the mental help that she deserves.she has been recently spotted in grand central terminal. She is in her 70s now and her mental and physical health deteriorated while I was engaging her to the plunge where she suddenly began sweating. Shortly thereafter, the poor woman became inexplicably fearful and began vomiting. our team brought the ems over to provide immediate medical services. Folks, this has been a draining emotional roller coaster of a ride to say the least, but stumbling across your website has certainly sparked new interest and energy. if shes still around am hoping your bits of research can help this desperate and sick women out. Id appreciate if anyone can get in contact with me, and maybe we can get the ball moving in her favor again...Contact me: ninja1service@gmail.com . I think she"ll be back @ GCT when she is released from the hospital. hope something good comes out of all this, but wont hokd my breath.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how in the world have you folks ever met/crossed the path of elizabeth winslow? goodness, I have spent the nigjt contemplatimg and reading overi internet postings having to do anything with her. Its sooo sad, tragic really. Again, if you check back your blog, please get in touch with me at email on previous post, thx.

JAZ said...

Julian:
Sorry to be so long in replying, just thought to check this site again today. No, I was not the room mate with the Phone issue (at least I do not think I was the one she refered to.) She had a male roommate right before me and she had phone issues with him. But I was of the impression that it was about some long distance charges on the phone bill. She was strange about her phone though, at least near the end of the time I lived with her. She would keep it locked in her bedroom and only let me use it if she held the base of the phone and dialed, all she let me touch was the receiver. Hard to have a phone conversation standing in our apartment with her 1 foot away holding the phone and staring me in the eyes. So I usually used the pay phone in the lobby. And no, I am not Lisa. She did find a roommate to move in after me, I saw her once briefly, but did not know her name. She couldn't have live with her long because Liz's lease was up for renewal and the bulding manager (who was very nice and helped me find a new apartment when I decided to leave) told me he was not going to renew her lease. The apartment was never broken into and as far as I know she was not robbed. She did claim to be attacked and hit in the head with a rock one day when out for a walk. But told me a woman threw the rock at her because she was jealous of her, claimed the woman's husband always watched her walk by. She was angry, the police wouldn't do anything, so (in my presence) Liz called the local mental health clinic "to get that woman off the streets". She became angry with the mental health clinic and hung up on them. Said they started "questioning her like she was the crazy one". Highlight of my time with her was the morning she called the fire department (someone down the hall burned their toast, could barely smell it, we lived on the 8th floor). The fire chief and the building manager were pretty pissed off when they showed up at our door (from my bedroom window I could see mulitple fire trucks in the lot below). I gave her 30 days notice, per our rental agreement, when I decided to move out (it was getting very strange). For the next 30 days she really deteriorated. Once I told her I was moving out I become the enemy. I ended up leaving a week earlier than expected. I gave her the 30 days notice to get my big deposit back but her behavior became so irrational it seemed unsafe so I could not stay. My new apartment wasn't available yet my boss and her husband insisted I move in with them for the last 5 days until my new place was ready. Liz was becoming menacing at the end and it was the only time I was afraid of her. Oh, and she refused to give me my deposit. Was just glad to be safely out of there and always wondered what happened to her. She did have loads of strange stories and adventures in the brief time I lived with her. I find it incrediable that she is still alive and totally believable that she has serious mental issues. I do hope if she is out there, someone gets her the help she needs.

Mike Justice said...

It would appear the copy of her website on the hategun was taken down. However, it's been preserved at https://sites.google.com/site/elizabethbradycabotwinslow/

Mike Justice said...

Jaz, tell us more Liz stories!

JAZ said...

There are SOOOO many Liz stories, hard to remember them all or know where to start.

I will start with eating habits. She ate the same thing EVERYDAY. seriously. For breakfast had some sort of wheat germ cereal with honey. Can not remember lunch for sure, but I think it was cottage cheese and something (like carrot sticks or fruit, not sure). Dinner everynight was a chicken. One whole chicken. She cooked it in the oven under the broiler. Didn't hardly season it, one time joked that if she was in a gourmet mood she would salt and pepper it. When it was done she ate it and never had anything else to go with it, just the chicken. I can still see her in my mind, at the dining room table, the broiler pan from the oven sitting on the stack of newspapers, she ate right out of the pan, no plate. She would read the Washington Post as she ate and would keep the hot pan on the part of the paper she was not reading. Anything she did not finish eating, she would throw out that night. Seriously, everyday for 5 months, the exact same 3 meals.

JAZ said...

Daily Routines:
She had a fairly set schedule. She did not have a job (had told me she was a writer and worked from home when I moved in, but I never saw her write a single thing). Each day she went for a walk in the neighborhood. Always wore a disguise because she "didn't want any of her fans to recognize her" (usually a trench coat, big floppy hat and large sunglasses, almost like a character out of a movie). Would be gone 30 to 45 minutes each time, I never joined her for these walks, but that is where she said she was going when she left apartment. I worked full time so only saw her leave on the weekends, but she told me she went on week days too. (it was on one of these walks that she claimed the lady threw a rock at her as related in my earlier post) Those few minutes on the weekends when she was out walking were the only times I was alone in the apartment. She was in every evening and the rest of the weekend. Once a week, while I was at work, she grocery shopped. And yes I would come home and there would be 7 chickens in the Fridge, just like clock work. She bought the same thing on the same day each week at the store, but it was always while I was at work. Then once every 2 weeks she claimed to have gone to the Library of Congress to check out books to read. Seemed silly, there were libraries closer to us in Virginia. But she SAID she went to the Library of Congress. She would have a new stack of books every other week, once told me she was doing research for her book. I asked what her book was going to be about, she said she didn't know yet. Her plan was to read everything ever written first. And occasionally I caught a glimpse of the books, never was allowed to touch them, she kepted them on kind of a cart thing for like hauling bags. Sort of made like a 2-wheeler, movers dolly but a whole lot smaller and made out of thinner light weight wire ...kind of a pull (or push) along lightweight version, similar to a small shopping cart but only 2 wheels. It would have stacks of books on it... I did notice a few appeared to be in a foriegn language but never got a close enough look to tell which one. She said she was multilingual. I have no way of knowing if she was or not. But the books came and went on a regular basis.
With rare exception, she pretty much stuck to that schedule for her outings.

JAZ said...

There are many many more tales, but don't have time to add more now. Will keep thinking of them and try to add more later.

FYI: I moved in AFTER her father passed away and I was the second roomie she tried (the previous guy did not last long, said after that, no more male roommates). I was there when she relocated her mother from the west coast to Virgina, THAT was a wild evening and long story. And I know of one roomie after me, but I do not know her name. Oh, and the other folks in the apartment building, liked to gossip (it was an older community, I she only got an apartment there because she had her Dad living with her at the time). Anyway, the favorite rumor about her, as shared with me poolside by some of the senior citizen residents, was that she killed her father, or at least hastened his death. THAT is also another long and winding story. Of course when I first heard it, I thought it was just idle gossip by the bored, overly imaginative, crack pot geriatrics that lived there. Just a fun story to entertain themselves with. By time I left, I seriously wondered if there was something to it.

Mike Justice said...

Oh wow, you have to tell us about the eventful night when she relocated her mom to Virginia. In her website, she specifically states that everything started going downhill in Virginia, but that when she lived there, she had "youthful good looks." I believe right before Virginia, she'd been living in LA trying to make it as an actress. Did she ever tell you any stories about her actressing days, or share any stories about "what went wrong" with her film career?

JAZ said...

She claimed to be a model, actress and writer. I never saw any of her modeling photos (although some have now been posted on here and I believe they could have been her when she was young). I asked to see her portfolio one time and she claimed all of her photos had been stolen when she was on a train trip across Europe. So I always wondered if the modeling story was even true,seems like maybe it was.

Once she told me that she was up for the part of Julie McCoy on the old TV show "The Love Boat". Claimed she had the part but then someone slept with a director and she was replaced. Never claimed to have filmed an episode, just that she was cast in the part. I don't remember any other specific acting stories.

I don't know how sane she was before but in the 4 months I lived with her she seemed to be losing it. I was a small town southern fresh out of college naive 22 year old....so she may have been batty from the beginning and I just didn't catch on to it at first. But I really do believe she did "get worse" during the time I was there. I went out of my way to be nice and keep the peace and not upset her...I didn't have any family or friends in the area and just starting a new job had no money. So I could not afford to piss her off and get kicked out. I guess that is why I have escaped being mentioned in her rants. Even after I gave her notice and she was mad I was moving out, I tried to help her find a new roomie and kept the peace as much as possible. But she came to see me as a foe instead of friend right at the end, so I left sooner than planned. It was a 2 bedroom apartment and she owned the furniture in it. I was in her fathers old bedroom with his bed and dresser. Near the end of my notice, she got paranoid and thought I was going to do something bad (not sure what). So one day she removed all the furniture from my room. She also took the rest of the apartment furniture and had it all stacked to the ceiling in her room, which she kept locked. Only furniture left out was one chair and a floor lamp. She had those in the middle of the living room, facing the door and would sit and watch me come and go. She kept the chain on the door at all times, so if I went out, she had to let me in. For the last week I lived there, I only went to the apartment to sleep, I spent the days at work and evenings in the lobby or out shopping. I slept on the bedroom floor after she removed the furniture. She had a big bedroom, but it was crammed full and she could barely squeeze into it. She scared the crap out of my parents the last weekend. They had called to talk to me and she told them I was gone. They called and called and could tell she was whacko and she wouldn't tell them were I was and she never told me they were calling. I was in my room around 10 PM Sunday and I heard her on the phone yelling at someone and then I heard her yell my Dad's name. I ran to the lobby and called home on the pay phone. My Mom had booked a plane ticket for the next morning, she had my work number and if I had not shown up for work she was flying up. I was pretty pissed she had upset my parents like that and she could tell, so I guess that made me more dangerous in her mind. All night long she kept opening my bedroom door and looking at me. Then close it and go away for about an hour then she would fling open the door again. I only had one week until my new place was ready, so I thought I could handle it. When I went to work Monday and told coworkers about it, my boss heard it and told me I needed to get out NOW. Was afraid she was going to totally snap and kill me or something...which I had not considered. So I moved out that afternoon and stayed with my boss for a week, her husband went with me to get my stuff. That was the last time I saw Liz, she was pretty wacky by then.

JAZ said...

Her Mom. She had never mentioned her and I had not asked. She had only vaguely mentioned her Dad a few times and I knew he had recently died. (seems she even mentioned a brother once but claimed they were not in contact).

One day I got home from work and she was not in the apartment which was very strange, she was ALWAYS there. Around 10 I was getting very worried and she showed up, very pissed. Rolled in a wheelchair with a very old, small frail woman in it. Left the lady in the chair and got some cleaing stuff out of the kitchen and left. The lady was covered in vomit and was not able to speak. Was awake and semi lucid but not able to move much or communicate at all. I was astounded and confused and had no idea what was going on. Twenty minutes later Liz came back. She said the lady was her mother and she had thrown up in Liz's car and Liz was pissed. I was stunned she had cleaned her car before cleaning her mom.

She said her Mom had been in a nursing home in California and she was moving her to a new one in Virginia. Said she had arranged for a family friend in California to put her mom on the plane the day before but the airline refused to transport her without a companion (she was not in good shape). Liz was livid at the airlines. She was going to handle all of it during the day and I would have never known. So the next morning, as soon as I left for work, she had flown out to California and then flown right back with her mom. ANd it was then to late to check her into the nursing home that night so she brought her back to the apartment. Yelled at her mom for getting car sick and then put a pile of blankets on the floor for her mom to sleep on. I offered to let her sleep in my bed (was before Liz had removed my furniture) she said no, her mom might fall out. I don't think the lady could roll over hardly on her own,but Liz insisted she stay on the floor. The lady was not able to speak but seemed afraid, looked scared. I helped Liz clean her up and get a fresh diaper on her. She was still sleeping the next morning when I went to work and was gone when I got home. Liz never mentioned her again. I always worried about her and later wished I had called someone, but not sure who to call. Someone needed to check on that lady, but being young I didn't know what to do. I reckon if Liz had been planning on doing harm to her she would not have brought her there for me to see. It was a sad and disturbing night and contributed to my decision to move out.

I never understood Liz's source of income and always wondered if she was living off a surviors benefit check from her Dad's death. I thought maybe moving her mom had something to do with money.

Mike Justice said...

Wow, this is all really interesting! : ) Thank you for your input. According to the internet, her mother died in 1987, so luckily it wasn't that night. And in her resume, mentions that the staff in her mother's nursing home in Virginia from that point on acted very "strangely" toward her. So obviously they knew she was a nut and possibly dangerous to her mother.

From what I gather reading her stuff and hearing your stories, she was probably living off some family trust or money her parents got from a trust. That's why, after her father and mother died, she became destitute and homeless, because she didn't know how to support herself.