Eden Park is reported to be haunted by the ghost of Augusta "Imogene" Remus, the second wife of notorious bootlegger, George Remus, often nicknamed "King of the Bootleggers."
George and Imogene RemusEdit
George and Imogene met in Chicago, where Imogene was a customer at one of Remus's pharmacies and later became his legal secretary. They were both married at the time. In 1917, Imogene divorced her first husband, Albert Holmes, with whom she had one daughter, Ruth. On March 7, 1919 Remus's first wife, Lillian (with whom he had one daughter, Romola) filed for divorce on the grounds of cruelty and infidelity when it was confirmed that he was not only having an affair with Imogene, but providing housing for her and her daughter. On June 25, 1920, Remus and Imogene were married in Newport, KY.
When Alcohol Prohibition was introduced in January, 1920, George began to notice that many of his criminal clients had become rich and powerful as a result of bootlegging. George used his legal and pharmaceutical knowledge and extensively studied the Volstead Act, finding several loopholes that allowed him to purchase distilleries and pharmacies to sell "bonded" liquor to himself under government licenses for medicinal purposes. Remus's employees would then hijack his own liquor and sell it illegally.
George and Imogene then moved to Cincinnati, where 80 percent of America's bonded whiskey was located, and bought up most of the whiskey manufacturers. In less than three years Remus made $40 million in 1920's dollars (A value of almost $500 million in 2015 American dollars.)
In addition to becoming the "King of the Bootleggers" as he would be known as for a long time, Remus was known as a gracious host. George and Imogene held a New Year's Eve party at their new mansion, nicknamed the Marble Palace, in 1922. The guests included 100 couples from the most prestigious families in the area. As parting gifts, Remus presented all the men with diamond stickpins, and gave each guest's wife a brand new car. In 1923, Remus hosted a birthday party for Imogene in which she appeared in a daring bathing suit along with other aquatic dancers, serenaded by a fifteen-piece orchestra.
In 1925, George Remus was indicted for thousands of violations of the Volstead Act and given a two year federal prison sentence. Before his indictment, however, he had given power of attorney to his wife, Imogene, who he trusted implicitly and transferred all assets to her name. While in prison, Remus befriended another inmate and told him that his wife had control over his money. The inmate was prohibition agent, Franklin Dodge, who was conducting an undercover investigation of the corrupt practices of Albert Sartain, warden of the Atlanta Federal Prison. Dodge resigned his job and started an affair with Imogene. Together, they liquidated Remus' assets, Including the multimillion-dollar distillery empire Remus had built, only giving then-imprisoned Remus $100 (Roughly $1240 of today's dollars) of the sale and hiding the remaining money. Dodge and Imogene also attempted to deport Remus, and when that failed, even hired a hit man to murder Remus for $15,000,which also failed.
After his release in 1927, Imogene Remus filed for divorce. On October 6th, 1927, both Imogene and George were to attend court for the finalization of the divorce. On the way to the courthouse, George was waiting outside Imogene's hotel and following her departure in a cab with her daughter. Remus had his chauffeur follow her cab through town in a wild car chase, ultimately running her cab off the road in Eden Park. Remus exited his vehicle and fatally shot Imogene in the abdomen as she attempted to escape toward the Spring House Gazebo.
George's chauffeur had fled the scene following the murder, so George hitched a ride to the downtown police station and turned himself in for the murder of his wife. George Remus acted as his own lawyer and defended himself as a man driven mad by his wife's adultery, thievery, and betrayal. He was ultimately acquitted in one of the first successful cases of the insanity defense and sentenced to eight months in a mental asylum, after which he attempted to get back into bootlegging but retired soon afterward as the market had been overtaken by gangsters.
Legend has it that the ghost of Imogene Remus haunts the gazebo that she was murdered beside. Since that time, there have been reports of a ghostly woman wearing a black gown standing in and around the gazebo, often seen crying and gazing out over the nearby reflecting pool as Autumn leaves fall.