Vere Goold was Ireland's first tennis star. In 1879, he won the Irish Lawn Tennis Championships and a few weeks afterwards, placed second at Wimbledon. Thirty years later, he would commit a diabolical murder on the French Riviera. (2016)
Vere St. Leger Goold - an Irish tennis champion and a murderer.
Vere Goold was Ireland’s first tennis star. In 1879, he won the inaugural Irish Lawn Tennis Championships, and then, a few weeks afterwards, placed second at Wimbledon.
Thirty years later, he would commit a diabolical murder on the French Riviera, and his crime would headline newspapers around the world.
How did an athletic chap of great potential become a high-rolling killer in Monte Carlo?
Waterford, Wimbledon, Monaco, Murder tells Goold’s story, following him and his ‘murderess’ wife, Marie, as they conned their way into status, then descended into desperation and violence.
Vere Goold was born to an aristocratic family and grew up in Waterford. His childless uncle was a baronet; among his siblings, Vere judged himself a deserving heir for the title.
At the time, tennis was a new game, and its tournaments were gatherings for Ireland’s social elite. Goold’s athletic ability and social prowess put him at the centre of Dublin's tennis society, where tournaments were scheduled around nights of revelry, and athletes sipped brandy between games.
Goold eventually quit tennis and moved to London with aspirations of wealth. Instead he drank too much, and found a wife, a dressmaker for the Queen’s court who’d posted an ad for a husband “with a title.”
This woman was Marie Giraudin, twice-widowed and possessing a killer instinct that Vere himself seemed to lack. Their coupled ambition brought them to Montreal, Liverpool, and then to Monaco, where a new casino was attracting the wealthy and those who sought their company. It was there, among elite wealth and status, that Vere and Marie’s con came to an end.
In Waterford, Wimbledon, Monaco, Murder, Elliot Rambach uncovers previously undiscovered information about the Goolds, including the written memoirs of both Vere and Marie, artifacts of the crime from the archives of Monaco, and eyewitness accounts from Marseille as the Goolds attempted their escape.
Produced by Elliot Rambach and Ronan Kelly.
Readings by Fergus Sweeney and Sinead Ni Uallachain.
Additional research contributions provided by Cian Manning and Alan Little.
First Broadcast at 2pm on Saturday 2nd July 2016.
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An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.