Wanda Stopa committed suicide at age 24 after her successful, young life turned tragic when a love affair turned deadly. Described as an extremely intellectual girl with much promise, Stopa was raised in a Polish enclave of Chicago. She graduated college and became the the youngest, and first woman, assistant state's attorney. She left the law and turned to a life of "Bohemia" and the arts. Stopa began an affair with a married man, Y. Kenley Smith, became increasingly estranged from her family, and eventually moved to New York while Smith continued to support her. She married a Russian Count but continued her affair with Smith. Eventually she decided to seek a divorce and wanted Smith to do the same, he refused. She planned on killing Smith and his wife, but missed and killed their gardener. She escaped to a hotel near Detroit and committed suicide by ingesting arsenic.
Chicago Tribune historical photo