Eden Park, owned and operated by the Cincinnati Park Board, is located in the Mt. Adams community of Cincinnati, Ohio. The park began as the designation for the city’s water supply, purchased in 1859. However, early on the city saw that the area could also serve the dual purpose of city park. The park area was originally designed by noted landscape architect Adolph Strauch, who also was responsible for Spring Grove Cemetery.
Eden Park Drive is the scene of a horrific murder; the murderer got off with no time done.
A prolific bootlegger in Cincinnati during the prohibition in the 1920’s was a guy by the name of George Remus. He went to prison for his illegal activities and ended up serving his time in the Federal Prison in Atlanta. He befriended a fellow inmate and told him all about his plans and the operations and how he trusted his wife, Imogene enough to give her full power of attorney over his assets. Frank Dodge, the inmate he befriended, was an undercover FBI agent. He resigned from his investigating of the prison warden and went to Cincinnati to seduce Imogene. They both tried to hire a hitman to kill George,but it failed. When George was released from prison, he found out, was furious and ended up filing for divorce. On their way to court George saw Imogene’s taxi and tried to run it off the road. They both got out of the car and started to argue. George took out his pistol and killed her. George got off with no time due to pleading temporary insanity.
Imogene Remus was wearing a black dress when she died and there has been many to claim that they have seen a woman in a black dress standing in the gazebo. The spirit usually appears at dusk or late at night, but if approached, she vanishes.
George Remus practiced law, made millions, built a mansion in Price Hill, and killed his wife in Eden Park
Before the dawn of the Roaring Twenties, George Remus had built a successful law practice in Chicago.
As a criminal defense attorney who crusaded against capital punishment, he earned as much as ,000 a year, an extremely lucrative income at the time.
But after the onset of the Prohibition era, he realized that some of his clients had become far wealthier than he was by illegally selling liquor.
Unable to resist the lure of vast riches, Remus, a lifelong teetotaler, turned to bootlegging in 1919, the year Congress passed the Prohibition laws. In 1920, Remus closed his law office and moved to Cincinnati because of the many whiskey warehouses and distilleries within a 300-mile radius.
Remus, who was divorced, brought along his girlfriend, Imogene Holmes. He promptly married her in Newport and bought a mansion in Price Hill
In just a few years, the flamboyant Remus earned hundreds of millions of dollars, lived lavishly and became known as “The King of the Bootleggers.” He is said to have been F. Scott Fitzgerald’s model for Jay Gatsby, the title character of his novel, “The Great Gatsby.”
But his rise to riches ended quickly. He was sent to federal prison in 1924 for conspiring to violate Prohibition laws. While he was in prison, his wife had an affair with the undercover FBI agent who helped convict him. She filed for divorce and liquidated and hid his assets.
On Oct. 6, 1927 – six weeks after his release from prison and the day his divorce was to become final – Remus chased down Imogene in Eden Park, shoved a gun in her stomach and pulled the trigger. She died that day at Bethesda Hospital.
“I am now at peace after two years of hell,” said Remus at a press conference in his Cincinnati jail cell that day, the Enquirer reported Oct. 7. “I’m satisfied I’ve done right.”
The murder and Remus’ sensational five-week trial received national attention. To the shock of the nation, the jury found Remus not guilty by reason of insanity.
After nearly six months in a mental hospital in Lima, Ohio, Remus returned to Cincinnati. He lived modestly and quietly in Covington and died in 1952 at the age of 79. He is buried in Falmouth.
But his reputation as one of the most notorious and colorful criminals in the annals of bootlegging and Cincinnati history lives on. This fall, PBS will broadcast a six-hour documentary by Ken Burns that prominently features Remus. Called “Prohibition,” it will air from 8-10 p.m. Oct. 2-4.
Remus was a shrewd attorney with a flair for courtroom oratory. By strange coincidence, his most famous criminal case involved a Cincinnati man accused of murdering his wife during a visit to Chicago because he thought she was having an affair with another man.
William Cheney Ellis was found guilty of the murder, but Remus succeeded in persuadingthe jury to give him a 15-year prison sentence instead of the death sentence.
Remus’ background served him well when he entered the bootlegging business. Using a loophole in federal laws, Remus, still a licensed pharmacist, bought liquor ostensibly to distribute to drug companies for legal sale for medical purposes. Instead, he diverted it for mass distribution.
He moved the cases of whiskey to barns on 50 acres between Queen City and Boudinot avenues on the West Side that he bought from a farmer. He operated his empire from a building at Race and Pearl streets he named after himself.
Remus, a bald, portly man, used some of his wealth to indulge his love of fine food, art, literature and swimming.
His Price Hill estate at 825 Hermosa Ave., was bordered by West Eighth St., Greenwich Avenue, St. Lawrence Avenue and Rapid Run Pike. He filled his mansion with exquisite furniture, art and rare books – and once bought out the inventory of a Cincinnati jewelry store and passed them out as party favors at a New Year’s Eve bash he hosted.
He spent 0,000 in 1921 to construct a Grecian swimming pool and a building to house it on his estate. His estate also included a tennis court, a grape arbor, a caretaker’s cottage, a stable and a baseball diamond.
“Remus permitted the neighborhood children to play ball on his property,” said Joyce Meyer, a member of the Price Hill Historical Society’s board of directors. “Kids sometimes would sneak into his pool to swim. He knew they were there, but let them swim.”
The mansion and poolhouse on his former estate were torn down in 1935. Another house was built on the property later. The large iron gate from the Remus estate’s main entrance on Hermosa now graces the entrance to Elder High School.