Louise Lawson

Louise Lawson was a Ziegfeld Follies chorus girl whose murder has never been solved

She was born on January 27, 1898 in Alvarado, Texas. Her family moved to Walnut Springs where her father, Arthur Lawson, owned a grocery store. Louise was a talented child who sang and played the piano in her Baptist church. After graduating from high school she spent several years working as a teacher. Then she moved to New York City to study music. In 1920 she had a small role in the film Way Down East with Lillian Gish. Louise was hired to dance in the chorus of the Ziegfeld Follies. Her salary was $75 a week. The beautiful brunette dated several millionaires who supported her financially. She began having an affair with Gerhard M. Dahl, a married financier. He gave her money and helped her rent an apartment on West 77th Street. Louise shared the two bedroom apartment with her beloved dog Tex. In September of 1923 she attended a yachting party with tobacco heir Anglier B. Duke. Tragically during the evening Anglier fell off the yacht and drowned. 

Louise LawsonLouise Lawson

On the morning of February 8, 1924 two men came to her apartment delivering bootleg liquor. The men bound Louise’s arms and legs with silk stockings and tied her to the bed with a dog leash. Then they wrapped a towel around her head and suffocated her. Before leaving they ransacked the apartment and stole more than $15,000 worth of jewelry. The maid discovered the twenty-six year old’s dead body. Louise’s murder became front page news but the press mainly focused on her personal life. There were rumors she was involved with gangsters who had been blackmailing her millionaire lovers. Her death was very similar to the murder of chorus girl Dot King in 1923. The police dubbed them the “Butterfly Murders” because both victims were beautiful women who were drawn to Broadway. Unfortunately no one was arrested for Louise’s murder and the case remains unsolved. She was buried at
Glenwood Cemetery in Alvarado, Texas. Her brother, Norman Lawson, told the press he would never rest until the murderer was caught.