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Elsie Sigel: Map

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The building at 782 Eighth Avenue, ca. 1915, where Sigel's body was found.
Elsie Sigel, a granddaughter of General Franz Sigel, is notable for her notorious murder at the age of 19 in New York Citymarker in 1909.

Sigel, who had been a missionary in Chinatown, was found strangled inside a trunk on 17 June 1909 in the apartment of the prime suspect, a Chinese man named Leon Ling, a waiter in a Chinese restaurant. Ling was a favorite student of Sigel's, and among her possessions were 35 love letters to him. Ling was never apprehended, and the murder remains unsolved.

Sigel's murder gained widespread notoriety due to the inter-racial aspects of the relationship as well as the fame of her grandfather, who was a U.S. Civil War hero. The murder set off a wave of anti-Chinese hysteria, as well as suggestions that the murder was Sigel's own fault.

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