Mon Dec 17, 2018 London
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WILDCARDS

The free spirits

Viola Herms Drath (1920 – 2011)

Viola Herms Drath and Albrecht Gero MuthThis twice married 91-year old Georgetown, Washington, D.C. socialite and journalist was born in Dusseldorf and died as a result of “strangulation and blunt force injuries” in her own bathroom in August 2011. A “notable figure in American-German relations for over thirty years”, President George W. Bush once described her experiences as having “helped strengthen our Nation”. Drath’s second husband, Albrecht Gero Muth (who also went by the names “Sheikh Ali Al-Muthaba”, “Muti” and “Count Albi”) was 44 years her junior and claimed to be an Iraqi brigadier, promenaded around the neighbourhood with a riding crop and once stated he’d bugged Madeleine Albright’s bathroom on behalf of German intelligence. Guests at dinner parties hosted by the couple in their “yellowing kitchen” variously numbered former Vice President Dick Cheney, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Obama’s ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson. Muth, a bisexual who had been convicted of beating Drath in 1992, was eventually charged with her murder and was sentenced to 50 years in jail in April 2014. The murder scene, 3206 Q St NW, was renovated and marketed for $995,000 by the victim’s family and sold for $1.2 million in July 2013. Bizarrely, one of her last appearances was in a YouTube video, filmed in her house in April 2011, where a pianist played a tune named Goodbye.

 

 

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