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March 10, 1980
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Mistress slays "Scarsdale Diet" doctor
Jean Harris intended to kill herself after noted Scarsdale Diet doctor Herman Tarnower ended their 14-year affair for a younger mistress. Instead, Harris winds up shooting Tarnower five times after she barged into Tarnower’s bedroom and found lingerie belonging to his new, 30-year-old mistress, Lynne Tryforos, on the bed. She pleads innocent, claiming the gun had gone off by accident. But a jury finds her guilty, and she was sentenced to 15 years to life at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.
Gov. Mario Cuomo frees her in 1993, passing down the commutation of the 69-year-old former headmistress’ sentence only hours before she underwent heart bypass surgery. Having denied her parole on three occasions, Cuomo cites her work as a teacher of inmates, the impetus behind the establishment of an in-prison nursery for their children, and her failing health as reasons for her release.(Credit: AP)