Elizabeth Debbie Eden
(August 19, 1946 - September 29, 1987) USA
John Stanley Wojtowicz
(March 9, 1945 - January 2, 2006) USA.
Elizabeth Debbie Eden, born Ernest Aron, was a trans woman made notorious by her boyfriend John Wojtowicz, who attempted a bank robbery to pay for her sex reassignment surgery. The incident was made into the crime drama film Dog Day Afternoon (1975), directed by Sidney Lumet.
Elizabeth Eden was born on August 19, 1946, in Ozone Park, Queens. In 1971, she and Wojtowicz met at the Feast of San Gennaro in New York City. The two, Elizabeth in a bridal gown and John in Military attire, wed in a public wedding ceremony that same year in Greenwich Village, New York City. Following a series of suicide attempts, which Wojtowicz attributed to Eden's despondency over her inability to afford a sex-change operation, Eden was admitted to a psychiatric institution.
The following year, on August 22, 1972, Wojtowicz attempted to rob a Chase Manhattan bank branch in Gravesend, Brooklyn. Elizabeth was not aware of the plans. After the failed heist, Wojtowicz was arrested and sentenced to 20 years, although he was released in April 1978. Wojtowicz did two more stretches in prison for parole violations in 1984 and 1986-87. He said he was released in April 1987, and Elizabeth visited him in New York about once a month.
Wojtowicz was paid $7500, plus 1% of the film's net profits for the rights to his story, from which he gave Eden enough money to pay for her sexual reassignment surgery. Eden got the sex-change operation and legally married someone else, then divorced.
Elizabeth died of AIDS-related pneumonia, aged 41, at Genesee Hospital in Rochester, New York. Wojtowicz attended her funeral and delivered a eulogy. Her personal papers and photographs were donated posthumously to the National Archive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (New York) on June 14, 1990.
John Stanley Wojtowicz was born in New York City, the son of John and Teresa Wojtowicz. He was married with Carmen Bifulco. In 1971, Wojtowicz met Elizabeth Eden at the Feast of San Gennaro in New York City. The two had a public wedding ceremony that year.
Wojtowicz decided to rob a bank to pay for a sex change for the man he loved, Ernest Aron, known as Elizabeth Debbie Eden. The Los Angeles Times reported the heist was meant to pay for Eden's sex reassignment surgery. However, Arthur Bell, a respected Village Voice columnist and investigative journalist who knew Wojtowicz (and was tangentially involved in the negotiations), reported that paying for Eden's sex change was only peripheral to the real motive. The attempted heist was, according to him, a well-planned Mafia operation that went horribly wrong.
On August 22, 1972, Wojtowicz, along with Salvatore Naturale and Robert Westenberg, attempted to rob a branch of the Chase Manhattan bank at 450 Avenue P in Gravesend, Brooklyn. Wojtowicz and Naturale held seven Chase Manhattan bank employees hostage for 14 hours. Westenberg fled the scene before the robbery got underway, when he saw a police car on the street.
Wojtowicz, a former bank teller, had some knowledge of bank operations but apparently based his plan on scenes from the movie The Godfather (1972), which he had seen earlier that day. Wojtowicz was arrested, but Naturale was killed by the FBI during the final moments of the incident.
According to Wojtowicz, he was offered a deal for pleading guilty, which the court did not honor, and on April 23, 1973, he was sentenced to 20 years in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary, of which he served five. He made $7,500, equivalent to approximately $40,000 today, by selling the movie rights to his story. He also received 1% of the movie's net profit. Ultimately, this helped finance Elizabeth's sex reassignment surgery.
Wojtowicz was released from prison on April 10, 1978 but was rearrested and did two more stretches in prison for parole violations, in 1984 and 1986-87. He was released in April 1987, and, he said, Eden visited him in New York about once a month.
In 2001, The New York Times reported that Wojtowicz was living on welfare in Brooklyn. He died of cancer, in his mother's home, aged 60.
Sources : Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - https://alchetron.com/