During the 1920s, it seemed like Wanda had it all: great looks, a fantastic job, and what seemed like a steady relationship. However, while things appeared okay on the surface, it all changed after she began having an affair, eventually leading her to kill someone. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Deadly Women: Kill The Competition’ features Wanda’s case as one of three stories in the episode. So, let’s find out what happened to her in the end then, shall we?
Who Was Wanda Stopa?
Wanda was a Polish immigrant who arrived in the US with her parents when she was just a kid. The family settled in Little Poland in Chicago, Illinois. Wanda was always considered intelligent, and in June 1921, she graduated from the John Marshall Law School in Illinois. The young woman seemed destined for greatness, being one of just two women to graduate from there at the time. In 1922, Wanda’s accomplishments reached new heights when she became the first woman to become the assistant state’s attorney.
In 1920, Wanda stayed back while her family visited Warsaw, Poland. Around this time, she was introduced to the Bohemian lifestyle. The community consisted of artists, writers, and other free spirits at the time. Wanda eventually married Zdzislaw “Ted” Glasko, who claimed to be a Russian Count. However, Wanda’s family claimed he was a bootlegger and a drug peddler who got Wanda used to morphine.
Sometime in 1922, Wanda met Y. Kenley Smith, an advertising executive who was also married. The two hit it off and eventually began an affair, with Kenley even getting her an apartment. Wanda eventually moved to New York City, New York, to live in yet another apartment Kenley got for her. Over time, she decided to be with Kenley and wanted to divorce Ted. Wanda hoped that Kenley would divorce his wife too. However, he refused.
Sometime in April 1924, Wanda announced to her friends in her apartment in Greenwich Village, New York City, “Tomorrow, I’m leaving here for Chicago, and when I arrive, I’m going to kill a woman — perhaps a man.” So, she traveled from New York City and headed to Kenley and his wife’s house in Palos Park in a cab. Wanda went in to find Kenley’s wife, Genevieve Smith, sick and in bed.
At the time, Kenley wasn’t at home. Wanda then asked Genevieve if she would divorce her husband, to which the latter said no. At that point, Wanda pulled out a .38-caliber weapon. One of the employees, gardener Henry Manning, tried to calm her down. However, she shot the 68-year-old while Genevieve jumped out of a window. As she was running across the yard, Wanda fired two more shots.
How Did Wanda Stopa Die?
After Genevieve escaped, Wanda screamed, “I’ll get you yet. I’m going downtown now to get your husband.” She then got into the same cab, got off at the train station, and disappeared. The authorities searched for her far and wide, but there was no sign of Wanda, who had killed Henry. She was eventually located in Detroit, Michigan, where she was hiding at a hotel. On April 25, 1924, Wanda killed herself by ingesting arsenic while in her room. The 23-year-old died before the police could arrest her.
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