From the Archive: Jean Harris

Jean Har­ris, the one­time head­mis­tress of an elite girls’ school who spent nearly a dozen years in pris­on for the 1980 shoot­ing death of her long­time boy­friend, Dr. Her­man “Hy” Tar­now­er, has died. She was 89. Col­lec­ted here are clips from The Times’ archive of the cov­er­age of Har­ris’ tri­al, con­vic­tion and sen­ten­cing.

On Mar. 21, 1981, The Times re­por­ted that Jean Har­ris was sen­tenced to 15 years to life in pris­on for the love-tri­angle slay­ing of “Scarsdale Diet” au­thor Her­man Tar­now­er, the mil­lion­aire bach­el­or who jilted her for a young­er wo­man.
On Feb. 25, 1981, The Times re­por­ted that Jean Har­ris was con­victed of second-de­gree murder in the fatal shoot­ing of Scarsdale Diet au­thor Her­man Tar­now­er.
On Feb. 18, 1981, The Times re­por­ted that Jean Har­ris col­lapsed weep­ing in­side the court­house where a jury of eight wo­men and four men began de­lib­er­at­ing her fate.
On Feb. 3, 1981, The Times re­por­ted that Jean Har­ris test­i­fied that she de­scribed her rival for the love Dr. Her­man Tar­now­er as an “adul­tress,” a “whore” and a “slut” in a let­ter she mailed to the doc­tor hours be­fore she shot him to death.
On Jan. 6, 1981, The Times re­por­ted that Jean Har­ris left a note say­ing. “I wish to be im­me­di­ately CREMATED AND THROWN AWAY” be­fore go­ing to meet her long­time lov­er, Dr. Her­man Tar­now­er, on the night she fatally shot him.
On Aug. 18, 1980, The Times re­por­ted that Jean Har­ris, former head­mis­tress of the Madeira School, will not plead tem­por­ary in­san­ity as a de­fense in her up­com­ing tri­al for the slay­ing of Dr. Her­man Tar­now­er.
On Mar. 29, 1980, The Times re­por­ted that Jean Har­ris pleaded not guilty to the murder of “Scarsdale Diet” doc­tor Her­man Tar­now­er. Court pa­pers dis­closed that she told po­lice he had scorned her love and “slept with every wo­man he could.”
On Mar. 26, 1980, The Times re­por­ted that a grand jury in­dicted Jean Har­ris on a charge of second-de­gree murder in the shoot­ing death of Dr. Her­man Tar­now­er.
On Mar. 12, 1980, The Times re­por­ted that Jean Har­ris was re­leased on $40,000 bail to await tri­al on a charge that she shot and killed “Scarsdale Diet” au­thor Dr. Her­man Tar­now­er.
On Mar. 11, 1980, The Times re­por­ted that Jean Har­ris, 56, the head­mis­tress of a posh Vir­gin­ia girls’ school con­fessed to the killing of Dr. Her­man Tar­now­er.
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