Copyright 2008 by William A. Mays, Proprietor
Jonathan Smith's last act on Earth was to make himself into a mangled, broken pile of seeping flesh near the New York Stock Exchange on the evening of Saturday May 31st. He had walked into 15 Broad Street in one piece thinking about the carnage he had wreaked—as well as the carnage he was about to—and climbed to the highest floor to which he had access. Intentionally jumping out of a window, he struck Exchange Place with such force his body split into two sections. But this still was not as many pieces as his girlfriend had ended up by his own hand. Margaux Powers, 26 years old, graduate of a fine Connecticut prep school, member of a well-off north-shore Long Island family, met her demise via kitchen knife wielded by a deranged Smith in their fifth-floor apartment at 235 West 22nd Street in Manhattan.
At first, Jonathan Smith seemed like a good choice for a boyfriend to Margaux Powers—both their families belonged to the same country club, the handsome Smith worked as a chef at fine eateries—but Smith began drinking heavily and his personality took a turn for the worse. He had left his job at the Cafe Society in Union Square and had been unemployed for some time. The couple argued and fought often. His rages got worse until finally on Thursday May 29th Margaux had had enough. She told him it was over; she wanted him to move out of their apartment. Not satisfied with her position, he grabbed a kitchen knife, the uses of which he knew inside and out, and put it against her neck. Then he kept going. He pulled the knife across her throat and sliced it open, the blood flowing relentlessly out of Margaux Powers until she expired. But Jonathan Smith was still not finished. He threw her into the bathtub where he began hacking and slicing at her lifeless body. He managed to cut her into several pieces before stopping and covering the remains with a green blanket. Then he went to clean the apartment. Smith removed any signs of the struggle and washed off the kitchen knife, even heating it over a flame to remove trace evidence. Then he must have paused to consider what to do next. As intelligent a killer as he must have been a chef, all he could think to do was to write a note of apology. Then he left the apartment and let the city take him for the next two days.
The following evening, Margaux's sister Dana Powers, unable to contact her, went to the apartment building on West 22nd Street. The building's doorman, Constantine Ionescu, accompanied her to the fifth floor where they entered Margaux's rooms. Dana and Ionescu found the space clean and orderly; Margaux's cell phone was there, but they detected nothing out of the ordinary. Dana left the building without an answer. The closed bathroom door, however, had remained unopened. By Saturday evening, Dana and her father Michael Powers had become quite concerned at Margaux's seemingly incommunicado condition. This was highly unusual for her as she'd had a very close relationship with her family and had spoken with her father regularly. At 6:00pm, Dana returned to Margaux's apartment with two friends and doorman Ionescu in tow. This time they opened the bathroom door. Ionescu describes the absurd scene: "She started crying, going crazy. She said, 'I can't believe it. Tell me it's not true.' I felt like praying. I felt like crying." Police descended on 235 West 22nd Street and immediately started a search for Jonathan Smith. Little did they know that the call they were about to receive from the financial district would bring that search to an abrupt end, as well as bring to an end the sad and sanguinary dénouement in the life story of the joyless Jonathan Smith.
June 12, 2008
|Young Woman Slain and Separated by Drunk
Maniac Boyfriend Who Leaps to His Death
Outside the New York Stock Exchange