Filed under totes meer.
I’ve been through the desert
on a horse with no name
It felt good to be
out of the rain
In the desert,
you can’t remember your name
’cause there ain’t no one
for to give you no pain.
La la… la lalala la lala la… la.. la.
la la… la lalala la lala la… la.. la.
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the man with the white hat , on a white horse
who always came to save america , as specially at the last moment
‘Headless men’ in sex scandal finally named
Unidentified lover in Duchess of Argyll divorce case exposed as not one but two men – a cabinet minister and a swashbuckling movie star
The Guardian, Thursday 10 August 2000 01.05 BST
It was a scandal that rocked the nation: an aristocratic beauty was photographed performing fellatio on a lover, while shots of another man gratifying himself were unearthed in her boudoir.
The sexually explicit Polaroid snaps proved central in the 1963 divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, and became part of a government investigation.
The duchess’s reputation was ruined, but her lover escaped blameless, his identity preserved for almost 40 years by the camera cutting him off at the neck.
Tonight, the mystery of the “headless man” – or rather headless men – is resolved for the first time, with new evidence identifying not one, but two, lovers.
The man in the more notorious shot is unveiled as Duncan Sandys, then a cabinet minister, and his masturbating rival as Douglas Fairbanks Jr, the Hollywood legend who dallied with Marlene Dietrich and married Joan Crawford.
The two men’s identities are revealed in a Channel 4 documentary to be shown tonight, Secret History: The Duchess and the Headless Man, which draws on the memories of the duchess’s confidante, who identifies Sandys, and previously unpublished evidence gathered by the nation’s then most senior law lord, Lord Denning. This formed part of his inquiry into security risks following the resignation of the then secretary of state for war, John Profumo.
Sandys’s identity is “conclusively proved”, the documentary makers believe, by the duchess’s claim that the only Polaroid camera in the country at the time had been lent to the Ministry of Defence, where Sandys was a minister. Fairbanks is nailed by his handwriting.
The Argyll case, heard in March 1963 – the same month John Profumo lied to the Commons about his relationship Christine Keeler – was the longest and most sensational divorce to occur in Britain.
Margaret Argyll, the only child of a self-made Scottish millionaire, was a society beauty who her husband alleged had slept with 88 men, including two cabinet ministers and three royals.
Profumo resigned in early June but, before the month was out, the precarious Macmillan government was rocked by another threat, and looked in danger of being toppled.
At a stormy cabinet meeting on June 20, Sandys, the son-in-law of Winston Churchill, confessed he was rumoured to be the person in the erotic shots, which, at that time, were presumed to be of one man.
He offered to resign but Macmillan managed to dissuade him by ensuring Lord Denning, who had been commissioned to investigate the Profumo scandal, also investigated the identity of the headless lover.
For this Denning, the master of the rolls, had a plan. On the four shots of the man in different states of arousal were handwritten captions: “before”, “thinking of you”, “during – oh”, and “finished”. If he could match the handwriting, he would find his man.
He invited the five key suspects – Sandys, Fairbanks, American businessman John Cohane, Peter Combe, an ex-press officer at the Savoy, and Sigismund von Braun, the diplomat brother of the Nazi scientist Werner von Braun – to the Treasury and asked for their help in a “very delicate matter”.
As they arrived, each signed the visitor’s register. Their handwriting was analysed by a graphologist, and the results proved conclusive. As the broadcaster Peter Jay, then a young Treasury official, tells the documentary: “The headless man identified by the handwriting expert and therefore identified by Lord Denning, though he didn’t write this down in his report, was, in fact, the actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr.”
Duncan Sandys, who in 1974 was given a peerage, appeared to be in the clear – a fact confirmed by a Harley Street doctor who concluded his pubic hair did not correspond with that in the masturbation photos.
But tonight’s documentary confirms the other photograph clearly showed a different man whose identity the duchess hinted at to her close friend Paul Vaughan just before her death.
“She did say to me quite clearly that, ‘Of course, sweetie, the only Polaroid camera in the country at this time had been lent to the Ministry of Defence,'” recalls Mr Vaughan. “If that wasn’t running a flag up the flag pole, I don’t know what was. She wanted someone to know.” Analysis of the film suggests the photo was taken in 1957, at which stage Sandys held his defence post.
“We believe it’s pretty definitive,” said Dan Corn, the programme’s producer. “It’s ironic because he effectively got away with it by being cleared by Denning.”
The duchess died in a Pimlico nursing home in July 1993, without even hinting at the identity of her other lover. But despite this discretion, she never recovered from her reputation being so besmirched during her divorce.
Summing up, the judge, Lord Wheatley, said: “She was a highly sexed woman who had ceased to be satisfied with normal relations and had started to indulge in disgusting sexual activities.”
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