"Now the prime suspect is his son-in-law, de Marigny"

Alfred (Freddie) de Marigny was the son-in-law of Sir Harry Oakes, married to Sir Harry's daughter Nancy. He was not much liked by his father-in-law, for myriad reasons - Sir Harry did not believe that de Marigny, a competitive sailor and Count through family associations, had a serious career.

A duo of sailing boats
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeA duo of sailing boats - Credit: John Carver

de Marigny had also eloped with Sir Harry's daughter when she was just 18 (he was 14 years her senior) and had been married twice before, which did not impress his father-in-law.

Just 36 hours after Sir Harry's death, de Marigny was arrested, on the basis that his fingerprint had been found on the Chinese screen beside Sir Harry's bed. Later court claims said this print had in fact been placed there by the two US detectives on the case - who made multiple errors during the investigation, including cleaning the print from the screen before private investigators hired by Nancy de Marigny could examine it and allowing photos of the print to be irreparably sun-damaged.

Freddie de Marigny's trial began on October 18, 1943 at the Bahamas Supreme Court and was covered extensively by the international press, more even than the war raging in the rest of the world.

During the trial it was heard how de Marigny actually walked into the police station the morning after Sir Harry's death asking officers to examine his vehicle. The question was - why? 

Freddie de Marigny actually later published a book (in 1990) entitled 'A Conspiracy of Crowns: The True Story of the Duke of Windsor and the Murder of Sir Harry Oakes' - an autobiographical account of the trial. It has been described a s being far-fetched and ludicrous in its account.