Shortly after the Wilkins’ murder scandal, Munson’s mental health faltered. She became paranoid, writing a letter to the U.S. government alleging she was being persecuted by Jews, per Vogue. In 1920, a “bent, broken, hollow-cheeked” Munson attempted to persuade a newspaper to run her own death notice, according to the Buffalo Courier. She was trying to start her life over under a new name, but the clerk recognized her, per “The Curse of Beauty.” Two years later she tried to kill herself, per Vogue, and by 1926 she was living in “a miserable little clapboard cottage on the outskirts of Syracuse, New York,” walking “listlessly around and around” wearing “clothes that any farm woman might wear,” according to The Spokesman-Review.

When Munson turned 40, her mother had her committed to St. Lawrence State Hospital for the Insane in Ogdensburg, New York, where she spent the next 65 years, per the New England Historical Society. After her parents died, she was utterly alone until two of her nieces discovered her in the 1980s, per Rediscovering Audrey. Audrey Munson died at the state hospital in 1996, at age 104, according to the New England Historical Society. When she was only a child, her mother had taken her to a fortune teller who told Audrey she would “be beloved and famous. But when you think that happiness is yours, its Dead Sea fruit shall turn to ashes in your mouth,” per The Daily Beast. These words haunted Audrey Munson for the rest of her life.

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