(See also: Carol Vesta von Niedergesaess)
Joan Winters — known also by her original name, Carol Vesta von Niedergesaess — was a Broadway dancer who was arrested as a spy in Istanbul, Turkey in 1933. She was murdered and her body was found near the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem.
Her family changed their original surname to Godfrey during World War I. Carol was born in Seattle, Washington, where she resided with her family until 1928.
Winters appeared on Broadway in 1930, as Sue in the drama Bad Girl. She left for Europe on April 13, 1932. She planned to return to New York City in time to celebrate her birthday on December 8, 1933.
Winters's corpse was discovered along with the body of an Indian civil service employee, Mohammad Karamini, from Madras, in November 1933. The latter had been Winters's guide and was found shot to death. One source said Winters met Karamani in Athens, Greece and the two arrived in Haifa on October 29. The couple encountered Arabs outside of Jerusalem who were rioting in protest against increased Jewish immigration into Palestine. While walking, Winters and Karamani were shot by the Arabs. She died from head injuries and he succumbed from a gunshot wound. Authorities admitted that they were puzzled by the murders.
An East Indian Moslem, Mohamed Ikram, was released as a suspect in the death inquiry in early November 1933.
(The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia entry on Joan Winters.)
Contributor's note: Joan Winters is buried in the Alliance Church International Cemetery on Emek Refaim Street in Jerusalem on the left side of the cemetery, between the graves of Anastasia Djurish and Sophia Durgin, and in front of the grave of Niels Bonnesen. The grave is in the first row just off the footpath.
Joan Winters's grave marker was provided through the generosity of Mr. Jerry Klinger of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation (JASHP).
(née Carol Vesta von Niedergesaess)
Died in Mystery — Lost, but for History
"I stood in the shadow of death,
And I reached out my hand,
And Life took it into hers
And we understood each other."