GAIL COLLINS Biography - People in the News and Media


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Name: Gail Collins Pappalardi                                                             
Gail Collins Pappalardi was the songwriting wife of the late Felix Pappalardi.           
She contributed lyrics to many Mountain songs and co-wrote Cream's "World of             
Pain" with Pappalardi and "Strange Brew" with Pappalardi and Eric Clapton. As             
Gail Collins, her artwork appears on the album covers, "Mountain Climbing" and "Nantucket 
Sleighride". On April 17, 1983 she used a two-shot derringer to shoot Pappalardi         
once in the neck in their fifth-floor East Side Manhattan apartment. He was               
pronounced dead at the scene and Gail was charged with second degree murder.             
Prosecutors claimed that Felix Pappalardi's 11-month affair with the 27-year-old         
Valerie Merians was the reason for the murder. At the age of 43, Gail Collins             
Pappalardi was acquitted of second degree murder and manslaughter, but found             
guilty of criminally negligent homicide. A judge sentenced her to 16 months to           
four years in jail, and at the same time criticised the jury for its leniency             
and Pappalardi's lawyers for their defense of her. Manhattan Supreme Court               
Justice James Leff said that Pappalardi's lawyers used "shabby" tactics when             
they claimed the medical examiner's report was wrong and that investigators had           
stolen jewellery.                                                                         
Gail Collins Pappalardi's defense was that the firearm had gone off accidentally         
while Felix was giving her a bedside gun lesson.