Join the investigation. Learn how to participate. Details Here
| Wendy Holloway Case | News | Interviews | Evidence | Biographies | Press | Join | Home |
|
Viewer Discussion |

Biography: Eugenia Stillwater
 

Eugenia Tate Courtney was born at the family estate outside Baton Rouge, Louisiana on February 19, 1955 to Robert and Aurora Tate Courtney. She was first called "Weegie" by her younger sister Iolanthe, who couldn't pronounce her name. Growing up in a privileged home with maids and the best of everything, Eugenia became accustomed to having the best of everything without having to do anything resembling hard work.

Eugenia was born to marry well. Her beauty, grace and style made her extremely popular, and her Cordon Bleu cooking skills and decorating course achievements were an investment for the future. She had absolutely no desire to "turn on and drop out" either, like some of her classmates. Eugenia was more interested in finding an ideal husband and setting up a perfect home than backpacking around Europe.

When she caught the eye and soon after the heart of up-and-coming attorney Blake Stillwater, it seemed a marriage made, if not in Heaven, then in the drawing rooms of the upper echelons of Southern society. Blake and Eugenia met at a party at his Aunt Martha's home, during one of Blake's visits back home to Baton Rouge from Chicago, Illinois.

Eugenia "Weegie" Tate Courtney was one of the loveliest Southern brides of 1975 at her June 14th wedding in Baton Rouge to Blake Stillwater. After their wedding, the young couple lived in Chicago. Eugenia soon made friends and joined in the round of parties, premieres, sailing and charity fund raisers. She did not need to work and devoted her energies to decorating their home. While Eugenia used the services of a high-society decorator, she took pride in locating unusual fabrics for the formal living and dining rooms from sources all over the world. Her effort was well worth it as the Stillwaters' Chicago home was featured in a five-page spread in a decorating magazine in July 1977. The next month she gave birth to her son, Philip "Scooter" Stillwater, on August 3. When Eugenia discovered that she could have no more children, she lavished attention on Scooter. His nursery was a fantasy world with murals that changed as he grew, with the scenes changing from puppies and pixies to outer space themes. Scooter loved nature and enjoyed chasing bugs, butterflies and spiders.

Both Eugenia and Blake found that they missed the warmth of the south and after the publication of his first novel, Blake decided to move his family to Oxford Mississippi, which he saw as the southern renaissance center of writing. While her husband worked part-time as a lawyer and concentrated on his novel writing, Eugenia set about renovating the magnificent antebellum mansion they had both fallen in love with at first sight.

Eugenia has renovated the mansion twice since the family bought the home in 1984. One of her first steps was install a swimming pool, where Scooter and his friends loved to splash and where Eugenia and Blake often had a romantic swim on hot moonlit nights. In the second renovation, French doors were installed on the rear of the house, giving a lovely view over the flower beds and swimming pool to the magnolias and oak trees beyond. Eugenia also set up a laboratory at the rear of the poolside cottage, where Scooter could indulge his growing interest in entomology.

The only room Eugenia was never allowed to redecorate was the study. Blake loved it the way it was with its deep green walls, gold-framed Civil War prints, mahogany bookshelves, and leather-trimmed desk. There he could write in the early morning, take a nap in the adjoining bedroom, and put new pages of his manuscript in the wall safe because he always worried that a fire might destroy his work.

As her son grew older, Eugenia devoted herself to charity work and social functions around the Oxford area and has made increasingly frequent visits to see her mother, who still resides at the family estate in Baton Rouge. With her knowledge of etiquette, Eugenia was invited to be a regular guest lecturer at Good Graces charm school in Oxford, but this was several years ago before a recent scandal closed down that school. She's since volunteered her time to conduct informal sessions on table setting and decoration for daughters of her friends, finding it distasteful to even think of charging a fee.

Despite having a beautiful home and all the trappings of success, Eugenia has not been happy. She has felt neglected by her high-profile husband and knows he has strayed more than once over the years. Her husband rarely takes her with him on his frequent promotional tours, and when he is not traveling, Blake spends most nights in a bedroom next to the study where he writes, rather than in the same room with Eugenia. Her frustration at being alone in the matrimonial bed has grown and the romantic moonlight swims have ended. Even when Blake has been home lately, Eugenia has felt wistful and resentful about his absences from home during the day and from social engagements in the evenings. Despite Eugenia's constant workouts with a personal trainer, her eyelid lift in 1998, her Dead Sea mud spa treatments, and her regular hair coloring sessions, she's convinced that Blake is now seeing a younger woman. She told friends that a couple of months ago Blake had said he was driving to Jackson to do some research and would be away overnight. When he returned, she checked the mileage on his Range Rover and found he'd barely driven out of town.

After that incident, Eugenia became depressed and discussed with her physician ways of lightening her mood without medication. It was that depression which led her to walk out of a jewelry store with an expensive gold bracelet she'd been trying on still on her wrist. The new manager, who did not know Eugenia's high profile status, called the police. Eugenia was taken to the police station, fingerprinted and charged. But through intervention from Blake, their attorneys, and with a letter from her physician detailing her depression, all charges were eventually dropped.

| Wendy Holloway Case | News | Interviews | Evidence | Biographies | Press | Join | Home |
|
Viewer Discussion |