Ever purchase a copy of the classic children's book Goodnight Moon?
If so, here's a story that will break your heart.
Just a few months before Margaret Wise Brown died suddenly from an embolism following emergency surgery in Nice, France, the 42-year-old Brown—who at the time was engaged to a much younger man—drafted a will.
In it, she left the royalties to Goodnight Moon (and 68 other titles) to a young boy named Albert Clarke. She had befriended his mother through a colleague at Bank Street and lived near the family on East 71st Street in Manhattan.
Even before Clarke started receiving his inheritance—the first payment, made when he was 21, was $75,000—he had a few run-ins with the law. Ultimately, the constant windfall from Goodnight Moon's sales funded his bad and often illegal behavior—drug possession and attempts to kidnap his own children—setting him up for a life of crime and estrangement from the rest of his family.