the women friends of Aleister Crowley I met, whose names may be
remembered more than a generation later, were Nina Hamnet and Betty
May. Nina was the model for a piece of sculpture entitled "Laughing
Torso". This I believe dated from many years before and the model,
when I met her, although adequate enough physically, did not suggest
a Praxitelean goddess. Crowley was friendly towards her and she
came towards him as far as I could see, in spite of the libel suit
he head brought against her and lost, following the publication
of her first book."
May, the "Tiger Woman" had, it seems, been one of the company assembled
at at the Temple of Thelema in Sicily in the early twenties and
had been the fiancˇe of the young man whose death there caused scandalous
coment and was one of the causes of Aleister's expulsion by the
Italian Government, although an inquest had returned a verdict of
death by natural causes. The ill-disposed, however among whom Betty
was numbered, ascribed his end to Crowley. The reasons given were
always different, the most bizarre being that the youth contracted
some fatal desease after drinking the blood of a sacrificed cat.
Judging from the evidence of other writers, this is not impossible.
The Tiger Woman, at all events, appeared to be convinced of the
Crowleian guilt and swore that he was the murderer of her young
friend. ... She was in that night in a most convivial mood, assuring
me confidently that she would one day kill Crowley and, further,
that she was herself a witch!"
excerpt from: A Memoir of 666 by Alan Burnett-Rae