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Couple Dies Mysteriously at High-rise
Husband overdoses; wife falls 21 stories, police say
By Mark Miller, The Dallas Morning News
A Dallas psychiatrist and his psychologist wife died Sunday after the woman fell from her high-rise Turtle Creek condominium and her husband apparently overdosed on drugs, police said.
Clad in a robe and pink slippers, Traudl Elizabeth Jordan, 57, jumped or was pushed out a window of her 21st-story condominium in an exclusive complex at 3525 Turtle Creek Blvd. shortly before 10 a.m., homicide investigator P.E. Jones said. The pajama-clad body of her husband, Dr. Fred Henrick Jordan, 58, was found almost two hours later sprawled in the living room of the condo, Jones said. Jordan apparently died of an overdose of an unspecified drug, police said. An autopsy had not been completed.
Police called the deaths a murder-suicide and said it is unclear if Mrs. Jordan jumped or was pushed from a window in a bedroom used as an office. The window was closed, police said, when they arrived. Police also could not tell if Jordan administered his own drug overdose or if he was poisoned.
No ruling has been made by the Dallas County medical examiner's office on causes of death.
“Some evidence we are dealing with was taken from the window sill,” Jones said, declining to elaborate. “It's going to reflect one way or the other (on whether Mrs. Jordan jumped or was pushed). I will treat this as a homicide until we know more.”
Police also said they were investigating the possibility that the Jordans made a suicide pact and that Mrs. Jordan, too, had taken a drug overdose before falling from the condo. Results from toxicology tests on both bodies will not be available for several weeks, officials said.
Throughout the Jordans' condominium, the word “total” was scrawled — in orange-red lipstick and what appeared to be petroleum jelly — on mirrors, cabinet doors and a glass table. The word also appeared to be spelled “tattle” in some locations. Investigators said they were baffled about the word.
An illegible note also was found in the condo, but investigators said that they did not know if it was related to the deaths.
Both Jordans were retired staff members of the Beverly Hills Hospital, a Dallas mental institution that closed in 1980, according to records with the Dallas County Medical Society.
The Jordans had lived in Dallas since 1953, when they moved from Germany where they were born, the society's records show.
After Jordan obtained his degree in medicine from the University of Munich in March 1951, he served for a year with the 98th General Hospital of the U.S. Army Medical Service in Germany. His wife also received her doctoral degree in psychology from the university, records show.
During this time, Jordan apparently changed his name from the Fritz Heinrich Jordan listed on his diploma to Fred Henrick Jordan.
Jordan left the Army hospital in 1952 and came to Dallas for a one-year internship at Baylor University Medical Center, the records show. At the end of the year, he married Traudl Diener in Munich.
After the Jordans moved permanently to Dallas later in 1953, Jordan spent a year interning with Beverly Hills Hospital, the records show. From there, Jordan went to Timberlawn Psychiatric Hospital, where he worked until September 1956, when he returned to Beverly Hills Hospital as a staff psychiatrist, records show.
Mrs. Jordan worked with her husband as a staff psychologist at Beverly Hills Hospital and both retired in 1980 when it closed, according to a former colleague of the couple.
“He did develop a period in which he had bad health and lost his voice for a while,” Dr. Ludlow Pence, the former colleague, said of Jordan. “I think he retired because he didn't feel up to a full-time practice.” At the security-conscious, 22-story condominium complex, residents were stunned by the deaths and swiftly retreated into their homes as reporters and onlookers milled about outside. The Jordans had lived at the complex for many years, one floor below the penthouse owned by actress Greer Garson.
“They were very continental,” said Sigmund Mandell of his neighbors, the Jordans. “They traveled a great deal. He was very handsome, tall and Nordic-looking. She was very small. She always looked very well.”
Another resident said the couple seemed outwardly happy. ”They were a striking couple,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified. “I never saw one without the other. You just don't know the inner souls of people.”
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Staff writers Rita Rubin and Ed Housewright contributed to this report.

 
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