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Hamptons Life

Sep 3, 2017 11:32 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

An Interest In Ammon East Hampton Residence Sells

The Ammon Estate, 59 Middle Lane, East Hampton. COURTESY TOWN & COUNTRY
Sep 3, 2017 11:32 AM

Back in June, Alexa and Gregory Ammon announced that they were putting 59 Middle Lane on the market for $12,700,000. They were both “moving forward with exciting new ventures.” The property in the Village of East Hampton was bequeathed to them by their parents, Ted and Generosa Ammon, but it was anything but a smooth process. We mention this now because of a recent, rather curious transaction which has the Ammon siblings as the buyers of 59 Middle Lane for $160,640, with the seller being Kathryn Ann Mayne.

First, a background refresher: The East Hampton estate has one of the more tragic and notorious histories of any house in the Hamptons. The plot is more Hollywood than Hamptons: In October 2001, the Wall Street millionaire Ted Ammon was found murdered and suspicion fell upon his wife and her lover. That murder is such a rare occurrence in East Hampton was just one reason for the screaming headlines, plus the crime scenario was right out of a James M. Cain potboiler because of the bitter divorce battle between Ted and the attractive Generosa, who had taken up with a Long Island contractor, Daniel Pelosi. Eventually, Mr. Pelosi was convicted of entering the Ammons’ south-of-the-highway home and bludgeoning his lover’s husband to death. Three years after the murder, Generosa Ammon died of breast cancer, and after a custody fight the Ammon children were awarded to an aunt and uncle in Alabama, where they were raised. A rewarding aspect to a 2012 documentary about the family directed by Gregory Ammon was the poignant tale of twins whose lives were affected but not dictated by tragedy and who, a decade later, were searching for their roots and the rest of their family.

Where does Kathryn Ann Mayne fit in? She was the siblings’ British nanny. She had been the manager of the Ammons’ 22-acre estate in England and was caring for the children there following the murder of their father, then returned with them to the U.S. and remained after Generosa Ammon received a diagnosis of breast cancer. By then, the widow and Mr. Pelosi were married. Ms. Mayne would later testify at his murder trial that Mr. Pelosi had revealed to her he had killed Ted Ammon. According to her testimony, one night Mr. Pelosi came home inebriated and described to Ms. Mayne how he had committed the killing. The next morning, sober and scared, Mr. Pelosi told Ms. Mayne, “I’m going to kill you.”

Instead, Mr. Pelosi was convicted and remains in prison. When Generosa Ammon died, Ms. Mayne was given $1 million, lifetime use of the 59 Middle Lane manse, and guardianship of Alexa and Gregory Ammon. The children were subsequently sent to relatives in the South, who raised them until they decided to return to East Hampton.

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