Cold Case Wiki
Ambrose Stone
Ambrose in 1919
Ambrose Stone
Portrayed by Zach Grenier
Episode Torn
Status Deceased

Ambrose Stone was the owner of a prominent brewery company in Philadelphia whose only daughter,[1] Frances Stone, was murdered in June 23, 1919.


Of humble origins,[2] Ambrose had amassed a fortune selling alcoholic beverages and became one of the richest men in early 20th century Philadelphia. This success was bound to end with the proclamation of the 19th Amendment, which would lead to the prohibition of production and distribution of alcoholic drinks. Since the 19th Amendment had its main supporters among women, Ambrose was naturally opposed to the concession of vote to women and despised suffragettes like Alice B. Harris.

The situation took a turn for the worse in June 1919 when his daughter Frances, just having turned 18, became interested in the cause of the suffragettes. Ambrose still looked at her as a "filly" and truth to the customs of the time, he expected nothing of Frances but blind obedience and a marriage to a man of his confidence, Lawrence Wakeley, that would secure the company and the Stones' fortune after his retirement (since women were not expected to run business either). When Frances began to attend suffragette meetings in Alice's house, Ambrose threatened his maid and Frances' friend, Philippa Abruzzi, to get the location of the house and had the police sent there under the false pretext that it was a brothel. All the women present were arrested.

In a final attempt to return his daughter to the fold, Ambrose used his connections to have Frances freed from jail and her criminal record purged, but only after making her vow not to have further contact with the suffragettes. Pressed by the possibility of being re-incarcerated and her father disowning her, Frances complied and went back home. That same night, she died at the hands of her mother, Elizabeth Stone, who accidentally caused Frances to fall over the balcony in a fit of rage during an argument.

It is unknown if Ambrose ever learned who his daughter's killer was, but it's possible that the Stones deliberately halted the police's investigation in order to avoid a social scandal. Not so much after Frances' case went cold, as Prohibition was enacted and the Stones lost their fortune, company and even the family house. It wouldn't be until 2007 that a distant relative of theirs, Emma Stone, petitioned the PPD to reopen the case.


  1. Though not outright stated, the episode seems to imply that the Stones only had one daughter in 1919, and given their age it is unlikely they had another child after the murder. Thus, "Grammy Stone" wouldn't be Frances' sister, but most likely a first cousin of hers and daughter to some brother of Ambrose. It is neither clear how did the surname Stone pass down to Emma, who seemingly mentioned Ambrose as her great-great-grandfather (when describing the house Frances died in).
  2. As his remark "You don't know what is to be poor" to Frances implies