Monday, August 31, 2009

Greystone, the Doheny Mansion of Murder and Suicide

Doheny Mansion of Murder and Suicide
On February 16, 1929, four months after Ned Doheny, his wife Lucy and their five children moved into Greystone, Ned died in his bedroom in a murder-suicide with his secretary, Hugh Plunket. The official story indicated Plunket murdered Ned either because of a "nervous disorder" or inflamed with anger over not receiving a raise. Others point out that Ned's gun was the murder weapon and that Ned was not buried in a Catholic cemetery with the rest of his family, indicating that he had committed suicide. Both men were involved in the trial of Ned's father (Edward L. Doheny) in the Teapot Dome scandal.
-- wiki
Doheny Mansion of Murder and SuicideDoheny Mansion of Murder and SuicideDoheny Mansion of Murder and SuicideDoheny Mansion of Murder and Suicide

Both Upton Sinclair's book OIL (1927) and the recent film THERE WILL BE BLOOD (2007) are loosely based on Edward L. Doheny. The final sequence in the film was filmed at Greystone Mansion aka the Doheny Mansion.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Olga and Helen Went Hunting For Victims at Church

Hollywood Presbyterian ChurchHelen Golay's Ocean Park home

Olga Rutterschmidt and Helen Golay appeared to be kindly old women spending their last days helping the less fortunate. They stopped by the Sunday lunch for the homeless at Hollywood Presbyterian Church. Olga and Helen were looking for victims.

Helen Golay's Ocean Park home

Olga and Helen came from different worlds. Olga lived in a well-worn Sycamore Avenue apartment building. Helen owned rental properties on the westside and lived in one of her own buildings on Ocean Park Boulevard.

Olga Rutterschmidt's Sycamore apartment

Olga and Helen preyed on homeless men, befriending them, and obtaining insurance policies for them. Afterwards, they'd kill the men, making it appear like hit and run accidents. They were arrested by the LAPD on May 18, 2006. On April 16, 2008, they were convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Olga Rutterschmidt's Sycamore apartmentHollywood Presbyterian Church

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Phil Spector's Castle of Blood

Phil Spector's Castle of Blood
In the early morning hours of February 3, 2003 Clarkson was found dead by a single gunshot to her mouth in a foyer of Spector's mansion "Pyrenees Castle" in Alhambra, California. She was pronounced dead at 6:25 am. The Alhambra Police Department received the call shortly after 5:02 am and Mr. Spector was arrested on suspicion of murder. Later that day he was released on $1 million bail. Spector claimed that Lana Clarkson committed suicide, however his driver and butler Adriano DeSousa stated that before police arrived, Spector declared that he thought he had just killed somebody. The Los Angeles County medical examiner Dr. Luis Pena who performed Clarkson's autopsy, ruled her death a homicide. On November 20, 2003 Phil Spector was indicted for Lana Clarkson's murder, and on September 27, 2004 he was ordered to stand trial in Los Angeles.
Phil Spector's Castle of Blood
On April 13, 2009, Phil Spector was convicted of second degree murder at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, California. Spector was sentenced to 19 years to life (15 years for second degree murder plus 4 years for the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime) on May 29, 2009 making him eligible for parole in 2028.
-- wiki

Lana Clarkson Interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Lana Clarkson Interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Clarkson's private funeral service was held on February 19, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. Her remains had been cremated and interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, in the Columbarium Rotunda attached to the Chapel in Hollywood. On February 23, 2003, her family and friends attended a memorial in her honor which was held at Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre in Hollywood, California.
-- wiki
Lana Clarkson Interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Spector Met Clarkson Blues

House of Blues West Hollywood
On February 2, 2003, Clarkson met music producer Phil Spector at the West Hollywood House of Blues, while working as a hostess at VIP Foundation room. After her shift ended, Lana was invited by Spector to go home with him for a drink. Soon after midnight they left House of Blues and headed in his limo to his home in Alhambra, California.
-- wiki
House of Blues West Hollywood

Lana Clarkson Lived on the Venice Grand Canal

Lana Clarkson's apartment building on the Venice Grand Canal

Actress Lana Clarkson enjoyed living the dream, even when times got tough. She lived in an apartment on the Grand Canal in Venice just off Washington Boulevard. Her career suffered, but she still looked good. She still had a shot a greatness. She took a job working at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip, hoping to make some new connections that could help her career. Then, one night she went home with Phil Spector and you know the rest.

Lana Clarkson's apartment building on the Venice Grand CanalLana Clarkson's apartment building on the Venice Grand Canal

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ghosts and Gore at El Compadre

El Compadre Restaurant
In the 1950s the restaurant was called Don Pepe's and most of the customers wre streetwise young men and others who, it is said, lived in the shadow of the law. One night, the restaurant was robbed by three or four men wielding guns. Staff and customers ducked for cover as shots rang out, but two men were hit and died on the spot.
-- Ghost Hunter's Guide to Los Angeles
El Compadre RestaurantEl Compadre Restaurant
"Home of the Flaming Margaritas"
7408 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 874-7924

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Two Tonys Terminated on Ogden

Ogden Drive Apartments

A gangster duo in the heyday of the LA mob rule scene, the "TWO TONYS," as they were dubbed, sat in their car in front of their apartment building on Ogden Drive, just south of Hollywood Boulevard, on the night of August 6, 1951. Their feet never hit the pavement again. The police found them in the car. Tony Trombino, 31, and Tony Brancato, 36, were both shot in the back of the head. Perhaps, someone they knew, and knew well, got into their car and sat behind them. This person or persons fired their gun(s) from the back seat into the Two Tonys' heads. Eventually, Jimmy "The Weasel" Fratianno confessed to the killings.

Ogden Drive Apartments

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Director William Desmond Taylor Found Dead in Alvarado Court Apartments

Former Location of Alvarado Court ApartmentsThe Alvarado Court Apartments stood on the southeast corner of Alvardo and Maryland Streets in the then fashionable Westlake District. The property is now a Ross clothing store parking lot.
At 7:30 a.m. on the morning of February 2, 1922, the body of William Desmond Taylor was found inside his bungalow at the Alvarado Court Apartments, 404-B South Alvarado Street, in the Westlake Park area of downtown Los Angeles, California, which was then known as a trendy and affluent neighbourhood.
A crowd gathered inside and someone identifying himself as a doctor stepped forward, made a cursory examination of the body, declared the victim had died of a stomach hemorrhage and was never seen again, perhaps out of embarrassment, because sometime later doubts arose, the body was rolled over and it was discovered the 49-year-old film director had been shot in the back.
In Taylor's pockets were a wallet holding $78, a silver cigarette case, a Waltham pocket watch and an ivory toothpick. A two carat (400 mg) diamond ring was on his finger. A large but undetermined sum of cash which Taylor had shown to his accountant the day before was missing and apparently never accounted for. After some investigation, the time of Taylor's death was set at 7:50 in the evening of February 1, 1922. Whilst being interviewed by the police five days after the director's body was found, (Mary Miles) Minter said that following the murder a friend, director and actor Marshall Neilan, told her Taylor had made several highly "delusional" statements about some of his social acquaintances (including her) during the weeks before his death. She also said Neilan thought Taylor had recently become "insane."
-- wiki

William Desmond Taylor is buried under his birth name "William Cunningham Deane-Tanner" in the Cathedral Mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollwood, California.

Did Actress Mary Miles Minter Kill William Desmond Taylor?

Mary Miles Minter's Santa Monica house

In this Adelaide Drive home in Santa Monica, silent movie actress and William Desmond Taylor murder suspect Mary Miles Minter died on August 4, 1989.

In 1922, Taylor was murdered in his home (on Alvarado Street). In a 1970 interview during which she described Taylor as her "mate," Minter recalled how she broke down and sobbed when she was allowed to view (and touch) the director's body in a morgue.

The ensuing scandal, coming in the wake of the Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle murder trial, was the subject of widespread media speculation and embellishment. Newspapers reported that coded love letters written by Minter had been found in his bungalow after his death (these were later shown to have been written three years earlier, in 1919). Minter was at the height of her success, having starred in more than 50 films and sensationalistic newspaper revelations of the twenty-year-old film star's association with a forty-nine-year-old murdered director caused rolling scandals.

There were several suspects (including her mother Charlotte Shelby) in the long investigation of Taylor's murder. In 1937, Minter publicly announced to the Los Angeles Examiner newspaper, "Now I demand that I either be prosecuted for the murder committed fifteen years ago, or exonerated completely. If the District Attorney has any evidence, he should prosecute. If not, then I should be exonerated... Shadows have been cast upon my reputation."

Mary Miles Minter's Santa Monica house
Minter commented she was content to live without her Hollywood career. She reconciled fully with her mother and proclaimed her love for Taylor throughout her long life. Minter had invested in Los Angeles real estate and seems to have lived in relative comfort and prosperity, although she was later the victim of several robberies during the 1970s and early 80s. Police described her as a frail old woman and people were often shocked to learn she had once been a famous movie star. She died in 1984 from a stroke in Santa Monica, California. For her contributions to the motion picture industry Mary Miles Minter has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1724 Vine Street.
-- wiki
Mary Miles Minter's Santa Monica house

Monday, August 24, 2009

Senator's Reporter Daughter Robbed and Shot in Venice

Chez Helen was in the 1000 block of Washington Boulevard aka Abbott Kinney Boulevard

Her uncle was a Senator. She earned a Phi Beta Kappa at Yale. She worked as a reporter for the Herald Examiner. She lived in Venice. On Wednesday night, November 12, 1980, Sarai Ribicoff went on a date with John Shoven, a Standford Economics professor. They dined at a fashionable restaurant called CHEZ HELENE on what was then Washington Boulevard. Since then, the street has been renamed Abbott Kinney Boulevard in honor of the founder of Venice. The Venice gangs ruled the neighborhood then as they do now.

After the couple left the restaurant, two armed Crips gang members, Frederick Thomas and Anthony LaQuin McAdoo, stepped out of the shadows and started to rob them. Shoven gave up his wallet and Sarai explained she didn't have a purse (for just this purpose). Thomas pushed her to the ground. Some witnesses say she might have resisted when he grabbed at her gold necklace. But Thomas put the gun to her head and pulled the trigger. The gun didn't fire. Maybe there wasn't a round in the chamber, but Thomas made the bloodthirsty decision to try again. This time, he aimed the gun at her back and shot her point blank. Thomas tried to shoot Shoven, but missed and wound up shooting himself.

919 5th Street

Apparently, "two knife-wielding cooks" (from another restaurant) chased Thomas and McAdoo who fled the scene. They beat it to McAdoo's sister's cousin's apartment at 919 5th Street nearby in Venice. She took Thomas to Marina Mercy Hospital and McAdoo went into hiding. Thanks to the "knife-wielding cooks" the police tracked Thomas down to the hospital and arrested him. The police found McAdoo in January. He testified against Thomas and got 25 years as an accomplice. Thomas was found guilty of murder. The jury wanted Thomas to get the death penalty, but a mistrial led to his receiving life imprisonment.

919 5th Street

Venice Violent Crimes - Day of Remembrance - You Tube

Thanks to carywilli for the video.

Venice Gang - You Tube

Thanks to reppinthatVgang for the video.

Abbot Kinney on a Friday afternoon

Thanks to dhf78 for the video.

First Fridays at Abbot Kinney - Venice - You Tube

Thanks to depenaproductions for the video.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

RFK Wasn't DOA

Former site of Central Receiving HospitalNow the new Rampart Police Station
Kennedy was taken a mile away to Central Receiving Hospital, where he arrived near death. One doctor slapped his face, calling, "Bob, Bob", while another massaged Kennedy's heart. After obtaining a good heartbeat, doctors handed a stethoscope to Ethel Kennedy so she could hear her husband's heart beating, much to her relief. After about 30 minutes, Kennedy was transferred several blocks to the Hospital of the Good Samaritan for surgery. Surgery began at 3:12 a.m. PDT and lasted three hours and 40 minutes. Ten and a half hours later, at 5:30 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, spokesman Frank Mankiewicz announced that Kennedy's doctors were "concerned over his continuing failure to show improvement"; his condition remained "extremely critical as to life".
-- wiki
Good Samaritan HospitalGood Samaritan Hospital

RFK's Last Speech at the Ambassador Hotel - You Tube

Thanks to JFK1963 for the video.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

RFK's Ambassador Assassination

The Ambassador Hotel
Four hours after the polls closed in California, Kennedy claimed victory in the state's Democratic presidential primary. At approximately 12:15 a.m. PDT, he addressed his campaign supporters in the Ambassador Hotel's Embassy Room ballroom, in the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles. At the time, the government provided Secret Service protection for incumbent presidents but not for presidential candidates. Kennedy's only security was provided by former FBI agent William Barry and two unofficial bodyguards, former professional athletes. During the campaign, Kennedy had welcomed contact with the public, and people had often tried to touch him in their excitement.
The Ambassador Hotel
Kennedy had planned to walk through the ballroom when he had finished speaking, on his way to another gathering of supporters elsewhere in the hotel. However, with deadlines fast approaching, reporters wanted a press conference. Campaign aide Fred Dutton decided that Kennedy would forgo the second gathering and instead go through the kitchen and pantry area behind the ballroom to the press area. Kennedy finished speaking and started to exit when William Barry stopped him and said, "No, it's been changed. We're going this way." Barry and Dutton began clearing a way for Kennedy to go left through swinging doors to the kitchen corridor, but Kennedy, hemmed in by the crowd, followed hotel maƮtre d' Karl Uecker through a back exit.
The Ambassador Hotel
Uecker led Kennedy through the kitchen area, holding Kennedy's right wrist but frequently releasing it as Kennedy shook hands with those he encountered. Uecker and Kennedy started down a passageway narrowed by an ice machine against the right wall and a steam table to the left. Kennedy turned to his left and shook hands with busboy Juan Romero as Sirhan Sirhan stepped down from a low tray-stacker beside the ice machine, rushed past Uecker, and repeatedly fired what was later identified as a .22 caliber Iver-Johnson Cadet revolver.
-- wiki
The Ambassador Hotel

Ambassador Hotel and Coconut Grove in Los Angeles

Thanks to danieljbmitchell for the video.

Demolition of the Ambassador Hotel - You Tube

Thanks to mattpat77 for the video.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Actress Rebecca Schaeffer's Last Words

Rebecca's Sweetzer Apartment building

"Why? Why?"

- Rebecca's last words

Up and coming young actress Rebecca Schaeffer had stepped over the threshold of luck and entered the living room of the entertainment business. She was a co-star on a hit series. Unfortunately, when she answered the front door of her apartment building one-day, her life and career were evicted from our earthly existence.
Robert John Bardo was the youngest of seven siblings, son of a former Air Force officer. He grew up in Tucson, Arizona, the object of much physical and mental abuse.
Bardo began to be obsessed with the character "Patti," played by Rebecca Schaeffer. He built a shrine to her in his bedroom.
Bardo hired the services of a private investigator and used the Department of Motor Vehicles to gain information about Rebecca, including her address.
Bardo rang her doorbell.
That morning, Rebecca was preparing to go to an audition with Francis Ford Coppola for a role in his upcoming film Godfather III. She heard the doorbell, but her voice intercom was broken, so she went to the front door herself.
When she opened the front door, Bardo stood there holding a photo of Rebecca for her to sign. He told her he was her "biggest fan." After thanking him, she asked him politely to leave and closed the door.
About 10:15 a.m., Bardo returned to Rebecca's apartment building. Rebecca answered the doorbell once again. When she opened the front door, Bardo held out his gun and shot her in the chest.

"Why? Why?"
- Rebecca's last words

-- Poe Forward Rebecca Schaeffer Page

Rebecca's Sweetzer Apartment building

CBS/WNEV Thanksgiving Day 1987 - Rebecca Schaeffer

Thanks to MSTS1 for the video.

Rebecca Schaeffer Murder Site

Thanks to death2ur for the video.

Rebecca Schaeffer Gravesite

Thanks to death2ur for the video.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Menendez Money Madness Murders

Menendez Beverly Hills family home

Being a good-looking Beverly Hills rich kid wasn't enough for Lyle or Erik Menendez. They coveted the power, the goodies, and the freedom that the control of great wealth promises. Their parents, Jose and Kitty, were filthy rich. Jose Menendez was a member of the Board of Directors of Carolco Pictures. So, on August 20, 1989, they massacred their parents in the den of their Beverly Hills family home. Talk about premeditated, they followed an elaborate plan to set themselves up with an alibi. They acted like stricken orphans to the police and the press. But that plan failed. They were arrested and put on trial. For their next plan, they portrayed their parents as abusive tyrants. They claimed self-defense. The second jury didn't buy this act.

Menendez Beverly Hills family home
Both brothers were convicted of two counts of first degree murder, plus conspiracy to commit murder. In the penalty phase of the trial, the jury did not support death sentences for the brothers but instead returned recommendations of life in prison. The jury later said that the abuse defense was never a factor in their deliberations and that the jury rejected the death penalty because neither brother had a felony record or a history of violence. Unlike the previous trials, the jury unanimously rejected the defense theory that the brothers killed their parents out of fear, but believed rather that the murders were committed with the intent of gaining control of their parents' considerable wealth.
-- wiki
Carolco Pictures Sunset Boulevard building

So, now the boys have been in prison for awhile. Although California does not allow for conjugal visits for murderers or lifers, both brothers have gotten married. The brothers live in separate prisons. Reportedly, they haven't spoken to each other in several years.

Carolco Pictures West Hollywood building

Lyle and Erik Menendez News Clip

Thanks to g12er for the video.

Menendez Home - Dearly Departed Tour - You Tube

Thanks to deathhag for the video.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lana Turner's Gangster Boyfriend Killed By Her Daughter?

Lana Turner's Beverly Hills Home - Site of Johnny Stompanato Murder
On April 4, 1958, Johnny Stompanato was stabbed to death at Turner's Beverly Hills, California home. The assailant was Turner's then teenage daughter, Cheryl Crane. The girl claimed that Stompanato was attacking her mother and she had to defend her. The courts agreed, ruling Stompanato's death to be justifiable homicide. After the ruling, Stompanato's family sued Turner for $7 million; gangster Mickey Cohen supposedly paid the family's legal costs. The case was finally settled out of court.
Lana Turner's Beverly Hills Home - Site of Johnny Stompanato Murder

There have been endless rumors since 1958 that Turner was the actual killer. Her daughter supposedly took the blame because she was a minor and would face minimal judicial punishment under the circumstances. However there is no evidence to prove such claims.
-- wiki

Lana Turner died in her Century City condo on July 29, 1995.

Lana Turner's Century City CondoLana Turner's Century City Condo

CURIOUS NOTE: In the fall of 1957, Lana went to England to work alongside Sean Connery in ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE (1958). Jealous Johnny followed her. He started imagining Lana and Sean were having an affair. Johnny showed up on the movie set and pointed a gun at Sean. The American gangster and ex-Marine threatened the former Mr. Universe runner-up and future James Bond to stay away from his girl. Now Sean grew up on the mean streets of Edinburgh. He twisted the gun out of Johnny's hand and sent him packing. The English Government deported Johnny. After Johnny's death, the Mob wondered if Sean had anything to do with it. When Sean came to L.A., he kept a low profile for awhile.

"Tell them: the little fish I throw back into the sea."

-- Sean Connery as James Bond in THUNDERBALL