In case you just tuned in, we’re looking at the strange, unsolved killing of movie actor David G.G. Bacon in September 1943. Because he appeared in Republic’s “Masked Marvel” serial, shown above, I’m calling it the “Masked Marvel Murder.”
In Part 1, witnesses saw Bacon’s car jump the curb on Washington Boulevard near Thatcher Avenue and crash into a bean field. Neighbors went to help him and found that he had been stabbed in the left side of his back.
Wayne Powell said:
I knelt beside him and he whispered “Please help me” two times and then he died…. (Later Powell said) He was just lying there between two bean stacks, kicking and squirming. I told him to lie still and save his energy. Before he died, I asked him who had done it but he couldn’t say.
Investigators ran into curious questions almost immediately.
Washington Boulevard near Thatcher Avenue, as shown by Google Street View. In 1943, this was bean fields.
The large amount of blood inside the car, without a trace on the exterior, led police to believe that Bacon had been stabbed while in the car, “struck without warning as he leaned forward,” The Times said. Because there was no sign of a struggle, police speculated that he was stabbed without warning. But by whom?
The route from 8444 Magnolia Ave., to Washington Boulevard and Thatcher via Google Maps.
His wife, singer Greta Keller, who was five months pregnant, told police that Bacon left the house, 8444 Magnolia Ave., about noon on the day of the killing, according to The Times. According to an Associated Press story, neighbors said Bacon left about 2 p.m.
I wanted to go with him, but after consulting our physician by telephone it was decided it would be better for me to stay home. David said he didn’t want to go without me and I began to write some letters in bed. I dropped off to sleep and when I awakened he was gone.
Police noted that Bacon hadn’t taken his three dogs, as he usually did when he went swimming. “Police theorized he may have made an appointment with someone unknown to his wife,” The Times said. They also said robbery was probably not a motive for the killing, noting that Bacon had his wallet, which contained $13, and was wearing two valuable rings.
The Times noted the theory that he was killed by a hitchhiker, adding that the scenario was supported by “statements from friends and acquaintances that Bacon habitually gave lifts to pedestrians whenever he was driving his car.”
Detectives established that the small British car he was driving had been seen “at Ave. 40 in Venice late in the afternoon,” about three minutes from the crash scene, The Times said. However it’s unclear what was meant by “Ave. 40,” because there’s no Avenue 40 in Venice that I can find.
To be continued.