The ‘Masked Marvel Murder’ — Part 10

David Bacon in the "Masked Marvel"

David Bacon, center, in a still from “The Masked Marvel,” photo courtesy of Steven Bibb.


Sept. 20, 1943, Bacon Killing In case you just tuned in, we are looking at the “Masked Marvel Murder” of actor David G.G. Bacon, who was stabbed to death Sept. 12, 1943. Bacon was apparently driving back to Los Angeles from Venice, crashed his car into a bean field on Washington Boulevard and collapsed, dying of a deep stab wound. His killing was never solved.

In previous posts, we have looked at his coded diary, his secret hideaway a mile from his home with singer Greta Keller, his arrest for contributing to the delinquency of a minor – a 15-year-old newsboy – and his participation in the Hasty Pudding productions at Harvard, in which he was apparently quite gifted at portraying women.

Now it’s time to look at the “sideshow.”

The “Masked Marvel Murder” Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

Uh-oh.

Sept. 20, 1943, AP
Sept. 20, 1943: An Associated Press story via the Binghamton Press.


Blakeley C. Patterson Oh dear. The Los Angeles Examiner got taken for a ride. According to the AP account, hospital orderly Blakeley C. Patterson told the Examiner that he had spoken with Bacon about a blackmail note. That must have seemed intriguing and Bacon was clearly a man with a secret life.

And then Patterson’s story fell apart under police questioning. He admitted that he was only after publicity and a chance in films. “I thought I could get into the movies if I had my picture in the paper,” Patterson said.

Sept. 21, 1943, Bacon Hoax

Herald-Express, no date image
Notice that The Times and the Herald-Express are eager to distance themselves from the hoax, without identifying the Examiner by name.

Sept. 22, 1943, Bacon killing

And look who else shows up in the Bacon saga: Dr. J. Paul De River, who will play a prominent role in the Black Dahlia case.

Patterson was given 10 days in jail, reduced from 90 days after he promised to go back home to Minnesota.

Sept. 23, 1943, Bacon Killing

To be continued.

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About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1943, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Film, Hollywood, Homicide, LAPD and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The ‘Masked Marvel Murder’ — Part 10

  1. Eve says:

    “I thought I could get get talked about on something called ‘the Internet’ in sixty years or so if I had my picture in the paper,” Patterson said.

    We all know Dr. Hodel killed poor David Bacon.

  2. aryedirect says:

    Masked Marvels and Evil Geniuses travel in the same criminal circles. Always symbiotic because they need one another.

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