1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Oct. 10, 1944

Oct. 10, 1944, Comics

Oct. 10, 1944

Walter Winchell: All Around the Town

The Waldorf’s special entrance for private railroad cars … Ramshackle Lower East Side apartments without any bathing facilities – in the world’s most modern city .. The 22 reservoirs that supply the town with aqua … Sidewalk tie salesmen now hawking campaign buttons as a sideline … Debutantes perched on a limb of their family tree – looking down on the peasants … Greenwich Village trees that live without sun and water … Bowling Green, the burg’s oldest park, where the Injuns sold Manhattan … West Street, the most expensive waterfront property in the world: $470,000 an acre. At one time it was covered with water … Card sharps who sit in cheap hotel lobbies and practice shuffling cards … Grimy houses near Washington Market that were swanky mansions a century ago. Time rubs the glamour off everything.

Louella Parsons says: The news was hardly out that “Jubal Troop” had been postponed than Claudette Colbert was knee deep in scripts. The story that caught her attention, and the one she has accepted is “Guest Wife,” which she will do for Bruce Manning and Jack Skirball. But hold everything — that isn’t all! Don Amecho co-stars with Claudette. This means Don’s first independent fling, “What Manners of Love,” will wait.

Now it is Carole Landis wealthy Al Vanderbilt is beauing to the nightspots. Apparently he and K.T. Stevens are no longer romancing, for he is seeing the ex-Mrs. Wallace every eve.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.

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Georgette Bauerdorf: An Unsolved Murder, Part 5

Oct. 3, 1942, Hollywood Canteen

Oct. 3, 1942: Abbott and Costello outside the Hollywood Canteen at the opening ceremony, in a Times photo.

Cahuenga Boulevard south of Sunset Boulevard, former location of the Hollywood Canteen, via Google Street View

One of the important locations in the Georgette Bauerdorf killing is the Hollywood Canteen, a club for enlisted men at 1451 N. Cahuenga Blvd., where she volunteered as a hostess. When Bauerdorf was killed, investigators initially focused on a “dark, husky soldier” who insisted on jitterbugging with her “against her wishes,” according to The Times. (More about that later).

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Oct. 9, 1944

Oct. 8, 1944, Comics

Oct. 9, 1944

Walter Winchell says: Wendell Willkie* didn’t know the real reason for his hospitalization. Intimates persuaded news and air reporters to “play it down.” … When the flash of his passing reached midtown spots at 2:30 Sunday ayem — it sent many people home depressed … Beatrice Lillie was welcomed back to the U.S. with a barrage of legal entanglements, aimed at the contract she has with Billy Rose.

*Willkie died Oct. 8, 1944.

Louella Parsons says: Overheard two party guests recently discussing which is the more enthusiastic new father — Ronald Colman or Charles Boyer.

Danton Walker says: Luise Rainer, recovered from malaria contracted during her tour of the African war zone, returns to show business via radio’s “Here’s to Romance” Oct. 26, about the same time confirming her engagement to the heir of a major aviation firm.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.
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Georgette Bauerdorf: An Unsolved Murder, Part 4

Jan. 23, 1947, Elizabeth Short, Bauerdorf

Jan. 23, 1947: The Herald-Express publishes an article headlined “Werewolves Leave Trail of Women Murders in L.A.” (The obnoxious watermark is so that people who see this image after it has been swiped by Pinterest, skyscraper.com and all the Black Dahlia sites will know where it’s from).

One reason I’m devoting so much time to the Georgette Bauerdorf killing of 1944 is not because of what it is, but because of what it is not.

The Bauerdorf slaying is not in any way related to the Black Dahlia killing of Jan. 15, 1947. Armchair sleuths and dreadful “true” crime books have done much work to fuse the two crimes together over the years. Their narrative arcs are quite similar and follow the typical “life cycle” of an unsolved murder, but the details are entirely different.

I will revisit this issue at the conclusion, but it’s important to state from the outset that regardless of what people might have read elsewhere, these two cases are not related.

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Oct. 8, 1944

Reginald de Koven’s “Robin Hood” will be performed in Philadelphia.

Oct. 8, 1944: Louella Parsons says: The first official visit Effie Klinker, Edgar Bergen’s new wooden spinster, made was at my house. The old gal, who Edgar says was a teacher before she joined Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, was dressed to the teeth for the occasion. She wore a shirtwaist of purple taffeta, a John Frederics hat in green, and gaiters – of all things – to say nothing of a watch on her bosom.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.
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Georgette Bauerdorf: An Unsolved Murder, Part 3

Oct. 13, 1944, Comics

Dec. 31, 1944: Major crimes increased in the city of Los Angeles, except for auto theft. Homicides are up 29.5% over 1943.


There are many ways to portray 1944 in Los Angeles, when Georgette Bauerdorf was killed. We might talk about the upcoming presidential election in which Democrat Franklin Roosevelt would defeat Republican candidate Thomas E. Dewey for a fourth term. Or the current movies, although it’s likely that only the most hardcore TCM viewers have seen “Wilson,” “The Merry Monahans” “Maisie Goes to Reno” or “I Love a Soldier.” Much of the Daily Mirror has been devoted to the popular culture for 1944 and Life magazine has provided the basics of World War II, so there’s a fair amount of context.

So before getting into the Bauerdorf case, let’s focus on crime in 1944.

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Oct. 7, 1944

Oct. 7, 1944, Comics

Oct. 7, 1944

Danton Walker says: Agnes De Mille is the unseen star of “Bloomer Girl,” as she is the star of almost any show for which she is choreographer. This much-touted extravaganza, though gorgeously costumed, sumptuously set and brimming over with talent, is too heavily fraught with all this new world a-coming stuff for a lighthearted operetta. Though laid in 1861, its topics are all pointed up to apply to 1944, probably because Hollywood had a hand in it.

Louella Parsons says: One thing about Preston Sturges, he doesn’t underrate his own talents. He was approached recently to act as commentator on a radio show. “Yes I am interested,” drawled Sturges, “providing you give me a two-hour show and build a theater for me.” Which shows how interested Pres really was in the idea. He has just signed Ray Steele, of “Hail the Conquering Hero,” to a long-term contract. Steele, incidentally, is the first actor signed by the satirical Mr. Sturges.*

*Apparently she means Freddie Steele.

LIBRA: Not especially auspicious but with your help, the intelligence you can give undertakings, you need not slip behind in any worthy endeavor. Hard work will advance you.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com
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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + + )


This is “Madam Satan,” directed by Cecil B. DeMille and written by three women: longtime DeMille collaborator Jeanie MacPherson (d. 1946), Gladys Unger (d. 1940) and Elsie Janis (d. 1956). It starred Kay Johnson, Reginald Denny, Lillian Roth and Roland Young. Mitchell Leisen was assistant director and got credit as art director, along with Cedric Gibbons


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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Lookout Mountain Inn Promotes Real Estate


Lookout Mountain
A postcard of Lookout Mountain, courtesy of Mary Mallory.

ong before the developers of Hollywoodland offered potential buyers the chance to enjoy the magnificent views at the top of the hill above their giant advertising sign, the real estate syndicate promoting Lookout Mountain Park smartly decided to construct a high-end resort at the top of the development. While Lookout Mountain Inn survived less than 10 years, it provided the grandest views of the Southland from its wide porches.

The Aug. 14, 1908, Los Angeles Times announced that a new real estate syndicate would soon start construction on a “pleasure resort” on the peak of Lookout Mountain, reached by scenic railway and automobile. Purchased for $98,000, their 280 acres of hill and mountainside loomed above West Hollywood with some of the most spectacular views anywhere around Los Angeles, ranking as one of its top tourist attractions. The newly formed Lookout Mountain Park Land and Water Co. would build a hotel and bungalows, develop and sell water, and reforest the hillsides with eucalyptus and pines.

Mary Mallory’s “Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found” is available for the Kindle.

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Wealthy Carmel Woman, 37, Accused in Love Slaying of Ranch Hand, 19

Oc6t. 3, 1944, Comics
Oct. 3, 1944

The sensational trial of Frances Andrews, 37, in the shooting death of Jay Lovett, 19, prompts a crackpot confession letter (a popular pastime in the 1940s, as found in the Black Dahlia case).  This one included receipts that allegedly bore the victim’s bloodstains.

On July 15, 1944, Jay Lovett, 19, was found shot in the head at the gateway to the Carmel Valley ranch of his wealthy and socially prominent employer, Frances Andrews, whose husband, Cpl. Frank Andrews, was at a party at the ranch of movie actor Victor McLaglen in Clovis. A .25-caliber semiautomatic found next to the body belonged to Andrews.

On Aug. 3, 1944, Andrews, 37, was indicted in Lovett’s death. In a jailhouse interview, the “blond and chic” suspect said that Lovett had committed suicide. Prosecutors, however, charged that Andrews killed Lovett out of jealousy over his relationship with a neighbor, Nancy Linde, whose husband was a San Francisco doctor. Continue reading

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Oct. 3, 1944

Oct. 3, 1944, Comics

Oct. 3, 1944

Walter Winchell says: You probably have been frightened no little in the past two years by the many articles which threatened inflation … The following (from Fortune) was reprinted in The Reader’s Digest in 1934:

By next June our public debt will be approximately what it was in 1919. We have borne it before without staggering and can probably do so again. A lover of statistics has calculated that the United States could run a deficit of five billions a year for 132 years before becoming as insolvent as France was when she succumbed to her great postwar inflation.

Louella Parsons says: All of Fred Allen’s funniest jokes have been about Jack Benny, and vice versa. The feud between these two has gone on for years, beautiful insults hurled in every direction, so I wasn’t surprised when told Jack will play himself in Fred’s movie, “It’s in the Bag.” It’s a nice lineup, with Rudy Vallee playing the singing waiter and William Bendix in an important role.

Danton Walker says: Complaints of civilians who have had to wait while Nazi prisoners are fed in dining cars have resulted in a new ruling; hereafter the prisoners must remain in their guarded cars and eat out of waxed paper boxes.

LIBRA: Private interests may be disquieting in outlook. That’s just a matter of how you view tasks. Your talents used diplomatically and undauntedly can progress.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.
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Coming Attractions: Mark A. Vieira on George Hurrell

George Hurrell

Mark A. Vieira, a photographer, historian and author of several books, will take part in a public discussion of Hollywood photographer George Hurrell on Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. at USC’s Doheny Library marking the opening of an exhibit of Hurrell’s photos selected from Vieira’s book “George Hurrell’s Hollywood: Glamour Portraits 1925 – 1992.”

Vieira will be joined by USC professor Leo Braudy. Admission is free.
The exhibit continues through Dec. 19.

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Alice Cooper Knits 180 Pairs of Socks

Oct. 2, 1944, Comics
Oct. 2, 1944, Knitter
Oct. 2, 1944

A 93-year-old Glendora woman says that she has knitted 180 pairs of socks and 12 sweaters for servicemen since Pearl Harbor. “I should know how. I took my first lesson in knitting 85 years ago,” says Mrs. Alice Cooper.

Premiering at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre: “Abroad With Two Yanks, starring William Bendix, Dennis O’Keefe and Helen Walker.
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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Oct. 2, 1944

Oct. 2, 1944, Comics

Oct. 2, 1944

Walter Winchell says: Joan Fontaine’s intimates suspect that if she weds again the groom will be producer D. Lewis … The postponed Edgar Bergen marriage is just a nice way of saying it is off for good… Deanna Durbin has that expression again because Life’s Robert Landry is back.

Louella Parsons says: Spencer Tracy’s back from Honolulu, where he spent three and a half weeks visiting our men in hospitals. “Entertain?” scoffs Spence. “What can I do? I can’t even whistle!”

Danton Walter says: Part of the campaign to eliminate Nazi influence in the postwar world is an order from Washington to commanding generals to destroy all films made in Germany since 1933.

LIBRA: Stimulating for industrial, mechanical and general business. Gains through sound investments. Don’t forget to lay something away for that rainy day.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.
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The Black Dahlia and Halloween

A Google image search for “Black Dahlia” “Halloween” and “costume.”

It is October, which means Halloween is coming up and Instagram is full of cosplayers practicing their Black Dahlia makeup. Really, folks, don’t do this. Dressing up as a murder victim – who has living relatives – is very uncool.

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Georgette Bauerdorf: An Unsolved Murder, Part 2

The crime scene, 8493 Fountain Ave., via The Times Mapping L.A. Project.

Surveys have shown that most L.A. Daily Mirror readers live in Los Angeles or at least in Southern California, so the majority will already know this. I’m including what follows for those who don’t live in California and are either unfamiliar with the local landscape and find it confusing, or have misconceptions about it.

The reason I’m dealing with Los Angeles geography is because Georgette Bauerdorf was killed in the Greater Los Angeles area, but not in the city of Los Angeles, which means it wasn’t under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Police Department.
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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Oct. 1, 1944

Oct. 1, 1944, Laraine Day
Oct. 1, 1944

The always unpredictable and exciting Maria Montez never fails to come through with some unexpected and dramatic episode when I talk to her. Talking in story book fashion is second nature to Universal’s queen of exotic dramas. She cannot help giving out with some spectacular yarn any more than you or I can help breathing.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.
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Georgette Bauerdorf: An Unsolved Murder, Part 1

Non-Reading Material

The unrecommended reading list. Not shown: Donald Wolfe’s “The Black Dahlia Files,” Scotty Bowers’ “Full Service,” Howard Blum’s “American Lightning,” Wikipedia, etc.

These are curious times to be a diligent researcher in Los Angeles history.

There is more of Los Angeles history around us, mostly in cyberspace, which may be the result of the downtown renaissance, where derelict and long-vacant buildings are being repopulated with young hipsters who are naturally curious about their still-gritty surroundings.

Unfortunately for the diligent researcher, very little of the history being put forth today is any good and some of it is ghastly.

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Sept. 30, 1944

Sept. 30, 1944, Comics

Sept. 30, 1944


Danton Walker says: Government officials want 20th Century-Fox to release “Winged Victory” on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor day, as a boost to the country’s morale. Lucille Ball, since her separation from Desi Arnaz, has gone to live in the Hollywood home of Jody and Renee (DeMarco) Hutchinson. At one time, Renee was reported engaged to marry Desi.

Louella Parsons says: Can you picture the beautiful Heddy Lamarr doing housework in blue jeans? Well, that’s exactly what she tells me she intends to do. She and John Loder are going to Big Bear, high up in the mountains, on Oct. 15 and have two weeks sans servants, sans telephone, sans company. John, she says, will do the cooking. She is doing “Experiment Perilous” at RKO “And,” she said, “I have never been so happy on any picture in my whole life.” She scoffed when I asked her about forming a company. She said there never was a word of truth in it. “Why should I take all the responsibility of making pictures?” Why should she, indeed.

LIBRA: Church, government and public issues, international interests lead favorites today. Individual recognition may be slow, but no worthy endeavor will go unrewarded.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.
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James Ellroy: ‘Perfidia’ Online


Google Books is offering a extensive preview of James Ellroy’s “Perfidia,” for those who may be curious about it.  Amazon is also offering a preview.

I have to say I’m not reassured by the first lines, ostensibly a radio broadcast by Gerald L.K. Smith, who died in 1976 at Glendale Community Hospital:

As is known by everyone who ever listened to Wolfman Jack, the Mexican radio stations had call signs beginning with X as in XERF, which carried Wolfman Jack, and XERA, which carried Dr. J.R. Brinkley of “goat gland” fame.

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