Child beater

June 29, 1957
Los Angeles

Here’s a formula for disaster: Take an unemployed 19-year-old who was booted out of the Marines after going AWOL and slashed his wrists when he was caught. Hook him up with a 21-year-old girlfriend who’s working a double shift as a waitress  in a cafe. Throw in her 2-year-old daughter and put them all in a trailer at 7025 Chanslor Ave. in Bell.

The ex-Marine’s name is Girard Joseph McNulty, who said: “The way we had to live like animals just seemed to get me down. Half the time we didn’t know what to do about rent or for food or anything else and it just hit me all at once.”

His girlfriend was Laura Irene Donnelly and she had known McNulty about two years. They had arrived from Colorado about a month earlier.

The youngster is identified as Joyce Ellen Meyer in one story and Joyce Donnelly in another.

“I don’t really know why I hit her but when I hit her she just hit the wall with her head and then I heard her crying and rushed her to the hospital,” McNulty said. Joyce was hospitalized with a black eye, bruises on her abdomen and cheek, and a possible concussion.

McNulty was arrested on charges of felony child beating and arraigned, but The Times never pursued the story. He died in Texas in 1992, according to the Social Security Death Index. No further information is available about Laura Donnelly or her daughter Joyce.

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About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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