July 19, 1957
Hours after Liberace gave a deposition in his $25-million libel suit against Confidential magazine, two masked intruders attacked his mother in the garage of Liberace’s home, 15405 Valley Vista Blvd., Sherman Oaks.
Frances Liberace Casadonte, (68, according to the Mirror; 65, according to The Times) said she was on her way to burn some trash in a backyard incinerator when she was attacked by two men.
“They had black hoods with slits for their eyes. They also had some kind of covering, probably stockings, over their shoes,” Casadonte told
police. “I screamed and they chased me into the kitchen. There, one of them grabbed me, hit me or threw me down on the floor. One of them kicked me in the back. I heard one of them say, ‘This will give him something to laugh about.’ Then I fainted.”
A doctor says Casadonte’s heavy corset may have protected her from being badly injured when the attackers kicked her. Liberace was not informed about the assault until he finished his
midnight show at the Moulin Rouge, The Times said.
A family spokesman said: “I feel this whole thing is connected with the Confidential suit. Somebody is trying to frighten us.”
In response, guards were hired to protect the home of Liberace, as well as the home of his brother George in Encino, and that of his brother Rudy in Van Nuys.
According to The Times, several people were questioned in the assault, but no one was ever arrested.
Interesting… I found this after wondering about the history of crimes against celebrities and the ultra-wealthy. There was an article today about a couple of cat burglars that are targeting high end estates (doubt they’d have much success at the highest end). Are you seeing any relationship between the economy/crime in the late 50’s and today?
They must have just been starting or near to starting construction of the 405 around that time. Just about a block away.
I just read today Michael Douglas is going to play Liberace in a new Steven Soderbergh’s production. So now we know one of the film’s turns!