Changeling Stories — Part 3

Photograph by Tony Rivetti Jr. / Universal PicturesAbove, Colm Feore as Police Chief James Davis, “Changeling,” set in 1928.

Los Angeles Times file photoAbove, Police Chief James Davis, 1926.

Northcott signs confession.
I don’t care much for the press passes in the reporters’ hats (at top), in fact they make me cringe, but costume designer Deborah Hopper  did a nice job on Chief Davis’ uniform, taking a small liberty to show a bit more of his tie.At left, Gordon Northcott admits killing five boys, including Walter Collins. Northcott says he made Walter kneel at an improvised altar before killing him and kept his body around the house for several days. Northcott later told Christine Collins that he didn’t kill her son.Below, Northcott’s mother is given a life term in the killings.
“I kept his body around the house for three days before I buried it.”

“The old fool is crazy! There aren’t
any bodies!”

“My boy never had anything to do with the murders…. It was all my fault.”

“It is only because you are a woman that I do not sentence you to be hanged.”

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1928, Changeling, Crime and Courts, Film, Hollywood, Homicide and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Changeling Stories — Part 3

  1. Pamela Porter says:


    Thanks for running these again. I honestly do not know how Christine Collins did not just break down and dive head-first into total insanity over all of this. It’s bad enough that your son is missing – it’s just a total human cruelty to try to foist some other kid on her to close the case.


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