Feb. 4, 1942: “As Coroner R.E. Williams and his aides bore the pitiful little body, still clad in her gay blue and white striped red school dress, toward town for an autopsy to determine the cause of death, the hundreds of law enforcement officers and volunteers turned in cold fury to the grim job of tracking down her murderer.”
Shirley Marie Bell, 6, was found in Cajon Wash, strangled with her jump rope. She was apparently abducted on her way to school. Several people reported seeing her on the handlebars of a bicycle ridden by a man headed for the desert. She was crying, one rancher said.
Searchers found the tracks of a man and a child leading into the desert. Then signs of a scuffle and Shirley’s lunchbox.
As news of the tragedy spread among the searchers and onlookers, angry mutterings that the murderer should pay with his life on the end of a rope swelled through the crowd. Sheriff [Emmet L. ] Shay said nothing at this but directed his deputies to be on the alert to guard the life of the suspect, if and when found.
Several men were questioned in the case, and in 1946 suspect John William Carlson showed a surprising amount of knowledge about the incident, although he eventually recanted his story. The killing was never solved.
“It Started With Eve” is opening at the Pantages Hollywood and RKO Hill Street, with “Confessions of Boston Blackie.”
Jimmie Fidler says: Nelson Eddy, who stands so erect, sprawls on chairs and divans.