Georgette Bauerdorf, an Unsolved Murder, Part 19

Oct. 20, 1944, Daily News

Oct. 20, 1944: Capt. Garner Brown examines the fabric used to strangle Georgette Bauerdorf, Daily News.

One of the more unusual aspects of the Georgette Bauerdorf killing was the fabric the killer shoved about four inches down her throat.

Georgette Bauerdorf, an Unsolved Murder:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30 | Part 31

News accounts of the time described the fabric as a washcloth, towel or bandage until it was finally identified as a piece of crepe tetra, a sort of gauzy, nappy fabric sold in rolls. According to news accounts, it was mainly used as an athletic bandage for sprains and strains, rather than as a bandage for wounds.

Crepe Tetra

Here is some 10-centimeter (3.9 inches) cotton crepe tetra being sold by a French veterinarians’ supply house.

The fabric used to kill Georgette was from a 10-inch roll that had a red thread along the border, news reports say.

Crepe Tetra
A label from a smaller roll of crepe tetra, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library.

The Daily News (Oct. 20, 1944) said that similar material with a red border was located at the Orthopedic Supply Co., 809 S. Hill St. The company had a smaller roll of crepe tetra in stock, but the manager said that wider rolls of the material, such as the type used by the killer, were imported from France and London, and had not been sold in the U.S. in 22 years. The manager said such fabric was only sold in Los Angeles and New York.

“Substance of the crepe resembles a coarsely knitted gauze” (Daily News, Oct. 10, 1944). “It has a certain elasticity found beneficial in binding and supporting sprained muscles. It is also widely used as a navel band for babies.”

The Daily News (Oct. 21, 1944) reported that all imports of crepe tetra stopped in 1939, and that Army and Navy officials had no record of ever having inventories of crepe tetra.

To be continued.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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