Georgette Bauerdorf, an Unsolved Murder, Part 24


The front door of the Bauerdorf apartment, photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library.

In the previous post, we examined the scenario about the light fixture in the entryway to the Bauerdorf apartment. At the time of the killing, there was intense speculation that the killer disabled the light so that Georgette Bauerdorf would be unable to see who was at the door and thus admitted the killer.

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

Some news accounts said that the light was “automatic,” but a closer examination of this photo shows a switch by the door, which may have operated some sort of exterior light or — as several readers pointed out — an interior light.

Bauerdorf Apartment

Here’s a detail of the photo, showing the switch next to the door.

But look at what else we have: There appears to be a fairly robust door outside the apartment.  Something more than a screen door.

Bauerdorf apartment

Here’s another view, taken from the outside.


Apparently there was a rather heavy ironwork gate outside the entryway to the Bauerdorf apartment.

And what’s this?

Bauerdorf apartment

On the left, it’s hard to be positive because of the angle of the door and the degree of magnification, but there appears to be a small metal door that served as a peephole and allowed someone to look outside without opening the door, an architectural detail that was common in homes of the 1930s. Of course, such security measures didn’t prevent Jack Dempsey and a couple of private detectives from breaking in on his wife and a fight trainer.

As I noted earlier, it’s impossible to be sure without visiting the apartment – assuming it hasn’t been remodeled over the years. But these are my hunches.

One more detail about the door. Investigators speculated that the killer might have had a key to the apartment, or possibly a passkey. But as noted by one of the former custodians who was detained by investigators, the door could be bolted from the inside, preventing access even to someone who had a passkey.

To be continued.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1944, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Hollywood and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Georgette Bauerdorf, an Unsolved Murder, Part 24

  1. That picture, with the arrows and the menacing figure in the doorway…brrr.


  2. Earl Boebert says:

    The robust door appears to me to be the ironwork gate to entryway. It opens to partially block the front door, as shown in the lead picture for Part 20. The camera angle makes it look like it was mounted in front of the apartment door. Note the identical gap between the bottom of the gate and floor of the entryway, and the fact that the angle of the gate bottom is parallel to the front door jamb, but the menacing figure is clearly standing between it and the jamb.


  3. AND says:

    Maybe you’ve already seen this but it appears that the El Palacio just “closed permanently” according to Google. But I did find very recent photos for units being available up through 2018(?). I think I even found her very unit with photographs. It only appears to show the first floor, but it’s the EXACT SAME have rail going up the staircase to the bedroom. It’s very eerie. You can even see the kitchen. I genuinely believe that this may very well be her exact unit. I provided the link down below. Also other units also show that those metal doors are still on there to this day.


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