Note: In an encore post from 2015, this is Part 2 of the story of Hazel Glab, flamboyant flapper, whose husband, John, died under mysterious circumstances June 18, 1928, at 12744 Ventura Blvd., in Studio City. Murder charges against her were dropped for lack of evidence.
Hazel Glab disappeared from the scene until tragedy once again brought her name into newspaper headlines in 1935. Wealthy Los Angeles manufacturer Albert Cheney, 65, died of a heart attack March 13, 1935, in Las Vegas, only 10 days before he and his fiancee, Hazel, who was 36, were to wed. Newspapers reported on April 22 that the former Mrs. Glab would return to Los Angeles to enter into probate a will handwritten in purple ink on hotel stationery, which left almost his entire $400,000 estate to Hazel, with only his home and furnishings at 15 Berkeley Square left to his daughter, Mrs. Taylor.
“Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays” by Karie Bible and Mary Mallory is now available at Amazon and at local bookstores.
Hazel Glab, in trouble again, Ogden Standard Examiner, May 19, 1935.
During testimony in probate court, the will was declared a forgery, and Cheney’s daughter filed suit contesting the validity of the will. On October 25, 1935, Hazel Glab was sentenced to jail in lieu of $10,000 on charges of forging Cheney’s will. Sheand her co-defendant Mrs. Clara Steeger were brought to trial December 18, 1935, charged with Mrs. Glab in forging the will and Mrs. Steeger and her husband witnessing it. Mr. Steeger admitted his guilt, gaining probation in exchange for testifying in the trial.
Witnesses testified to how Hazel plotted to meet Cheney, and then once a couple, kept him intoxicated most of the time. After his death, the will was forged by using chemical and abrasive erasure to remove all but Cheney’s signature from hotel stationery, and writing out the document above it. On December 27, 1935, Hazel Belford Glab walked from the defense table to the witness stand, her high heels clicking on the wood floor, to testify that Mr. Cheney gave her the will, and denying any forgery.
The former Mrs. Glab was convicted December 28 of forging the Cheney will and preparing false evidence, receiving a one- to seven-year sentence for forgery and one to five years for the false evidence charge. Publicity around this case led the police to once again open the Glab murder case.
On January 9, 1936, District Attorney Buron Fitts announced that seven witnesses had been called to testify before the grand jury in a reinvestigation of Glab’s death, with one witness’ name withheld. He stated that in October, new information had emerged about certain persons who knew “important facts” regarding the case but had not been thoroughly questioned during the investigation. These new facts helped the police construct a new timeline for the event, blowing the alibi of “the suspect who was never prosecuted.” The police once again searched the former Glab home on Ventura Boulevard for clues, and through an arrest in another investigation, the suspected murder weapon came into police’ hands. This gun was the one seized after Herbert Franzelle employed it in beating Mrs. Glab, a .32-20 revolver.
Hazel Belford Glab’s trial for murder convened March 2, 1936, with prosecution aiming to prove that Mrs. Glab left the room where she was playing cards to accost and kill her husband outside for threatening to leave her the next day, before slipping back into the house. Detective Floyd Oden would testify about disarming her at the 1931 party, and a former neighbor would also testify about seeing her outside the home the evening of the murder.
The March 4, 1936, Los Angeles Times described how carefully prepared, detailed maps would reveal the directions and layout of the murder, showing that Mrs. Glab and her niece actually returned home in the car, from which Mrs. Glab sent her niece to ask her husband to meet her outside. Once there, she shot him, and when she ran toward the house, she saw her maid leaving her quarters. Mrs. Glab therefore ran into the garage, hid the gun in a secret compartment of the other car, and slipped into the house by a side entrance.
The click-clacking of high heels on the street introduced a powerful line of argument according to the March 5 paper, witness Mrs. W. S. Goodrich testified at the grand jury that she heard the clicking of a woman’s high heeled shoes as she saw a woman flee from the car towards the Glab residence.
New testimony the next day also threw a damper on Glab’s claims of innocence. Jack Heater testified to the fact that a month before Glab’s death, Hazel Glab offered $500 to anyone who could kill her husband for her. Investigator Jack Southard found two secret compartments in the Glabs’ other car in which the murder weapon could have been hidden.
Hazel Glab, April 24, 1958, in The Times.
On March 6, the jury, attorneys, Judge Frank Smith, and Mrs. Hazel Glab visited the former Glab residence to see prosecutors trace the route Mrs. Glab followed after killing her husband, hiding the gun and returning to the home.
Hazel Glab herself testified March 16, 1936, denying that she had murdered her husband. She did admit that she nicked W. R. McIntyre in the neck in February 1926 before her marrying Glab, after an argument when she informed McIntyre she intended to marry the druggist. Her story differed in many ways from the testimony of prosecution witnesses. Unfortunately for Mrs. Glab, her niece Miss Kaser, who had provided her an alibi in 1928, did not testify when the defense could not serve her with a subpoena.
The jury spent many hours in deliberation. After 24 hours’ deliberation, the jury asked to rehear testimony about Mrs. Glab’s movements, and were deadlocked at 9-3. The jury finally convicted her of second-degree murder on March 20, 1936 after 27 hours’ deliberation. She was sentenced to seven years to life, to be served in the women’s prison at Tehachapi.
On April 2, 1936, Hazel Glab, along with several other defendants, made their way to San Quentin, where mug shots were produced and profiles written, before they were shipped off to their final destination. Mug records reveal that Hazel recorded as prisoner No. 58878. Over the next few years, she asked for parole several times, only to be denied. Her appeal of the murder sentence also fell on deaf ears.
12744 Ventura Blvd., via Google Street View.
Hazel Glab was paroled secretly on November 29, 1941, and ended up living with a family in Long Beach. They asked for her arrest January 22, 1942, believing she had stolen the family car after being denied permission to drive it. When she returned to the home shortly thereafter, charges were dropped. In September 1945, Mrs. Glab was accused of being intimate with a policeman on the night of his marriage to another woman. Mrs. Estelle Speers testified that Mrs. Glab possessed loose morals and disrobed in front of both her and her husband before engaging in relations with Mr. Speers in her presence.
For more than a decade, Hazel Belford Glab remained out of trouble before notoriety once again crossed her path. She married actor Alfred Judge, before divorcing in 1955. Needing cash after a few years, she resorted to desperate measures. Police hauled her to court April 24, 1958, on a charge of pandering, accused of recruiting and employing a 27-year-old woman to act as prostitute out of her home. The woman reported she had earned $500 for less than two weeks’ work before police stepped in. Hazel was convicted June 10, 1958, and sentenced to six months in jail.
Hazel Glab auctions off her home and furnishings, Nov. 1, 1930.
In 1965, a former cellmate at Tehachapi, Mrs. Ione Selman, hauled the 61-year-old Hazel Glab Stoddard into court on a charge of obscene calls. Mrs. Stoddard contended that Mrs. Selman stole private papers from her. Both denied the other’s accusations. Before going into the courtroom, the women settled the case, with Mrs. Selman agreeing to return the papers if Mrs. Stoddard never called her again. Hazel told the October 27,1965, Los Angeles Times that the papers “were to be the basis ‘of a book about the people in my life.’” Reporters Howard Hertel and Jerry Cohen unrolled the notorious and colorful back story of Hazel Glab Stoddard in the article, titled “The Click of Her Heels Reveals Her Jazz Age Escapades.”
Seeking fame and fortune, Hazel Belford Glab Stoddard instead earned only notoriety and jail time for her lurid and self-serving past. The lovely Spanish style home at 12744 Ventura Blvd. therefore stands as an ironic reminder of sensational Los Angeles’ crimes and misdemeanors, a silent witness to colorful and sad events.