Jump to content




Welcome to Unexplained Mysteries! Please sign in or create an account to start posting and to access a host of extra features.


* * * * * 1 votes

The Mysterious Death of Thelma Todd


  • Please log in to reply
98 replies to this topic

#91    JonathanVonErich

JonathanVonErich

    Telekinetic

  • Banned
  • 7,519 posts
  • Joined:19 Jul 2009
  • Gender:Not Selected

Posted 17 August 2012 - 12:33 PM

No idea what you're talking about Ant, I thought me and you were on the same page all along ! :lol:

At first I wasn't sure that it could have been a mob hit. Then I read Wolfe's book and I changed my mind. :D

I still think West is a good suspect and that he had more reasons to kill Thelma than the mob had.

Now it's music time:




#92    Antilles

Antilles

    NCC-1701

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,228 posts
  • Joined:23 Jul 2011
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:2nd star from the left

Posted 17 August 2012 - 12:39 PM

Hey jon. You go back and read all the replies on this thread. You  didn't agree with me!! It's cool. :tu:


#93    JonathanVonErich

JonathanVonErich

    Telekinetic

  • Banned
  • 7,519 posts
  • Joined:19 Jul 2009
  • Gender:Not Selected

Posted 17 August 2012 - 12:46 PM

I know. :D

At first I didn't agree with you about Thelma being killed by Organized Crime, but then I read Wolfe's book and now I agree that it's possible that the Mob was involved.

Anyway it doesn't matter if we agree on everything or not. This case is fascinating and this thread is fun. Always a pleasure talking crime with you, Ant. :tu:


#94    Antilles

Antilles

    NCC-1701

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,228 posts
  • Joined:23 Jul 2011
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:2nd star from the left

Posted 17 August 2012 - 12:54 PM

You too jon. :tu:


#95    regi

regi

    Poltergeist

  • Member
  • 2,571 posts
  • Joined:28 May 2012
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Texas

Posted 17 August 2012 - 01:30 PM

 Antilles, on 17 August 2012 - 12:25 PM, said:

Ok then, it seems we're all friends again. Good.

jon has disagreed with me, agreed with me, then disagreed with me again about this case.

Make up your mind JVE! :yes:  But that's what this section of the board is all about. We discuss crimes in a reasonable way and share what we find.


Antilles, it's not about making up one's mind, and closing the book. It's about weighing the evidence once more evidence is revealed. Jon's approach to all of these cases is the correct approach. He's not stuck to one idea and then refusing to budge from it simply because it's been a long held belief, or a once held opinion.
The more educated we are, and as more is learned/revealed, then one has to be capable, and willing to change their point of view, and/or opinion.
One thing's for sure...long held and argued beliefs are hard to shake.


#96    regi

regi

    Poltergeist

  • Member
  • 2,571 posts
  • Joined:28 May 2012
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Texas

Posted 17 August 2012 - 03:27 PM

I finished the book, The Life and Death of Thelma Todd, about two weeks ago. I'd started out taking notes as I read, but that was too distracting, so I read straight though, and have since read another book! and now going back to note key issues has been made even more difficult due to my laziness.
So, I'm not as prepared as I wanted to be, but here goes.

First, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Apart from beautiful, Thelma Todd was a considerate, loyal, intelligent, and wise young woman. She was impressively perceptive and observant about life, and she was very well spoken when conveying her thoughts and feelings.
These impressions come from the many interviews Thelma gave.

I had been suspicious of West because my impression was that his attitude was strangely casual during the time that Thelma never showed back up to the cafe, and then that he still never inquired about her.
I now think I understand him a lot better, and I understand the relationship he had with Thelma a lot better, and I understand the culture of the time and I recognize that people seemed to have a more proper and discreet way of conducting themselves, and speaking about personal matters.
I'd wondered why West assumed Thelma had gone to her mother's, and now I know that that was a very logical assumption.
Thelma and her mother were extraordinarily close, and she was very much like her mother.
Thelma had had an older brother who'd died in an accident when they were both still young, and Thelma became even more the center of the universe to both of her parents.
From the beginning, Thelma's personality and beauty were admired by others.
(She later said that her perceived beauty was one reason she didn't feel she could trust men.)
When Thelma's father died, it was a devestating blow to her and her mother. At that time, Thelma had already been signed to Paramount, but was working for them in New York.
After the break from work after her father died, Paramount sent Thelma to Hollywood and she took her mother with her. They lived together, and later never lived far from each other, and were very involved and included in each others lives.

West and Jewel Carmen had a strange relationship. They met in 1918, and there's no evidence that they ever married, but they lived as they were up until the time that West moved into the apartment next to Thelma's above the cafe.
In 1928, West and Carmen bought the house in the exclusive Castellammare neighborhood. (That pedestrian bridge was for the Mesa and Castellammare homeowners to have access to their own private beach.)

West and Thelma fell in love when West cast her in Corsair in 1931, but West wouldn't leave Jewel and Thelma knew it, and understood it. (Interestingly, West was supporting Jewel's family...)
West revealed to a news woman (Louella Parsons) that despite his strong infatuation with Thelma, he "wouldn't hurt Jewel for anything in the world. She's too fine."
Thelma married Pasquale De Cicco on the rebound. (De Cicco's father's cousin, Albert Broccoli, developed the vegetable (brocolli) by crossing the seeds of two Italian vegetables, cauliflower and rabe!)
Anyway, the marriage didn't last. Basically, De Cicco tried to control Thelma, and that simply wasn't gonna happen. Also, gossip and rumors when Thelma was away working, contributed to conflicts. They had heated arguments, but no one, including Thelma herself in the divorce papers she filed, ever alleged that De Cicco had at any time was actually physically violent to her.
There were times when both tried to salvage their marriage, but it was futile because they simply weren't compatible.

To be continued...


#97    JonathanVonErich

JonathanVonErich

    Telekinetic

  • Banned
  • 7,519 posts
  • Joined:19 Jul 2009
  • Gender:Not Selected

Posted 17 August 2012 - 07:51 PM

Very good Regi, thanks for sharing. I particularly likes the information about West, good job. :)

can't wait for part 2


#98    Antilles

Antilles

    NCC-1701

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,228 posts
  • Joined:23 Jul 2011
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:2nd star from the left

Posted 18 August 2012 - 06:18 AM

 regi, on 17 August 2012 - 01:30 PM, said:

Antilles, it's not about making up one's mind, and closing the book. It's about weighing the evidence once more evidence is revealed. Jon's approach to all of these cases is the correct approach. He's not stuck to one idea and then refusing to budge from it simply because it's been a long held belief, or a once held opinion.
The more educated we are, and as more is learned/revealed, then one has to be capable, and willing to change their point of view, and/or opinion.
One thing's for sure...long held and argued beliefs are hard to shake.

Thank you Lord Reginald. I take it I have your permission to continue? :nw:


#99    regi

regi

    Poltergeist

  • Member
  • 2,571 posts
  • Joined:28 May 2012
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Texas

Posted 18 August 2012 - 01:33 PM

The Life and Death of Thelma Todd continued...

So, it was February 20, 1934 when Thelma and De Cicco were officially separated. Thelma moved into a bungalow with a close friend, Catherine Hunter, just yards away from the bungalow (I'm really fond of that word...) where her mother lived.
It was during this time that Thelma and West discussed starting a business together. Thelma knew that the career of an actress could be short-lived. "I realized long ago that it is only a case of a few years for an actress, before she gradually, sometimes almost imperceptibly, loses popularity, and younger ones start to take her place....most of them are unhappy and bewildered...so I decided long ago I that I wasn't going to be one of them."
Thelma had considered starting a business before...maybe a theater in her hometown of Lawrence, Mass., but she always thought a restaurant was a more reliable business venture.
She loved to cook, and she missed the Boston-style seafood.
She told Louella Parsons "I have always heard so much about the choice foods of those days preceding prohibition when eating was still a fine art."
In 1934, West bought the building where they would open a resturant. Jewel wasn't pleased with Thelma's and West's "association" and moved out of their mansion. Thelma had rented a home near the restaurant on Tramonto Drive.

Meanwhile, celebrities had been- and still were- targets of crime; robberies, extortion, and threats of kidnapping.
In 1935, Thelma began to receive extortion letters from New York, and on June 27th, her home on Tramonto Drive was burglarized. A newspaper reporting the burglary revealed her address, and, understandably fearful, she stayed in the apartment she had (that only few had known about) above the cafe.
Authorities had tracked the letter to a fan who'd requested a photograph and they believed the fan lived in a particular building and on August 18th, they arrested the superintendent of that building. Then a radio station received a postcard stating that "That man had nothing to do with those Thelma Todd notes." Also, a newspaper was called and the caller stated that he'd sent the letters "to give Thelma Todd publicity". He went on to say ..."I'm in love with the girl. I tell you I'm in love with her and I had to do something to let her know that I'm her admirer. Why I spent my last ten bucks to wire her orchids for her birthday." The man was apprehended on November 5th. He was 26, and lived in the same building as the superintendent. He was later declared insane and committed to a mental institution.

Nearing mid- December, a room above the restaurant (the apts. West and Thelma occupied were on the other end of the bldg.) had been newly remodeled as a "supper club" and would be called the Joyas Room.

Thelma's apt. had two ways to enter; a narrow staircase from inside the cafe lead to one door, and an outer door reached by a staircase located on the outside of the building.
That outer door had two locks, one apparently was only ever locked from the inside. It took two keys to enter that door if both locks were used.
The two apartments West and Thelma occupied were separated by a sliding door which also locked.
The building took many keys, and Thelma didn't like to carry them.

To move away from the story here, I want to say that I'm not real clear as to the routes to the garage of West's mansion from the cafe.
When we look at the area as it is today, I believe it shows that in the effort to prevent landslides (which that area was known for) the city built up the land, and in doing so buried sections of Rovelle, Posetano, and Castellammare.
Now, in the book, there's two ways described to get to that garage from behind the cafe; and that's from Castellammare, or a staircase leading to Posetano.
There is a street called Stretto Way which connects Castellammare and Posetano, and leads right smack to the garage.
I don't know...I think there's been some misinformation about this issue. (I'll have to go back and study that part of the testimony again from the inquiry.)

I want to get the events of Thelma's last day alive, and the inquiry testimony organized in some comprehensive manner, so I'll leave off here for now.

Tune in next week.
Same bat-time-same-bat channel. (hehehe)

Edited by regi, 18 August 2012 - 01:44 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users