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The Mysterious Death of Carol Wayne


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#1    Taun

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:15 PM

The Mysterious Death of Carol Wayne

This is my first thread started in this forum, and I’m not sure if this case has been discussed before, so please bear with me…

Carol Wayne (September 6, 1942 – January 13, 1985) was a television actress most active in the 1960’s and 1970’s. She is perhaps best remembered for her re-occurring role as “The Matinee Lady” on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. She was also a frequent guest on The Red Skelton Show, and had many appearances on other popular shows of the time.

Carol had spent many years perfecting the role of the “Ditzy Blonde Bombshell”, and perhaps no one played the part better. She was so good at it that she seldom had an opportunity to play anything else.

Posted Image

The success of the Tonight Show, helped lead to her ultimate professional downfall. Johnny Carson began to push for a reduction in the shows run time from 90 minutes to 60, and while this was good news for the network, as it led to the creation of “Late Night With David Letterman” it led to her spot in the show being reduced drastically.

She was married several times, first to Rock and Roll photographer Barry Feinstein then later to TV and film producer Burt Sugarman.

Following the cuts in the Tonight Show she was having severe financial problems, and reportedly had fallen into drug and alcohol abuse. Toward the end of her life she had resorted to being an escort for rich men.

(excerpt from wiki: )
In January 1985, Wayne and her companion Edward Durston were vacationing at the Las Hadas Resort in Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico. After an argument with Durston, Wayne reportedly left to take a walk on the beach. Three days later a local fisherman found Wayne's body in the shallow bay.

Authorities later discovered Durston had checked out of the resort the day the couple argued. He had left Wayne's luggage at the airport. Later, an autopsy performed in Mexico revealed no signs of drugs or alcohol in Wayne's body. Her death was eventually ruled as "accidental".
(end excerpt)

Carol was deathly afraid of water, and would not have gone swimming. The water she was found in was only 4 feet deep.

Excerpt from Carol Wayne website http://www.tvparty.com/wayne.html )

According to published reports, Carol Wayne was on vacation in Santiago Bay, Mexico with Los Angeles car salesman Edward Durston on January 10, 1985 when (it has been reported) the couple had a argument about where they were going to stay that evening (they were scheduled to fly back to Los Angeles the next morning).

Durston checked into a hotel and Wayne reportedly left to walk down the beach (to cool off?). That was the last time anyone saw her alive. Local fisherman Abel de Dios found her limp body floating in the shallow bay waters three days later.

Mexican authorities wondered how Carol Wayne came to drown in waters four feet deep, fully clothed. There were no cuts or abrasions, so a fall from the nearby rocks was ruled out. The coroner stated that death occurred 3 - 4 days earlier and the body tested negative for drugs and alcohol.

Suspicions were raised: Carol Wayne had to be identified by workers at the Las Hadas resort where the couple had been staying earlier in the week. When locals went to look for Wayne's traveling companion, they discovered that Edward Durston checked out three days earlier - leaving Wayne's luggage at the airport with a message that she would pick up her bags in the morning.

As an aside, many readers may remember the (alleged) LSD related death of Art Linkletter's daughter Diane. She jumped (or fell) from a sixth floor apartment building in 1969.

Art Linkletter basically ended his successful television career when he started crusading against drugs with a fervor that made it hard for middle America to find the afternoon talk show host funny anymore.

Not that it necessarily means anything, but Diane Linkletter's companion the night she was killed was Edward Durston.

(end excerpt)


#2    JonathanVonErich

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:43 PM

Great thread Taun, very interesting case. Great job. :tu:

I had no idea who she was until I watched an episode of "Mysteries and Scandals" about her death, not too long ago. Very complex case, Edward Durston sure is a very interesting suspect, however there's no solid evidence that he could have committed the crime.

She was afraid of water, she couldn't swim, yet she was found in the waters of the Santiago Bay. This is strange. The coroner stated that her body tested negative for drugs and alcohol, and that her body had no scratches or abrasions. I'm no conspiracy theorist and usually I trust what we find in Coroner and Autopsy reports, but I'm wondering how reliable this coroner is. Seems to me that the entire autopsy might have been rushed, only my opinion. I think this case should be reopened.


Here's the "Mysteries & Scandals" episode I was talking about:






#3    Taun

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:46 PM

Thanks JVE... I'll have to wait until I get home to watch the vids, as they took the speakers out of our computers here at work...


#4    Taun

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 03:09 PM

There is not much about Edward Durston on the net... apparently he was a used car salesman in LA, and apparently having him around was "the kiss of death" for female celebrities... Other than that, the only thing I could find was that he was born in 1942 and died in 2007 (if it's the same Edward Durston)...

Edited by Taun, 11 June 2012 - 03:10 PM.


#5    Child of Bast

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 03:25 PM

Can't read lips Tuan? :P I know how you feel, though. YouTube is completely blocked here at work after 9 AM. Not sure why that's the magic time, but it is.

I agree that this is an excellent story and I, too, would like to see the case reopened. There's so much more we have available now to solve cold cases that perhaps this case would benefit, even though it's not considered a cold case.

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#6    Taun

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 03:53 PM

 Lady Kasey, on 11 June 2012 - 03:25 PM, said:

Can't read lips Tuan? :P I know how you feel, though. YouTube is completely blocked here at work after 9 AM. Not sure why that's the magic time, but it is.

I agree that this is an excellent story and I, too, would like to see the case reopened. There's so much more we have available now to solve cold cases that perhaps this case would benefit, even though it's not considered a cold case.

Oh I can read lips alright! This time of day however all they are saying is "What's for lunch?"...
You tube is ALWAYS blocked here, but we can watch a video if it's embedded in something else... Just no audio... We are supposed to use headphones, but since my job requires that I monitor a radio, I can't do that...

I wonder if she might have somehow been invited onto a boat, and fell off? Though I can't imagine the boat owner not 'fishing her out of the water, or at least reporting it...


#7    JonathanVonErich

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 04:11 PM

 Taun, on 11 June 2012 - 03:53 PM, said:

I wonder if she might have somehow been invited onto a boat, and fell off? Though I can't imagine the boat owner not 'fishing her out of the water, or at least reporting it...

Interesting theory. The biggest mystery is: Where did she spent the night after Durston last saw her ??

So Durston claims that the last time he saw Carol she was upset because they couldn't rent a room at a particular resort, she left the hotel and never came back. Obviously this sounds like they had a fight, clearly establishing Durston as being the prime suspect in the case. What he did at the time of Carol's disappearance is strange and suspicious.

It's possible that she spent the night at somebody else's home and that this person ( or persons ) killed her. But how ?? If we believe the Coroner's report her body had no scratches or abrasions. This is mind-boggling. Again I usually trust Coroner and Autopsy reports, but I'm having a hard time believing that nothing suspicious was found on her body, that's how I feel about it.

Note: What about her ex-husband, Barry Feinstein ?? A source told the producers of "Mysteries & Scandals" that Feinstein had collected on a life insurance policy on his ex-wife.  Link: http://www.findadeat.../CarolWayne.htm


#8    Taun

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 04:45 PM

 JonathanVonErich, on 11 June 2012 - 04:11 PM, said:

Interesting theory. The biggest mystery is: Where did she spent the night after Durston last saw her ??

So Durston claims that the last time he saw Carol she was upset because they couldn't rent a room at a particular resort, she left the hotel and never came back. Obviously this sounds like they had a fight, clearly establishing Durston as being the prime suspect in the case. What he did at the time of Carol's disappearance is strange and suspicious.

It's possible that she spent the night at somebody else's home and that this person ( or persons ) killed her. But how ?? If we believe the Coroner's report her body had no scratches or abrasions. This is mind-boggling. Again I usually trust Coroner and Autopsy reports, but I'm having a hard time believing that nothing suspicious was found on her body, that's how I feel about it.

Note: What about her ex-husband, Barry Feinstein ?? A source told the producers of "Mysteries & Scandals" that Feinstein had collected on a life insurance policy on his ex-wife.  Link: http://www.findadeat.../CarolWayne.htm

I didn't know about Feinstein's policy... Still I can't help but think that Durston was either directly involved - or knew who was...
I agree with your earlier statement that the autopsy may not have been as thourough as it should have been... Was there water in the lungs? Or was she suffocated then pitched into the water... Suffocation - if done 'properly' can often leave no trace marks on the body...





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