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JonathanVonErich

The Mysterious Death of Thelma Todd

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Interesting. I recently bought a book about the Black Dahlia case, "The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul, and the Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles". Very interesting book. What's interesting about this book is that the author found his theory ( that Short was killed by Benjamin Siegel and other men connected with the Mob ) by searching the "Black Dahlia Files" from LAPD and other law enforcement agencies.

This book is not only about the murder of Elizabeth Short, it's also about other unsolved cases from the 1930's and 1940's. 3 pages are dedicated to the murder of Thelma Todd. Again the author had access to the files from LAPD, and he has found some very interesting informations. Basically the author claims that Thelma was killed by Benjamin Siegel, based on witness accounts discovered in the LAPD files. A waiter claimed that Thelma was frightened by a man, who wanted to see her in a Sunset Strip nightclub office, two days before she was killed. The man was later identified as being Bugsy Siegel.

More: A relative of the author ( his grandmother's lover ) had worked for the D.A.'s office at the time of the murder, and he said many times that Bugsy killed Thelma. Why ?? Because on December 11 Thelma went to the D.A.'s office and lodged a complaint against Siegel, who had threatened Thelma because she didn't wanted to work with the Mob.

It's not a smoking gun, but it's a very interesting possibility. I'm really surprised, since I was convinced that the Mob wasn'T involved in this case.

I guess my good pal Antilles was right. :)

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Interesting. I recently bought a book about the Black Dahlia case, "The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul, and the Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles". Very interesting book. What's interesting about this book is that the author found his theory ( that Short was killed by Benjamin Siegel and other men connected with the Mob ) by searching the "Black Dahlia Files" from LAPD and other law enforcement agencies.

This book is not only about the murder of Elizabeth Short, it's also about other unsolved cases from the 1930's and 1940's. 3 pages are dedicated to the murder of Thelma Todd. Again the author had access to the files from LAPD, and he has found some very interesting informations. Basically the author claims that Thelma was killed by Benjamin Siegel, based on witness accounts discovered in the LAPD files. A waiter claimed that Thelma was frightened by a man, who wanted to see her in a Sunset Strip nightclub office, two days before she was killed. The man was later identified as being Bugsy Siegel.

More: A relative of the author ( his grandmother's lover ) had worked for the D.A.'s office at the time of the murder, and he said many times that Bugsy killed Thelma. Why ?? Because on December 11 Thelma went to the D.A.'s office and lodged a complaint against Siegel, who had threatened Thelma because she didn't wanted to work with the Mob.

It's not a smoking gun, but it's a very interesting possibility. I'm really surprised, since I was convinced that the Mob wasn'T involved in this case.

I guess my good pal Antilles was right. :)

Well not all the time :wacko: but I'm pretty sure that the mob was involved in this. And for the Mob read Benny Siegel. Bugsy was a maneater in an aquarium full of predators.Removing one Hollywood actress who didn't want to play ball wouldn't have caused him a minute's problem.

But you know, with many of these old cases, it's not so much working out who the killer was as being amazed at the corruption in the City of Angels.

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But you know, with many of these old cases, it's not so much working out who the killer was as being amazed at the corruption in the City of Angels.

Again, very good point my friend. :)

It seems like corruption was all over Los Angeles back then. There's a few chapters about corruption and cover-up involving cops from the LAPD in "The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul, and the Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles". Same thing in "Black Dahlia Avenger" by Steve Hodel, the author wrote a few chapters about how the corruption of many LAPD high-ranked officials might have played a role in the Dahlia investigation.

If people wants to read more about corruption within the LAPD back in the 40's, 50's and 60's I recommend:

- Thicker'N Thieves: The Factual Expose of Police Pay-Offs, Graft, Political Corruption and Prostitution in Los Angeles and Hollywood, by Charles Stoker

- The Real L.A. Confidential, by Pete Noyes

- LAPD's Rogue Cops, by Vincent A. Carter

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Write a book? Should be you Jon.

http://homepage.mac.com/llatker/truecrime.html

Interesting sight. Suggests that Raymond Chandler's novel 'The Lady in the Lake' was based on this murder. Having read the book I don't agree but anyway.

On Monday Morning, December 16, 1935, May Whitehead, carrying several bundles, opened the massive wood doors of the garage on Posetano Road, high above what is now Pacific Coast Highway, and walked to her boss' chocolate-colored 1933 Lincoln Phaeton. May was Thelma Todd's maid and confidante, responsible for getting "The Ice Cream Blonde" comedienne to work on time at Hal Roach's Culver City Studio (Washington at National). However, on this morning she found Todd slumped behind the wheel, eyes closed and wearing a full-llength mink coat over a metallic blue sequined evening gown with matching cape and blue silk slippers. She was also wearing about $20,000 worth of jewelry. In fact, she was wearing her "Saturday night celebrity-studded dinner party in her honor at the Trocadero nightclub" outfit.

Whitehead got back in her car and drove to Todd's cafe, below the garage on the Roosevelt Highway in Castellammare. She got Charles Smith, the cafe trreasurer and a veteran assistant film director who had worked with director Roland West for decades. West was Todd's partner in the cafe. Smith summond West and all three got in Whitehead's car and returned to the garage. West determined that Todd was dead and had Whitehead fetch Rudolph Schafer, his brother-in-law and the cafe manager, from Castillo del Mar, the hillside villa just above the garage owed by West's estranged wife, silent film star Jewel Carmen.

Schafer arrived around 11:15. He touched Todd's cheek, verified that she was dead and said they had to call the police. Rather than use the phone in the villa or at the cafe, Schafer took West's Hupmobile, parked next to Todd's Phaeton, and drove several miles to a print shop in Santa Monica. He called LAPD's West LA Station on the shop owners private line.

Capt Bert Wallis, head of the LAPD homicide squad later stated that "There were only 2 and one-half gallons of gasoline in the 20 gallon car tank. The garage door was closed but not locked. The battery on the car was dead. This would happen if the motor had been running and stopped. The ignition still being on, the battery would have run down." It was previously determined that the ignition key was in the ignition slot and was turned on, as if the car had been running. Next to her body was her small white party purse with a key to the outside door of her apartment on the second floor of her cafe.

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Write a book? Should be you Jon.

So a french-Canadian living in cold, freezing Quebec City should write a book about an actress who was murdered in LA !? Why not ! :P

Thank you dear friend, I'm a good researcher, not yet a good enough writer.

And thank you for the link, great job as always. Some very interesting infos coming from that site.

I particulary like this picture:

TToddGrandJury.jpg

(courtesy: http://homepage.mac.com/llatker/truecrime.html)

Great find. :tu:

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Posted (edited)

http://www.usc.edu/libraries/archives/la/scandals/todd.html

My main objection to her death being a suicide is how did she manage to walk up that steep, long flight of stairs in those shoes (and they were the shoes she was wearing) and not get any marks on the soles.

Edited by Antilles

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Posted (edited)

http://www.usc.edu/libraries/archives/la/scandals/todd.html

My main objection to her death being a suicide is how did she manage to walk up that steep, long flight of stairs in those shoes (and they were the shoes she was wearing) and not get any marks on the soles.

After reading the "Black Dahlia Files" I'm now convinced that Thelma was murdered, and that Siegel was probably the killer. :yes:

Edited by JonathanVonErich

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sad for the death of the Thelma Todd....i want to know that who is Mob.

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sad for the death of the Thelma Todd....i want to know that who is Mob.

Hi there. Do you mean you think the Mob was responsible for her death? I agree.

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Hi there. Do you mean you think the Mob was responsible for her death? I agree.

You were right from the beginning, dear friend ! :)

During the last month or so I've heard that a book on the life and death of Thelma Todd is on the work. I'm keeping you posted, I'm looking for more information. :yes:

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Well I just received the information that the book about the life and death of Thelma was released.....4 months ago, in January !! Surprising.

"The life and death of Thelma Todd", written by William Donati, is the ultimate biography about Thelma. The book is already in my Amazon shopping cart, can't wait to read it ! :yes:

The book is available on Amazon.com right here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0786465182/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER

the-life-and-death-of-thelma-todd.jpg

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Jon, just been reading and it's a biography. I don't think it's the ultimate bio. Gives Luciano and Bugsy's whereabouts for the night in question but no-one sensible has ever suggested that either of them killed her themselves.

Interesting read but it doesn't change my mind one bit about who killed Hot Toddy.

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Hey Ant, thanks for the info buddy. :tu:

Talking about Hot Toddy I think I'm gonna buy this book, written in 1989, Hot Toddy by Andy Edmonds. I know the book is far from being perfect, that there's mistakes in it, but I think I'm gonna buy it, plenty of cheap copies on Amazon.

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The Andy Edmonds book has lots of mistakes so I understand. But hey, it's worth reading.

12-12-toddt-diagram-of-death-scene.jpg?w=495&h=385

12-12-toddt-cafe-12-16-35.jpg?w=495&h=326

http://thesilentmovi...of-thelma-todd/

That's a hell of a climb for a woman in an evening dress wearing high heeled shoes that don't have any wear and tear on the soles.

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Wow, great link my friend, plenty of very interesting pictures. :tu:

I really like the first picture you shared in your last post. I'm gonna be honest here; I really don't understand how some people still believe that she committed suicide or that she died accidentally ( felt asleep in the car ), there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that Thelma was murdered. From what I've read in Wolfe's book ( not the most reliable source I know, but still I believe the theory is possible ) I am 70% convinced that Siegel or an associate of Bugsy was the murderer.

I hate to say it, but whoever killed Thelma did a very good job. Almost 80 years later the case is still "unsolved"

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Wow, great link my friend, plenty of very interesting pictures. :tu:

I really like the first picture you shared in your last post. I'm gonna be honest here; I really don't understand how some people still believe that she committed suicide or that she died accidentally ( felt asleep in the car ), there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that Thelma was murdered. From what I've read in Wolfe's book ( not the most reliable source I know, but still I believe the theory is possible ) I am 70% convinced that Siegel or an associate of Bugsy was the murderer.

I hate to say it, but whoever killed Thelma did a very good job. Almost 80 years later the case is still "unsolved"

I agree with you about Wolfe. His books are interesting reads - whether about BD or Marilyn Monroe or Thelma, but they're not always the most reliable. According to the site, the photo was taken the day Todd's body was found. You can clearly see the long staircase to the left of the photo and the small grove of trees where the house was located. That's why I posted it.

I don't believe she committed suicide. I never will.

She was killed by professionals and her murder was covered up by professionals.

I'm a great fan of Raymond Chandler stories and I used to think his portrayal of LA law enforcement was over the top. But I'm not so sure any more.

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I agree with you about Wolfe. His books are interesting reads - whether about BD or Marilyn Monroe or Thelma, but they're not always the most reliable. According to the site, the photo was taken the day Todd's body was found. You can clearly see the long staircase to the left of the photo and the small grove of trees where the house was located. That's why I posted it.

I don't believe she committed suicide. I never will.

She was killed by professionals and her murder was covered up by professionals.

I'm a great fan of Raymond Chandler stories and I used to think his portrayal of LA law enforcement was over the top. But I'm not so sure any more.

Great post Ant.

I've read 2 or 3 novels written by Chandler, very interesting author. :yes:

It's very well documented that back in the 1930's and 40's L.A. was the city of corruption and that every major police department in the city was infiltrated by members of the underworld, corrupt officers, liars and lowlifes.

The best books about corruption and the L.A. police department in the 30's, 40's and 50's are:

* THICKER'N THIEVES: The 1950 Factual Expose of Police-Pay-Offs, Graft, Political Corruption and Prostitution in Los Angeles and Hollywood, by Charles Stoker

http://www.amazon.com/ThickerN-Thieves-Political-Corruption-Prostitution/dp/0983074496/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337217664&sr=8-1

* LAPD Rogue Cops, by Vincent A. Carter http://www.amazon.com/LAPDs-Rogue-Cops-Vincent-Carter/dp/096356210X/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337217850&sr=1-1-fkmr1

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omg she was gorgeous. ;)

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Posted (edited)

omg she was gorgeous. ;)

Gorgeous and very talented. :yes:

Edited by JonathanVonErich

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Gorgeous and very talented. :yes:

She sure was a looker. Great find jon. Thanks for posting.

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Where do you find this stuff?

Great to see her although she wasn't much of an actress. She was a schoolteacher originally. Bet she wished she'd stuck with that!

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lol on Youtube ! Sadly there isn't much videos about her career, I've shared what I could find.

Well I think she was a talented actress, but it's obvious that she was popular because of her curves rather than for her acting abilities.

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