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Old 12-20-2011, 12:16 AM
Location: the living desert
577 posts, read 828,217 times
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On Feb. 1 1922 film director William Desmond Taylor was found dead in his Hollywood bungalow. The list of suspects is seemingly endless , and features a couple of popular film stars of the time. Taylor had apparently left a wife and family behind in New York when he suddenly disappeared and headed west and had also spent time in France (WW1), and in the Klondike. By 1914 Taylor had settled in Hollywood . After beginning as an actor, Taylor became a successful director. When he was murdered, it was discovered that Taylor had no shortage of enemies and people possibly wishing harm on him. Below is a quick recap of the most popular suspects.

  • Mary Miles Minter-a popular star who's career had been guided by Taylor, and who had long been rumored to be having an affair with him. Minter had also reportedly written numerous love letters to Taylor.
  • Charlotte Shelby-Mary Miles Minter's mother who was also rumored to be having an affair with Taylor.
  • Mabel Normand-another highly popular star who was close with Taylor. There had been rumors that Taylor was alternately protecting her from drug dealers/supplying her with drugs.
  • Henry Peavey- Taylor's servant who found the body. Peavey had a minor criminal background. Peavey believed that Normand was the murderer.
  • Edward Sands- Peavey's predecessor as Taylor's servant. Sands had spent time in the navy and had a long criminal record . Sands forged some of Taylor's checks and burgled the bungalow that Taylor lived in. Sands himself then vanished.
  • Margaret Gibson/Patricia Palmer- an actress who had worked with Taylor in his early days in Hollywood between 1914-1917. By 1922 Gibson had had some run ins with the law herself. In 1964, on her deathbed, Gibson reportedly made a confession of committing the murder. The witness to her confession was alone when she made it, so the confession depends on his truthfulness.
That is just the main suspects. Taylor could have been killed by a unknown drug peddler who was incensed at Taylor's protection of Normand. Or a burglar that he surprised while a robbery was in progress. So what do you think? Who did the deed and why? Was it one of the six above or somebody else?


Last edited by Columbia Blue; 12-20-2011 at 12:35 AM..
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:04 PM
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I believe it was Charlotte Shelby. There was a great book written about this called a "A Cast of Killers" by Sidney Kirkpatrick.
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