Sunday, April 5, 2015


701 S. New Hampshire St., Los Angeles, Ca
It was from this impressive mansion located south of Wilshire Blvd. and only a couple of blocks from where the giant Ambassador Hotel with its famed nightspot The Cocoanut Grove used to be that Mrs. Charlotte Shelby is rumored to have ventured forth one night, dressed in male attire, to take her revenge on the man who either had deflowered her teenage movie star daughter Mary Miles Minter or hidden his homosexuality from the lovesick Charlotte herself. William Desmond Taylor, a top-tier movie director with a very mysterious past, was indeed murdered in his bungalow (long demolished) on S. Alvarado, February 1, 1922, but whether Mrs. Shelby was the culprit, or the drug addicted starlet Patricia Palmer, who confessed on her deathbed decades later, or someone entirely different remain the most impenetrable of Hollywood mysteries. Suffice it to say, Mary Miles Minter's screen career never survived the scandal, nor did that of star comedienne Mabel Normand, who was the last person to have seen Taylor alive except for his murderer. The former Minter palace is today a home for unwed mothers.

Mary Miles Minter in all her flapper era glory shortly before the sudden demise of her burgeoning career.

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