Manual The Life and Death of Thelma Todd

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Thelma Todd — New Episodes & Show Notes — You Must Remember This

I think I have written the definitive book on Todd. For Donati, the cause of Todd's death is no longer a mystery. Was it a suicide? Was it murder - perhaps at the hands of the notorious Luciano? She had gone to a party that night.

Her married lover, horror film director Roland West, had told her not to drive all the way home if she stayed out late or had too much to drink. But she did come home late, Donati said, with only one of the two keys needed to get into the apartment. Not wanting to awaken West, whom she feared would be disappointed in her, she waited in the garage until morning, according to Donati's theory. She probably planned to wait until a porter with a key came to work and could let her in. Or maybe she was going to drive to her mother's house as West had suggested she do, he said.

But Todd never got the chance. With the garage door closed, the carbon monoxide killed her. Her body was found on Dec. Donati recently completed a novel set in during the Spanish Civil War and is contemplating another nonfiction work about movie swashbuckler Flynn, this one concentrating on the actor's ties to a purported Nazi spy he met in New Guinea.


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Despite some writers' views to the contrary, Donati does not believe Flynn was a spy. Did Flynn know his buddy was a spy? Probably, Donati said, adding that Flynn liked to live on the edge. When people are interested in these subjects, they are going to go to my books. That means a lot to me. Share your thoughts about this story. To comment, you'll need to login into your Facebook account.

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News Center. Social Media. UNLV Mail. Mystery Solved Murdered by a mobster? From the Archives Please note that this Article is more than three years old and details may have changed since the publish date. It's like the old potato chip commercial: Once he gets started, he just can't stop. No, Donati said. It was a simple accident. Not a Sprinter Donati recently completed a novel set in during the Spanish Civil War and is contemplating another nonfiction work about movie swashbuckler Flynn, this one concentrating on the actor's ties to a purported Nazi spy he met in New Guinea.

Donati said he may not be a prolific writer, but that he believes his books have staying power. July 18 Author: Diane Russell. Although a lot of the Hollywood gliterrati viewed them as yokel bums, the followers of William Harrison Hays Sr. Their progenitors were the Puritans, then they spent time crusading underneath the banner of Progressivism. They also wanted control, especially control over the media.

Thelma Todd's Tragedy: The Forgotten Life of the Original Celebrity Restaurateur

The movies in particular were sought because they had so much power. Hays and his mostly Midwestern do-gooders knew that life could easily imitate art, and what they saw on the screen shocked them. Before the coming of the so-called Hays Code, which tried to censor films based on a set moral order, Hollywood was rife with perversion. On the screen, characters dabbled in drugs and women showed too much skin. When the Presbyterian elder and former U. Away from screen, the stories that would get out about the Hollywood lifestyle made the movies themselves seem tame by comparison.

Most of these accusations are probably false, but Hollywood is a place that thrives on made-up truths, half-truths, and no truths. Thelma Todd, a beautiful blonde originally from the harsh Massachusetts textile town of Lawrence, became another victim of the Hollywood plague in Getting her start during the silent era, Todd capitalized on her good looks which earned this former schoolteacher a job in Hollywood in the first place in tons of comedies and a few dramas.

Like her likeness Jean Harlow, Todd captured the screen as a light-hearted heartbreaker, and re-watching films like Horse Feathers, which starred all four of the Marx Brothers Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zippo , validates that concept. The washed-up director in question was Roland West—a man who was best known for his silent horror and mystery films that starred such luminaries as Lon Chaney Sr. By , West was fresh from yet another triumph. In that same year, a married West began a personal and financial relationship with Todd after a fortuitous trip to Catalina Island.

A Blonde in Babylon: The Death of Thelma Todd

Her final resting place was her car—a Lincoln Phaeton. At a. She did a little walking, and crime scene photos show that her heels bore the trademark scuffs of an uphill trudge. When she was discovered, the ignition in her car had been left on but the engine had died with a little gas left in the tank.


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The underworld connection is further highlighted in the figure of DiCicco, an ex-pimp and bootlegger who was a fixture among the nightlife set in Los Angeles. Because of his last name and reputation, many amateur and armchair detectives have labeled DiCicco a lieutenant in the employ of Luciano. Again, there's little support for this claim. Still, despite this lack of credible evidence, DiCicco remains a highly alluring figure—almost as if Central Casting found him and made him out to be the perfect murderer. Later, in , DiCicco married the year-old heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. Whether or not DiCicco treated Todd in a similar fashion, is a question up for debate.

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And even today, there are people who will tell you that Todd is still around, haunting the former hot spots of Hollywood and Los Angeles like the sad and unavenged ghost of some low-budget horror flick. It was a clear case of arson, and five people from Marlborough were duly convicted of the crime. But for veteran crime writer and crusading editor J. Also available from Amazon. Tweets by CrimeMagazine. With the purpose of writing about true crime in an authoritative, fact-based manner, veteran journalists J. Maloney and J.

Their goal was to cover all aspects of true crime : Read More.

The DEATH of Thelma Todd ✮ Real Death Story

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