Hi. My name is Joan Renner and I’m the person behind the scenes at Deranged L.A. Crimes. I am a writer, lecturer, and a social historian with an expertise in historic Los Angeles crime.

Crime has fascinated me since I was a kid in Chicago. My earliest recollection of following a crime story is right after my eighth birthday. I read in the Chicago Tribune about a boy who had disappeared. Later, they discovered that someone had murdered him.

A few years ago, I researched the case. My recollection was flawed, but fundamentally correct. The case involved three boys; not one. A monster took the boys after they left a movie theater. He sexually assaulted and murdered them. One month after the crime, one of the fathers died, and I kept up with the story. His cause of death was etched in my memory as a broken heart. I was not too far off—he died of a heart attack.

My kid’s brain didn’t grasp the concept of such evil. All I knew is I wanted to find out what make people commit such heinous crimes. It is a long time since I turned eight, and I have yet to figure people out.

The murders were unsolved for over forty years.

Since 2010, I have appeared in over fifty episodes of various true crime TV shows. In 2021, I appeared in the documentary City of Angeles: City of Death on HULU.

They have interviewed me for several ID Discovery Channel programs such as Deadly Women, Evil Twins, Deadly Affairs, Evil Kin, Nightmare Next Door — you get the idea. If the show’s title contains Dead or Evil, I have likely been interviewed for it at least once.

I appeared in a segment on film noir for the Turner Classic Movies series Film Fanatics, which still airs on the channel; and the History Channel interviewed me for a show on famous mobsters from the early days of crime.

In 2009, I began volunteering at the Los Angeles Police Museum. I stayed for 6 1/2 years, working as an archivist. Under the stewardship of the Executive Director, Glynn Martin, I helped create a limited run exhibit based upon the LAPD’s continuing investigation of the 1947 unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short, aka The Black Dahlia.

I was fortunate to have been part of a small book team that edited a book of crime scene photos for the Police Museum. The book is LAPD ’53 and was published in May 2015. James Ellroy, the Demon Dog of American crime fiction, wrote the narrative to accompany the photographs. I relished every moment of the incredible project.

Following Glynn’s departure from the LAPM (he is now Executive Director of the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation), I left, too. I am no longer affiliated with the Los Angeles Police Museum, but I still love the history of law enforcement and historic Los Angeles crime.

When Mike Fratantoni, curator of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Museum, invited me to volunteer, I jumped at the chance. I have been there for over seven years, and I hope to be there for many more years.

I have lectured at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, the Central Library, and private organizations on such diverse topics as: “Gold Diggers & Snake Handlers: Deranged L.A. Crimes from the Notebook of Aggie Underwood”, “Felonious Flappers: Bad Girls of the Art Deco Era”, and “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: How the ‘Bob’ Changed History”. The “Gold Diggers…” lecture provided the inspiration for the Deranged L.A. Crimes blog.

I am a board member for the non-profit Photo Friends (affiliated with the Los Angeles Public Library). I have served on the Advisory Board of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Museum and on the Los Angeles County Peace Officer Memorial Committee. I served on the board of the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime for two terms, beginning in 2018.

Several times a year I am a tour guide for Esotouric, a company that gives, among their many offerings, crime-themed tours of Los Angeles.

A few years ago, I curated a photo exhibit at Los Angeles’ Central Library. The exhibit covered the reporting career of Agness “Aggie” Underwood. I wrote a companion book for the exhibit, The First With The Latest!: Aggie Underwood, the Los Angeles Herald, and the Sordid Crimes of a City.”

Some of my stories appear in multiple true crime anthologies edited by Mitzi Szereto.


It has been my pleasure to meet many of you, and I’ve corresponded with many more. I am impressed by the depth and breadth of your knowledge about crime, human nature, and a variety of other related topics. I am in stellar company.

Thank you all for your readership. I genuinely appreciate it.




91 thoughts on “ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  1. Great stuff thanks for your work!!! I have am writing a 1950’s piece on Los Angeles crime and the Cold War in the movie industry

    • Alan, I appreciate your kind words. I’ve been planning this blog for quite a while now and I’m pleased that, so far at
      least, it has been well received. The 1950s in L.A. — what a terrific time!

    • The \”Cold War\” never existed, just like 99.99999% of other \’news\’, it was FABRICATED to instil FEAR in the world populace! FEAR=CONtrol, and control is the agenda here. So far so good… Research MK Ultra mind control for 27 years and get back to me.

    • Hi Alan, Too bad there was NO COLD WAR, but that CONstruct was dreamt up by the LYING media to keep people in FEAR mode, where they are easily led, and CONtrolled. Yes, it is a CON. Almost EVERYTHING we know is actually HEARSAY, and NOT witnessed first hand. Too bad NONE of you will comprehend this either. \”Those who will SEE it will be thought of as insane!\” (3rd line of The Secret Covenant)

  2. Your work is magnificent and much appreciated! Thank you so very much for sharing your findings and knowledge with all of us.
    With great appreciation,

    • Elizabeth, I thank you very much for your kind words and I’m delighted to know that you are enjoying the blog. I value your readership. Best — Joan

  3. Me too, Joan. I have been enjoying your stories since you started this blog. Great writing, especially for a time in history when not much detail is available in one place. Kudo’s!

    • Dolores, I’m always searching for stories that may not be familiar to most people — they fascinate me, and I’m glad
      to know that others enjoy them too. Thanks again. Best — Joan

  4. Hello Joan,

    So glad we discovered your contact information. I am the half-sister of Diane Sparks (aka Edjana Ingram). I never knew her personally, or even knew of her existence. My Father (Diane’s Father, as well) never revealed having another child from a previous marriage. Since family rumors proved to be true about her existence and murder, I have been consumed with knowing more about her and the circumstances of her death. Through sparse clues and research, I found a nephew of Diane’s living in the next county to mine in Northern California and we, together, have done more research and shared photos, letters and memorabilia regarding Diane’s family and life. The nephew is the son of Diane’s other half-sister, Marie and he, too, has a strong curiousity about her, as he only heard of her through stories his Mother would share with him.

    Do you know if police reports and court records from the trial are available ? I’d love to talk to you sometime.

    Thank you,

    Irene Ingram Smith

    • Hi, Irene:

      First of all let me say that I am sorry for your loss — it’s sad that you never had an opportunity to know Diane. The
      ripples of a murder are felt long after the crime has been committed.

      The research that I did on the case consisted primarily of news reports (surprisingly, often the best source of information on
      old criminal cases). It’s possible that information on the case is available at the Hall of Records but that’s not a certainty and you
      have to visit in person (and even then it’s hit & miss — some of the staff are wonderfully helpful and others, not so much).

      I’ll check with a couple of people I know who may have deeper insights into where to search for info. I’m glad that you and Diane’s
      nephew are giving her some time and attention.

      I would be happy to speak with you too.



  5. I recently watched a Kenneth Anger documentary, and from that this lust of old hollywood scandals awoke within me! Id always found the golden era exciting and wish i had been apart of it, but never looked into it further than just watching a couple of movies. Im happy i watched that documentary that night since it lead me to find and ‘like’ your facebook page! I love your blog and the photos you share with us!! Its made me truly fall in love with old time LA and the crime and scandals that surrounded it.

    • Joanna – I’m so glad that you found the FB page and the blog. Like you, I have a love of old crimes and scandals. L.A. has an incredible history of bad behavior. Hollywood’s proximity to downtown, the constant influx of beautiful people and buckets of cash make for stories that couldn’t happen anywhere but here. Again, thank you for your readership and welcome to Deranged L.A. Crimes. Best — Joan

    • Adrienne — I’m glad you found the page too, and pleased that you are enjoying it. I appreciate your comment and your readership. Best — Joan

  6. Greetings Joan
    I stumbled upon your blog today while searching on Ray Pinker. The name is used for a character in LA Noire, a vid game about an LAPD detective in 1947. Been splitting time between the game and looking at your blog.
    Thanks to Raymond Chandler and Warner Bros, I’ve been interested in historical LA for a long time. Great info here, thank you! There’s a thread, LA Noirish, on SkyscraperPage Forum which has thousands of images of old LA. You may find it of interest.
    PS – If LA is at the end of the world, does that make Sydney a new beginning?

    • Hi, Earl — Welcome to Deranged! Ray Pinker is one of my favorites, a ground-breaking criminalist to be sure. I played LA Noire when it
      first came out. The history is okay, but my favorite part of the game was “badging” civilians and forcing them out of their cars so I could
      drive off in them. I wrecked hundreds of vehicles that way and chased many an innocent person off the sidewalks and bus benches of L.A. You’ve mentioned a couple of my other favorites, Raymond Chandler and Warner Bros. (for their marvelous gangster pictures). I try to visit LA Noirish on the Skyscraper Forum regularly.

      Thank you for your comments and thanks for your interest in Deranged, I appreciate it.



      P.S. If I’m not mistaken didn’t Australia offer many miscreants a new beginning? And yes, I’m convinced that L.A. is the end of the world.

  7. I have been haunted by the brutality of the murder of my friend Florence Nancy Brown for decades. I could have easily been the victim as I left a meeting just a few minutes before Flo and took the same route home. I have never been so frightened in my life as the day I sat in the witness chair and faced Steven Hurd. He had the eyes of pure evil. I lived just miles away from Mule Creek Prison and did not know that Hurd was there. I would have attended every parole hearing. He destroyed so many lives and took the opportunity away from children to have the influence of a very special teacher.
    Thank you,

    • Genie – I offer my sincere condolences for the loss of your friend and the trauma that you have endured over the years as a result. She sounds like she was a remarkable woman with a loving family and a bright future ahead of her. The way she died was appalling and I abhor the fact that Craig Hulse, someone my brother and I knew growing up, participated in that crime and was himself responsible for the murder of a young gas station attendant. At least Hurd is gone now and my understanding is that Hulse remains such a poor candidate for parole that it is unlikely that he will ever be released. Some people commit crimes of out of avarice, anger or lust but there are a few people who are truly evil. It is my belief that Steven Hurd fell into the latter category. Thank you for sharing your memory of Florence Nancy Brown with me. I feel certain that she lives through the people whose lives she touched. Best, Joan

      • I am the youngest sister of Florence Nancy Kracher Brown. Since I read your blog by accident, my family and I have all written to Gov. Brown to protest the release of Craig Hulse. We were grateful that his parole was overturned. I had no current knowledge of the killers, thinking they were all dead. I was grateful for your blog, which allowed us the ability to state our feelings and have input. He will be up for another parole hearing before 3/26/16.

        • Ann – First let me say how sorry I am for your loss. Talking to the families of murder victims has helped me to understand how profoundly their
          lives are changed no matter how many years pass. I’ve been in touch with Jerry Carlin’s widow and I know that she is keeping an eye on any
          further parole dates for Craig too. California is one of the few states in which the Governor can override a parole board decision so your letters
          are important. If you need anything from me please do not hesitate to ask. –Joan

        • Ann,

          I am one of Nancy’s former students in Costa Mesa, and we remained friends while she lived in Irvine before her move to El Toro.

          She was one of my all-time favorite teachers, a lovely friend to her students and the kind of person the world can ill afford to lose. Her death was devastating to me and many others.

          I have been following Hulse’s parole hearings over the years, and previously wrote to the Orange County District Attorney to encourage his efforts. Even before I found this blog I was composing my latest letter to the parole board for the March 2016 hearing. The last parole attempt was a close call — it only failed because Gov. Brown blocked it — and so I’m determined to do my best to see that Moose Hulse says in Vacaville.

          Please drop me a note if I can help in any way. I’ll be happy to share my letter with you.

          — walt

          • Walt — Over the past few years I’ve been in contact with some of the family members of the victims in this case and I believe a few of them plan to attend the March 17th hearing. I don’t know that there is much the rest of us can do unless parole is granted. In that case we can, as we have previously, write to the governor to petition for a reversal. From everything I’ve heard Mrs. Brown was a wonderful woman and a terrific teacher. Her loss was felt acutely by many people. I’ll post updates on the hearing whenever I get them. Thank you so much for writing and for caring about the victims. Best, Joan

    • Genie,

      I was one of Mrs. Brown’s students in Costa Mesa. We moved to Irvine in 1966, and there she was just two blocks away! Before they outgrew the condo and moved to El Toro, I’d occasionally drop by to say hello and sometimes a few other former Costa Mesa students came along. I must have been in the 7th grade by then.

      I’ve always taken solace in that she knew what her former students thought of her. A terrific teacher.

      (Funny you call her Flo — she was always Mrs. Brown to us 10-year-olds, and I think in Irvine she went by Nancy. But it’s been nearly 50 years, and my memory is foggy.)

      — walt

  8. Joan: I just discovered your website. It’s very fascinating. Many thanks for sharing. Greetings from Minneapolis.


  9. Hi Joan,
    I just wanted to add my name to those who thank you for creating such a great site. It is my favorite site having to do with Los Angeles Noir! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

    • Camilla — Actually Dr. Hodel was only a suspect briefly in the original investigation. I know because I was fortunate to be an assistant curator for the L.A. Police Museum’s limited run exhibit a couple of years ago. We were given unprecedented access to the original files. While Steve Hodel may believe his father to be guilty of Elizabeth Short’s murder (and several others from what I understand including the murder of James Ellroy’s mother; murders in Chicago to which William Heirens confessed and was convicted; and the infamous unsolved Zodiac slayings in Northern California). I respectfully disagree with Hodel’s thesis which was predicated on a photo which he mistakenly identified as being Short. I believe Dr. Hodel was a scumbag who molested his own daughter, but not a killer. Without a doubt the Black Dahlia case is one of the most intriguing unsolved homicides in L.A. crime history. Thank you so much for you comment, and for reading Deranged L.A. Crimes. Best, Joan

  10. Many thanks for all the work you put into this page, is by far one of the few if not the only one of it’s kind. Is beyond informative, I wouldn’t call it entertaining since we are talking about crimes that took place decades ago, but nonetheless is a great read into LA’s crime history. By the way, I am literally glued to my screen!

    • Thanks, Ena! I have a passion for L.A. and I’m particularly fascinated by crime. I am glad that you are enjoying the blog and I hope you’ll keep coming back. Best — Joan

  11. I recently “stumbled” across this blog and I am just lovin’ it! Thank you for bringing lost history back to us! Brilliant writing and excellent topics. I can’t get enough of this.. now I’m not going to get any work today because I’m going to reading this all day.. thanks a lot =)

    • Thank you so very much for your kind words! You made my day! I appreciate your readership and I’ll try to keep you entertained. Best — Joan

  12. Joan. Thank you for all the work, research and excellent writing. As a former LAPD officer and history buff I am hooked on your site. I just visited the LAPD museum located at the old Highland Park station on York Ave. Your site is icing on that cake. Cheers, tom

    • Tom, thank you so much for your kind words. It is especially gratifying to me when I get positive feedback from people currently in, or retired from, law enforcement. Don’t you love the L.A. Police Museum? It has been my home away from home for the past five years, and I’ve only recently become more active with LASD’s museum as well. As you can tell, I’m a history buff too and I thrive on this stuff. Thank you again! Best, Joan

  13. Hello,
    I stumbled upon your website while researching my great grandfather Clarence Serrano.He was a Sergeant and eventually a Captain in the LASD. I didn’t know him much as he had Alzheimer’s when I was growing up. I was wondering if you had any other info on him or knew of anywhere off hand I could continue researching as google isn’t much help.

    Cody Brown

  14. This women was my 2nd grade teacher at University Elementary in Irvine.
    These articles are not clear as to whether this has legally been resolved ot if Gov Brown is still considering release.
    If anyone has a definitive answer and can tell me where to write or weigh in it would be soooo appreciated.
    This woman was completely loving and giving above and beyond.
    As a little girl…I gave her the impression my mother was not home.
    I failed to mention we had a live-in housekeeper. Mrs Brown insisted she stay with me until my mother arrived and she could assess the situation.
    She was so good and gentle.
    I beg you do not release anyone capable of harming her.
    I am sure she stopped to help.
    That is whoshe was.
    I am now 59….
    I remember Mrs Brown and that crime like it was yesterday.

    Elizabeth A Carmichael

    • Elizabeth,
      I’ve heard from several people about Mrs. Brown, and each of them recall her fondly. She touched many lives. According to the California Department of Corrections inmate locator, as of today, Arthur Craig Hulse is still incarcerated at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. I have been in touch with the widow of the gas station attendant murdered by Hulse and we were successful at least twice and in persuading Governor Brown to overrule the Parole Board’s decision to release him. He is eligible for parole more often now due to a Senate Bill which is intended to provide a pathway to release for juveniles tried and convicted as adults. Hulse has been in prison since 1971. I have found no evidence that he has completed any drug or alcohol programs — nothing that would suggest he has attempted rehabilitation. The likelihood of his release increases as he gets older. Although he is not yet elderly I’ve been told that he is in poor health. The reality is that the State has no interest in paying for costly medical care for elderly prisoners. I’m generally informed when he comes up for parole so I will remain vigilant.


  15. I love your website. I read it on the weekends and reminisce what Los Angeles was like 70 or 80 years ago. I’m a huge film noir and history and websites like yours fascinate and entertain very much. Thank you for this website.

    • Marc,
      Your comment made my day! It is gratifying to know how many other film noir and history buffs are out there. I’m a major nerd regarding both topics and I plan to keep writing about them for many years to come.

  16. I’m so grateful for all the work you put into this site. Your time is valuable, and you are generously sharing the results you’ve invested from research, verifying facts, writing, publishing, keeping up with technology- I’m ready for a drink just thinking about it! Well done and thank you.

    • Carrie,
      I’m ready for a drink too! Surely it is 5 o’clock somewhere! Anyway, I appreciate your kind words about the blog. Los Angeles crime history is a passion of mine and sharing the stories is something I truly love doing.



  17. I have finally read all of the stories in this blog from 12/2012 thru the Elizabeth Short entries as of this day 3/30/2018. It has taken me about a week of non stop reading because I just couldn’t put it down. I’ve been a try crime reader since I first read about Bundy back in the 80s and was an Ann Rule fan. At some points, I’ve had to stop as some of the more sensational stories just overwhelmed me and the majority are based on bad men who take advantage to the Nth degree the women who are unfortunate enough to cross their paths. Still, there are some, like Joe Kenda, who remind us that evil is an equal opportunity thing.

    I’m happy to have found this blog and the talent you have in writing about these historical events keeping the aura of the eras in which they occurred. Our interests are so similar that you could be me…admiration for Aggie, the hard working officers, film noir, etc.
    Thank you for keeping up with all of it.

    In admiration,

    • Thank you so much for your kind comments. We definitely have similar interests. I developed an interest in crime as a kid; and I’ve been a true crime reader for ages too. I read Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and was hooked. I’ve always been drawn to older/historic cases. Either those that occurred when I was too young to be aware of them, or
      those that happened many years in the past. I admire Joe Kenda, he’s a favorite of mine too. I’m glad you found the blog, and since you’re all caught up I’d better start writing! Very best — Joan

  18. HI Joan, I’m unable to sign up keeps telling me my email is “invalid”.
    Missed you at the last couple of Luncheons

    • Susan — I added you manually, which should take care of the problem. I plan to be at the August luncheon. Meanwhile, take care and I’ll see you soon.

  19. Hello Joan,
    my name is Jennifer I met you a while ago at an event held at California State University Northridge, for Aggie Underwood. You were part of the panel. I am currently still a student at Cal State Northridge at the Mike Curb College of Media, Art, and Communications. I am working on a profile piece and I wanted to write my profile piece on you. I wanted to know if that would be ok with you and if you had time to meet sometime, or if we can do a phone interview. I love your work, and I’ve actually seen you on a few episodes of “Deadly Women” which is my favorite show. . I really look forward to speaking with you please feel free to reach out any time.

  20. Dear Ms. Renner

    Much enjoyed your story on Dr. Frank P. Westlake. I am a sergeant with the Bell Police Department. For years I have walked by a framed photograph of the Chief Smith and Judge Vaughn “examining” Laura Belle Sutton’s skull in the muck of the Los Angeles River bed. Knowing the story makes my appreciation of the 1929 photograph that much stronger.
    If you would like a copy let me know!

  21. Hello Joan,
    I learned about your site while listening to the My Favorite Murder podcast about the death of Thelma Todd. I’ve been a true crime buff since the mid-60s when two major murders occurred in my hometown of Chula Vista, CA. When my family moved to Thousand Oaks, CA and Tate-LaBianca happened the following year, there was no turning back, absolutely hooked on true crime to this day. My stepfather grew up in LA and was also a film buff, so I learned about Todd’s death and the Fatty Arbuckle case from him, as well as many others. This site is fabulous and the photos are off the hook! I just subscribed, and am looking forward to reading past and upcoming posts.

    • Hi Linda!
      I’m so glad you found Deranged L.A. Crimes! I’ve been a true crime fiend for ages, too. I grew up in Chicago, which is a pretty good place to nurture an interest in crime. I appreciate your readership. I hope you will continue to enjoy the tales. If you have any specific crime you’d like me to look into, please let me know.



  22. Hi Joan,

    Your Black Dahlia run which included real-time, daily entries would be welcome as we hit the 50th anniversary of the Manson Murders.

    There seemed to be more than a month of mystery after the murders, in which the press and law enforcement finally found a culprit. The sensational capture also dominated the daily news.

    • EVH,
      Ive taken your suggestion, for more real-time entries in the Manson murders. I don’t think the
      family members were busted for the crimes until December 1969, but there was tons of speculation
      to fill the pages of the newspapers between the slayings and the perps being arrested. Thanks
      again for a terrific suggestion. I’ll see what I can do.



  23. Hi Joan I look forward to reading your book. My name is warren I am working on a historical case that connects Chicago all the way to L.A. They serial con artist/ murder H.h Holmes. I am working with his great great grandson.

    • Hi Mary,
      Yes, I’ll be on Deadly Women for their 14th season. I’m very excited. I won’t give anything away but I do have
      a few terrific old cases. I may be on a couple of episodes. Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate your

  24. Joan,
    Great job on the Harvey Glatman webinar, it was well researched and found it fascinating. I found your insight on the matter regarding Glatman and Judy Dull sitting alone on the coach together watching television as thought they were a married couple absolutely riveting. In reality he was just waiting for nightfall so he could take out her into the desert without being seen. Can you imagine what was going through Judy’s mind sitting next to this perverted sadist. Anyway i would love to see more of your webinars and have a few suggestions from the furnaces of Hell; (1) Stephen Nash, (2) Donald K. Bashor,(3) Henry Ford McCracken, and two of the most depraved but least known sadists, Richard Lindsey and his wife Dixie. I know that u have covered the Bashor case in Deranged LA crimes but would love to see u do a webinar regarding the McCracken/Hull case and the Lindsey kidnapping , rape, murder case. Keep up the great work!

    • Thank you, Kevin, you made my day!

      Your suggestions are spot on. I think I may take the month of March to conduct further research for future webinars. I love doing the research, but it is time consuming and I’ve found it difficult to do between scheduled webinars.

      I’m quite taken with your “Furnaces of Hell” comment and, if you don’t mind, I would love to use it as a title for a group of deranged cases.

      Again, thank you so much for your suggestions. I appreciate your input and you have given me some terrific ideas!



      • Joan,
        thanks for the compliment, it was very gracious of u , of course u can use it , u made my year with such an honor. I am a retired New York City Detective and have been obsessed with Los Angeles murders especially the 1950’s for almost 40 years now. Before Covid struck i was about to visit the Monahan murder site in Burbank which u covered in Deranged crimes but had to cancel. Heartbreaking! A couple of years ago i visited the Burton Abbott house in Alameda and actually spoke to the daughter whose mother bought the house after the Abbotts moved out(they rented).The Abbott case is an obsession of mine but i know u only cover LA murders which in itself is more than enough material to handle. I have visited San Quentin several times and was actually offered a part time job in the museum there that is housed on the property but found it very, very disappointing.In closing i intend to fly out to Los Angeles this summer to visit the Police museum and hopefully book a murder tour with u and Scott. U are truly the best and cant wait for your next posting.

  25. hey, I noticed deadly women season 14 airs on June 17th! so excited for the show to come back, love the historical cases so much. Which ones will you cover?

      • Ooo okay. I hope you can reveal them soon like you did last season. Can’t wait for June 17th. They released that they are covering Leonarda Cianciulli and Belva Gaertner.

  26. Will you reveal to us what cases you’ll cover in the new deadly women season before it premieres in 6 days like last season? Please do, big fan.

  27. I must inform you your information on Diane Linkletter & her short marriage is erroneous. First Grant Conroy had travelled often with the Linkletter’s & was highly favorable with the family. Diane lived @ home. Diane was never pregnant & the annulment was based on “ marriage not consummated.” ( Noted in the document & available to you ) Grant was a 1st team member of USC`s national championship rugby team. There were never any drugs in Diane`s life in the two years of their relationship. Diane`s godfather was Walt Disney, she was a prodigy & much older than her young age. She would have been a star, she was so talented. Grant had received a draft notice & the quick marriage allowed a deferment. Grant working in Europe while Diane was still in college allowed the relationship to ease somewhat. The whole drug reputation was a fabrication & her death was probably her effort to escape an assault. Just bio the gent who was with her & his career. I will post the annulment document if you do not correct you article.
    Otherwise my regards to you.

  28. Hey Joan what a beautiful gesture to remember Judy Dull on what would of been her 83rd birthday. She would probably be still alive today enjoying her friends in some retirement community showing off pictures of her grand kids. I think of her often and the other victims and its such a tragedy that she had a chance meeting with the Devil. God rest in Peace Judy. Keep up the great work Joan and as always looking forward to to next posting.

    • Thanks, Kevin. I will honor other victims here as well. I, too, think about them often. It is up to us to keep their memories alive.



  29. I was just streaming Deadly Women (’m a few seasons behind), when they cutaway to a talking head expert and it was you!! It’s a big deal to be acknowledged by your peers and the greater community, I was very excited for you! Congrats!

  30. I enjoyed reading your stories. I received a call from a friend of mine who was very upset and shocked to find out that a family member was a collector for a family back in the day.

    When I was a young girl in Chicago a young girl was murdered and dumped behind are house. The police knocked on our door because my sister and I have red hair and the murdered girl also had red hair. The police wanted to make sure it was not my sister as she was closer to her age. I never forgot her and I hope her family was found.

    • That is a scary experience for a kid. Growing up in Chicago we had a family friend who my brother and I called Uncle Tommy. I once asked what he did for a living and my mom told me to never ask again. In the late ’50s he moved to Las Vegas and was the pit boss at the Stardust. As a grown-up, I realized why nobody talked about his profession.

      Do you have any details about the murdered girl? I’m curious and maybe I can find some information.



  31. Ms. Renner

    Visitors to your site might also be interested to know that Coberly’s son was KIA in Vietnam.

    Best Regards

  32. Hi Joan

    I finished reading your latest story of the 1921 murder of Linus Worden. I checked Find a Grave but couldn’t locate him. After further research, I found out why.

    You spelled his first name as LINUS but it’s actually LINAS. If you check that spelling you’ll find him and his father, Linas Worden Sr. He died in 1953 at the age of 80.

    I really love these old crimes but feel sorry for the victims.

    • Hi Tom. You just bumped into one of a researcher’s biggest problems–the spelling of proper names. I got the spelling of Worden’s name from the newspaper.
      What sometimes happened with them is a reporter would call in a story from the field to a re-write person in the newsroom. The re-write person would use a
      common spelling or do it phonetically. It can be a nightmare. Anyway thank you for finding the correct spelling.

      I’m with you, I love the old crimes but feel sorry for the victims. It’s why I tell the stories. The victims should never be forgotten.


  33. I’ve been a fan of your work for a long time – almost said a “deranged fan” but
    the connotation could be, well, unfortunate – & really enjoyed this latest entry
    about poor Edith. I think in cases like this, the women were as much victims as
    the husbands or lovers they killed, simply because of the societal view of women
    & the “ailments peculiar to their sex”.

    Thank you so much for writing these stories – I’ve been a researcher myself & am
    all too aware of the amount of work required to produce such a body of work. Am
    looking forward to more.

    • Thank you so much Carol. I apologize for my extremely tardy reply. I’ve had issues with getting notified of comments. Sigh.
      I agree, women were often victims. People sometimes forget, or maybe don’t know, that women had few options. We were chattel.
      Our husbands could beat us, commit us to institutions, and in general treat us as second class citizens which, by law, we were. The
      notion that we are weak or unstable because of our monthly “ailments” is absurd, but continue in a slightly more subtle form today.
      I love bringing these stories to light. We can’t possibly grasp today’s problems without an understanding of the historic context.
      Thank you again for your kind comments.

  34. Our good friend Craig Buck RECCO’d you & your newsletter, after we shared the “Vulture” article about the 2023 Perry Mason w/ him that quoted you.

    • Julie, Cool. I love the Perry Mason series, and was thrilled when asked to comment about it.
      The series is how I see Los Angeles in my head. I recognize many of the characters and situations
      from the city’s crime history.

  35. I will watch any ID show that features you, and M. William Phelps. My go-to favorite authors of true crime.
    You are a national treasure, and I look forward to more of your work.

    • Meg, You have made my day! I thank you so much for your kind words.
      I’m a fan of M. William Phelps, too. I recently read The Devil’s Rooming House,
      and loved it.


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