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Biography on William Desmond Taylor

Autor:   •  February 7, 2019  •  1,300 Words (6 Pages)  •  682 Views

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however Sands had burgled his apartment before, why would he not burgle it again even if he had to kill. The job appeared to not have been done by Sands.

Margaret Gibson was an actress who worked Taylor when he first came to Hollywood, died of a heart attack in 1964. Having recently converted to Catholicism, she gave a deathbed confession in which she is said to have confessed to having “shot and killed William Desmond Taylor.” Gibson was in Los Angeles at the time of the murder, but her name was never mentioned during the investigation and no surviving documentation refers to any association between her and Taylor after 1914.

Charlotte Shelby was the mother of Taylor’s pride and joy Mary Miles Minter. She was described as the worst kind of stage mothers. She was manipulative, and consumed by greed over her daughter’s career. Shelby’s statements to police about the murder are still characterized as evasive and “obviously filled with lies” about both her daughter’s relationship with Taylor and “other matters.” The most compelling piece of evidence connecting her to the killing is the the fact that she owned a rare gun similar to the one that killed Taylor. Once this became public, she threw it into the Louisiana bayou.

The prime reason Shelby was believed to have killed Taylor was the one of the conflicting love interests between her daughter, Taylor, and Shelby herself. It was said that Shelby was torn by feelings of maternal protection for her daughter and her own attraction to Taylor. This is what cause for Shelby to kill Taylor in her distress.

Shelby knew the Los Angeles district attorney and she spent years outside the United States, in an effort to avoid questioning and press coverage related to the murder. Two other Los Angeles denied to prosecute her, presumably paid off by Shelby’s under-the-table hand. Almost twenty years after the murder, Los Angeles district attorney Buron Fitts concluded that there wasn’t any evidence for an indictment of Shelby since all case files and remaining evidence consequently disappeared.

It is also worth noting that in 1938, Shelby’s other daughter, Margaret Shelby openly accused her mother of the murder during the argument.

The trail Shelby attempted to cover behind William Desmond Taylor is one that would’ve been difficult to follow at the time. I understand how the police could have not solved the murder with the steps Shelby took in bribing the district attorney’s office, fleeing the country, tampering of the case files, and most importantly disposing of the gun very similar to the one that put a whole in Taylor’s back. After reviewing all of the remaining evidence I can firmly conclude that Charlotte Shelby committed the murder of William Desmond Taylor on February 2, 1922 at 7:30 A.M.


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