Chapter 8 ~ The Chancellor Neighborhood

After Mark Hansen asked Beth to leave a second time, Anne borrowed a car and moved her to the Chancellor of Hollywood apartments on Cherokee Avenue on November 13. Anne paid the first week’s rent for her and went back home, never telling Mark what she had done.

* * *

Anne knew Glynn Wolfe, the owner and operator of the Chancellor, who she described as a “-sexual pervert, maniac, everything.  I hate him.  He even threatened to kill me once.” She was going to report him to the O.P.A. for overcrowding apartments for his own financial gain. She said, “He was putting four girls into a room, where there should have been two, for $5.00.”  Anne called him, “One of the worst type.” A district attorney memorandum claimed Wolfe was “rumored to know Elizabeth Short rather well.”

Two other neighbors, Mary McGraddle and Ruth Vetchie, lived at 1621 McCadden and knew Elizabeth Short. They were “quite friendly with her,” Frank McGrath of the D.A.’s office reported. Finis Brown and Frank Jemison recommended that the two be interviewed, but apparently they never were.

The girls that lived in apartment 501 at the Chancellor apartments seemed to  come and go from week to week. Among the roommates, there was an English girl that worked at the Gotham Delicatessen on Hollywood Boulevard, a nurse, two musicians and two “big” girls from Texas. There was also a young woman named Edna who worked as a waitress at Steve Boardner’s on Cherokee. She slept in an upper bunk and another girl named Shell shared a bed with Beth and operated a hot dog stand on the Santa Monica boardwalk. Sherryl Maylond was a cocktail waitress and Linda Rohr, 22 worked at Max Factor’s on Highland, a block south of Hollywood Boulevard.

Beth  seemed afraid that she would be implicated if the two girls from Texas were arrested for marijuana   possession. Detective Brown suggested that the marijuana bust “- was kind of a frame on those girls.”  He said he didn’t think “they were prosecuted.”

Anne said the roommates at the Chancellor did not “look queer to me, none of them.” Lt. Jemison asked Anne, “Didn’t Beth Short at one time or another indicate to you at least she wasn’t fond of queer women, did she indicate that to you?” Anne replied, “No, she always made the statement, very queer people in this town, queer people, referring to both men and women I guess.  That is the only thing referring to queers  that she ever mentioned, but I doubt it very much.”

The Chancellor of Hollywood, as it was then known, is located at 1842 N. Cherokee, two blocks north of Hollywood Boulevard. Beth was also known to have visited Bradley’s 5 & 10 at the northwest corner of Hollywood and Cherokee. Doctors Faught and Schwartz had offices  at 6636 Hollywood Boulevard, across the street from Bradley’s. John Egger, who knew Beth from the CBS studios in Columbia Square, lived a block west of the Chancellor at 1774 North Las Palmas Avenue.

At the Chancellor, Beth stayed, according to newspaper accounts, with roommates Linda Rohr, Sherryl Maylond, Cheryll Haughlamb, Beverly Don’e, Pat Goff, Marion Schmidt, Dorothy Saffron and Mary Louise Pappe. They shared room 501 on the top floor, overlooking Cherokee Avenue and the Hollywood Hills.

Three days after Beth’s body was found, newspapers were telling the story of the Chancellor roommates. Only three of the original eight young women were still living in the cramped apartment with double-decked bunk beds. Linda Rohr said Beth “was always going out and she loved to prowl the boulevard.” Marion Schmidt, another roommate, was a telephone operator.

Roommate Sherryl Maylond was a cocktail lounge employee who remembered “a tall, sinister elderly man who inquired about Beth after January 15.  A Los Angeles newspaper reported that, “on the night of the murder a man who called himself  ‘Clement’  came into the bar where Sherryl works and asked to see her. It was her night off, the bartender told him.  On the next  evening, after the body had been found, Clement came back – a slight, dapper, olive-skinned man with hair gray at the temples.”  Sherryl later said that she had never seen the man before. He wanted to “talk about Betty,” but Sherryl “gave him a cold shoulder,” according to the article.

The roommates were interviewed, but could not offer a good lead to the murder. One of the young women said Beth discussed working in a military base in San Bernardino. Another remembered Beth asking her to accompany her to a Beverly Hills address, “where a man would pay the rent,” a Los Angeles Times newspaper article reported. All of the roommates “agreed she worked nowhere in Los Angeles although she seemed to have periodic funds for rent, clothing and groceries,” the Times said.

When Beth lived at the Chancellor, her landlady, Juanita Ringo, said “She came here for a room last November 13. That’s a bad day, isn’t it? She wasn’t sociable like the other girls who lived in apartment 501 with her – more the sophisticated type.”

Linda Rohr recalled, “Elizabeth was odd. She had pretty blue eyes, but sometimes I think she overdid it with makeup an inch thick. Elizabeth dyed her brown hair black, then red again.” Linda also remembered, “She was out nearly every night. She had a lot of telephone calls, mostly from her favorite boy friend, Maurice.”

Leave a Reply