Mondo Bizarro Aug 23 2010
Mystery forms around two dead infants found in an old steamer trunk.

In Los Angeles on Friday, two women working in the famous Glen-Donald building in the city’s MacArthur Park neighborhood found the remains of two infants in a locked steamer trunk. One infant was in embryonic form, while the other had reached full term; one was wrapped in a 1933 edition of the Los Angeles Times, while the other was wrapped in a 1935 edition. The trunk was labeled Jean M. Barrie, and contained postcards addressed to her, as well as other items, including ticket stubs to the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. But who, exactly, Jean M. Barrie was, is unclear.

The papers in the trunk indicate she may have been a nurse who lived in Los Angeles around that time, but the Glen-Donald building would have been an unlikely residence for such a person because it was a ritzy address in the 1930s, a place where galas were staged in a grand basement ballroom. However, there was at least one other Jean M. Barrie alive in the 1930s—the woman you see in the above ad from a 1918 issue of The Lyceum Magazine. This Jean M. Barrie was a relative of Peter Pan author James M. Barrie and a semi-famous storyteller in her own right.

Authorities are pursuing the lead because the trunk contained a copy of Peter Pan and a membership certificate for the Peter Pan Woodland Club, located in Big Bear, California. It also seems much more likely for this second Jean M. Barrie to have lived at the Glen-Donald building, however it’s unclear whether she ever lived in Los Angeles at all. Only a detailed investigation will tell which woman—the anonymous nurse or the well-known storyteller—owned the steamer trunk. In the meantime, LAPD pathologists are examining the infants in an effort to determine why they never got to live their lives. 


History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 23
1935—Four Gangsters Gunned Down in New Jersey
In Newark, New Jersey, the organized crime figures Dutch Schultz, Abe Landau, Otto Berman, and Bernard "Lulu" Rosencrantz are fatally shot at the Palace Chophouse restaurant. Schultz, who was the target, lingers in the hospital for about a day before dying. The killings are committed by a group of professional gunmen known as Murder, Inc., and the event becomes known as the Chophouse Massacre.
1950—Al Jolson Dies
Vaudeville and screen performer Al Jolson dies of a heart attack in San Francisco after a trip to Korea to entertain troops causes lung problems. Jolson is best known for his film The Jazz Singer, and for his performances in blackface make-up, which were not considered offensive at the time, but have now come to be seen as a form of racial bigotry.
October 22
1926—Houdini Fatally Punched in Stomach
After a performance in Montreal, Hungarian-born magician and escape artist Harry Houdini is approached by a university student named J. Gordon Whitehead, who asks if it is true that Houdini can endure any blow to the stomach. Before Houdini is ready Whitehead strikes him several times, causing internal injuries that lead to the magician's death.
October 21
1973—Kidnappers Cut Off Getty's Ear
After holding Jean Paul Getty III for more than three months, kidnappers cut off his ear and mail it to a newspaper in Rome. Because of a postal strike it doesn't arrive until November 8. Along with the ear is a lock of hair and ransom note that says: "This is Paul’s ear. If we don’t get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits." Getty's grandfather, billionaire oilman Jean Paul Getty, at first refused to pay the 3.2 million dollar ransom, then negotiated it down to 2.8 million, and finally agreed to pay as long as his grandson repaid the sum at 4% interest.
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