Kate ; Bette ; Marlene ), claims to hav"/>

MURDER IN HOLLYWOOD: Solving a Silent Screen Mystery

Charles Higham, Author . Univ. of Wisconsin/Terrace $24.95 (242p) ISBN 978-0-299-20360-3

Although the author, a veteran Hollywood biographer (Kate ; Bette ; Marlene ), claims to have solved the murder of silent film director William Desmond Taylor (1872–1922), this overly melodramatic account of his life and death sheds little light on the mystery. In 1907, Taylor, an Irish immigrant, deserted his wife and daughter in New York City and turned up in Hollywood as a screen actor; later, he became a well-known director. Attractive and intelligent, Taylor had many affairs with both men and women, including actress Mabel Normand and his cook and houseman, Edward Sands, a thief and compulsive liar whom Taylor later fired. On the night of February 1, 1922, Taylor was shot and killed at his home. According to Higham, the murderer was actress Mary Miles Minter, who harbored an unrequited love for Taylor. He bases his theory on some police documents given to him by director King Vidor, Minter's lack of an alibi for the time of the murder, and some complicated political corruption, which, according to the author, motivated the district attorney to eliminate Minter from the list of suspects. Higham doesn't really overturn other hypotheses that implicate Normand, Sands and others or an unidentified man seen by a witness leaving the scene. There's more heat than light in this convoluted account. B&w photos. Agent, Dorris Halsey. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/04/2004
Release date: 11/01/2004
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.