Friday, January 10, 2014
Evelyn Childs -- All for Love
Lawrence S. Mueller, 32, a sign painter-artist from the California desert town of El Centro, married New York showgirl Evelyn Childs (real name Evelyn Pearl Tatum) on March 26, 1927. The 25-year-old performer quickly tired of life away from the footlights and, on May 26, went to Los Angeles following a quarrel with her husband. Checking into the Rosegrove Hotel at 532 Flower Street, Childs made the rounds of Hollywood studios and theatrical agencies looking for work. Distraught and anxious to save their marriage, Mueller sent a flurry of letters and telegrams addressed to his "golden girl" begging her to come back. Childs advised him not to come to Los Angeles on the pretext that it might discourage producers from casting her. In a final letter before driving to the "City of Angels," Mueller pleaded with his wife for "one week of happiness" together during which time he would look for work in the city and, if they still proved incompatible, would accept a position in Chicago. On the morning of May 30, 1927, the maid at the Rosegrove let herself into Childs' room to clean. The young showgirl, clad only in a flimsy pink nightgown, lay on the bed strangled to death with a bedsheet. Mueller's nude, lifeless body was found a few feet away suspended by a bedsheet wound tightly about his neck attached to a closet door lintel. The record "All for Love" was on a running phonograph beside the bed. Among numerous letters chronicling the buildup to the tragedy was a picture of Mueller with the following written across the corner: "To Pearl, my perfect pal. Yesterday, today, and I hope, forever."