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Wondery plus subscribers can listen to morbid early and ad free. Join Wondery plus in the Wondery app or on Apple Podcasts.


You're listening to a morbid network podcast.


Many put their hope in Dr. Serhat. His company was worth half a billion dollars. His research promised groundbreaking treatments for hiv and cancer. But the brilliant doctor was hiding a secret. You can listen to Dr. Death, bad magic, ad free by subscribing to Wondry plus in the Wondery app or on Apple Podcasts. Wondry's new podcast, blame it on the fame, dives into one of pop music's greatest controversies. Millie Vanilli set the world on fire. But when their adoring fans learned about the infamous lip syncing, their downfall was swift and brutal. Listen to blame it on the fame, Millie Vanilli on the Wondri app or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey, weirdos. I'm Elena.


I'm ash.


And this is morbid.


Yeah, it is.


It is.


How are you today, brother?


I'm feeling wonderful. We just got to hang out with Alvin and Fran from affirmative murder.


I love them.


And that is a daybreaner. It is.


It sounded kind of like you said daybreainer.


It can be a daybreainer as well. I might have. I'm tired.


I started to respond, and then I was like, did she say what I thought she said?


I meant day brightener.


Yeah, maybe.


I said daybreaner. Maybe. I'm not going to say I didn't.


Sorry to call you out. I knew what you meant, but I was like, wait a second.


Actually, I'm tired.


And it's just like, I'm having a hard time. Coming up with responses.


2024 is not off to a terrible start. No, by any means. It's just like January was 435 days long, quite literally. It's just been, like a lot of stuff. Like, it's just been busy.


Yeah, super busy. But like, fun busy.


Yeah. Like good busy. Yeah, really not a lot of bad stuff going on, so I'm not going to complain. It's just like, everybody's tired because there's just a lot going on.


Well, and we stayed at the board in house earlier this week, too.




And that totally fucks up your sleep schedule because we did not.


Yes. We stayed with Corinne and Sabrina from two girls, one ghost. We're just like, hanging out with podcasters.


I know, but we love them all.


I know.


And then next week, I think we're going to hang out with Jordan from the Nighttime podcast. Like, virtually. Obviously, we're not going to Canada, but.


We would love to.


I'd love to.


I know.


I don't know why that's obvious that we're not going to Canada. Obviously not.


I keep trying to get Jordan and his whole fam to come to Salem. I'm like, come on down. Come in here and let's go.


I want to go to Salem yesterday.


Me too.


I love Salem. I also want a new tattoo.


As do I.


Which those two things are synonymous because tattoos in Salem.


Yep. Always. Yeah, always. And. Yeah. Yeah.


Hi, Matt and Ryan.


Hi, Matt and Ryan. You're great.


And Jill.


Oh, and I love tattoo. Yeah. Great. Yeah.


All right. I have a sad, sad case today.




And you might be mad at me if you're listening. I'm really sorry. It's unsolved.


Oh, no, I know.


And it's really frustrating that it's unsolved, but it happened in the 20s.


In the 20s?


No, it didn't happen in the 20s. That's a lie.


It happened.


It was like the 30s in the, don't know. It was around that time, but it was old timey. So fingerprints and shit just, like, weren't good. They tried.




What are you going to do?


This is why these are fascinating, though, because somehow the case at least moves along at some kind of capacity without any kind of forensic. Yeah.


And a lot of different shit ends up going on after this. And I just want to say right off the bat, this is a brutal one, so be ready for that. Hold on to your butts. We haven't said that in a while.


I'm holding on.


I like that. We're going to be talking about Georgette Bauer dwarf today. Georgette Elise Bauerdorf was born in New York, New York, on May 6, 1924. She was the second of two children born to George and Constance Bauerdorf as the daughter of a Wall street financier and an independent oil tycoon. Because, you know, I fucking love an oil tycoon.


I was gonna say, my goodness.


Georgette was born into New York high society, and of course, because of that, she was afforded all the finest opportunities in life. When she reached school age, her parents enrolled her at St. Agathos School for girls.




I feel like you have to say it like that.


St. Agathos. I like how the voice changes and the tone change. St. Agathos School for girls.


It's just like, not Agatha's school for girls.


No, it's staghophos school for girls. That leads me to believe that it's a little bit of an intense place.


I don't even.


I thought, I thought you knew, and you were like, it is not whimsical.




All right.


I mean, it's just a foreboding name.


It really is. Yeah.


Stagger's school for girls. It was just a prep school on New York's upper west side that had been established to prepare the children of elite families for future Ivy League educations.


It was very hoytoy the elite.


When Georgette's mother unfortunately passed away in 1935, the family ended up moving to Los Angeles, where Georgette continued her education, first at the Merlborough School and then at Westlake School for Girls.


Golf for.


Girls, where she graduated in 1941. Her graduation from high school actually came just months after the bombing of Pearl harbor.


Oh, wow.


And it was at the onset of the US really getting involved in World War II.


What a time. Yeah.


But like many Americans, the US's involvement in the war really inspired a great deal of patriotism in Georgette, who immediately looked for opportunities to contribute to the war effort. Just help out, do her thing.


Let's go, girls. Exactly. Yeah.


Although they weren't expected to join the military, many of Hollywood's biggest stars used their fame to support the troops by promoting war bonds and performing with the United Service Organization, among plenty of other things, the USO. The USO, exactly. For those who couldn't or didn't want to travel, local servicemen's clubs offered the opportunity to contribute. And in Los Angeles, there was no more prominent servicemen's club than the Hollywood canteen. The Hollywood canteen.


There is a Gilmore Girls episode where Rory Gilmore is joining the dar, and she has to make a function happen, and she makes a place look like the Hollywood canteen, and everyone has to dress up in vintage clothing.


You have no idea. As soon as I read the words Hollywood canteen, I said, make sure you take a breath after you introduce that thought, because this bitch, this bitch Elena is going to go off about Gilmore girl.


It's true. Did you see me?


I literally said it, and then I took a breath and looked right up at you.


You moved back like, I'm going to give you space.


Here's the stage.


Here it is.


And they even have the triplets singing.


On stage that are like, meet me or don't go under the apple tree with anyone else but me anyone else.


But me sing it, sister.


Yeah. It's wild because the esthetic of that is just primo. And when you think about what was actually happening at the time, you're, like, so fucked up, and people have, like, it's like a theme. Yeah. You're like, damn.


But it was a place for people to go to. Like, I hate to say it. There's no better way to say it. To get away from all of.


Exactly. To escape what was going on on the outside, because, man, people were going through.


It was bleak.


Quite a bit. Exactly.


So organized by Betty Davis and John Garfield, two of Hollywood's biggest stars at the time.


Betty Davis. Honey.


The Hollywood canteen offered enlisted men and men of allied troops a place to unwind, enjoy some music, some dancing, and a few drinks. Honey. While they were on leave, the canteen actually operated entirely on volunteer support, from the building materials to the personnel. And it featured nightly appearances and performances from the biggest stars of the day, like Abbot and Costello, Glenn Miller and his orchestra, Boris Karloff and Elizabeth Taylor.


Oh, damn. The Hollywood canteen, baby.


I fucking love it. Now, while many of these stars performed on stage at the club, it was also just as likely that they would act as bartenders, servers, dishwashers, cooks, cigarette girls.




Like, all of them just banded together out of this sense of.


I didn't know that.


And patriotism. I love it.


I didn't know about that part.


I didn't know about that part either. And I think that's so cool that you would see maybe. I don't know, but you would see maybe Elizabeth Taylor up on stage, and then she'd just be like, serving you drinks.


Yeah. Like, that's wild. Where else can you see that? Yeah.


On any given night, patrons could expect to find the likes of Rita Hayworth. Serving table.


Shut up.


Shirley Temple behind the bar serving drinks.




Which I was like, is she old enough? And then I was like, she did grow.


She's perpetually a child, just forever.


And even Spencer Tracy or Humphrey Bogart washing dishes. Isn't that really cool?


That's cool.


Now, historically, the Hollywood canteen is remembered for their contributions to troop morale and the novelty of seeing Hollywood really getting their hands dirty. Just getting into it there. But there were a small number of ordinary young women.


Just kidding. They were, like, ordinary.


They were way better than ordinary.


But they just weren't, of course, just.


Like regular you and me kind of people who were brought on at the canteen as hostesses. While the position was probably way more exciting on paper, more often than not, the hostesses and junior hostess positions typically involved tending to the less glamorous service industry, jobs that literally never would have been assigned to the volunteer celebrities. Of course, the expectations of the hostesses would range from welcoming patrons, dancing with servicemen to cleaning bathrooms and mopping the floor at the end of the night.


Which, you know, is a job exactly.


Like maybe the Hollywood elite would go back and wash a couple dishes, but I don't think they were cleaning the bathrooms.


I don't think they were cleaning the.


Toilets, to my knowledge, at least.


Who knows?


But all while maintaining a look of poise and elegance on par with the likes of Doris day and Joan Crawford. You had to look the part and be willing to go clean some toilets if you were not an actress. But still, for a young woman with dreams of making it big in Hollywood, there were few opportunities that were more exciting or had more career potential than landing a job with the Hollywood.


Oh, I imagine you're literally rubbing elbows with the biggest stars of the day.




Yeah. Betty Davis is out there.




Come on.


Joan Crawford. Rita Hayworth, baby. Elizabeth Taylor. Shirley Temple.


Shirley Temple.


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Don't wait. morbid. That's morbid. There's no safe like simplisafe. Get closer to the best. You audible lets you enjoy all your audio entertainment in one app. You'll always find the best of what you love or something new to discover. There are many wellness categories for you to choose. Titles on audible such as physical, mental, spiritual. I'm really leaning into the spiritual right now. More on that later. There's also social motivational occupational and financial wellness. You're going to find voices that motivate to spark you to take action, sounds to soothe so that you can focus, reduce your stress, and even sleep better. There are stories to inspire so you can dream big again, plus personalities to encourage and enlighten so you'll have a partner on your journey, wherever it is you're going. As an audible member, you can choose one title a month to keep from the entire catalog, including the latest bestsellers and new releases. And I have found the title this month that I will be keeping. It is signs the secret language of the universe by Laura Lynn Jackson I have cried so many times listening to this because it is one of the most beautiful books.


It's all about the messages from the universe that we get from loved ones that depart, and just messages in general. And my God, it is such an incredible listen. New members can try audible free for 30 days. Visit morbid or textmorbid to 500 500. That's morbid or textmorbid to 500 500 to try audible free for 30 days. morbid after graduating from high school, Georgette found work at the Los Angeles Times classifieds counter. But what she really dreamed of, what her big aspirations in life were, was to become a film actress, a star, baby. Duh, honey. And from her perspective, a position at the canteen seemed like a great way to support the war effort while also networking with the stars. So she was really thrilled when she was accepted as volunteer, and she was scheduled to work on Wednesday nights alongside one of her closer friends, June Ziegler. Journalist Katie Dowd wrote, the hostess job suited Georgette perfectly. She had a big smile and a welcoming charm.


Oh, I love that. I know.


She's really pretty. If you look up pictures, I'm going to look up. So the job allowed Georgette to feel like she was doing her part to support the troops. But as a young woman, she also appreciated the opportunity to dance and socialize with young soldiers who were coming in to unwind. Per the rules of the canteen, though, the hostesses were actually banned from giving out their personal information or like, they weren't allowed to leave the club with the patrons. Meaning, like, you're not here to pick up dates, essentially.




But journalist Dowd notes, Georgette, like so many others, got around this by meeting up with men outside of work. She was known to give soldiers keys to her apartment if they wanted to crash there, always on the downstairs sofa while she slept upstairs, friends said. And she loved dating good for her. Good for her. But never give your keys to anybody.


Yeah. No, I just mean, like, you love dating. Good for you, Georgette. You're young.


You're young.


You're out here in the.


Yeah, yeah.


Don't give your keys to strange men.


Yeah, don't do that. Even if they seem nice.


Yeah, you don't know them.


Ted Bundy seemed nice to.


Exactly. So. So don't do it.


Don't do it. But Georgette's generosity toward these young men was a kind of extension of her sense of patriotism. Whenever anyone would question why she was so willing to share everything with strangers, she would tell them, I think if these boys are willing to fight for us, we ought to do anything we can for them.


That's a super nice thought.


And it's so pure hearted. And obviously, I don't think Georgette had seen a lot of the world at this, you know?


And it's like, this is also know a different, exactly like now we're way. No one is know that kind of can't. You can't be handing keys to people. No. But things were different in different times, and this probably wasn't seen as that wild back then. You know what I mean? And especially with the war effort going on, that was like a real sentiment. Absolutely. That you should do what you can for these people who are willing to risk their lives to fight for your country.


And I'm sure you're thinking, if these men are willing to put their lives on the front end to protect our country, why would they hurt me?


Yeah, they're not going to hurt me. They're fighting for our country. And it's like, well, anybody can be a bad person, right?


Unfortunately, now, it's also possible that this behavior was a means of establishing herself as an independent person. Of course, having come from a very wealthy family, Georgette almost certainly didn't need to work. And as a young woman in the early 40s, she would have been expected, she would not have been expected to pay for or transport herself to and from dates, but she did both. And she would even pay for her dates, meal or whatever activity they were going to do at that time.


What about us?


Kind of like to demonstrate her autonomy and independence.


Oh, hell, yeah. She's like, I work. Exactly.


I work and I can afford this.




No. While these things would seem pretty normal today, like, you go Dutch on dates or a girl will pay for a guy, vice versa, whatever. At that time. Oh, this was unheard of. Certain parts of her behavior did obviously carry a certain amount of risk, not only because her actions defied convention, but also because she was revealing her wealth and status to strangers who might be willing or wanting to take advantage.


Yeah, absolutely.


But still, whenever any friends would express concern, she would just dismiss them, confident that it was the right thing to do, completely naive to the dangers.


That hurts my heart because I know something bad is going to happen here. And it's like you can tell that it was truly just her thinking that the world wasn't as dark a place as it really is.


Exactly. That's really sad coming from such a pure place. Like I said earlier.




So on the afternoon of October 11, 1944, Georgette met up with her father's secretary, Rose Gilbert, and they had some lunch together. They went to the beauty parlor. They did a little shopping. It seems like they were, like, friendly. And they parted ways a little after 02:00 p.m. Georgette had actually just bought a plane ticket to visit her new boyfriend, Jerry Brown, a soldier who was stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. According to Rose Gilbert, Georgette was, quote, in good health and gay spirits. After her lunch with Rose, Georgette went home to change, and she headed to her shift at the Hollywood canteen. When June, her friend, arrived at the canteen, she found Georgette in the parking lot knitting in her car.


That's adorable.


That's so cute. While she waited for her friend to arrive for their shift to start, June later told reporters she seemed very happy but a little nervous. But Georgette explained she was nervous because she was really excited about going to El Paso in the coming days. For the most part, their shift at the canteen was pretty ordinary. But June did tell police that there was a, quote, dark, husky soldier who had been harassing Georgette all throughout the night and who, quote, insisted on jitterbugging with Georgette against her wishes.


That sentence is everything. Jitterbugging with someone against their wishes. I know that is an actual thing. I know that jitterbugging is a dance. So doing that against somebody's wishes is not awesome at all.


No, of course not.


But the way that that sentence structure is laid out, I just have to point out, because we're all feeling it. We are. That that is a funny sentence.


No, I'm so glad you did, because I was thinking the exact same thing.


Yeah. It's just the actual thing that happened. Not funny sentence. Funny like jitterbugging with someone against their wishes. Seems like it would be like a funny thing.


It seems like it would be a card in cards against humanity.


I'm going to jitterbug you against your wishes. You seem like you've just been like, ha.




But no, it's awful in real life. Yeah, it's not great at all. So just, again, bear with me. Not good sentence. Hilarious.


Now, according to June Ziegler, Georgette liked the waltzes, the dreamy kind. And I had never seen her jitterbug before.


I love that she loved the dreamy waltzes. Yeah. She seems like such a romantic.


Oh, my God, she does love it. She really speaks to my soul. Yeah, I feel that way. I don't think I would jitterbug with.


People, does she seems like she's just that girl. She seems like she would love Lana Del Rey if she was around now, doesn't she? Like, she would be a summertime sadness.


Kind of girl to my soul some more.


She sounds cool.


She does sound cool. I would want to be her friend. I do want to be her friend. Now, at several points throughout the evening, June saw her friend politely declining this man's invitations. But Georgette did finally give in. I think it sounds like just to make this guy go away, she was like, final fucking jitter.


Which she absolutely shouldn't have had to do. No, that's fucked up.


But after that, there were no more incidents. And the evening wrapped up with Georgette leaving through the side door around 1130 that night and driving herself home. As far as anybody could remember, she was alone when she left the canteen. And there was nobody in her car when she pulled out of the lot. Okay, just her now. This is really awful. The next morning, October twelveth, Lulu Atwood arrived at the El Palatio apartments in West Hollywood, where she worked daily cleaning the apartments and the spanish style apartment complex. When Lulu reached the Bauerdorf apartment, she found the front door unlocked and slightly a jar. So immediately, that was pretty weird.




So she knocked a couple times before entering, and she called out, anyone here? Before she finally did go in, because nobody was answering. Although the apartment appeared to be vacant, as she expected it would be, Lulu felt like she could hear water dripping somewhere on the second floor. So she went up the stairs to investigate. And assuming that obviously the dripping was coming from the bathroom, she pushed open the bathroom door and discovered the lifeless body of Georgette Bauerdorf lying face down in the tub, her face and head half submerged in a shallow pool of pink tinged water. Lulu started screaming, like could not believe what was in front of her. And that brought up the janitor at the El Palatio who heard her screaming. And it also happened to be her husband.


Oh, wow.


They cleaned together, and the two called police. Investigators arrived at the scene a short time later, and after a brief survey of the apartment, they initially suspected the death was accidental.


I'm sorry, what?


They assumed Georgette had slipped in the bathroom and hit her head when she fell, hence the blood that had seeped into the water.


I don't know about that.


However, that theory quickly went out of the window when one of the officers noticed that each apartment had a motion sensor light outside the front door that went off whenever someone walked by. And he was like. He realized the light outside of Georgette's door failed to turn on when anyone was near. He was like, why was that going on? So he pulled up a chair to investigate the fixture, and when he reached for the bulb, he realized it was not malfunctioning, but had, in fact, been, quote, carefully unscrewed. Two turns to the left, just loose enough to no longer automatically activate.


Oh, that's sinister.


It gives me. And immediately reminds me of strangers.


Yeah. When they turn the bulb. Yeah.


And it won't turn on, obviously.


And he turns it back, and it's like, what the fuck?


Why did that happen?


Which for some reason, they just, like in that movie. It drives me crazy that they don't immediately leave.


Yeah. I'd be like, bye.


If I found that somebody had done that. Fuck that. Bye. See ya. But that is sinister.


So sinister. Now, whether it had been done before or after Georgette's death wasn't exactly clear. But either way, somebody wanted to make sure the apartment would be dark and that they wouldn't be seen either entering or exiting. Once they determined that the death was no accident, other aspects of this scene began to make more sense. After pulling Georgette's body from the tub, investigators noticed she had what appeared to be a piece of washcloth or bath towel stuffed deeply into her mouth.




In the adjoining bedroom, there were blood stains on the floor, which looked like somebody had tried to clean up, though investigators couldn't determine whether they had resulted from the attack or not. But they assumed most likely.




They also found blood stains on the bed, and the room was in total disarray. This is a quote. The bed clothes were pulled back. Georgette's clothing was scattered over the bed and chairs, and the contents of her purse were strewn over the floor.


Oh, that's so chilling.


Which I was like, but you guys walked through the bedroom, first thought it was an accurate, and you were like, wow. Messy girl must have fallen in the bathroom.


She blood on the floor.


And then it took the light outside for you to, like, what?


There were blood stains on the bed.


On the bed.


And they just.




Come on.


Like, what? So now going to the motive, like, why did this happen?




Whatever the killer had been looking for when they searched Georgette's purse, it was not money. There was actually a large amount of expensive jewelry on the dresser and a ton of other valuable items that were really easily accessible all throughout the apartment.


That's even more unsettling.


None of which had been touched. Like, nothing.




Among the things that had fallen out of the purse was a note in Georgette's handwriting that read, june and I have date to go to the Hollywood canteen tonight, Wednesday. It's just like, that's so sad.


Like, a cute little.


Just like, plans for the future. Also missing was the 1936 green coupe that Georgette shared with her sister Connie. And the keys were nowhere to be found in the apartment other than the disheveled state of the bedroom, though there didn't appear to be a struggle anywhere else in the apartment. And it didn't seem like Georgette had entertained any guests after arriving home from the Hollywood canteen. Okay, so that was all a little.


Bit weird, because, like you said, everyone said that they didn't see her leave with anyone and they didn't see anyone in her car.


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Visit Morbid today to get 10% off your first month that's betterhelp he morbid for me. I'm trying to follow a really rigid schedule during the week. Between work, going to bed at the right hour, and waking up pretty early, I'm pretty rigid on myself. So when it's time for the weekend, I go a little cray cray. I stay up late, I hang out with my friends, I help people move. I do a lot over a big weekend. So when it's time to start another big week, I like to get back into my routine and I like to celebrate. Hydration Monday with liquid iv. I freaking love Liquid IV. It is one of the easiest things to implement into your schedule. It comes in this little stick that you can bring anywhere if you don't even have a pocket. You could tuck it behind your ear if you really needed to, and you just put it in 16oz of water and boom. You are so freaking hydrated. You're more hydrated than if you just drank one glass of water. And also, the flavors are freaking delicious. Strawberry lemonade? Are you joking me? Absolutely delectable.


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Now, when detectives were able to reach George Bauerdorf by phone in New York, yeah, he insisted his daughter's death had to be an accident, telling police she suffered from cramps and heartaches and refused to go to a doctor. So he thought this was like a medical issue or something like that. And they were like, they had to tell him what had actually happened to her. The autopsy definitely determined that Georgette's death was not an accident, according to the county autopsy technician Frank Webb. Despite being found face down in the water. There was actually no evidence that Georgette had died by drowning. Rather, she had died of, quote, strangulation from a wedge of towel stuffed down her throat. So that is bleak.


That is horrific. She suffocated. Suffocated. Having shoved down her throat. Yeah.


It makes you have to take a deep breath.


I can't even imagine.


That is so brutal.


And that's a thing that's, like, really brutal.


It is. Webb estimated that the death had occurred about eight to 12 hours prior to when Georgette's body was discovered. And her stomach contents indicated that she'd eaten a snack of canned string, beads and melon an hour or two before she died. So it seemed like she just left work, went home, had a snack. Had a snack. She had changed into her.


Normal, ready.


For bed, really, it seemed like.


So somebody just came in this house.


Now. Trigger warning for sexual assault here. In addition to the cause of death, the autopsy noted that Georgette had experienced a rather violent sexual assault just before her death, which explained why she was discovered wearing only her pajama top, while the bottoms were found at the foot of the bed. She had abrasions on her hands and her face. And the knuckles on her right hand, quote, were smashed and bruised. Other injuries included a large contusion on the right side of her head, quote, as could be caused by a fist blow.


Oh, my God.


And a similar injury on her abdomen, on her right thigh. And this is particularly bleak. Webb found a, quote, bruised imprint of a hand, even to the fingernail marks piercing the skin.


My God. This person is like a monster, like a rabid animal, literally. What the fuck?


And that's from holding her down and the force with which they must have been holding someone to bruise down to the fingernails.


And it seems like she fought, like, nail for her knuckles to be all bruised and smashed. And that's even worse.


And she had clearly tried to get away. And that's why there was an too.


I'm like, did anyone hear anything? Yeah. Oh, no.


Yeah. From what investigators could tell, Georgette had left the Hollywood canteen around 1130 that night and arrived home about ten or 15 minutes later, where, like I said earlier, she changed into pajamas and made herself a snack. Just getting ready for bed.




And this timeline was supported by Georgette's downstairs neighbor, who told police he heard the sound of high heels on the floor just a little after 1130, followed shortly by a, quote, crash, as if somebody dropped a tray or something. And then silence. So you can understand why he didn't investigate. Your neighbors drop shit all the time.


Oh, yeah, I would.


If you live in an apartment building, you hear shit like that, you're not.


Calling the police for every small, like a crash that you're probably waiting a second to be like, do I hear anything else? Maybe that was just someone dropping something.


According to her friends, Georgette was a creature of habit. And this was all in keeping with her bedtime routine, which is why everyone who knew her insisted that she wouldn't have let her attacker in the apartment willingly at that hour. They, quote, swore Georgette would have never entertained while in her pajamas. So she wouldn't have opened the door in her pajamas.


Yeah, she was ready to go to is this. Seems like it was just. She was doing what she does before bed. Yeah. And somebody surprised her. It sounds like.


Sounds like. And you want to say, like, did somebody break in? But then you think she had given her cues, giving people previously.




Unfortunately. Around 02:30 a.m. Now this is when I'm like. Another of Georgette's neighbors was awoken when he heard a woman screaming.


Oh, come on.


In one of the nearby apartments, he later told a reporter, I sat right up in bed and listened. It was a feminine voice screaming, stop. You're killing me. Then I didn't hear anymore, and I decided it was just a family row. It was just a family row.


And she's yelling, stop. You're killing me. Even if it's a family row, that's called domestic violence. Call someone.


And, like, call someone. It's a different time. People didn't want to get involved in shit.


Different time. But you still have a goddamn brain in your head, don't you?


Stop. Stop. You're killing me.


I'm sorry. I hear someone yelling, stop. Stop. You're killing me. I'm at least calling to be like, I don't know what's going on, but this is where I heard. This is what I heard.


This was, unfortunately, the last time anyone would hear anything from Georgette Bauerdrop.


Oh, that's awful. That's awful.




That's, like, really upsetting. Everything about it is upsetting. But hearing that somebody heard her screaming, stop. Stop your killing. And for them, their reason to be. I thought it was. You mean you thought it was somebody beating their wife.


And I just didn't want to get involved.


And you just didn't want to get involved in that when she's saying, you're killing me. Come on, dude.


On another level.


So if you heard the next day that some wife had been beaten to death by her husband. Would you? Well, it was a family row. No, not at all. That irritates me.


Same after the scene was processed and statements were taken, investigators determined the only things that were missing were $100 from Georgette's purse and connie's green coupe, the.


Car that they both shared.


The car was discovered actually, later that afternoon about 12 miles from the apartment on San Pedro street. Out of gas, with the keys still in the ignition. The car was immediately processed for fingerprint evidence to be compared with the, quote, unquote, thousands of fingerprints collected from the apartment with the hope that they could later match the prints to a suspect.


Yeah, they're hoping it's somebody who had been in the apartment before, left fingerprints.


This time, and then they're on the car.


Which good police work for the time.


Aside from the blood evidence on the floor that the killer had apparently tried to clean up, there was also a number of cigarettes stubbed out on the living room floor that also likely belonged to the killer, since Georgette didn't smoke.




And most importantly, her diary was discovered among the scattered bedclothes.




Georgette was known to keep detailed records of her dating and social activities. So investigators hoped that the book, which contained scores of references to civilians and servicemen, would provide as a lead to identify the killer.


I mean, if she's keeping those kind of records.


Based on everything investigators had learned about Georgette's life, they concluded that the killer was not someone she was close to, but was more likely somebody who she had recently met and extended some amount of generosity or hospitality towards. Which, when you think about that, her killer was likely someone she met just recently and was kind to.


Yeah. And had, like, maybe given somewhere to stay, maybe helped them out in some way.


Wild. Yeah, absolutely wild. Rose Gilbert, her father's secretary, told investigators about Georgette's tendency to give rides to soldiers, saying she had the means to do it. And she was interested in servicemen. She used to show them the sights and foot the bills. Given what they'd learned, investigators focused their investigation on the men that she'd been seen with at the canteen on the night of the murder, starting with the soldier who kept cutting in on her all the time and forcing her to jitterbug with him.




Although the pool of potential suspects was really quite large, there being soldiers actually worked to the benefit of the investigators because they could narrow their focus. As dowd points out, quote, any soldier who missed curfew would have been noted down as going AWol, which allowed detectives to rule out large pools of suspects, which. That's pretty interesting.


Yeah. That is a good way of doing it. It is. Yeah.


This included the dark and husky soldier who had harassed Georgette all night, later identified as Captain Cosmo Volpe.




He was confirmed as having been back at the base during the window that Georgette was believed to have been murdered.


Oh, interesting.


He was just kind of a creep.


He was just being a creep that night, but not a murdering creep. Yes.


Having ruled out so many men so quickly, within a week of the murder, investigators found themselves at what appeared to be a dead end in the investigation, with their most significant evidence, fingerprints collected from the scene proving to be virtually worthless. Yeah. The only match between the prince in the car and the prince in the apartment were georgettes.


Oh, man. Yeah.


And the only suspects they had thus far, two soldiers and part time janitors at the El Palatio apartments, had offered solid alibis, and they were released from custody soon after being brought in for questioning. So every time it seems like June tells them, well, there was this weird soldier that was, like, forcing her to dance with him all night. They check that out, he's got an alibi. Checks out, they find these two janitors who also happen to be soldiers. Alibi.




Now, after less than a week, the large pool of servicemen suspects had been whittled down to none, and the theory of the killer being a soldier was actually pretty much abandoned.


Oh, wow.


About five days into the investigation, detectives received a letter from a soldier in Sacramento who claimed to have received a ride from Georgette between 11:00 p.m. And midnight on the evening she was killed. This soldier explained that the driver of the car matched the descriptions and photos that he'd seen of Georgette in the papers, and she had excitedly told him about her plans to visit her boyfriend in Texas in the days that followed.


Oh, yeah.


He had insider information. After ruling him out as a suspect, investigators were confident that the killer wasn't a soldier from the canteen because Georgette had been alone when she picked this guy up and presumably then drove home immediately after dropping him off.


Yeah. And look at her. She's picking up hitchhiker soldiers. Like she's even giving them rides. Yeah.


When the investigation began, there seemed to be a wealth of suspects and leads. But just a week later, nearly all of those leads and suspects had been ruled out or shown themselves to be worthless. And detectives found themselves at, really a loss for where to go next.




The predominant theory was that Georgette's killer had arrived to the apartment shortly after she'd gotten back from work, allowing her time to get into her pajamas and then eat something. And then after unscrewing the bulb outside the door, he somehow convinced her to let him inside, where he attacked and sexually assaulted her in the bedroom, stuffing a piece of towel in her mouth to prevent her from screaming. And once he realized that she'd been strangled to death, the killer threw her body in the bathtub, turned on the water, tried to clean up quickly, and then turned out her purse in search of her car keys, and flooded the apartment and took the money too. Given that a considerable number of values have been left behind, it's most likely, and the detectives believe, that the motive was most likely, sexual assault.


Yeah, it seems like it was. I think the car was incidental. It was just to get away.


And I honestly think the fact that she died was not what was also incidental.


Yeah, I think it was like, oh, shit.






Which is so sad. So without any new evidence, investigators began to consider alternative theories as to how Georgette died and turned to the last person to have seen her alive, who was Sergeant Gordon Adland, the serviceman who she picked up hitchhiking on her way home. He had been cleared as a suspect, and detectives didn't think he was involved. But something he said in his letter made them wonder if the crime had occurred somewhere else. Because according to him, when Georgette let him out of the car, quote, she turned north of Sunset Boulevard, which would have taken her into the Hollywood hills or into San Fernando Valley instead of back to her apartment. So she took a weird turn. So investigators theorized that she could have traveled to the valley to meet a serviceman that she had met earlier that evening. And after attacking and killing her, quote, he might have driven with her body in the car to her apartment to set a stage to baffle the later investigation.


I don't know about that. It's a little shaky for me, that's messy. I don't like that one.


Very tenuous.


Yeah. It doesn't seem likely.




I'd be shocked if that was the case.


I don't think it is. The new theory was developed when detectives reversed their earlier belief and once again established that the murder was most likely committed by a serviceman.




And this was based on the coroner's discovery that the cloth removed from Georgette's throat was actually an elastic cotton bandage, not a washcloth, the kind used by servicemen in the military.


Oh, interesting.


But the problem with this theory, know she had met somebody, gotten killed, and.


Then they drove her back to kill her elsewhere.


Like the blood, it ignored all the other evidence. Like you were just going to say, in order for this to have been the case, one, the killer would have had to spend time at the scene smoking cigarettes. And remember, like you were just saying, somebody transferred blood onto the floor and the bed, which obviously happened during a fight there.




And it also ignored the fact that Georgette had clearly been home long enough to eat something.


Exactly. Before the killer. They said at least like an hour.


Right. And the fact that her neighbors had hurt her on at least two occasions, saying, stop.


Stop, you're going to kill me. Exactly.


So given that this theory was quickly abandoned, I'm glad.


But just the fact that they even, like, why even bring.


Yeah, you're ignoring everything.


That's one of those you bring up out loud to the rest of the investigators. And as you're saying it, you go, now, I now realize that this is definitely not the case, but I had to say it out loud.


Yeah, as you're saying it, you're like, yeah, I'm not going to finish that one.


No. Just had to say it to you guys. Let's not let it leave this room.


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While the second theory had been dismissed as far fetched, it still emphasized the fact that, aside from the unusual nature of the bandage, investigators had almost no evidence or leads that would point them toward the killer. So as a result, they began grasping for any ideas that could explain the murder and possibly point them in a new direction. Two weeks after Georgette's death, Lieutenant Garner Brown, one of the lead investigators on the case, held a press conference where he laid out yet another new theory. According to him, Georgette at times failed to draw the curtains, and her slayer may have watched her preparations to retire before gaining entrance to the Hollywood apartment where she was raped and strangled.


That, to me seems more likely. That seems plausible to me, for sure.


Whatever the killer's motivation or trigger event, the trail quickly went cold, and by the end of October, the investigation had completely stalled out. The story had all but disappeared from papers. But then, on December 20, eigth.


Hey, my birthday.


My birthday. 22 year old former Navy seamen John Sumter walked into the FBI in their office in San Francisco. I just walked into the FBI.


Walked into the FBI and confessed to.


The murder of Georgette Bauerdorf. According to him, they had met on a streetcar earlier that day. He told her he was out of money and looking for work. He said, she told me this was no time for a man to be broke because there were jobs everywhere.


That sounds like her.


Yeah, right. And he claimed that the two then arranged to meet another soldier at her apartment later that night. And a little after midnight, when the other soldier left Georgette's apartment, he attacked and killed her and then fled the apartment. Any hope that he was the killer quickly faded after hearing his story, which contradicted literally all of the evidence and information collected so far. Inspector Frank Ahern told the press, obviously, all are repetitions of the magazine article.




Referring to the magazine that he was quite literally holding when he entered the FBI's office.




Yeah, he's very mentally ill, man.


Yeah, obviously.


It turned out he had been dishonorably discharged from the military before being court martialed for check fraud. And it appeared he was just seeking attention when he confessed to the murder. The next day, the press reported the incident, describing him as a, quote, slack jawed, shabbily dressed man who had $0.20 in cash and a check for $1.5 billion signed by himself and made to cash in his pockets.


Wow. Yeah. Okay.


Two days later, the LA county deputy sheriff held a press conference where he declared Sumter a phony and told reporters, I'm satisfied he's not the man her.


Poor family having to and to get.


Hope that there's going to be some kind of justice. Yeah, exactly. According to a spokesperson for the sheriff's department, Sumter explained that he had confessed to the murder because he said, I wanted to die in the chair because I had nothing to live for, but I was afraid to commit suicide.


Wow. That's really.


Not. It doesn't excuse what he did, but what a sad.


Wow. That's awful way to exist. Yeah.


So he was held on a charge of vagrancy and police in San Francisco expected that after going before a judge, he would be sent to, quote, a psychopathic ward at San Francisco hospital for observation. Yeah, it's a very sad end there.




Now, once the story of his confession receded from the headlines, the case once again went cold for several months until a strange new lead gave investigators reason to hope that this case might soon be solved. In late September of 1945, a schoolgirl in Los Angeles discovered what investigators described as a rambling note in which the writer confessed to being Georgette's killer. This letter was typewritten. So weird. It was typewritten and smeared in what appeared to be iodine stains. And the note read to the Los Angeles police. Almost a year ago, Georgette Bauerdorf, age 20, Hollywood canteen hostess, was murdered in her apartment in west Hollywood. Between now and October 11, a year after her death, the one who murdered her will appear at the Hollywood canteen. The murderer will be in uniform. He has since committed the murder, been in action at Okinawa. The murder of Georgette Bauerdorf was divine retribution. Let the Los Angeles police arrest the murderer if they can.


What the fuck?


It was very strange. Lieutenant Garner Brown declared that the note was likely prepared by a youthful prankster. But the police still kept an eye on the Hollywood canteen, just to be sure, which had since closed. It wasn't even open.


Oh, wow.


The author of the note was never identified. They never found anybody outside the Hollywood canteen. And Brown's theory of a hoax was believed to have been true.


This reminds me of, like, it's very black dolly esque.


Strange you should mention that.


Oh, is that part of this?


We are going to touch on that very briefly. That is really. You're a little psychic over there.


It just has that vibe to it, like the Hollywood of it. All these people weird fessing to it. Like, that's a strange thing. It's very much so.


The final new lead that year came when investigators arrested 61 year old Henry Lynch, a plumber, and quote unquote, self appointed sleuth who claimed he had been collecting evidence for the past year and was not able to solve the.




In the days leading up to his arrest, he had just been seen loitering outside of the apartments where Georgette had lived. And whenever he was asked what he was doing there, he said he was working on the Bauerdorf case.




After investigating his alibi and talking to family members, they determined that lynch was what would today be described as a citizen.




And he was released from custody and just told to stay away from the apartment complex.


He's somebody who would be, like, on the Internet trying to solve a case. Exactly, yeah.


The final suspect in the case was questioned in 1950 when police arrested corporal Chester Vucus in south Saledo. Vucus was believed to have strangled an 18 year old woman on a public footpath in Los Angeles. And investigators thought that there were enough similarities between the cases that he could possibly be the killer. But when they arrived in Sausalito, they discovered that he would have only been 16 years old at the time that Georgette was murdered. And while it wasn't completely out of the question, they just felt he was very unlikely to be the killer.


Yeah, we've heard a lot of 16 year olds can be very adult when it comes to what the shit they do. Exactly.


So I'm like. I feel like maybe that was thrown out a little.


I get why they're like, it would be a little unlikely, but you can't totally throw that out the window. You don't know what kind of 16.


Year old he was, and I don't know his build or anything like that. You see 16 year olds and you're like. You're 16. You look like a giant.




A short time later, though, he was also acquitted of the murder of the woman at the young woman in Los Angeles.




So I think maybe that went hand.


That probably helped.


Now, when the investigation into Georgette Bauerdorf's murder began, detectives felt like they had more than enough evidence to find the killer. But just a few months later, when that suspect pool started narrowing down and with all the evidence stripped away, all they really had was a few cigarette butts and some fingerprints that had no matches and an unusual bandage that was used in the murder.




So with no more leads or evidence to be found, the case quickly went cold. And by the end of the decade, it was just shelved alongside countless other murders in Los Angeles. Open.


But, oh, that's so infuriating.


But when the dead and mutilated body of actress Elizabeth Short, aka the Black Dahlia, was discovered in a vacant lot in LA a few years later, some in law enforcement and the press actually thought there may have been a connection between the two. And that was based largely on the fact that the main suspect in the Black Dahlia case also would have had access to the medical grade bandage used in Georgette's death. But that theory has mostly been debunked. Today, Georgette's murder remains unsolved. And unlike the Black Dahlia and so many other high profile Hollywood murders. It's really been mostly forgotten by the. So, yeah, that's why I wanted to pick this one and talk about it. It's not because I've never heard of it. I hadn't, um, I was looking for cases, actually, on TikTok, and I found a couple videos that talked about her, and I was like, I've never heard of that. And Dave and I started looking into it, and I was like, it's enough for an episode.




And who knows? Maybe somebody could still be alive.


Yeah. You never know.


Saw something that night, or you never know. I hope that hopefully someday it gets solved.


Oh, poor Georgette. I know.


It's a really sad story.


Like I said, she just seemed like a cool girl who would have liked Del Rey. Yeah. And just like, she would have had.


Like, a charity set up by think.


She was just that girl that was like, I got coffee today. Don't worry about, like, or like, you're.


Down on your luck. And she's like, crash on my couch.


Yeah. She's like, whatever, don't worry about it.


She just seemed like a really. What a horrific, pathetic person.


Horrific end.


Yeah, it's really awful.




So, yeah, that one was really sad. But again, I hope it gets solved someday.


I do.


You never know.




But in the meantime, we hope you keep listening, and we hope you keep it weird. But I swear that you give anybody the keys to your apartment.


Don't do that. Don't do that's.


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