1974 #1. Death. Witness. Hefner & Huston. Cremation. Ocean burial. Documents.

March 16, 1974 is Paige’s 30th birthday.

April 7th 1974 is a Palm Sunday.

In her garage apartment in Westwood, Paige Young commits suicide with a gunshot to her head.

Below is the account neighbor Melanie gave to reporter Ryan Parry of the Daily Mail.

During the weeks and months leading up to her suicide, Paige confided in Melanie that she was fearful of a “sex tape” that “a relative of a major celebrity had made of her.”

“She was terrified of it coming out, in that day you knew your career was going to be over once it got ‘round.”

“For weeks all she could think about was getting hold of that tape, she thought it was going to ruin her.”

Melanie

“Paige had the whole thing planned down to the last detail…  It was Palm Sunday and she came to tell me she was going to kill herself. She stayed in the back of the house where we (B.J.) lived and I was at the bathroom window. She comes up to the window and calls out to me “I want to show you something.” I couldn’t be bothered by any more of her drama. But she was like, “No, you’ve gotta come and see it.” So I go to her apartment and she gave me a guided tour …of her suicide scene in her bedroom….It was chilling..there was a large American flag draped across her bed and there was a pentagram laid out on the wooden floor…I remember her showing me around it because it was somehow important, but I didn’t know what it meant.”

But it was the bedroom was that shocked Myers the most.

“It was covered floor to ceiling with photos of Hugh Hefner, there were news clippings, magazine articles, everything you could think of. Written across it was something like “Hugh Hefner is the devil.” The whole wall was a shrine saying, ‘I hate Hugh Hefner,’ the crux of her anger was against him. That was the message she wanted to get across to me. She was pointing up at things, showing me around it.  She’s put a lot of work into this, it must have taken her days.

Myers said that Young then calmly explained that she planned to kill herself.

She produced a gun and put it into her mouth…lay back on her bed and said, ‘this is how I’m going to do it.’

“It was chilling. We were friends but not the best of friends, I was always bitching about her and her dog, so I was scared.  I thought maybe she could shoot me, you know, take me with her, it was all so weird.  I thought, I’ve got to get out of here.”

“Myers quickly retreated to her apartment and called the police. LAPD officers arrived soon afterwards and cordoned of the whole of Eastbourne Ave.”

Myers said, “The cops didn’t want to go in her apartment first, so they asked me to go check on her, so I did.”

“I walked into her apartment and they were behind me. I walked into her bedroom and she was lying dead on the bed. She had shot herself in the head as she told me she would. There was a huge mass of blood, her whole bed was soaked red, it was shocking. But she looked happy and very peaceful, she didn’t look in distress.” 

“The cops had Paige’s suicide note and read some of it to me…the whole thing was about her anger towards the men who she believed had chewed her up and spat her out.  The two men who got the most attention were Hugh Hefner and the director John Huston. I know she dated Huston for a while and had just gotten back from a trip to Ireland with him.”

Paige expressed anger to other Hollywood stars who had used her.

“I believe Paige was making a huge statement in a bid to get at the elite of Hollywood…She thought the story of her death would spark a big scandal, but it didn’t. Sadly no one cared.”

 Source: Daily Mail online dated December 2014. Reporter Ryan Parry.

Below is the copy of the death certificate I obtained. A partial autopsy/police report copy is included in the Daily Mail story, but not the death certificate.

Reporter Ryan Parry of the Daily Mail discovered that Paige did not die of a drug overdose as is stated in “The Playmate Book” and several websites, but actually committed suicide from a gunshot wound to the head, per an autopsy report and death certificate.

It is unknown how the false story of Paige overdosing on drugs started to be written and repeated on the internet so much that it became the “official” means of suicide.

Is the Playmate Book the original source?

Paige’s suicide appears to have never been reported in the Los Angeles media, in 1974 or since.

I haven’t found any death, obituary or memorial announcement.

 In the time since Parry’s article was published no one else has (so far) spoken publicly about knowing or having met Paige Young. No one has come forward publicly to shed any more light on what could have driven or influenced her to take her own life, or even anyone that says they knew her at one time.

And what about the alleged sex tape? Was Hugh Hefner or those close to him involved somehow?

Possibly.

It is well known that Hugh Hefner was fascinated by audio and video technology. He collected home video and film cameras and cutting edge stereo equipment before they were available to the mass consumer.

In the early decades of the magazine, Playboy often featured a”bachelor pad” decked out with the finest stereo equipment, sure to impress the ladies, like a new T-bird or Cadillac might.

There are accounts by ex-employees of Hugh Hefner’s Holmby Hills mansion who have said the Holmby Hills mansion was equipped with video/film cameras. There are reports of video tapes of sexual encounters over the decades. Supposedly plenty of the tapes feature celebrities. Hefner ordered the sex tapes destroyed a few years before his death, to avoid them getting into the wrong hands.

There are stories of sex tapes that go back to the Chicago Playboy mansion days : one of them was clandestinely retrieved by an ex- girlfriend of Hefner. (Found in the book “Bunny” by Russell Miller.)

April 9, 1974 Price-Daniel Mortuary handles Paige’s death services. Her cremation takes place at Roosevelt Memorial Park in Gardena. Burial of her ashes to take place at sea near Santa Monica shoreline. See documents below.

Mother Donna Holroyd gives permission with a shaky signature as “Donna Cotterell.”

April 9, 1974.
Response from Roosevelt Memorial Park to my information request about Paige Young.
Mother Mrs. Donna Holroyd signature.
Math figures determine Paige’s age.

Santa Monica Beach taken in 2018
Paige’s 1938 built garage apartment behind duplex in Westwood. She shared a backyard with residents Melanie and BJ. Behind Paige’s apartment is an alley.

1963 Paige Young Marriage & 1964 Divorce to Mark F. Segal. Marvin M. Mitchelson Lawyer. Divorce Documents.

1963 October 1st Paige Young marries Mark Frederick Segal in Las Vegas, per ledger records from Las Vegas.

Notice in the Valley News December 25, 1964

An elopement likely in one of those 24-hour Las Vegas wedding chapels.

The record shows only the date and names.

 Paige’s new husband Mark F. Segal, born in 1942, is the son of WW2 veteran Harold Segal and his wife. At one time at least, they resided in Sherman Oaks at 4518 Vista Del Monte. Mark was a marine private who took combat training in 1961 at Camp Pendleton.

  Segal was a car dealer at “Sea-Gull Motors,” a business started by his father according to newspaper ads in the late 1950s. Sea-Gull Motors moves locations several times in the Sherman Oaks/Van Nuys area in the 1960s, including 7211 Balboa Avenue, 4425 Van Nuys Blvd. and  6738 Sepulveda Blvd.

Rex Ramsey, a friend of Mark’s since high school, told me that the father Harold Segal also owned Fox Auto Service in the SFV and the Segal family had several brothers in addition to Mark.

1963-1964 Paige and Mark live together as husband and wife at 4133 Crisp Canyon Road in Sherman Oaks, “South of Ventura.”

Paige continues to board her horse Hamish at Sepulveda Stables.  The Crisp Canyon address is close to the neighborhood where Diana Cotterell lived and attended elementary and junior high school.

A friend of Paige’s from Sepulveda Stables told me a story that when she was 12 years old, Paige (19/20 years old), drove her to the house on Crisp Canyon Rd. to hang out and drink lemonade.

1964 on August 28, 11 months after her Las Vegas marriage, Paige and her attorney file for divorce from Mark F. Segal. Paige is represented by rising Beverly Hills attorney Marvin M. Mitchelson.

Below are just a few of the dozens of divorce documents I obtained from a records department in Downtown LA.

Document shows Marvin M. Michelson was Paige Young’s divorce lawyer
Paige’s complaints about husband Mark Segal and demanding he not hide his money for one thing.

 The filing states that Mark threatened Paige and her animals with bodily harm “on numerous occasions,” and on August 17, 1964, “brandished a knife in her presence.” and “Plaintiff’s profession is that of an artist and painter and on or about June 15, 1964, defendant maliciously and with intent to destroy plaintiff’s artwork drove nails through plaintiff’s prized paintings and further did mischievous damage by driving nails through plaintiff’s personal belongings including an expensive fur stole.”

Paige requests a restraining order.
Signature of Paige Young on divorce filing

Paige is granted the temporary restraining order.

Mark quickly countersues and denies all of Paige’s claims of abuse. He claims that she is the one who caused him mental anguish and suffering.

Declaration of Husband Document.

Marvin Mitchelson, on behalf of Paige asks for alimony, lawyer’s fees and court costs: “Plaintiff is not employed and presently embarking on a career as a painter, therefore needs the money from Defendant who is able bodied and employed.”

 Marks balks at this request and states he can’t afford it.

(divorce documents in collection of author)

    

 

1950s #3 Diana Cotterell. SFV. Grade School. Horses. Sepulveda Stables. Van Nuys Junior High.

Diana started grade school in about 1950. She attended Riverside Dr. Elementary. A schoolmate of Diana’s at Riverside confirmed this for me–Robbyn Samuels.

I visited in 2016. Located at 13061 Riverside Drive.a12333ef-762c-4bfd-9ab3-2b376db1a416_1_201_a

If the Cotterell girls walked to school from their house on Moorpark, all they had to do was turn north on Ethel Ave. and walk straight to the school. It could have only taken a few minutes.

There would have been no Ventura Freeway to walk under along the way.  I think that came in 1959.

UPDATE 5-20-20 I found this article only recently.

I don’t know if Robbyn Samuels remembered incorrectly or if Diana went to both grade schools. But she was definitely at Dixie Canyon in the 6th grade

Both Dixie Canyon and Riverside Drive elementary schools are the same distance to the Moorpark/Ethel house where Diana lived with her mother, sister and grandparents. Their house was basically in the dead center between the two schools

It can be confirmed that she attended Van Nuys Junior High for the 7th and 9th grades.

This photo below is one of the first articles I found that showed me Diana Cotterell and Paige Young were the same person.

Valley News April 7, 1957
Diana Cotterell Age 15/16

1959 The above photo is from the Van Nuys Junior High yearbook. Diana Cotterell was in the 9th grade. Her grandfather Jospeh Ned LaRocca would die later that year. (separate post) I found these photos in the VNJH school library with the librarian standing over me as lunch was about to start. There were several, yearbooks, more like paper notebooks, in a jumble. This was the only photo I could find of Diana on that day.

I hope to return and check more thoroughly. I haven’t found a photo of her 8th grade year.

I have reason to believe that Diana Cotterell dropped out of school after the 9th grade.

Here is the photo in a larger context.

Yearbooks from 1956 & 1958 Van Nuys Junior High . Diana Cotterell attended here from 1957-1959. She is not in the 58′ yearbook that I can see, but is in the 59′ edition as shown above
Van Nuys News June 18, 1959.
Many SFV schools had graduation ceremonies mid June 1959 including Van Nuys Junior High shown in the 3rd column. Diana Lee Cotterell would have been among the graduates.
Image I took of a hallway at VNJH

1953-1959 Like many kids living in 1950s San Fernando Valley, Diana Lee Cotterell is obsessed with horses. Diana rides and boards her horse at Sepulveda Stables, located at 5763 Sepulveda Blvd, on the corner of Hatteras.

Equestrian shows were held almost every weekend in the Los Angeles area in the 1950s.

There were commercial horse stables and riding trails all over the SFV in the 50s and 60s.

Horse husbandry was considered a wholesome activity for youth and thought to produce responsible America citizens.

And probably most importantly, it would keep kids and teens busy and thus away from the bad influences of “juvenile delinquency,” a growing social concern of the 1950s. 

source: Making the San Fernando Valley: Rural Landscapes, Urban Development and White Privilege by Laura R. Barraclough

Diana owned a horse named Hamish from junior high, 1957-1959, to at least 1964 when she was married to Mark Segal and living at his house at 4133 Crisp Canyon Rd. .

It is unknown if Diana ever participated in the many equestrienne shows performed by her fellow riders at Sepulveda Stables. 

Valley News and Green Sheet June 18, 1959

Early 1960s and earlier The future Mrs. John Huston and friend to Paige Young, Celeste Shane, also boards a horse at Sepulveda Stable as does actress Donna Reed and actress Jill St. John.

Sepulvedastables.net where I got much of this information seems to have been removed. I spoke with the owner of the website a few years earlier.

1950s #2 SFV. Virginia Young LaRocca CSP. Family Life At 13055 Moorpark st. aka 4414 N. Ethel St.

Virginia Young LaRocca is Diana’s grandmother. She started out life as a Mormon in Utah, but somewhere along the way became a Christian Scientist. She is listed as “Chr. Sci.pr.” (Christian Science Practitioner) in Los Angeles telephone directories in the 40 and 50s, and listed with her own telephone line.

Christian Science practitioner is an individual who prays for others according to the teachings of Christian Science. Treatment is non-medical, rather it is based on the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1875) by Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), who said she discovered Christian Science in 1866 and founded the Christian Science church in 1879. According to the church, Christian Science practitioners address physical conditions, as well as relationship or financial difficulties and any other problem or crisis.

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A 1955, an LA telephone directory lists a Ned J. LaRocca at 4414 N. Ethel and a Virginia Young LaRocca with the same address.

Donna Cotterell is listed with the 13055 Moorpark address. 13055 Moorpark is on a corner with Ethel St.

4114 Ethel St. doesn’t seem to be an “real” address;  I don’t find a record of it anywhere besides the phone directory. This could be a result of the house modification for Donna, Diana and Constance.

1957 Virginia Young LaRocca is listed in the phone directory at 4414 N. Ethel State 4-7052 North Hollywood. Cr. Sci. Pr.

The Christian Science Church won the right to accept insurance for their practitioners, but I have been unable to find what year.

I can’t tell how much income Virginia made from her vocation as a CSP.

Evidence of 2 seperate address for what was really one house.
1950s directory. Notice Donna’s middle name Virginia is used. She still uses the name of ex-husband (common practice then as now.) who is listed right above her name, at a Canoga Park address where he lived with Mrs. Patricia Cotterell and their two children.

It is probable that grandfather Ned LaRocca was the primary breadwinner of the household.

I’m sure Donna received child support and likely alimony as this was the norm of the era.