LAPD Report Paige Young Suicide. Updated 4/18/2022

I obtained a copy of the LAPD report on Paige Young’s suicide, I have transcribed below.

The report is difficult to read; it looks like a copy of a copy of a copy, several words are faded almost beyond recognition. Someone familiar with police codes and reports may understand it better.

I have placed ??? for words and codes I can’t decipher.

EDI (PDI?) is witness and neighbor Melanie. I/D is the Investigating Detective.

Page 1:

I/D responded to a D/5 call at the above location. Upon arrival at 1500 hrs. I/D was met by 8A53 Ofcc’s Sullivan FI5452 and Peckins #15665. Death was pronounced by CA#92 at 1431. 8A53 upon arrival at the scene were met by EDI, who stated that the deceased was upstairs with a gun and was going to shoot herself. 8A53 at this time phoned for a backup unit. 8L/??and 8L10 responded. Ofccs at this time spent approx. 2 hours attempting to contact the deceased via the telephone and by calling ?? HEC? Offcs during this period were informed that a “SWAT” team was enroute and to stand by for their arrival. While Ofccs. were waiting for “SWAT” EDI suddenly ran into deceased’s apt. Ofccs fearing for EDI safety also entered the apt. Offcs. at time obs. the deceased lying on the bed with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. Ofccs at this time phoned for an ambulance.

Page 2

EDI stated that she last saw the Dec. alive on 4-7-74 at approx. 10:30. Deceased stated at this time that she was going to end her life. Dec. at this time placed the barrel of her gun in her mouth. EDI attempted to talk Dec. out of taking her life. Dec. asked EDI to phone the police because she wanted to kill herself in front of the police. EDI at this time left and returned to her apartment and started to call friends of the Dec. Approx. one hr. later (1130) EDI contacted the PD. EDI further stated that deceased had been in a constant state of deep depression for the last two years.

Wit-2 stated that on 4-7-74 at approx. 0930, he rec a phone call from Dec. who requested that he come to her and pick up her (Dec) dogs. Dec. also stated she would leave a note explaining about the dogs. Wit. went to the above location and obs. the dogs in their pen. Wit also obs what appeared to be a note which had been torn up ?? the dogs. Wit took the dogs and the note to his home. Once there Wit pieced the note together. The note instructed Wit. what to do with the dogs. At the bottom it read, “don’t come up call the police.” Wit at this time contacted the LAPD and then returned to the above location.

I/D obs. the deceased lying on her back in bed with her her feet resting on the ?? Dec. head was pointed in a S/E direction. I/D obs. no evid of foul play. An inspection of weapon showed it to be A 2? .38 caliber S/W B/S bed 5 shot chief. The weapon was fully loaded with one spent gund(?) directly under the hammer. This weapon was BKD? at ???? and rigor mortis were obs. I/D obs. no evid of an exit wound.

Page 3

2H22 of SID was at the scene and took photos.

It is the opinion of the I/D that the Dec. committed suicide by firing a single shot from the above described weapon. This opinion is based of the statement of the EDI, and lack of evid to indicate otherwise. This death will be ???? as a suicide pending the final result of the cor. invest. The shot was fired into Dec. mouth and did not exit.

Since there was noone to ??/Dec. Prod, ???sealed the location.

END.

Shown in the Daily Mail 2014 article but not transcribed.

“Decedent found in residence by friend Melanie Myers, decedent lying on bed w/38 revolver in rt. hand. Investigation by IHD. Possible Note at scene.” Brought in to Metro for recover of missile as requested by Dr. Mall. Signature.”

This corroborates Melanie’s story that she was read part of Paige’s suicide note by the police at the scene and that Paige wrote about Hollywood powerful men who used and abused her, including Huston and Hefner.

Suicide note not mentioned in LAPD report.

Top section of page 1 death report.
Removed by Tim Gee of the Coroner’s office.

Occupation listed as “model” and reason for suicide “extreme depression.” Paige is listed as “artist” on her death certificate.

Officers called to Paige’s suicide scene: Sullivan and Perkins or Peckins

Investigating Detective I/D : Reddish, probably Richard M. Reddish who handled at least 2 other suicides in LA in his career per newspapers.com.

Police photographer on scene: Unknown

Coroner: Dr. Mall

Coroner’s office, removed Paige’s body from her home: Tim Gee.

2nd Witness: D DeWitt. Called by Paige on the 7th to take care of her dogs. According to this police report, this witness went to Paige’s house, retrieved the dogs and took the torn up note with with instructions for the dogs(?) Went to his house, pieced the note together. Note said “don’t come up call police.” Witness then returned to Paige’s house.

From there, nothing is said about witness DeWitt.

Members of SWAT team not recorded.

We can see what is not described in the report by Reddish: the suicide note and mural created by Paige Young about hatred towards Hugh Hefner. (This was what Melanie described to the Daily Mail Dec. 2014.)

Why not?

Both witnesses in the report corroborate Melanie’s statement in 2014: Paige wanted to make a statement about these men who abused her. This is emphasized further in the A&E documentary Secrets of Playboy. Episode 8.

Suicide note NOT mentioned in this police report.

Location of police photographs taken of Paige’s suicide scene is unknown. Destroyed? I was asked about this aspect 3 times times by the makers of Secrets of Playboy, but it was not included.

PART 2: Richard Sample Interview

Close up of a small copy: Richard Sample as painted by Paige Young.

Richard shows me this photo of him painting with Paige’s portrait of him hanging prominently. It hangs along with some kind of a Paige Playboy plaque. Mid to late 1960s Malibu or Venice.

To open our interview, I promised Richard on our 2nd day we would end after one hour. It end up being two.

I asked Richard if Paige ever used LSD, the drug that inspired the label “the Psychedelic Era.” Richard said no, not that he ever witnessed or heard.

(Melanie Myers, neighbor who found Paige dead, said on the documentary Secrets of Playboy, that she never witnessed Paige using drugs; she was more into “clean living.”)

I brought up the sex tape mentioned in the Daily Mail article, and I brought up David Shane, who was not mentioned in the article.

Richard said, “I think that that is something Dennis (from a Los Alamos, California art gallery) told me about Jonathan Winters. And that tape. I think Dennis knows something about that tape.”

Richard said this is all he can remember.

He has not heard of David Shane.

Richard again mentioned how he and Paige were regulars at Barney’s Beanery and added that they sometime socialized there with the Smothers Brothers.

Malibu Friends:

“In Malibu we hung out a lot with Don Dwiggens. He wrote the book ‘The Life and Loves of Frank Sinatra’. Another one was ‘The Bachelor.’ “Dwiggins took a lot of pictures of Paige.”

Richard does not know if these photos were were ever published. “His wife still lives in Malibu.”

“He was killed in a car accident.” (1988)

I had never heard of Don Dwiggins and neither have most people It turns out he was a longtime LA reporter, prolific author, pilot, stunt pilot and aviation historian. And a man of numerous hobbies apparently.

Dwiggins lived in Malibu for decades where he was a legend. There is an in depth tribute for Don Dwiggins that appeared in the LAT, at the bottom of this page. It is written by Jack Smith, one of Don’s good friends. Smith is a legendary Los Angeles columnist and writer who spotted Huston and Hefner playing backgammon, probably at Pips and possibly Paige Young.

More Malibu friends:

“I had my paintings in Jack Bailey’s (Queen for a Day host) gallery and many of my paintings sold when his gallery was shown on a TV show.”

Jack Bailey resided in Malibu during the mid-60s where he ran the Jack Bailey Gallery for about 2 years. There are articles in the Malibu newspapers to support this.

“He owned about 65 of my paintings.”

Vincent Price was another patron of Richard’s. Price is well-known for his art collection.

About the ending of his relationship with Paige: “I had moved out of the studio in Venice and moved to Solvang, and Paige stayed there. (Venice) She was supposed to pay me rent, but she never did. I went and asked her to leave.”

Paige had moved out and and at some point moved onto a houseboat in Marina Del Rey. (See chapter: Paige’s Most Public Year 1969)

“I only talked to her on her houseboat for about 10 minutes. I don’t know who owned it.”

I got the feeling it was an uncomfortable and sad conversation.

We again discussed Rex Ramsey, who tried to steal Richard’s Corvette and Paige’s Mustang.

The Corvette that Rex Ramsey tried to steal: His wife got a flat tire in the Corvette and was on the side of the freeway, when a semi-truck flattened it.

I have spoken to Rex Ramsey briefly on the phone. He said he does not remember Paige, but does remember her husband of one year, Mark F. Segal, his long time friend.

A SFV newspaper 1968. The address is the home of Mark F. Segal and Paige Young when she and Mark were married.

He hasn’t answered or returned any of my phone calls since that first one.

Richard brought up Hugh Hefner.

“Paige told me she overheard a conversation, with Hefner, about selling women to business men from a foreign country. They were talking about the money.”

Richard Sample

I responded “For what, like, sex or types of sexual favors, or….?”

Yes, he nodded without elaborating.

I prompted with “When Paige told you this, did she seem shocked, upset or…?”

“She said ‘I hope that doesn’t happen to me.'”

He added, “If I could I would shoot Hugh Hefner and probably get away with it.”

I pressed but he didn’t answer.

Sample just said “Hefner ruined a lot of good women.”

Anything else you can recall that Paige said about Hugh Hefner or anyone connected to him? “Not that I can remember.”

Richard said he never met Hefner nor hung out with any of his crowd. Richard expressed to me and reporter Ryan Parry that he had a distaste for Hefner and “that crowd.” And he let that be known to Paige.

In my opinion, Paige took this into consideration when sharing things about Hefner and “that crowd.” She avoided telling Richard about it. I think she must have been very distressed to share these particular incidents.

Paige personality:

Did Paige have an opinion about the Vietnam war?

“She said ‘ They should just bomb it and get it over with.'”

Did she attend any anti-war demonstrations?

Richard shook his head no and kept shaking his head no as I asked, “So that wouldn’t have been something she would have ever done?

Because I have not found any voter registration records for Paige, but I have found many records for her family members, I asked if he ever knew Paige to have voted for President.

Several minutes long pause.

“Who is the president that had a brother who let that girl drown in Chappaquiddick?

“Teddy, brother of President John Kennedy.

“Well, we had a picture of Teddy Kennedy hanging up that we would throw darts at, Paige was there (visiting) and she said ‘I hope he gets what he deserves.'”

I looked around at Richard Sample’s art work. He showed me some of his paintings that are “copies” of famous artists like Picasso, Miro, Kandinsky. He said he paints these because it pays well.

I apologized to Richard if I told him any information about Paige that was upsetting. He said it didn’t.

For example, Richard did not know that Paige was born Diana Cotterell or anything at all about her childhood. (Everyone I have talked to was unaware that Paige was ever Diana Cotterell who grew up in the San Fernando Valley.)

Richard misses Idaho and wishes he were still living there.

He mentions John Chapman, President of the NEA.? “I worked for him. And he bought many of my paintings, He owned a mansion in Sun Valley.”

Info: Don Dwiggins. Paige and Richard’s Malibu friend. Richard says Paige modeled for him several times. It was hard to choose which article about Dwiggins to include, there were so many of them. Lots of reviews of his Hollywood aviation stunt pilot books.

Lower article by legendary LA writer Jack Smith.

Eagle Rock Sentinel OCT.31, 1968

Chilling the timing of his accident….

LAT March 29. 1989.

Paige Young Images Used In Art and Merchandise. Paintings By Paige Young. (Updated 12/02/22) Previously Unseen Images. (Some Are NSFW)

New autographed photo I recently purchased. The seller found it going through the papers of his uncle who had died. It’s not photographic paper but more like a thin magazine paper. Paige’s signature is on the paper though, it’s not mimeographed.
From a Peter Gowland slide, never published.
The subtle amount of pubic hair in this shot would have not made it into a Playboy centerfold in 1968. But it would have been rejected anyway due to a cat or dog’s tail captured along the bottom edge. Thank you for restoring and scanning the slides to  glamourphotographers.yolasite.com

by artist Martha Rosler. Rosler created a series of collages appropriating images of Playmates from Playboy magazine. Rosler used this image of Paige from the January 1969 Playboy. Original image seen in chapter Playboy 1969.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 78d8cbb1-0799-48a7-bd62-858a182799db.jpeg

Outtake from Playmate photo shoot by Peter Gowland. The stone pattern by Gowland’s pool was seen in numerous of his published photography instruction books over the decades.

Playboy calendar 1970.
Depiction of Paige Young with exaggerated breast size by Pop Art artist Mel Ramos. Ramos has painted many images based on Playmates, models and actresses, their bodies entwined or emerging out of consumer products with a brand label showing: soda bottles, candy bars, Velveeta cheese boxes, Chiquita bananas, cigarette packages, etc.
From Peter Gowland’s photographs, Paige’s image on left is in an incomplete set of 4 “Sip and Strip” glasses, very popular in the 1970s. You might have seen these on the shelves of a store like Spencer’s or perhaps in an ad from the back of a magazine There should be white painted negligee or bikini that covers the nudity until the drinker fills the glass with ice and liquid. On this set I purchased, the paint has been worn off. The Gowlands either sold the rights to these photos to the company who produced the novelty glasses OR he sold the rights to someone who then sold them to a production company.

November 1968. Paige Young was not the cover girl of her Playmate issue. Instead, the issue featured the Femlin character posed with the Presidential election theme. Robert F. Kennedy, favorite for the Democratic ticket only 5 months previous, was assassinated in Los Angeles at the Ambassador Hotel on June 6th.
The Femlin was created and drawn by famous artist LeRoy Neiman who had a long association with Hugh Hefner and the magazine. The cover is a photo of a sculpted clay model of the character which was used in some issues and as a “cover model.”.The term Femlin is a portmanteau of female and gremlin and is likened to a 10 inch tall sprite. Playboy’s Tinkerbell.
Lid of Paige Young puzzle with “mini-centerfold.”

LA writer Duke Haney told me about the history of Playmate puzzles, one of them included the centerfold image of Paige Young.

“The successful Playmate puzzle series was released periodically, in groups of 4 Playmates at a time. Paige’s group included Cynthia Myers, Gwen Wong and DeDe Lind. It was released in 70/71.

Haney describes the lid of the Playmate puzzle.

“The mini-centerfold measures 3×6.5 and two were included with every puzzle. One was folded so that only the face of the girl was visible through the opaque cap on the can. This was so that the buyer knew which puzzle it was, which Playmate. There are four pictured on the can itself. Then there was another mini-centerfold inside the can. This one wasn’t creased like the one below the lid. These pictures were guides to be referenced while piecing together the puzzle. Only one would have been necessary but hey…”

Author Duke Haney
Finished puzzle of the Paige Young centerfold. Image courtesy of Duke Haney

Haney says Playmates “never received residuals, Playboy owned the photos outright.” And that “The last of the puzzles were released in 1973, so Paige would have certainly been alive when her puzzle was released.”

Thank you Duke for speaking with me, I appreciate it!

Richard Sample as painted by Paige Young. Courtesy of Richard Sample

*NOTE* All of images of Paige’s paintings that follow were publicly posted on Pinterest and/or Facebook.

“Monica and Gort” by Paige Young.
By Paige Young “High Noon.”
The Laundry Girl posted on Pinterest

A Gowland frequently used model in the late 1950s: starlet Venetia Stevenson

To mark the 100th birthday of Peter Gowland ZEPHYR – Space for Photography in Mannheim & Reiss-Engelhorn Museums curated “Peter Gowland’s Girls,” the first international exhibition of his lifework.  “Peter Gowland’s Girls” showcases some 200 works selected from Peter Gowland’s estate, which comprises tens of thousands of superb prints and slides, including the most sensational, most elegant and most daring pictures from his unparalleled career as a pin-up photographer. The exhibition displays his portraits of stars like Joan Collins and Jayne Mansfield, his work for “Playboy” and “Rolling Stone”, and his pictures for innumerable calendars and magazines from the 1940s to the 1970s. from petergowlandphotography.com

vPETER GOWLAND’S GIRLS exhibit and book curated by Thom Schrimbock 2016

Photo below is from the book “Peter Gowland’s Girls.” Labeled “Unknown”

Outtake from a Gowland a Playboy session. Peter Gowland. Compare to “Unknown” photo above.
Another scuba photo not published. Paige’s published centerfold scuba photos show her immersed in water wearing full scuba gear while her companion spears a sea creature.
This is the cover of an art book featuring a Martha Rosler collage. Paige Young appears in the upper right corner, mirroring Sally Sheffield, May 1969. Image is distorted due to enlarging.

Paige had some photo shoots published and distributed in 1970. Like the Playboy Calendar shown above.

One of the Gowlands long time employers, 1964-2002, was the Ohio-based Ridge Tool Company, a hand tool manufacturing company, using the “Ridgid” brand name.

Ridgid Tool Company became famous for its’  2-year calendars featuring images of bikini-clad models holding various tools made by Ridgid. I’m guessing Ridge sent these calendars every year to their tool purchasing clients.

Paige appears in the 69/70 edition.

Paige appeared in the 69/70 edition of the famous Rigdig Tool Calendar with fellow Playmates Reagan Wilson and Mercy Rooney (Merci Montello)below. The calendar does not identify them as Playmates. Collection of the author.
Playmate, model and starlet Reagan Wilson posed for Peter Gowland several times in the late 1960s.
Mercy Montello model/starlet was a favorite of the Gowlands and appeared in many of their instructional books, late 60s, early 70s. She worked as a Bunny at the Los Angeles Playboy Club. She married Mickey Rooney Jr. and appeared as a Playmate in December of 1972 under the name Mercy Rooney. She wanted to be an actress but appeared in only 4 really bad softcore 70s movies.

Many more models, starlets and Playboy Playmates were unnamed models in these Ridgid Tool calendars over the decades. One did go on to great fame: Raquel Welch.

From 1964 until 2002, Peter and Alice photographed models for the Ridgid Tool Calendar (Ridge Tool Company). Some of the models who appeared in those calendars include Raquel Welch, Stephanie Drake, Kathy McCullen, Cindy Margolis, and several Playboy Playmates, including Renee Tenison, Nikki Schieler, Barbara Moore, Heidi Sorensen and Penny Baker.

Michael at glamourphotographers.yolasite.com

I Requested a Police Incident Record For Paige Two Times. These Are The Responses. UPDATED 7/17/2022

Also See chapter LAPD Report Paige Young Suicide. I eventually obtained a copy of the report.

The first request I made was done through the mail in 2016.

This is the letter I received.

Below are two responses to the one online request I made in March of 2020, to LAPD Public Records Request Dept:

Dear Requester:

Your request was for “Paige Young  1960-1974.” Absent any further information, we assumed you were interested in the Paige Young, former Playmate of the Year,  that reportedly died in 1974 in her home in West Hollywood. The Department has no records as that incident occurred outside the City of Los Angeles and you were referred to the local law enforcement agency for the City of West Hollywood, which is the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

If you are interested in another Paige Young, please clarify and we can conduct another search.

Respectfully,

LAPD Discovery, CPRA Unit

 Request Closed   HidePublic

It wasn’t West Hollywood!

Dear Requester: 

We reviewed your request,  which we understand to be for reports concerning the 1974 death of former Playmate of the Month, Paige Young.

The location of that incident is not under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Police Department. Therefore, we are unable to respond to your request.  Please contact the appropriate jurisdiction for further information, which we understand is the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on 780 N. San Vicente, 90069 or at (310) 855-8850.

If you have any questions, simply respond to this email.

Respectfully,

LAPD Discovery Section, CPRA Unit March 17, 2020, 12:27pm

WTF??

Paige did not die in West Hollywood, she died in Westwood. The UCLA area.

I knew this but I went ahead and called the number they gave me.

They answered and the person had never heard of Eastborne Ave.

Melanie discusses the police aspect briefly in the documentary Secrets of Playboy.

Many people mix-up or confuse West Hollywood and Westwood, I have learned. And this includes people who live in Los Angeles.

In the documentary Secrets of Playboy, Melanie Myers refers to where she and Paige lived at “West Hollywood.”

I still maintain the area is Westwood if you see the proximity from Eastborne Ave. to UCLA.

It’s a 10 minute by car drive to the Playboy Mansion, top marker, in Holmby Hills.

Paige and Melanie’s home close on the other side of Santa Monica blvd. from Century City.

In Secrets of Playboy Melanie says she was invited/recruited at her place of employment in nearby Beverly Hills for a Playboy party.

UCLA was also a destination for to recruit pretty and young women and girls for Mansion parties. And that makes sense sense because UCLA just right there. UCLA is called Westwood.

What happened to Paige’s family, ex Husband Mark F. Segal, Desmond Guinness and Marvin M. Mitchelson And More. Updated 1/28/2023

From the LAT Aug. 29, 1976

Paige’s grandmother Virginia Young LaRocca died in August of 1976 in the Studio City Convalescent Hospital located at 11429 Ventura Blvd.  

 She was a 1st Reader for the Church of Christ Science for 35 years according to her death certificate.

Virginia was cremated and her ashes were scattered in the ocean near the Santa Monica shoreline, just like granddaughter Paige’s ashes two years previous.

Her sister and former vaudeville partner, Josephine Young Harker, Paige Young’s great aunt, died in June of 1979 in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

Josephine’s daughter, former Warner Brothers starlet Mary Jane Harker Lanier died in 1986 in Jacksonville, Florida. Her husband Samuel Lefkovitz Lanier remarried and lived with his second wife for over 10 years until his death in 2007 at age 88, also in Florida. The oldest child of Jane and Samuel Lanier, Samuel Harker Lanier, passed away in 2018; he was only in his 60s. A lawyer, he had been disbarred in St. Augustine on a cocaine related arrest only a few years before.

Donna Virginia LaRocca Holroyd, moved sometime in the late 60s, with mother Virginia and husband Jack, to the Simi Valley.

By 1970, Donna was the head supervisor for the Ocean View Children’s Center  (5201 Squires Dr.) in Port Hueneme  “for low income and welfare families…. so that the mothers (of the Valley Village neighborhood) could work or go to school.” Oxford News 1970.

Article below mentions that Donna received a degree from UCLA in Early Childhood Education.

Oxford Press Courier March 21, 1971. Her daughter Paige was probably living in Westwood or Trancas Beach at this time.

More on Donna Holroyd.

By the time of Paige’s suicide in April of 1974, Donna and Jack Holroyd were divorced and Donna was living with her mother Virginia back in Sherman Oaks, at the lovely Chase Knolls Apartment Community on Huston St.

Donna’s Chase Knolls address is on Paige’s death certificate as her next of kin.

This address is also on Virginia LaRocca‘s death cert. in 1976. Donna is listed as her mother’s next of kin.

In 1980 this address appears on Donna’s own death certificate.

Donna Holroyd is divorced and living at the Chase Knolls Apartment Community in Sherman Oaks according to this document.

She dies of a “hypertensive arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease,” in her Chase Knolls apartment at age 59 years. 

Donna outlives her mother by 4 years, and her daughter by 6.

Chase Knolls Apartments Sherman Oaks. Not Donna’s apartment which is located behind the locked gate.

Oldest daughter and Paige’s sister Constance Smashey is listed on the death certificate as next of kin with a Simi Valley address.

Constance and Smashey divorced and Connie would move to the Palm Desert area in the 1980s. She now lives in Banning, California. She turned down my request to ask her a few questions about her sister Paige and their family.

Paige’s father Robert Morgan Cotterell and his wife Pat, moved to Oregon in the 1970s after he retired from Douglas Air. They lived there until their deaths around 2010.

Bob Cotterell’s obituary is no longer online. When it was, there was no mention of his daughters by Donna LaRocca: Diana/Paige and Constance.

It appears that Connie has reunited with her half siblings.

Richard Sample told me that Paige drove him to meet her sister one time only. and that He he “did not get any impression” they were close.

Paige did not disclose her personal history or childhood, to anyone I’ve talked with who knew her.

Paige’s ex-husband Mark Frederick Segal married a woman named Denise in 1974 and a few years later they had a son: Ivan Mark Segal

1985/86 Mark F. Segal stayed in the car business:

Segal sold his home on Crisp Canyon Ave. to Rex Ramsey and later bought it back from him. He sold it again and moved to Portland in the late 80s? He died there on October 16, 2012.

4133 Crisp Canyon Ave. was razed and replaced with a really horrible McMansion.

His son Ivan Segal lives in Portland and Scottsdale.

Scroll WAY down for more.

Desmond Guinness married Penelope Cuthbertson in 1984.

She is his cousin according to “International Set” gossip writer Suzy Knickerbocker back in 1973. They were not couple at that time.

Desmond continued fundraising for his Irish Georgian Society well into old age. He died on August 20, 2020. I have read Desmond had some degree of dementia.

Ex-wife Mariga and co-founder of the IGS had died decades earlier.

There are numerous obituaries online for Hon. Desmond Guinness.

Desmond’s niece is fashion icon and socialite Daphne Guinness. His granddaughter is popular fashion model Jasmine Guinness.

How and where Desmond became acquainted with Paige Young is a mystery. Possibly been through John and CiCi Huston in Ireland and Celeste basically denied knowing the two were acquainted. Desmond on his own was well connected in Los Angeles and Southern California. He had a receptive audience in the area.

Paige’s divorce lawyer Marvin Mitchelson went from “Beverly Hills and LA famous” with some degree of national fame, to internationally famous, when he represented Michelle Triola Marvin in her lawsuit against live-in lover of 6 years, actor Lee Marvin. This in the late 1970s.

 Mitchelson introduced the term and concept of “palimony” into the courts.

Commonly known as Marvin vs. Marvin, the case received major publicity in the mass-media of the time. It’s something I personally remember as a young teenager. I call it “People magazine” famous.

I didn’t learn the back story in detail until I researched this project. I am condescing the details for this website.

Michelle Triola Marvin was a singer in Hollywood. She felt she was owed part of Lee Marvin’s $3.2 million fortune, as she had given up her own career, per his demand, to become his live-in lover, helpmate, career advisor, and even helped to raise his 4 children from first wife Betty.

Triola said Lee Marvin had promised her life-long financial support. Triola-Marvin was abruptly dumped when Lee Marvin suddenly married his high school sweetheart Pamela Feeney in 1970. Marvin kicked Triola-Marvin out of their Malibu home and cut her off financially.

 Because Michelle Triola Marvin was not legally married to Lee Marvin, she had no legal standing to demand any financial compensation.

Mitchelson saw an opportunity in California’s newly enacted “no-fault” divorce laws.

 Mitchelson filed a breach-of-contract suit against Lee Marvin in February of 1972 asking for 50% of his estate.

After being rejected by two lower courts, Mitchelson pushed the case to the California Supreme Court, where he won.

The Marvin vs. Marvin case finally reached trial in January of 1979 and it quickly became a mass-media event.

The judge in the case,  Judge Marshall, awarded about $100,000 to Triola-Marvin, for the salary she potentially lost giving up her career as a singer.

Lee Marvin’s attorneys appealed, and the decision was reversed, leaving Triola with nothing and Mitchelson with nothing.

 Mitchelson didn’t care though, because the fame the case brought him was worth millions of dollars in representing “wronged spouses,” mainly women.

The fact that in the end, Triola got nothing was not well publicized in the many media reports. It happened after the initial hoopala had died down.

Some of the women Marvin represented were celebrities like Bianca Jagger,  Zsa Zsa Gabor and Joan Collins ( a reverse of his norm as Collins was the one being sued by husband Peter Holm.) Mostly he took cases of non-celebrity live-in girlfriends or mistresses of rich celebrities: Sara Dylan (Bob), Anna Kashfi (Marlon Brando) Nancy Lee Andrews (Ringo Starr), Veronica Buss and Puppi Buss (girlfriends of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss) Soraya Khashoggi, Kayatana Harrison (Flip Wilson.)

Marvin represented a few men: Mark Christian, ex-lover of Rock Hudson, in his widely publicized case against Hudson’s estate for failing to disclose his AIDS status to Christian. Mel Torme, Carl Sagan and Sonny Bono were other clients.

Mitchelson was disbarred in 1988 for grossly overcharging clients and went to prison in 1993 for tax evasion.

Marvin Mitchelson was released from prison in 1998 and died in 2004.

Lee Marvin died in 1987 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Michelle Triola went on to have a long live-in relationship with actor- comedian Dick Van Dyke. She died of lung cancer in 2009.

Information from: Ladies’ Man: The Life & Trials of Marvin Mitchelson, by John A. Jenks. The only published biography of Marvin Mitchelson. It’ a fascinating look at an LA character of his time.

Which is all you can ever be right?

Nick Lees and Bob Sanders Reminisce about Paige Young.

Nick Lees, a writer for the Edmonton Journal, wrote the following article in 1981.   

Nick Lees returned to his job at the Edmonton Journal 7 years after he was fired for leaving on his unscheduled vacation with Paige.

Is Nick the reason Paige missed her contracted appearance at the winter sports show?  Did she make up this“sudden illness” excuse?

The part in Lees’ article about Paige Young being from Sacramento and a dental assistant, I don’t buy it. There is too much proof that she was born and lived in Los Angeles her entire life. Plus, I don’t see her going through the rigors of dental school and the “9-5 doldrums.” Paige may have told this fib to Lees or he remembers incorrectly.

Lees had a long career at the newspaper as a popular columnist.

The text at right is from an article about Lees, written by journalist Michael Hingston. The article appeared in Canadian Avenue magazine sometime in the early 2000s.

I thank Edmonton writer Michael Hingston for sending me this portion of his notes that were not included in his published story.

Lees’ opinion of Paige seems to have softened over the years. He sounds more resentful in 1981.

Lees specifies the Colorado Rockies as the mountains he and Paige escaped to (Vale above actually spelled Vail) rather than the Canadian Rockies as he says in 1981.

Nick doesn’t indicate any knowledge of Paige’s suicide in 1974, either in his 1981 column or his more recent interview with Michael Hingston.

 I have been unable to get in touch with Nick Lees.

He was in the hospital a few years ago per a facebook post.

Below is an entry from a website of the late Bob Sanders who blogged about his lengthy and diverse career.

He has some fascinating stories about Hugh Hefner and working for Playboy as well as TV Guide. He was hired to help promote Hefner’s new TV Show “Playboy After Dark” which led him to meet Paige Young in the late 1960s. Sanders was a regular American working man with a family.

7/10/2009

Paige Young….by Bob Sanders

I never  learned her real name, but Paige Young, Playboy magazine’s “Miss November” of 1968, was absolutely perfect for a rather challenging assignment: Creating interest in a mediocre TV series.              

“Playboy After Dark,” was a follow-up to “Playboy’s Penthouse” which also starred Hugh Hefner, pipe in hand.  In both the original and the reincarnation, an elevator whisked viewers to a penthouse where host Hefner, his free arm wrapped around his then current squeeze as we called them, feigned surprise at another drop-in, finally announcing who was in the house to perform.  It was pretty awkward stuff.

I met Paige late in January, 1969.  That was three months after her appearance in the magazine; an illness had prevented what would have been a timely trip to Chicago.  Page was in town to collect $10,000 then awarded Playmates who now receive $25,000 with $100,000 going to the Playmate of the Year.  They got to stay a week or so at the Playboy Mansion, attend parties, make personal appearances and meet Hefner, a cultural summit for most.  One of my contributions to the process was to interview each of them to determine if they could be of promotional help.  Among a year’s monthly winners, you could count on two being particularly good or outstanding.  Paige was one of the latter and who could forget either her center-fold or the woman in person?  Peter Gowland did the photography in Los Angeles posing a prone Paige, back scratcher in hand.  The flashing brown eyes did no harm to the overall effect.

It was a few months before I met Paige that Hefner’s reclusive lifestyle began undergoing a change.  The not-so-poor-man’s Howard Hughes had come out of his shell swearing off the uppers and downers that enabled him to stay awake editing his magazine three days at a time.  Not only had Hefner hit the streets to observe police outrage during the 1968 Democratic National Convention but he would soon return to the TV trough with “Playboy After Dark” scheduled for Screen Gems release.

Owned by Columbia Pictures, the first major studio to learn to live with the new medium through the creation of a subsidiary, Screen Gems not surprisingly realized the series was a tough sell.  They backed off midway through production refusing to promote the show for an additional good reason.  Screen Gems had a huge backlog of product including a boatload of Perry Masons–271 to be exact.  Up to that point, my involvement was little more than choosing pictures from contact sheets provided by a Hollywood photographer.  I soon learned Hefner had little use for black and white photography, perhaps because Playmates’ skin tones looked much more ravishing in color.  It was as though black and white was O.K. for Citizen Kane and little more in Hefner’s opinion.  I began to bootleg photography; pictures I used to promote the firm’s Lake Geneva resort via newspapers were actually shot by a Chicago Tribune snapper assigned to a narrowly focused feature about the hotel.  I paid him $100 after his gig to shoot what I needed: pictures that went beyond architectural renderings ordered by my predecessor.   I was never questioned by my management about the photos I used because it was assumed the pics were transferred from color to black and white.  Had I gone that route, the shots would have lost about 20% of their sharpness.

Corporate expenses will always be a subject of much conjecture.  During what turned out to be 40 years spending other people’s money, I was questioned but once.  That was while working for TV Guide in St. Louis, my first gig for the magazine.   The year was 1955, eight months after we opened; the office manager, a hopeful sort, had determined we should send parents of newborn children copies of the magazine.  Names and addresses of the parents were gleaned from pages of local newspapers and the copy, set in five point agate type, required a magnifying glass to determine accuracy.   It was regional manager Arthur Shulman who asked me what the hell was I doing spending $1.99 of TV Guide’s money in such strange fashion?

Playboy was far and away the least concerned of my employers about spending money.  Hefner made it clear that he wanted things done in the best possible manner.  It was terrific working for a firm striving for promotion efforts done, as Hefner suggested,” first class.”  I never took advantage of the situation there or anywhere else.

That early contact sheet assignment for “Playboy After Dark” involved work by an independent photographer, a rather strange determination considering the number of excellent snappers on the payroll.  Admittedly, they were rather specialized. 

It was while looking at pictures of the fifth show that I found the best shots–maybe ever–of Hefner.  All of them found him next to one of the show’s chickie poos.  Soon my hunch was verified.  Barbie Benton, then a theater major at UCLA–had become a regular on the show eventually attaining status as Hef’s significant love of eight years.  I ordered a dozen of one picture of the adoring couple I had cropped from a group shot. 

On a trip to Los Angeles, promotion director Nelson Futch and I learned at a meeting called by Screen Gems that its management had determined a preference for releasing “Perry Mason” starring Raymond Burr, then successful in keeping quiet his homosexuality, over the ultimately virile Hefner.  It was regarded as a savage blow and Futch, unperturbed, turned the project over to me immediately following the meeting.  That was when I thought of Paige Young.

A couple of months passed during which I worked my ass off concentrating on the show.  One day Futch and I got a hurry up call to meet with Hefner at The Mansion.  Oh, yes.  Bring the promotion work.  After waiting four hours during which Futch put the Benton/Hefner photo on top the pile of my creativity, we finally entered his office.  Our meeting followed one between Hef and his editor-in-chief A.C. Spectorsky–the man who, among many things, coined the word “exurbanites.”  Moments later, Hefner spotted the photo, held it up to the light and did a series of gyrations reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin’s examination of the world in The Great Dictator.

“Where did you get this?” he asked–a pretty dumb question under the circumstances unless a UCLA photo-journalist had grabbed a shot of the Bunny King attired in a silly Edwardian suit while visiting one of Barbie’s acting classes.

“The fifth show,” I replied.

“Can I have one?” he asked in very boyish fashion as if I were the editor of the high school yearbook and he, infatuated by a photo of his best girl.

“Would you like six?  I can get you at least five more.”  That was it.  He never looked at any of the rest of my promotional efforts.  Apparently, he had decided the Hef/Barbie choice was sufficient.  The picture became paramount in the print promotion of the show.

The series played in something like 21 markets with the stations located north and south from Minneapolis to Miami and east to west from New York to Los Angeles.  Among them were two Lafayettes–Indiana and Louisiana–plus other locations across the fruited plain and Canada where the program was seen in Montreal.  The series had but one show worth viewing; it starred Sammy Davis, Jr., Anthony Newley, Jerry Lewis and Peter Lawford, the latter of unique adroitness: dressing up a set. 

Hefner’s published comments on the series and his host role give pause: “It’s better than the ‘Johnny Carson Show’ or the ‘Joey Bishop Show’ and I do a better job hosting than Ed Sullivan does.”

KTLA, the then Gene Autry-owned independent channel , bought the series and we scheduled a party for what was then called the Playboy Building at 8560 Sunset Boulevard.  Built in the early 1960s, it had a parking lot to the west set beneath 10 stories of reinforced concrete.  It is now part of the Sunset Millennium Project–three buildings totaling approximately 300,000 square feet of office space.

Back then, my attention was captivated by a huge windowless area of the building’s west façade.  Recalling all the “Playboy After Dark” color photos taken on the set, I wondered if we could project pictures on the wall in a rotating series of six or so with enticing copy to promote the show.  I found a Swedish company with equipment about the size of a small TV set which we secured at the entrance to the parking lot.

My idea had unusual origins.  Years before, comedian Red Skelton had a neighbor in Palm Springs he didn’t like or so the story went.  The guy, a moralistic type, had a white stucco home with a large wall visible to the street.  In reaction to the neighbor’s latest outrage, Skelton began showing adult movies on the fellow’s home.

In the fall of 1969, eastbound Sunset Blvd. motorists were confronted by color photos of scantily clad young ladies in addition to 30-ft pipe-clutching Hefs and bug cute Barbies.

We had a minor “Playboy After Dark” promotion problem which never surfaced.  Paige Young had not appeared in the series having turned down a request.  Thoughtful and intelligent, she had other things to do, notably painting.  Horses were a subject dear to her as I learned during time out on the north side of Phoenix where many Arabian thoroughbred farms used to exist.

Paige was a total delight.  One time she flew to Minneapolis where I met her at the airport before we moved on to newspaper, magazine and broadcast interviews.  After a couple of days, we flew to Miami for more of the same.  Phoenix was particularly productive offering a good example of the Playboy mystique.  Shortly after our arrival, I learned a local PR representative hired by us had not set up any interviews.  I made five phone calls to the TV stations then located in the area and placed Paige on each channel for interviews–mostly on news programs.  It may have been a very slow news day, but getting that kind of attention on such short notice with little going for us except the Playboy mystique was absolutely amazing; the series was about to be carried on one of those five stations.  The trick was to set up the interviews along different lines emphasizing such things as the magazine and Paige’s appearance in it, her life and travels, and what Hugh Hefner was really like.

During my Playboy Enterprises days there was a story, probably apocryphal,  told about Hefner by Victor Lownes  who was, in my opinion, a promotional genius responsible for a lot of the magazine’s (and later the clubs’) success.   Lownes had introduced a young woman to Hefner, referring to him as “a living legend.”  The couple wandered off to a nearby bedroom where, scant minutes later, the woman emerged commenting to Lownes: “And you call that a living legend?”   Hey, nobody bats 1.000.

It was no secret Lownes had been run out of Chicago after dallying with a teenage TV star.  Adding to the speed of his departure was her being the daughter of a high profile newspaper columnist.  Lownes settled in London where he established the London Playboy Club, then gained a gambling permit.  It wasn’t long before he had created a lifestyle many thought at least the equivalent of Hefner’s; included was Stocks, an impressive manor house.  While Benny Dunn was dressing up Hefner’ Chicago Gold Coast home with people from the entertainment world, Lownes was attracting a much broader spectrum of notables.

Things went nicely for Lownes.  Treated as a company hero as Playboy Enterprises peaked during my years there, his short returns to Chicago were largely joyous occasions although Lownes could be a jerk.  Circulation of the magazine hit 6,000,000, the hotels were showing promise, and the clubs were doing well thanks to Victor’s London gambling license.  Suddenly, in 1981, England’s gaming commission yanked the permit.  Some Arabs, among the club’s highest rollers, had been given markers by Lownes and the license was pulled.  To this day, Lownes denies the charges.  No question the timing was dreadful.  Hefner was in the midst of what turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt to get a gambling permit for Atlantic City and the London catastrophe played a major role.  An earlier New York City liquor license obtained under questionable circumstances was another.

The relationship between old friends Hefner and Lownes cooled.  The latter eventually left the organization and wrote a tough but largely accurate book about his former pal and a public company having difficulty adjusting to a world enormously changed since Hefner planned the magazine in his kitchen nearly 30 years before.  The magazine business was undergoing upheavals of its own.   Penthouse, inspired by Hefner but tawdry by comparison, offered full frontal nudity and Playboy met the challenge.  Marilyn Cole, who later married Lownes, was the first Playmate to be so photographed.

While my association with Paige Young remained purely professional, I’m sure a lot of people in the home office and air travelers thought otherwise.  The airport scenes were rather wondrous.  Paige wore big floppy hats in a great variety of singular colors.  We arranged our airport meets so that scheduled arrivals in those halcyon days of dependability were very close.  I could spot her hat from impressive distances and she could do the same with me although I never wore a floppy hat.  The last half of our promotion tour found us running toward each other in airports and embracing in corny displays suggesting to many that we were something we weren’t.

So many memories remain including a rainy night in New Orleans during which we ran barefoot through the French  Quarter (she was a physical fitness nut) and were later entertained by the Playboy Club’s musical director, Al Belletto, one of the few non-Dixie musicians in town.   A Stan Kenton discovery, Belletto introduced us to such people as Al Hirt, Pete Fountain and Eddie Miller, the Fred Astaire of tenor saxophonists.  When I met Miller, I made the observation and he said: “I think that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me.”

West Bank Guide May 1969.

Paige and I lost track of each other and I attempted to find her on the internet some five years ago.  I wish I hadn’t.  She had committed suicide at age 30, six years after we stopped promoting Hefner’s TV show.

I can’t recall a single clue that might have suggested such a splendid blithe spirit was capable of such a decision.

     A woman contacted me by e-mail about 4 years ago and said she was the daughter of the late Bob Sanders.

Paige Young is interviewed at a radio station by DJ Jonnie in Arkansas. His story of meeting her appears in the Daily Mail December of 2014. She is shown autographing her photo in a January 1969 Playboy issue. Jonnie never mentioned that chaperone Bob Sanders was along on this stop.

She told me that when the Daily Mail article was published, she was relieved that her father was not alive to learn that Paige’s method of suicide was a gunshot to head, not an overdose of drugs. She said learning that would have greatly upset him.

Bob’s daughter also wrote that she thinks despite what her father wrote in his blog post, there many have been a fling of sorts between Bob and Paige.

Because of the Nick Lees story, I don’t think Bob Sanders travelled with Paige to Edmonton, she was likely travelling on her own at this point.

If you read the chapter on 1969–there are several articles that mention Bob Sanders, not by name but by profession, as Paige’s “handler,” “assistant,” even “flack.”

                                                                     #           #             #             #       

1974 #3 More on Desmond Guinness. John Huston. Ireland.

Miami Herald March 19, 1974. Paige Young would commit suicide 3 weeks later.

According to Melanie, Paige was afraid of a sex tape being seen by certain people or a certain person. Melanie also said the tape was made of Paige at the Playboy mansion.

I have to wonder if the person or persons in Paige’s mind was Desmond Guinness (and his crowd?)

It’s just a hunch but enough for a lead.

But it is interesting that Desmond was in Los Angeles again rather soon after October 1973 when he was photographed with Paige at a reception honoring him in Santa Barbara; he was back in Southern California March of 1974 .

The following Suzy column was published 9 days before Paige’s suicide. Desmond in bold.

Suzy column Daily News March 28, 1974. Again Desmond is the houseguest of Douglas Campbell. This time Desmond’s daughter Marina accompanied her father to Southern California.

The article below is 7 days before Paige’s suicide.

Jody Jacobs column LAT March 31st 1974.

There is proof that Desmond and Marina were also in Raleigh, NC on or around March 28th, 1974, see article below.

This article is unusual in that it brings up the uncomfortable subject of his mother Diana Mitford and step-father Oswald Mosely.

Raleigh News and Observer March 29, 1974. Notice the comment and story about Stanley Kubrick.

Did John Huston and Desmond Guinness know each other?

Given how much Desmond traveled around Ireland meeting people, restoring castles and seeking funds for the Irish Georgian Society, almost certainly. Desmond’s obituary below says they did.

A renowned socialite, party animal and generous host, Guinness entertained the international jet set at his home, Leixlip Castle. Those who visited included British royalty Princess Margaret, her husband Lord Snowdon, and Lord Mountbatten, A-listers such as Jacqueline Kennedy, film director John HustonMick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, and his stepfather the British fascist leader Oswald Mosley, his mother Diana Mitford’s husband.

From a Guinesses obituary in The Irish Times August 29, 2020.

This also makes me think Desmond and Mariga knew Ricki Soma Huston, John Huston’s 4th wife and mother to Angelica and Tony.

Rikki lived in St. Clerans in the 50s and 60s and raised her children there until she moved to London sometime in the late 1960s.

Anjelica Huston wrote a memoir about growing up in the St. Clerans estate.

Did Paige meet Desmond Guinness when she stayed with John and Celeste Huston at St. Clerans in 72-73 ish?

Los Angeles Times Dec. 1, 1974 Hugh Hefner speaks at the Sportmen’s Lodge, a stone’s throw from the house where Paige Young grew up as Diana Cotterell, 13055 Moorpark St.

1974 #2. Paige Young. The Shanes Of Beverly Hills. Huston & Hefner.

Melanie from the Daily Mail article told me that the “brother of Cici Huston” had Paige’s “sex tape” in his possession and would not hand it over to Paige, despite her repeated requests.

And that Paige frequently expressed the serious mental anguish this was causing her.

The Daily Mail didn’t publish Shane’s name as he “wasn’t a big enough name.”

…..fearful of a “sex tape” that “a relative of a major celebrity had made of her,” is how the Daily Mail phrased it.

CiCi Huston had three brothers.

One of the Shane brothers, David, is a major candidate as the one holding on to Paige’s sex tape; he was very active on the Sunset Strip social scene at the time: 1950s-1960-1970s. Shane owned businesses on the Strip and he was very attractive to women.

In a message to me, Celeste Huston seemed angry as she wrote that Paige and David were sex partners as were David and Tamara Green.

He started a popular car rental agency, Hav -A -Kar, in the heart of the Sunset Strip. Hav-A-Kar was later sold to Thrifty, and David, as the property owner, saw the space become a Kenneth Cole store for many years before its current iteration, the Eveleigh restaurant. In the early 1960s David, who loved to cook, opened a burger joint called Alfie’s. It was a colorful fixture on the Strip and a veritable celebrity magnet. David decided to eventually lease the space in 1971 to the new owners who created Mirabelle, which remained steadfast on the Strip for over 40 years…… David was a jet setter and an avid outdoorsman. He attended USC for two years before transferring to the University of Mexico, in Mexico City, where he befriended painter Diego Rivera.

Alfie’s on the Strip.

Bob Shane is the oldest brother, originally Myron Shane Jr. I know nothing about him but that he changed his first name.

The youngest Shane brother Stephan, not mentioned in the obituary above, moved out of Beverly Hills and lived further north in California. He married, divorced and died young, in the 1970s.

David and Celeste’s father was Myron Shane, already a wealthy business owner from Kansas City who moved his young family to Beverly Hills in the 1940s.

Myron Shane owned a yacht named the “Celeste.” He rented it out to wealthy celebrities including Frank Sinatra.

Independent Press Telegram Long Beach 1955 6/30/57

Myron Shane also used his yacht for charitable purposes.

LAT 11/24/1949

Myron started Hav-A-Kar per newspaper articles and apparently signed it over to his son David L. Shane.

Does anyone remember Hav-A-Kar on the Sunset Strip? It was run by David L Shane.
From the 1966 version of Ed Ruscha’s series “Every Building on Sunset Blvd.”
Alfie’s on the Strip. 8768 Sunset Blvd. David Shane owned “burger joint.” Found on Pinterest. Originally from Alison Martino’s Vintage LA.

Melanie told the Daily Mail, and me personally, that Paige went out with several men. Paige also told Melanie that some of her boyfriends paid her living expenses including kitchen appliances and a dog run for her Akita.

( Don’t know what happened to Joshua the Weimaraner or Hamish the horse)

However much Paige expressed her distress over the Shane brother and his refusal to hand over the sex tape, ultimately she built a shrine of sorts about hatred and blame, towards Hugh Hefner.

From the Daily Mail:

“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.”

According to Melanie, Hefner and John Huston were mentioned in the suicide note as well.

“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 also vented against other Hollywood stars who had used her, says Myers.”

From a Gowland slide sold on e-bay

To be continued.

1974 #1. Death Cert. Witness. “Sex Tapes.” Cremation. Ocean burial. Secrets of Playboy. Questions remain. Updated 1/24/23

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

April 7th 1974 is a Palm Sunday and on that day, Paige commits suicide with a gunshot to her head, the location was her residence, pictured below.

Paige's garage apartment in WESTWOOD.
From a real estate listing several years ago. An apartment built over a garage in 1941.

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

“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’s neighbor.

“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.”

Why did Paige Young “blame” Hugh Hefner for her decision to commit suicide? Along with the others mentioned in her suicide note.

In the A&E channel documentary Secrets of Playboy, Melanie is interviewed

and says she was told by Paige Young that a member of Hefner’s entourage filmed and owned the tape of her in a sexual situation at the Playboy mansion. And she was very afraid of it “getting out.”

Below is a photo of the death certificate copy 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 as one can see.

On April 9 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.

Mother Donna Holroyd signs of with a shaky signature as “Donna Cotterell.”

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 her “official” means of suicide.

Is the Playmate Book the original source?

The Playmate Book is a compendium of all the Playmates who have appeared in the magazine since the first issue in 1953, up to the date of publication. An update on the lives accompanies each woman’s entry. I’m guessing that the Playmate Book is updated and released every 5-10 years.

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 weeks and months after the Daily Mail article was published, no one spoke out publicly about knowing or having met Paige Young. No one came forward on social or entertainment media to shed any more light on what could have driven or influenced her to take her own life.

This is one reason I was motivated to research more about Paige Young.

Back to 1974……..

What about this alleged sex tape? Was Hugh Hefner or those close to him involved somehow?

A well known part of Hefner’s biography is that he was fascinated by audio and video technology.

He collected home video, film cameras and cutting edge stereo equipment before they were available to the mass consumer.

In the early decades of the magazine, Playboy magazine often featured a “bachelor pad” decked out with the finest stereo equipment and other electronic gadgets, sure to impress the ladies, and other men, like a Cadillac or Picasso painting might.

The docu-series Secrets of Playboy has revealed accounts of sex being filmed by Hugh Hefner at his mansion in Holmby Hills. (See accounts by Sondra Theodore and Stefan Tetenbaum in Episode 8.)

There are reports of video tapes of sexual encounters over the decades, with some involving celebrities.

Secrets of Playboy shows an interview with former head of Playmate Promotions Miki Garcia reading her personal notes about actor Tony Curtis. Curtis and his lawyers were quite upset about Tony’s appearance in sex tapes filmed at the mansion.

These stories of “sex tapes” go back to the Chicago Playboy mansion days: an ex-girlfriend of Hefner’s, with help from one of his secretaries, snuck in the mansion and retrieved “her” tape. This incident was told to Russell Miller, author of the book Bunny.

There are also reports of Hefner ordering the tapes and films destroyed before his death, by sinking them in the ocean.

One of the clips from the Secrets of Playboy opening also shows a 1970s Hugh Hefner talking to reporters about all the “electronic equipment in the mansion,” including cameras and that “sometimes stuff happens in the bedroom.”

Allegedly, Hefner had become fearful after friend and frequent Playboy model Pamela Anderson had her (and husband Tommy Lee’s) sex tapes stolen and released to the public.

What happened to Hefner’s collection of sex tapes?

Article From Page Six Nov. 23, 2018

“Hugh Hefner dumped a casket full of his private sex tapes into the sea before he passed away, insiders have revealed.

The Playboy founder chucked his collection of sex tapes into the Pacific ocean because he feared that his most famous and secret conquests would be exposed, sources told The Sun.

It comes as the Playboy founder’s most personal belongings are being auctioned off later this month.

But while his signature pipe, dressing gowns and other items are currently on show to the public before they go under the hammer, paranoid Hefner made sure his dirtiest secrets would never be found.

The veteran Hollywood lothario, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 91, gathered up his entire hidden collection of tapes, X-rated photos and even intimate notes from superstars.

He then threw them all in a specially-made casket lined with cement and had his aides dump them in the sea.

Hefner’s trusted head of security at the Playboy Mansion Joe Piastro – who died in 2011 – is believed to have overseen the burial.

“Hugh was terrified of the world finding out everything about his past,” a source revealed. “He had kept a treasure chest of memories of his life with all these beautiful women dating back from the 1950s to the mid-1990s.”

“He only shared a few of the stories with his aides, but kept his personal items of his time with many famous beauties a secret.

“There was a batch of tapes, shot on 8 mm and cinefilm, which were filmed during some of the orgies he enjoyed in the 70s.

“Some famous male movie stars too were in those videos and had that come out it would have been a huge scandal.

“Hef also had thousands of photographs taken at photo shoots or given to him by the girls over the years.

“Marilyn [Monroe] was definitely in them as well as many superstars who graced the pages of his magazine.

“Some of the women were in relationships and others never even made the magazine, but simply were partying with him.

“He had hundreds of other photographs of women who were not famous, but he had enjoyed one nights stands with or even short relationships. There were also audio tapes too.

“In the 1990s, he had concerns about these personal items being stolen and sold around the world … it filled him with dread.

“What actually sparked his concern was when Pamela had her tape with Brett Michaels aired and then Tommy Lee.

“He got so upset and paranoid that he decided it was best to have them disappear. He didn’t trust people to burn them in case they got stolen, so he charged Joe with getting rid of them in the ocean.

“Joe had been his trusted head of security for years and had saved Hugh from many embarrassing situations in the past.

“So he decided that Joe should go out in the middle of the ocean with the cask and dump it all.

“Hugh explained that he didn’t want anyone’s lives, marriages or careers to be destroyed by what he had In his library. Joe did it and never told anyone.”

Hefner decided to take action in the late 90s as parties at the Playboy mansion were becoming wilder.

“The parties at the mansion were becoming grander affairs and it was difficult to control where guests were going,” the source added.

“He was terrified that some of this material would be stolen and the leaked out.

“After what [Anderson] had told him, he was certain that this material was best lost rather than locked away.

“He even worried that if anything happened to him it could get in the wrongs hands and hurt those who were still alive.”

Former Playboy employee Lisa Loving Barrett says in Secrets of Playboy, that she heard the the ocean burial story and has reason to believe it is true.

I am going to conclude that Paige Young’s case is an early example of what became known as “sex tape scandals,” although it was one that never went public. It seems to have remained firmly swept under the rug by people at Playboy, at the time that it happened and subsequent decades.

I was told by an individual working on the documentary that there was a “female fixer” working for Playboy/Hef in Los Angeles in the early 1970s.

And Paige’s suicide and notes left implicating Hefner and his friends, presented a problem that needed to be fixed.

April of 1974 was certainly not a good time for bad publicity to be attached to Hefner as Bobbie Arnstein, his loyal and troubled Chicago secretary, had been arrested for drugs in front of the Chicago Playboy Mansion, only two weeks previous to Paige’s suicide.

Hugh Hefner was spending time more often in Los Angele by 1974 and Bobbie felt a little left out. She was supposed relocate on the west coast and continue to be Hefner’s secretary, from all accounts he was dependent on her assistance.

After Bobbie’s suicide in 1975, is always cited as finalizing Hugh Hefner’s move to the mansion in Holmby Hills found by “constant companion” Barbi Benton.

Paige’s home in Westwood was 10 minutes by car to the Holmby Hills location of the Playboy Mansion. The local police were friendly with Hef and welcomed at the mansion as several former employees said in Secrets of Playboy.

Mother Mrs. Donna Holroyd signature.

Math figures show Paige’s age on mortuary paperwork.

Santa Monica Beach Fall 2022

1973 #2: Santa Barbara. Who Is Hon. Desmond Guinness? Diana Mitford. Oswald Mosley. 1969 Flashback. Suzy Knickerbocker.

LAT Oct 10 1973. Paige is the date of Desmond Guinness from Ireland at a party given in his honor by Santa Barbara society.
October 10, 1973 LAT

Hard to believe Paige had only 6 more months to live after this article appeared.

I e-mailed with Beverley Jackson who is pictured to the left of Mrs. Louis-Dreyfuss above. Jackson was the new society writer for the Santa Barbara paper at that time. She remembered Desmond but not Paige.

She wrote that Desmond “was always very discreet in these matters.”

What you see in the third column above, is the only mention of Paige Young in this article, besides her photo.

The elderly Mrs. Louis-Dreyfuss is probably Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ grandmother. Julia is famously from a wealthy Santa Barbara family.

The rest of the article by Jody Jacobs, society writer for the LAT, discusses the Santa Barbara society and VIPs who attended this party for Desmond Guinness.

Page 3 coverage of the Desmond Guinness parties in Santa Barbara. Carmen Alexander grew up to be a beloved teacher at a Santa Barbara Open Alternative school. Tragically she died of a sudden bacterial infection in 2012.

Who is this Desmond Guinness, Paige’s date in Santa Barbara, Oct of 1973?

I find his name most often written as “the Hon. Desmond Guinness.”

Usually written with the Hon. before his well known last name.

Let’s start with his family of origin.

Desmond is, of course, an heir to the Guinness brewery fortune.

His father was Bryan Guinness, titled the 2nd Baron Moyne; also a poet and playwright.

His mother was the controversial Diana Mitford, from the equally controversial English society family with 6 eccentric and beautiful sisters, parents and grandparents. There are several books published about the Mitford family, the sisters in particular.

Desmond and his brother didn’t grow up with their mother Diana Mitford; she left her sons and their father when the boys were toddlers. Her reason for this was to marry British politician turned extremist Oswald Mosley, in 1936.

Mosley founded the British Union of Fascists (BUF), after visiting both Mussolini and Hitler. Hitler attended the wedding of Mitford and Mosley and the reception took place at the home of Joseph Goebbels.

You can see why Diana Mitford is considered controversial, and she wasn’t the only Mitford sister acquainted with Hitler.

During WW 2, Mitford and Mosley were considered a threat and placed under British house arrest; 3 years in Holloway Prison.

I read that Desmond did visit his mother in prison, at least once.

Diana went on to have more children: two sons with Mosley.

The couple lived out their years in France after the war; they were highly disliked in England.

Desmond Guinness grows up and in 1954, married the beautiful Hermione Maria-Gabrielle Von Urach, who had German royalty and titles on her father’s side. Her English mother was institutionalized when “Gabrielle” was only 6 years old. At age 18, Gabrielle became known as “Mariga.

Evening Standard, London, Nov. 25, 1957 Body language!

This young and socially connected couple shared a love of architecture and history. They had no need to work for a living.

Desmond and Mariga purchased the decaying Leixlip castle of Ireland, restored it and made it their primary residence.

The couple founded the Irish Georgian Society in 1957/58, dedicated to preservation of Irish Georgian castles and Irish castles in general.

Mariga and Desmond restored several more historic castles in Ireland and published books on the topic.

The couple were known for giving fabulous high society parties in Leixlip Castle and produced two beautiful children: Marina and Patrick.

Slim Aarons took a now iconic photo of Desmond Guinness with Marina and Patrick; all three share the same icy-blue gaze.

I found in my research that Desmond toured the US extensively to fundraise for the IGS from about the mid 1960s through the 1980s. I read dozens of articles about his visits in the newspaper archives.

Desmond was warmly welcomed at numerous US society and historical gatherings; he would present lectures, slideshows and promote his books about Irish architecture, history and design. His visits were covered by local newspaper society columnists, who would write about the VIPs who attended the lecture/party/luncheon/cocktail party/dinner, in honor of the Hon. Desmond Guinness.

I’m including a only a few newspaper examples from 1969.

From the Palladium Item Richmond, Indiana March 16, 1969

I picked 1969 out of the many years Desmond travelled the US because it’s the same year Paige Young was touring the US for Playboy promotion.

March 25, 1969
the Miami-Herald April, 24, 1969

“Suzy” aka Suzy Knickerbocker, was a syndicated “society” columnist for over 50 years and worked for many different newspapers.

Top of the Suzy column. A classic of the era.

She clearly had a “specialty” for featuring European society types with titles. Suzy K. wrote adoringly about Desmond (mainly) and Mariga several times.

This is from the Suzy Gossip column in the NY Daily News Nov. 1969.

Here is an article about Suzy from March 15, 1969. Probably at the height of her influence (and salary) for writing about international high society’s activities.

November 11, Philadelphia Inquirer

More on Desmond Guinness in 1969

Ithaca, New York Feb. 21, 1969

Desmond visited towns one may not have expected him to, like Des Moines, Shreveport, and the Corning Glass Center in Ithaca, New York.

Desmond Guinness had a schedule of traveling to fundraise for IGS for decades.

Back to 1973 Santa Barbara

Desmond had already been the houseguest of Douglas Campbell in Los Angeles for 2 week of weeks when:

Paige appeared as the date of Desmond Guinness at a high society party in Santa Barbara. It was described as a season of cloudy, grey and rainy weather.

This Suzy nationally syndicated column below, appeared just 2 days later on October 12.

San Fran Examiner Oct. 12, 1973

It is quite interesting timing; Desmond is seen out with a date, Paige Young, and his divorce is “announced” in these Suzy articles only two days later.

Philadelphia Inquirer OCT 12. 1973.

Was Desmond “feeling free” that evening knowing his pending divorce would soon be out in the open.

1973 cont. Desmond was busy travelling the USA fundraising and promoting his latest book as we see from these two Suzy columns.

March 21, 1973 Suzy column NY Daily News. Mariga is mentioned. Before separation announcement
Suzy column April 13, 1973 NY Daily News
LAT Sept. 23, 1973 Desmond is a guest in the LA home of Douglas Campbell only two weeks before the Santa Barbara soiree. Did Desmond and Paige spend time in Los Angeles together??

See next chapter.