1974 #4 LAPD Report Paige Young Suicide

I obtained a copy of the LAPD report on Paige Young’s suicide. The report is difficult to read; it looks like a copy of a copy of a copy; several words are faded almost beyond recognition. I have placed ??? for words or 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.

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

Occupation listed as “model” and reason for suicide “extreme depression.”

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 his career per newspapers.com.

Police photographer on scene: Unknown

Coroner: Dr. Mall

Coroner’s office, removed Paige from her home after her death: Tim Gee--see above.

2nd Witness: D DeWitt. Called by Paige to take care of her dogs. According to this police report, the 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, then returned to Paige’s house. From there, nothing is said about this witness.

Members of SWAT team not recorded.

1974 #2. 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.

She told me 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” or close enough to a major celebrity.

…..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. He was very attractive to women.

I asked Melanie and she does think the name David “sounds right”.

Description of David Shane from his online obituary in 2016:

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.

(More on David Shane below)

Bob Shane is the oldest brother, originally Myron Shane Jr. I know nothing about him.

The youngest Shane brother Stephan moved from Beverly Hills and lived further north in California. He married, divorced and died young, in the 1970s.

The Shanes were a prominent Beverly Hills family.

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 Sunset Blvd.”
Alfie’s on the Strip. Found on Pinterest. Originally from Alison Martino’s Vintage LA.

(Later became the popular restaurant Mirabelle.)

Melanie told the Daily Mail, and me personally, that Paige dated several men. Paige 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 Wenreimer 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 physical shrine of 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. 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.

1970/71 #1 Pasadena Art Museum With Warhol Wearing A Rudi Gernreich Dress. Artist DeWain Valentine. Venice Beach.

May 16, 1970. Paige Young makes an appearance at the Pasadena Art Museum recorded by an LA gossip columnist Marvene Jones and a photographer.

The occasion was an invitation-only gala for the new Andy Warhol exhibit.

Warhol himself makes an appearance, obviously a big deal.

According to this article, Paige Young and Andy Warhol discuss a role for Paige in an upcoming Andy Warhol film.

From the Los Angeles Evening Citizen 5/16/1970

Photo of Paige wearing her Rudi Gernreich dress with her date Bill Gardner. J Winters refers to Jonathan Winters, a show which Paige had appeared, according to some of her press.

DeWain Valentine was an emerging artist in the 1960s Venice art scene. He had an exhibit at PAM the same time as the Warhol exhibit.

LAT May 31, 1970
Column #2 of article Richard Sample told me Paige was always barefoot. (And frequently topless)

Marvene Jones reveals here that Mr. and Mrs. DeWain Valentine made up a foursome with Paige and Bill Gardner, former manager of Jonathan Winters.

Valentine played a major part of the west coast”Light and Space” art movement, along with artists Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Helen Pashgian, James Turrell and John McCracken and more. Many of these artists lived in Venice due to the cheap rent.

The “Cool School” artists, set up shop in Venice Beach in the early 1950s. I watched a documentary of the same name for a deep dive into an art movement known as West Coast Abstract Expressionism, and the West Coast Style. The artists include now very well known names like Ed Keinholz, Wally Berman, Billy Al Bengston, Ed Ruscha, Robert Irwin, Ed Moses, Craig Kauffman, and the curator who helped bring them to renown, Walter Hopps. Dennis Hopper was friends with these artists and collected their works. Many of this group famously interacted with Warhol on his famous trip by car to the west coast in the early 1960s.

The Light and Space movement was like a subgroup of the Cool School. Apparently Irwin was in both.

Richard Sample said that he moved from Malibu to an art studio in Venice, late 1960s. Paige later joined him but Richard could not remember the location. He told me his artist neighbors and friends were DeWain Valentine and Larry Bell. (See Chapter: Interview with Richard Sample)

(I read that Robert Irwin lived right across the street from Valentine. Not mentioned by Sample.)

Paige refers to her “new Venice art studio” in interviews with Playboy magazine and US newspapers in 1969 and 70. This is the year she toured the US promoting the syndicated TV show Playboy After Dark. (See chapter: Most Public Year 1969)

I have found location of this Venice studio: 62-68 Market St. in Venice Beach.

Richard Sample’s niece Ellen Sample remembers visiting her uncle and grandfather Charles Sample at an art studio and home in Venice. Charles also had a retail storefront. Richard and Ellen recall being able to see the beach from the studi. It’s a large structure and was divided amongst many artists who rented their own studio according to Ellen.

This all describes 62-68 Market St from google maps and Valentine himself in published interviews.

Richard Sample is listed at 63 Market St. Venice, in a newspaper marriage announcement, 1968. Bride is Daryl Seybold from somewhere else in LA.

Ellen texted me that her Uncle Richard sublet the studio to Paige at one point, and she recalls some tension with Paige and Ellen’s aunts, the wives of Charles Sample and his sons. Ellen said her mother was not bothered by Paige, but that she did “go with her sister-in-laws to see what was going on at the studio” with Paige. Ellen says it was the most tension when Paige’s issue was released.

Art by DeWain Valentine around 1968
Brooklyn Rail 2019 found online.

Valentine has spoken about his Venice studio in several art magazine interviews; it’s influence on his art and his many artist neighbors and friends, including Larry Bell and Robert Irwin, particularly the years from the mid-1960s to mid 1970s.

DeWain Valentine lived in and eventually purchased the 62 -65 Market St. building as he says in this interview.

Several records with his signature and name can be seen in public building archives from LA County, now available online. 2 are seen below.

I hope to speak with DeWain Valentine about his evening at the Warhol opening and what he remembers about Paige living and painting in the Venice studio on Market St. I have left several phone messages and mailed him a copy of the Marvene Jones column. I have not yet heard back from him.

LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 2: Artist Judy Chicago (L) and De Wain Valentine (R) pose during the Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980 opening event held at the Getty Center on October 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/WireImage)

1971

It it was around this time that Paige moved into this garage apartment in Westwood after feeling “antsy” (as described by her friend Henry to me) living in the isolated Trancas area of Malibu This is the home where she would end her life in 1974.

Behind a duplex off of Santa Monica Blvd in Westwood. From a retail listing, 10 or more years ago. It painted a different color now and the lawn not as green, it still looks like this now.
This garage apartment was built in 1941. Duplex in front built in 1938. Owner/Builder was silent film bit player Kathryn Eddy.