wordpress visitor

Harry Addison Love; hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Feb 14th, 2016
2016
Feb 14

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY

Harry Addison Love; hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

.

delmarclub

Santa Monica’s Del Mar Club, the site of jealous rage and murder (LAPL)

.
By Allan R. Ellenberger

.
A bitter, unyielding battle between two women—one the mother and the other the wife—was to blame for the death of Harry Addison Love, a 46 year-old businessman.

.
Love, who was born on October 7, 1890, was the son of Charles (d. 1923) and Cora Adkins Love and the brother of Esther Love Spencer (d. Dec. 7 1929). Esther’s widowed husband Howard and their two daughters, Virginia and Janice, now lived with Cora and Harry at the family home at 457 South Harvard Boulevard (demolished).

.
Reportedly, Love married 31-year-old Helen Wills in a small Mexican town on May 3, 1936. On their return to Los Angeles, Helen expected Love to reveal their marriage to his mother. He refused, even threatening her. Instead, he rented her a house at 3613 West Fourth Street, but did not live there all the time, alternating between there and his mother’s home.

.
Helen pleaded with him to acknowledge her as his wife, but he was adamant. She knew that her new husband had plenty of money, but he was secretive about his affairs. Helen did not care. “All I wanted was to be acknowledged as his wife,” she said.

.
In September 1936, Helen became ill (she said it was from worry) so Love sent her to New York for two months. When she returned, she discovered their framed marriage certificate had disappeared. Love told her he placed it in a safety deposit box for safe keeping.

.
When the holidays came, she wanted to spend them alone with Love but he insisted that they have Christmas dinner with his mother. Love took his wife home for Christmas but did not introduce Helen as his wife. After dinner, Love and his mother politely sent Helen home alone while they went to church to listen to Christmas carols.

.
The next day, Helen was pleased when Love promised that they would spend New Year’s Eve together at a club in Glendale. “I was almost delirious with happiness,” Helen said. “I bought a new gown. I showed it to his mother.” Wrong move.

.
However, that happiness was short-lived. Without warning, Love told his wife that he had included his mother in their New Year’s plans. The three of them would go to the Del Mar Club (Casa Del Mar) in Santa Monica. Helen was disappointed. “Since when do we need a chaperone?” she asked.

.
“You don’t understand my mother,” he said.

.
“I do understand her,” she told her husband. “She is intensely jealous.”

.
When an argument ensued, he told her that because of “financial matters,” he would be going to dinner at the club with his mother, and she would have to make other plans. Then he left.

.
On New Year’s Eve, Helen met with Love at a building his mother owned at 3020 Main Street. Once again, he refused to take her to the party that night and drove her to a garage where he left her, instructing the attendants that no one was to use the car but him.

.
Helen sat in the car for hours. Finally, an attendant told her it would be better if she went to the office, which she did, but not before taking a pistol which Love kept in the car. She went home, and then decided to take a taxi to the Del Mar Club. She took the gun with her. When she arrived, the clerk told her that Love and his mother had not yet arrived. She would wait.

.
Shortly, Love came from the dining room. “Hello darling,” she said to her husband.

.
“What are you doing here?” Love asked her.

.
“I told you I was going to spend New Year’s with you and I meant it.”

.
They quarreled, and he returned to the dining room where his mother was waiting. Mrs. Love turned white when she saw Helen and said, “This is no place for you. You are not invited! See me tomorrow.”

.
“Tomorrow will be too late,” she told her, and left. Harry followed her to the cab. He asked her if she had a gun. At first she told him that she had none, and then said, “You’re a big man. Why should you be afraid of a gun?”

.
Then, when Helen reached into her purse, Love screamed and turned to run. With the gun in hand, Helen ran after him. Love reached the steps of the club when Helen fired. Love fell back down the steps, jumped up and ran. Helen ran after him as he circled around the block, firing two shots at him as he fled. Love dashed towards the Del Mar Club’s entrance. A third bullet felled him on the sidewalk just in front of the doors.

.

.

del mar club

Street side of the Del Mar Club as it looks today. Red arrow shows general area where

Harry Love collapsed after being shot by his wife, Helen Wills Love.

.

Employees of the club carried him into the lobby and placed him on a couch. Helen followed them into the lobby and stared dazedly at her dying husband. She later told police, “I loved him so that I was not going to give him up.” Harry Love died in the ambulance en route to Santa Monica Hospital.

.
Later, when Helen was taken to the women’s quarters of the Santa Monica City Jail, she knotted a silken scarf around her neck and lashed the other end to a bar of the prisoner’s room in an attempt to take her life. Once revived, she was taken to County Jail.

.

.

love-helen-booked

Helen Wills Love being booked after shooting her husband (LAPL)

.

Harry Love’s viewing was at Garret Brothers Mortuary on Venice Blvd. There, Helen was permitted to say her good-byes to her slain husband. Sobbing and stroking his hair as he lay in a gray broadcloth coffin, she kissed him and cried, “You’re happier than I am, darling.”

.

.

coffin-kiss

Helen Wills Love kisses her dead husband,

Harry A. Love, goodbye in his coffin.

.

love-death-cert

Death Certificate for Harry Addison Love

(click to enlarge)

.
Funeral services for Harry Addison Love were conducted at St. James Episcopal Church (Wilshire and St. Andrew’s). His body was cremated and his cremains were placed in the family niche, along with his father’s, in the foyer of Hollywood Cemetery’s Cathedral Mausoleum.

.

.

love-niche area

Red arrow shows general location of Harry A. Love’s

niche at the Cathedral Mausoleum

.

love-harry (2)

.

.
Over the next several months, Helen was arraigned and put on trial during which the prosecution contended that the shooting was a planned murder, motivated by the fact she was a “woman scorned.” But the defense attempted to show it was a hysterical and accidental episode arising from the jealousy of Cora Love, mother of the slain man, who would not acknowledge her a daughter-in-law and fostered the estrangement.

.
Helen testified that she had been intimate with Love for many months and became pregnant with his child which resulted in their secret marriage in Ensenada, Mexico. Evidently, she lost the baby shortly after. From then on, Cora Love estranged her son’s affections (which Helen called a “mother complex”) in a series of acts which reached a climax on New Year’s Eve. She testified that the shooting was accidental because the gun went off as Love attempted to take it from her. The prosecution, however, produced eye witnesses who claimed that Helen pursued her husband outside the club and deliberately shot at him.

.

.

love-helen-court

Helen Willis Love on trial (LAPL)

.

love-cora

Cora Love testifying in the murder trial of her son, Harry. (LAPL)

.
Helen Wills Love was convicted of Second-degree murder by a jury of eight women and four men. Helen, who wore the same black outfit throughout the trial, appealed to the judge to pronounce sentence at once so she could change her plea to murder because of insanity.

.
Helen believed she would receive a new trial because one juror was declared to be intoxicated during the trial by the County Jail physician. The juror was dismissed (sentenced to five days in jail and fined $100) and an alternate took her place. She was also told that some jurors read newspapers during the proceedings and was told by a stranger he was told of the verdict prior to the end of the trial.

.
But sentencing would have to wait. That morning, Helen was found to be in “self-imposed state of coma.” Evidently, she had told cellmates that she could end her own life by merely willing herself to die. Physicians tried everything to awaken her and were mystified at her condition. Finally, after more than a week she was revived and pronounced sane. The next day, Helen was brought into court on a wheelchair and sentenced to Tehachapi prison for from seven years to life.

.
Oddly enough, the following year, Cora Love obtained a permanent injunction against Helen using the name Love. She was restrained from representing herself to have been the lawfully wedded wife of Harry A. Love, or his widow and from representing herself to be the daughter-in-law or related to, Cora Love. Since Love had allegedly put their marriage license in a safety deposit box for “safe-keeping,” Helen had no proof to defend herself.

.

.

love-harry-gr-all

Full niche of the Love family. Notice that Cora’s maker (top) is blank.

.

.
Cora Love died on November 11, 1950 while vacationing in Palm Springs. For some reason, her niche at Hollywood Cemetery was never marked, even though she had two granddaughters that survived her.

.
Over the next few years, Helen applied for parole a couple of times, once in 1938, but was denied. She was told she would be eligible to apply again but it is unknown when she was actually paroled. Helen, if counting her “marriage” to Harry Love, had four spouses throughout her life. She died at 95 years of age as Helen S. McCullough on November 2, 2000 in Northern California. She is buried at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Colma, California.

____________________________

.

5 Responses

  1. landman Says:

    Very interesting story Allan. Wow, Cora was the Mother-in-law from Hell! Thanks for yet another bit of Hollywood mystery . I will have quite a few graves to see next time I visit LA.

  2. Anne Says:

    A very interesting reading story about the tragic relationships ,which resulted in the loss of life. The mother in-law appeared to be obsessed with her son & he with his mother. A symbiotic relationship is most difficult to break. The content is rich with detail .

  3. Louis M. Says:

    Fascinating!

    Thank you, Allan.

  4. ken edwards Says:

    Wonderful slice of that ethereal thing called obscure history …

    I so enjoyed reading it! !

  5. Anabel Says:

    Wow, i love these interesting and obscure tales from Hollywood. I’ve been following this blog for awhile but finally wanted to say how titillating and insightful your posts are and have been all of this time. Hats off to you.

Leave a Comment




XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

  • RSS Feed