Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

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Bruce Long

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Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 8:25 am

The 1924 death of Thomas Ince has been the subject of many rumors, but the written form of those rumors were mostly written decades after his death. The online FBI documents pertaining to Hearst contain two early versions of those rumors, one written in 1930 by Frank Wiltermood, the other written a year or two earlier by someone who is supposedly quoting material from Aimee Semple McPherson. It is interesting that neither rumor mentions Chaplin; in both versions Ince was intentionally shot by Hearst. The material can be seen at
http://vault.fbi.gov/William%20Randolph ... f%205/view

Both are rather difficult read, but I have transcribed Wiltermood's letter as best I could. The cover letter states it was delivered to the FBI on May 1, 1930.

During 1913-1916 Frank M. Wiltermood was a scenario writer and editor for Universal and Balboa, with many mentions in trade publications, including an article written by him at
http://archive.org/stream/motography152 ... 5/mode/1up
His entry in the 1917 Motion Picture Studio Directory and Trade Annual can be seen here:
http://archive.org/stream/moctu00moti#page/164/mode/1up

**********************************

Los Angeles, May 1, 1930

To Whomever the Following Facts May Concern

My name is Frank Wiltermood, my wife and I have been married 37 years and we live at 354 South Figueroa street. For 25 years I was a newspaper reporter in the East and the west, and during 4 years I was a photoplay writer in the largest film studios of Hollywood. I hereby declare that I positively know that William Randolph Hearst murdered Thomas H. Ince.

On Sunday night, November 16th, 1924, Hearst gave a party on board of his large steam yacht, "Oneida," in San Diego Bay, the guests being mainly motion picture people. Thomas H. Ince, a noted producer of film dramas, was one of Hearst's guests at the party. Another guest was Miss Marion Davies, a film star and who for years has been one of Hearst's mistresses, he being the father of two children born to Miss Davies.

There was much liquor drank by Hearst and his guests, Ince playfully made love to Miss Davies, Hearst became wildly jealous and angrily attacked Ince, Hearst finally shooting Ince in the stomach. Ince was brought ashore at the foot of Broadway in San Diego several hours after the shooting, and Ince then was slowly dying. Ince later was removed to his home in Hollywood where he died about 5 o'clock Wednesday morning Nov. 19th, Ince thus living only 2 days after he had been cowardly murdered by that blackleg traitor W.R.Hearst.

Hearst already has spent more than one million dollars in bribes paid to San Diego officials to suppress the murder facts and prevent prosecution, and those bribe-taking chiefs include many men in the federal, state, county and city offices, and several editors of San Diego newspapers, and other leaders.

Ince once was my employer and true friend. Several months after he was murdered I began investigating the tragedy and I quickly found that I was being trailed and persecuted by a gang of Hearst's private detectives, these crooks continually spreading infamous lies about me, _______ me in every way possible and incessantly striving to put me completely out of existence. I therefore write this statement of undeniable facts about the murder and if anyone doubts these truths PLEASE GET BUSY AND ASK HEARST TO HAVE ME ARRESTED.

Yours for Justice, Patriotism and Righteousness,

FRANK WILTERMOOD
Last edited by Bruce Long on Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 8:32 am

hmm!, D.W. Griffith once said that all you have to do is mention Thomas Ince's name in front of WRH and he would turn white as ghost. :lol: :lol: :wink:
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 10:42 am

Bruce Long wrote:The 1924 death of Thomas Ince has been the subject of many rumors, but the written form of those rumors were mostly written decades after his death. The online FBI documents pertaining to Hearst contain two early versions of those rumors, one written in 1930 by Frank Wiltermood, the other written a year or two earlier by someone who is supposedly quoting material from Aimee Semple McPherson. It is interesting that neither rumor mentions Chaplin; in both versions Ince was intentionally shot by Hearst. The material can be seen at
http://vault.fbi.gov/William%20Randolph ... f%205/view" target="_blank" target="_blank

Both are rather difficult read, but I have transcribed Wiltermood's letter as best I could. The cover letter states it was delivered to the FBI on May 1, 1930.

(snip)

Yours for Justice, Patriotism and Righteousness,

FRANK WILTERMOOD


This made my morning, thank you. I skimmed through some of the material on the FBI FOIA site, snaps to you for translating this, most of it was very difficult to read; some of the originals were probably written in crayon. The statement about Aimee Semple McPherson is hilarious and so is this letter. Not a shred of proof, just an overwrought accusation and some paranoid ranting. And thus a conspiracy is born. Do you have any idea when Chaplin was introduced into the story?
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 11:28 am

While I think The Cat's Meow is a very entertaining picture, Mr. Wiltermood's statement seems to me to be unsubstantiated accusation of events he has not witnessed, nor does he cite any witnesses. As for Aimee Semple MacPherson, she was apparently still suffering from shock following her kidnapping to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Although a Google of Mr. Wiltermood shows him being released from a charge of shooting in 1909, I would think that by 1930, when he wrote the FBI, he couldn't get arrested.
Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 12:03 pm

boblipton wrote: Mr. WIltermood's statement seems to me to be unsubstantiated accusation of events he has not witnessed, nor does he cite any witnesses. Bob


What, you'd dispute "undeniable facts"? Or has that blackleg traitor bought you off, too?
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 12:16 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:
boblipton wrote: Mr. WIltermood's statement seems to me to be unsubstantiated accusation of events he has not witnessed, nor does he cite any witnesses. Bob


What, you'd dispute "undeniable facts"? Or has that blackleg traitor bought you off, too?



No, but I'm open to a generous offer.

Bob
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 12:19 pm

and not delivered to FBI until 1930? Years after the fact......
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 12:41 pm

Since Wiltermood had been scenario writer at Balboa in 1914 when William Desmond Taylor was there, they undoubtedly worked closely together but over the years Wiltermood's mood toward Taylor had wilted (the name screams the clue), so Wiltermood probably wrote that letter to the FBI simply to divert attention from his own complicity in Taylor's death. :roll:

Frederica wrote:...Do you have any idea when Chaplin was introduced into the story?


The earliest print reference I easily find is in the 1965 edition of Hollywood Babylon, but the story was obviously circulating before then because Chaplin's 1964 autobiography insists he was not present, an obvious attempt to refute the rumors which placed him on the yacht.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 12:56 pm

It's all a cover up for Florence LaBadie's murder by Woodrow Wilson.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 1:26 pm

1930, ah, of course.... Judge Crater disappeared that year. It all fits together now! :twisted:
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 1:58 pm

keep in mind, the FBI was only created in 1924, so I don't think Hoover cared about Taylor's death(Feb. 1922) and probably not Ince's either since they had just come into existence and would have considered Hollywood a bastian of sin and evil and the FBI being more concerned with gangsters and rumrunners. As far as the FBI may have been concerned the Taylor and Hoover deaths had been ruled upon so no need for further investigation and waste of taxpayers money. Remember some Americans actually wanted to close Hollywood down. It's only after people like LB Mayer started kissing Washington's behind with payouts and bribes that some concern(be it Capitol Hill, Hoover, White House) was shown Tinseltown
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 2:02 pm

The 1961 Davies memoir mentions the incident, with Marion sticking to the story that Ince had been ill and put ashore at San Diego, went home, and died 2 days later because as a Christian Scientist he has refused medical help. Davies denies Louella Parsons was on the boat, denies ever having met Margaret Livingston, and doesn't mention Chaplin at all. She blames the rumors on Joe Patterson, who worked for a rival newspaper (not one of Hearst's).
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 2:05 pm

A reasonable point, Sepiatone, so the question becomes the exact order of events. Was the Bureau investigating Ince's death and Wiltermood came forward, or did Wiltermood contact the Bureau with his allegations and they filed everything? Given the tone of the statement, it sounds like the latter.

Bob
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSun Oct 06, 2013 3:03 pm

sepiatone wrote:keep in mind, the FBI was only created in 1924...

According to the history on their site
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/brief-history
Hoover became head in 1924, but the Bureau of Investigation had been created over a decade earlier, and had been growing steadily.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 7:52 am

Bruce Long wrote:
sepiatone wrote:keep in mind, the FBI was only created in 1924...

According to the history on their site
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/brief-history" target="_blank" target="_blank
Hoover became head in 1924, but the Bureau of Investigation had been created over a decade earlier, and had been growing steadily.


Dan O'Brien had been on the Advisory Committee for the National Bureau of Criminal Identification, which was absorbed into the FBI, so Mr. Wiltermoot completely overlooked a fertile wellspring for more conspiracy theories. Was his face red.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 11:01 am

For an would-be murderer and his presumed victim, Chaplin and Hearst remained pretty chummy. When Chaplin was trying to weather the media storm over the Lita Grey divorce trial in 1927, Hearst invited him away on one of his large-entourage holidays - aboard the Onieda, no less! Either Chaplin, or Hearst (or both) must have been very forgiving guys.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 12:00 pm

Brooksie wrote:For an would-be murderer and his presumed victim, Chaplin and Hearst remained pretty chummy. When Chaplin was trying to weather the media storm over the Lita Grey divorce trial in 1927, Hearst invited him away on one of his large-entourage holidays - aboard the Onieda, no less! Either Chaplin, or Hearst (or both) must have been very forgiving guys.


All part of the cover-up, of course. Remember, the complete lack of documentation only proves there was a conspiracy.

It's interesting that Hearst was (and is) the focus for so much nutbaggery. He was the least secretive mogul in film history, and probably in newspaper publishing history, too. The guy never did anything without trumpeting it to all and sundry and he never went anywhere without an entourage. Mayer gets a fair share of conspiracy theorizing, Jack Warner does too, but Hearst tops them all. Or maybe it's because he was so public about everything. I dunno.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 12:04 pm

Interesting that Davies is up to TWO children by Hearst in this guy's letter.... Considering her filming schedule over a 20-year period, it was difficult enough to have one (probably) kid, let alone two....
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 12:17 pm

Frederica wrote:
Brooksie wrote:For an would-be murderer and his presumed victim, Chaplin and Hearst remained pretty chummy. When Chaplin was trying to weather the media storm over the Lita Grey divorce trial in 1927, Hearst invited him away on one of his large-entourage holidays - aboard the Onieda, no less! Either Chaplin, or Hearst (or both) must have been very forgiving guys.


All part of the cover-up, of course. Remember, the complete lack of documentation only proves there was a conspiracy.

It's interesting that Hearst was (and is) the focus for so much nutbaggery. He was the least secretive mogul in film history, and probably in newspaper publishing history, too. The guy never did anything without trumpeting it to all and sundry and he never went anywhere without an entourage. Mayer gets a fair share of conspiracy theorizing, Jack Warner does too, but Hearst tops them all. Or maybe it's because he was so public about everything. I dunno.


He was rich. He was so rich that he was, arguably the first billionaire on record and some of the things he did publicly to enjoy his money seemed to people to be power on a level to rival governments.

When you listen to people go over the evil thing that other people do, it is my experience that you hear then list the evils they do or would do given the opportunity. It never occurs to them that the fantasy of having power differs enormously from the reality of having power.

I have long considered it an oddity that, according to the legends, Hearst gave the order to destroy Arbuckle in order to boost circulation and then hired him to direct. Is it possible that Hearst believed in the journalist process and deliberately did not interfere in the process despite his personal opinion?

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 12:31 pm

Aww, he was simply mad because Hearst overbid him in some auction at an old castle.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 12:44 pm

boblipton wrote:I have long considered it an oddity that, according to the legends, Hearst gave the order to destroy Arbuckle in order to boost circulation and then hired him to direct. Is it possible that Hearst believed in the journalist process and deliberately did not interfere in the process despite his personal opinion?

Bob


Yes, that conspiracy stems from a Minta statement. A good rule of thumb with the Arbuckle case is "if you can trace the story to Minta Durfee, discard it ruthlessly." Hearst himself said this via a 9/21/21 telegram to Adolph Zukor:
"Will do best I can it is difficult to keep the news out of a newspaper I agree that certain kinds of publicity detrimental to moving pictures but the people who get into the courts and coroners offices are responsible the newspapers are no more responsible than the courts are I too would like to see unfavorable publicity avoided in the industry which we both represent thanks for telegram."

This telegram is always produced as proof of Hearst's perfidy, which completely mystifies me.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 12:46 pm

Wasn't is Davies and not Hearst who got Arbuckle jobs??
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 12:48 pm

drednm wrote:Interesting that Davies is up to TWO children by Hearst in this guy's letter.... Considering her filming schedule over a 20-year period, it was difficult enough to have one (probably) kid, let alone two....


The original story, stemming from the 1924 William Fallon trial, was that she'd had twins by Hearst; Fallon claimed to have the birth certificates but he never produced them, quelle shock. It was only after Pat Van Cleve Lake's death that the child morphed into a singleton and became Pat.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 2:02 pm

The same Wiltermood??

http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d= ... 01.2.74.10

Oddly, this guy doesn't get a mention in Nasaw's bio of Hearst......
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 3:42 pm

Frederica wrote:
drednm wrote:Interesting that Davies is up to TWO children by Hearst in this guy's letter.... Considering her filming schedule over a 20-year period, it was difficult enough to have one (probably) kid, let alone two....


The original story, stemming from the 1924 William Fallon trial, was that she'd had twins by Hearst; Fallon claimed to have the birth certificates but he never produced them, quelle shock. It was only after Pat Van Cleve Lake's death that the child morphed into a singleton and became Pat.


I came across at least one other Hearst-Marion kiddie in my research; from memory, she was the daughter of a Hearst housekeeper and, because she was a natural blonde, was obviously Marion's secret daughter. Genetics works like that, you see.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 4:16 pm

drednm wrote:Wasn't is Davies and not Hearst who got Arbuckle jobs??


The Red Mill was a Cosmopolitan Picture, therefore financed by Hearst. Among the many sins ascribed to Hearst was the micromanagement of Marion's career. so he must have chosen her director. Even if he didn't micromanage it, it seems unlikely that he would be unaware she was shooting a film and that Arbuckle was directing.

The real issue becomes which way does your logic run? Do you start with the conclusion and then choose the facts to support it, discarding those which do not, or do you complicate your conclusion until you use Occam's Razor to discard it? Otherwise it's all Bat Logic.

As to who got Arbuckle jobs, it was Keaton and Roscoe's nephew, Al St. John. Later, after he had shown his skill at directing comedy, Jack White kept him working. I am unaware of the exact course of events that led to Arbuckle directing The Red Mill, but I'm sure some one expressed some anxiety at some stage. I would.

Between Citizen Kane and Hearst's open lifestyle in Hollywood, everyone in the industry knew and gossip never ends. Which stories do you believe? I like the one about Hearst keeping George Herriman working because Hearst was apparently the only man in the US who liked Krazy Kat. Some things are obvious, like every Hearst movie reviewer liking every Marion Davies movie, but surely every man, woman and child in every Hearst paper knew they were shacked up together. Would you risk your job?

As for the rest of it, after Rome burned, Nero took about a fifth of the city and had it made over into his new palace. He is said to have remarked, on entering it for the first time, "At last I can live like a human being!" I'm sure Hearst felt that way occasionally. I'm not sure they were wrong.

Bob
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 4:59 pm

Actually Davies credits Nick Schenck with giving Arbuckle the directing job on The Red Mill......
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 5:00 pm

drednm wrote:Actually Davies credits Nick Schenck with giving Arbuckle the directing job on The Red Mill......



Another guy everyone hated....

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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 6:33 pm

No mention at all of Arbuckle directing The Red Mill in the Hearst biography in in Guiles' bio of Davies....
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 6:43 pm

drednm wrote:No mention at all of Arbuckle directing The Red Mill in the Hearst biography in in Guiles' bio of Davies....



I don't understand what this indicates to you. Absence of proof is not the same as proof of absence. I have not read Mr. Guiles' biography and have no opinion of how compelling he is in terms of research and mentioning every detail of pillow talk.

Bob
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