The body of Stella Blauvelt, a widow 64 years of age, was found
on the floor of her Los Angeles apartment on July 25, 1944.
Died Preceding Day
The evidence indicated that she died on the afternoon of the
The body was found with the face upward covered with two
lamp cord was wrapped tightly around the neck three times and
tied in a knot.
The medical testimony was that death was caused by
Bruises on the face and hands indicated that the deceased had
been severely beaten before her death.
The evidence is not sufficient to identify him as the
The strongest circumstance tending to so identify the defendant
was the finding of six fingerprints,
each identified by expert testimony
as that of the defendant, spread
over the surface of the
inner door to the garbage
compartment of the
kitchen of the deceased's apartment.
After the murder, this door was found unhinged, leaning against
the kitchen sink.
Counsel for defendant questioned witnesses as to the possibility
of defendant's fingerprints being forged, but the record does
not indicate that any evidence to that effect was uncovered.
Pl - Entrance Theory
The theory of the prosecution was that the murderer gained his
entrance through the garbage compartment,
found the inner door thereof latched from the kitchen side, and
forced the door from its hinges.
To be admissible, evidence must tend to prove a material issue
in the light of human experience.
Pl - Stocking Evidence
Tops of 3 stockings were identified as being taken from the Df -
They were not all the same color.
At the end of each stocking, part of the stocking was removed
and a knot was tied.
There was evidence that on the day of the murder deceased had
been wearing stockings.
The lower part of a silk stocking with the top part torn off was
found lying on the floor under the body
The stocking tops found in the defendants dresser were relevant
to identify the defendant because their presence on his dresser
and in drawer.
This tends to indentify the Df as the person who removed the
stockings from the victim and took away the top of one and the
whole of another.
Although the presence of the stocking tops in the defendants
room was NOT by itself sufficient to
identify the defendant as the criminal,
this constitutes as the logical link
in the chain of evidence.
Thrown light on a disputed fact
Evidence that tends to throw light on a fact in dispute may be