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Taylorology
A Continuing Exploration of the Life and Death of William Desmond Taylor
By Bruce Long

This mirror site is available on the Silent Era website by permission of Bruce Long.
Unless otherwise indicated, all material in the Taylorology section of this website may be freely redistributed.


William Desmond Taylor
 

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Below is the contents list for issues of Taylorology, with an electronic link to each issue. The publication centered on the unsolved 1922 murder of silent film director William Desmond Taylor, but there is reprinted material on, and interviews with, other silent stars including Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, Mabel Normand, Olive Thomas, Blanche Sweet, William S. Hart, Lillian Gish, Harold Lloyd, Rudolph Valentino, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow, and many others.

If you are totally unfamiliar with the Taylor case and would like a general introduction, read “I Know Who Killed Desmond Taylor” in Taylorology 50 or, for those more visually inclined, read Rick Geary’s graphic novel Famous Players: The Mysterious Death of William Desmond Taylor.

If you think the book A Cast of Killers (1986 edition) is accurate, you may find Taylorology 65 of particular interest. Most of the historical errors were corrected or qualified in the Twentieth Anniversary Edition.

If the links below are not working, or are only partially loading, Taylorology can also be obtained here. Unless otherwise indicated, all material in the Taylorology section of this website may be freely redistributed.

 
 
Taylorology Issues
 
Latest Issue
 

Taylorology 4
A Few Murder Suspects
Fragments from Taylor’s Life
Suggested Reading
“The Humor of a Hollywood Murder”:
Foreword (by Kevin Brownlow), Introduction, Prelude, Bon Mots

Taylorology 5
The Connette Episode
Deposition by Leslie Henry
“The Humor of a Hollywood Murder” Part 2:
Wild Hollywood Parties—Fact or Fiction?, William Desmond Taylor

Taylorology 6
Why Taylor’s Servant Thought Mabel Normand was the Killer
1929 Interview with Charlotte Shelby
“The Humor of a Hollywood Murder” Part 3:
Mabel’s Reading Matter, The Funeral, The Investigation, The Law
Index to A Cast of Killers

Taylorology 7
The Case Against Thomas Dixon
Fragments from the Police File
“The Humor of a Hollywood Murder” Part 4:
Love Letters, Frozen Horror, Untamed Hollywood,
Frank Mayo vs. The Press, Tall Tales #1: Walter Underwood

Taylorology 8
Wallace Smith: February 8, 1922
“The Humor of a Hollywood Murder” Part 5:
Doug and Mary Run the Gauntlet; The Fourth Estate;
Tall Tales #2: Harry Fields; Psychic Visions

Taylorology 9
Mary Miles Minter vs. American Film Co.
“The Humor of a Hollywood Murder” Part 6:
Evil Hollywood, Hollywood Treads Softly, Editorial Contemplations

Taylorology 10
25 Flashes of Mabel Normand
“The Humor of a Hollywood Murder” Part 7:
The Kidnapping of Henry Peavey; Odds & Ends;
Tall Tales #3: The Atlantic City Confession

Taylorology 11
“Hollywood Mysteries”—Shredded
“The Humor of a Hollywood Murder” Part 8:
Confessions, Confessions; Poetry Potpourri; The Public Speaks;
Epilogue: August 1923

Taylorology 12
Time-Life’s “Unsolved Crimes”—Bravo!
Did a Canadian Army Veteran Kill Taylor?
Charlotte Shelby’s Last Two Interviews (1937)
Interview with Mary Miles Minter (1937)
Wallace Smith: February 10, 1922
“The Truth About Hollywood”:
Part 1 [A brief tour of 1922 Hollywood]

Taylorology 13
“The Truth About Hollywood”:
Part 2 [Drugs, Alcohol and Sexual Morality]
Part 3 [What Happens to a New Girl in Hollywood?]
Part 4 [Brief Tour of Some Hollywood Studios]

Taylorology 14
March 1926: Cyclone Around Keyes
“The Truth About Hollywood”:
Part 5 [How Much Do the Stars Earn?]

Taylorology 15
William T. Sherman, Guest Editor:
Some Responses to a Number of Points Made in Taylorology
In Defense of Mabel Normand
The Issue of Peavey’s Credibility
The Credibility of Howard Fellows’ Testimony
The Time Element Problem
Evidence for a Cover-Up
Summaries of the Cases Against Charlotte Shelby and Carl Stockdale

Taylorology 16
William T. Sherman, Guest Editor:
Some Glimpses of The Shelby Family Caught Up in The Taylor Case
“The Mystery of the Movie Director” by Sidney Sutherland
A Look at the Character of D.A. Thomas Lee Woolwine & His Administration

Taylorology 17
The Return of Ellery Queen and Erle Stanley Gardner
Allegations that Henry Peavey Murdered Taylor
When Did Mary Miles Minter Learn of Taylor’s Death?
Flashes of Margaret Shelby
Wallace Smith: February 11, 1922

Taylorology 18
Adela Rogers St. Johns:
Eulogy, Apology, Psychology, Mythology

Taylorology 19
The Case Against Edward Sands:
Who was Sands?
Items Suggesting Sands Was the Killer
Sands' Sexuality
Was Sands the Person Seen by Faith MacLean?
Was Robbery an Element of the Murder Motive?
Strange Phone Calls Received by Taylor
Conclusions Regarding Sands
Wallace Smith: February 14, 1922

Taylorology 20
Mini-Reviews: Munn and Martinez
Did James Kirkwood Kill Taylor?
Hollywood Social Events 1914-1922
Wallace Smith: February 15, 1922

Taylorology 21
The Last Day of Taylor’s Life
Wallace Smith: February 16, 1922
“Has Mabel Normand Solved the Taylor Murder?”

Taylorology 22
The 1937 Grand Jury Investigation
Statements by Carl Stockdale
Where was Adolph Zukor on February 2, 1922?
Interviews with Julia Crawford Ivers
Who was the Drug-Addicted Scenario Writer?
What was the Real Name of Mary Miles Minter?
The Path of the Fatal Bullet
Wallace Smith: February 20, 1922

Taylorology 23
“The Colorful and Romantic Story of Wm. D. Taylor’s Remarkable Life”
Wallace Smith: February 21, 1922

Taylorology 24
Contemporary Reviews of Films Directed by William Desmond Taylor
Sources for More Information about Taylor’s Films

Taylorology 25
The Court-Martial of Edward Sands
Wallace Smith: February 22, 1922

Taylorology 26
Review: New Book on Mabel Normand
Juanita Hansen, Part I
Wallace Smith: February 23, 1922

Taylorology 27
Juanita Hansen, Part II
Wallace Smith: February 24, 1922

Taylorology 28
Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle

Taylorology 29
Taylor’s ‘Lost Years’ — 1908-1912
Wallace Smith: February 25, 1922

Taylorology 30
“The Sins of Hollywood: An Expose of Movie Vice”

Taylorology 31
Douglas and Faith MacLean
Wallace Smith: February 27, 1922

Taylorology 32
Interviews with Mary Miles Minter: The Taylor Years
Wallace Smith: February 28, 1922

Taylorology 33
The Life and Death of Olive Thomas

Taylorology 34
The Dispatches of Richard Burritt

Taylorology 35
Testimony of Charlotte Shelby
Testimony of Leslie Henry

Taylorology 36
Ray Frohman Interviews:
Charlie Chaplin, Dorothy Gish, Louise Glaum, William S. Hart, Ruth Roland, Blanche Sweet, Clara Kimball Young

Taylorology 37
Mary Miles Minter in Hawaii
Mary Miles Minter Moves Out
Minter and Chaplin

Taylorology 38
Silent Films of Taylor’s Associates on Home Video
Wallace Reid, Part I

Taylorology 39
Woolwine’s Statement Regarding Mary Miles Minter
Wallace Reid, Part II

Taylorology 40
Taylor in the British Army
Personal Appearances by Silent Stars in the Weeks after the Murder:
Monte Blue, Hobart Bosworth, Francis X. Bushman and Beverly Bayne, Mary Carr, Lew Cody, Viola Dana, Miss DuPont, Elsie Ferguson, Pauline Frederick, Hoot Gibson, Lillian Gish, Mildred Harris, Hazel Howell, Louise Lovely, May McAvoy, Martha Mansfield, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Marie Prevost, Herbert Rawlinson, Will Rogers, Ruth Roland, Gladys Walton, Claire Windsor

Taylorology 41
The Casting Couch and Sexual Harassment in Early Hollywood
Leslie Henry’s Suicide Plan

Taylorology 42
“Mabel Normand’s Own Life Story!”

Taylorology 43
“Untold Tales of Hollywood”

Taylorology 44
“Untold Tales of Hollywood” (conclusion)

Taylorology 45
Interviews with Taylor’s Ex-Wife
Mabel Normand on the Witness Stand:
Testimony at the William Desmond Taylor Inquest
Testimony at the Horace Greer Hearing
Testimony at the Horace Greer Trial

Taylorology 46
Flashes of Charlie Chaplin

Taylorology 47
The Photoplayers’ Club

Taylorology 48
Kathlyn Williams

Taylorology 49
The Screenwriters Defend Hollywood in the Murder Aftermath:
Gertrude Atherton, Beulah Marie Dix, Elinor Glyn, Frances Harmer, Rupert Hughes, William Parker, Louis Sherwin, Rob Wagner, Frank Woods and Thompson Buchanan, Waldemar Young

Taylorology 50
“I Know Who Killed Desmond Taylor”

Taylorology 51
Charlie Chaplin Interview from 1916
Anita Loos

Taylorology 52
William Desmond Taylor’s Words:
Articles Written by Taylor
Comments Attributed to Taylor

Taylorology 53
Louella Parsons Interviews with Actors:
Monte Blue, Douglas Fairbanks, George Fawcett, Robert Harron, Sessue Hayakawa, Houdini, Harold Lloyd, Tom Mix, Wallace Reid, Ben Turpin, Rudolph Valentino

Taylorology 54
Mabel Normand Here and There

Taylorology 55
Interviews with Mary Pickford
Taylor Case Errors in Forbidden Lovers

Taylorology 56
Taylor/Minter Film Available on Home Video
Reporting the Taylor Murder: Day One

Taylorology 57
Antonio Moreno

Taylorology 58
Minter and Shelby in Paris
In Defense of Charlotte Shelby
“The Tragic Life Story of Mabel Normand”
Interviews with Taylor’s Sister-in-Law
Mary Miles Minter and Broken Blossoms
Two Interviews with Mary Pickford

Taylorology 59
Richard Willis:
William Desmond Taylor’s First Hollywood Interview
Poetic Eulogy for Taylor
More Interviews by Richard Willis:
Carlyle Blackwell, Mona Darkfeather, Hobart Bosworth, Adele Lane, D.W. Griffith, Lillian and Dorothy Gish, Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley

Taylorology 60
Reporting the Taylor Murder: Day Two

Taylorology 61
Reporting the Taylor Murder: Day Three
Mary Miles Minter: The Pre-Taylor Years

Taylorology 62
Reporting the Taylor Murder: Day Four
Who’s Who in the Taylor Case
Clara Beranger Comments on “The World’s Applause”

Taylorology 63
Louella Parsons Interviews with Actresses:
Beverly Bayne, Betty Blythe, Clara Bow, Marguerite Clark, Elsie Ferguson, Dorothy Gish, Juanita Hansen, Osa Johnson, Alice Joyce, Mae Marsh, Violet Mersereau, Alma Rubens, Gloria Swanson, Blanche Sweet, Alice Terry

Taylorology 64
Mabel Normand and ‘Goldwyn’
Another Taylor Film on Home Video?
In Print: “The Big Book of Scandal!”
Reporting the Taylor Murder: Day Five
Hollywood Studio Production During the Week of Taylor’s Murder
Photoplay Editions of Taylor’s Films

Taylorology 65
175 Errors and Contradictions in A Cast of Killers

Taylorology 66
Interviews with Edna Purviance
Reporting the Taylor Murder: Day Six

Taylorology 67
Louella Parsons Interviews with Directors:
J. Stuart Blackton, Herbert Brenon, William de Mille, Abel Gance, D.W. Griffith, Ralph Ince, Rex Ingram, Ernst Lubitsch, Fred Niblo, John S. Robertson, Victor Seastrom

Taylorology 68
Six Interviews with Buster Keaton
Reporting the Taylor Murder: Day Seven

Taylorology 69
Retraction: The Drug-Addicted Scenario Writer
Henry Peavey Accuses Mabel Normand
Testimony of Margaret Shelby Fillmore
Letter from Marjorie Berger to Mary Miles Minter
Public Response to the Taylor Murder
Mabel Normand and the Police Gazette
Reporting the Taylor Murder: Day Eight

Taylorology 70
Review: Mysteries & Scandals
Jeanie Macpherson

Taylorology 71
Drugs in Early Hollywood
The Death of Zelda Crosby
Reporting the Taylor Murder: Day Nine

Taylorology 72
Flashes of Charlie Chaplin, Part II

Taylorology 73
Taylor’s Tom Sawyer on Home Video
Review: Death in Paradise
Mabel Normand Here and There, Part II
“The Indiscretions of a Star”

Taylorology 74
Fragments of Taylor in Hollywood
Fifteen Years After the Murder: Mary Miles Minter Speaks
Gossip from “Capt. Billy’s Whiz Bang”
The Mishawum Manor Scandal
Statement by Lowell Sherman Regarding the Arbuckle Party
A Dictionary of Flapper Slang
“The Jinx on Mabel”

Taylorology 75
Errors in Fallen Angels
Capt. Edward A. Salisbury

Taylorology 76
Mary Miles Minter Here and There

Taylorology 77
Maurice Tourneur

Taylorology 78
Contemporary Reviews of Films Directed by William Desmond Taylor, Part II

Taylorology 79
Contemporary Reviews of Films Directed by William Desmond Taylor, Part III

Taylorology 80
Blanche Sweet

Taylorology 81
Review: Balboa Films
Balboa Films: Response from the Authors
Charlotte Shelby’s 1929 Statement
Mary Miles Minter’s ‘Engagement’ to William Desmond Taylor
Reporting the Taylor Murder: Day Ten

Taylorology 82
Mabel Normand in Photoplayers Weekly
Fragments from Official 1922 Statements: Fellows, Dumas, Maigne
The Federal Trade Commission vs. Famous Players-Lasky
Rudolph Valentino Characterizes Charles Eyton
Affidavit Filed by Charles Eyton Regarding Rudolph Valentino

Taylorology 83
Suzanna on Home Video
Mack Sennett

Taylorology 84
Margaret Gibson’s Deathbed Confession:
“I Killed William Desmond Taylor!”

Taylorology 85
James Bean’s Theory Regarding Taylor’s Killer
Rumors, ‘Solutions,’ and Strange Reports
William Desmond Taylor’s Injuries
Why Margaret Gibson Changed Her Screen Name
Margaret Gibson Arrested for Extortion
More Thoughts Regarding Margaret Gibson
Additional Comments on Margaret Gibson by Ray Long
Letter from Margaret Gibson’s Husband

Taylorology 86
Reporting the Taylor Murder: Days 11 and 12
Fan Magazines React to the Taylor Case

Taylorology 87
Contemporary Editorials Discussing the Taylor Case

Taylorology 88
Some Errors in A&E’s City Confidential
Herb Howe’s Last Article about Mabel Normand
May Rupp’s Accusation
Taylor Fighting Censorship
Flashes of Neva Gerber
More Gossip from “Capt. Billy’s Whiz Bang”
D.W. Griffith Comments on the Taylor Case

Taylorology 89
Gareth Hughes
James Kirkwood

Taylorology 90
Taylor the Actor: Vitagraph Film Plots
Don Osborn
The First Fictionalization of the Taylor Murder
Injury and Illness in 1914 Hollywood
“Perfect Crimes? Nickell/Taylor” by Ray Long

Taylorology 91
Marguerite Clark

Taylorology 92
Thomas Ince

Taylorology 93
Interviews with Actors and Actresses Directed by Taylor:
Ethel Clayton, Dustin Farnum, Elsie Ferguson, May McAvoy,
Jack Pickford, Theodore Roberts and Myrtle Stedman

Taylorology 94
Did Drug Gangsters Kill Taylor?
“Filming the Great Idea”

Taylorology 95
The Motion Picture Directors’ Association

Taylorology 96
Alvarado Court: The 1920 Census
Taylor’s Activities in the Week Prior to His Death
Interview with George Lasher
A Visit to the Favorite Players Studio
Itinerary of the Fanny Davenport Troupe during the Taylor Years
E-Mail Bouquets from Taylorology Readers

Taylorology 97
Three Documents from the Police File

Taylorology 98
Was William Desmond Taylor a Drug Pusher?
Did Antonio Moreno Hear the Fatal Shot?
When Did Mabel Normand First Return to the Murder Scene?
The NAACP and the Taylor Case
The Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill and the Taylor Case
Were Taylor and Robert W. Service Roommates?
Why Were Minter’s Love Letters Given to the Newspapers?
Eulogy Fragments

Taylorology 99
Robert P. Shuler

Taylorology 100
Twisted by Knaves
“What I Think of Mary Miles Minter” by Jeanie Macpherson
The 1929/30 Flare-Up of the Taylor Case
Mary Miles Minter vs. CBS


William Desmond Taylor
 

Nonfiction Books

W.D. Taylor: A Dossier
A Cast of Killers
A Deed of Death
Murder in Hollywood
Famous Players

 

A Work in Progress

Updates to this site will be announced in the William Desmond Taylor discussion group on Facebook.

 

Bruce’s Scrapbook

Making of a Taylorologist
Publicity
Acknowledgement Bowl

 

Recommended Links

Aimesley Jordan

 

 

Email Bruce Long: bruce@asu.edu

 

 
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