Hosted and executive produced by multiple Emmy® and Peabody Award winner Soledad O'Brien, Mysteries and Scandals is a true crime series investigates Hollywood's most intriguing criminals, murders and cases of corruption, exploring infamous headlines that captured the nation's attention using archival footage, new interviews and stylized depictions of past events.
Status: In Development
Runtime: 60 minutes
Mysteries and Scandals - Jean Spangler - Netflix
Jean Elizabeth Spangler (September 2, 1923 – disappeared October 7, 1949) was an American dancer, model, and actress who appeared in bit parts in several Hollywood films in the late 1940s. Born in Seattle, Washington, she attended high school in Los Angeles, California before beginning a career in film in 1948, appearing in several uncredited roles. On the evening of October 7, 1949, Spangler left her home in Los Angeles, telling her sister-in-law that she was going to meet with her ex-husband before going to work as an extra on a film set. She was last seen alive at a grocery store several blocks from her home at approximately 6:00 p.m. Two days later, Spangler's tattered purse was discovered in a remote area of Griffith Park, approximately 5.5 miles (8.9 km) from her home; inside was a letter addressed to a “Kirk,” which mentioned seeing a doctor. Given Spangler's recent work on the film Young Man with a Horn starring Kirk Douglas, he called police to clear his name, telling them he was in Palm Springs at the time, which police accepted. Spangler's disappearance generated various theories, which ranged from her alleged death in a botched abortion to her fleeing with Los Angeles gangsters with whom she was acquainted. To date, no additional evidence has been uncovered in Spangler's case, and her whereabouts remain unknown.
Mysteries and Scandals - Theories and alleged sightings - Netflix
At the time she disappeared, Spangler had recently completed filming a bit part in the film Young Man with a Horn starring Kirk Douglas; this led to public speculation that he was the Kirk mentioned in the note found in her purse. Upon reading about the discovery of the note, Douglas himself called the police and denied that he knew Spangler. Later, when interviewed via telephone by the head of the investigating team, Douglas admitted that he had “talked and kidded with her a bit” on set, but that he had never spent time with her outside of the film production. On October 12, Douglas gave a formal press statement in which he said: “I told Detective Chief Thad Brown that I didn't remember the girl or the name until a friend recalled it was she who worked as an extra in a scene with me in my picture Young Man with a Horn... then I recalled that she was a tall girl in a green dress. I talked and kidded with her a bit on the set...But I never saw her before or after that and have never been out with her.” Spangler's girlfriends told police that she was three months pregnant when she disappeared and that she had talked about having an abortion, which at the time was illegal. Witnesses, who frequented the same nightclubs and bars that Spangler did, told police they had heard of a former medical student known as “Doc,” who performed abortions for money, but police could not locate him, nor prove that he existed. The theory that Spangler disappeared under circumstances related to a botched abortion attempt was investigated by the LAPD. Spangler had also told her friend, actor Robert Cummings, that she was having a casual affair at the time, but did not mention the identity of the man. When Cummings asked her if it was serious, she responded: “No. But I'm having the time of my life.” At the time, some newspapers reported that Spangler was feared to be one of several female victims in a series of killings in Los Angeles, potentially linked to the Black Dahlia murder in 1947. Another theory investigated by police was that Spangler's disappearance was related to Los Angeles gangsters with whom she purportedly was associated. According to historian Jon Lewis in his book Hard-Boiled Hollywood: Crime and Punishment in Postwar Los Angeles, Spangler had worked for a time as a dancer at Florentine Gardens, a nightclub owned by Mark Hansen and Nils Thor Granlund. Lewis claims that her acquaintance with Hansen and Granlund “put her in the orbits” of various mob affiliates, including Anthony Cornero, Abraham “Allen Smiley” Smickoff, Davy Ogul, and Mickey Cohen. Spangler had allegedly been seen with Ogul, an associate of Cohen's, in Palm Springs, as well as in Las Vegas, Nevada with Ogul and Frank Niccoli, another associate of Cohen's. Ogul disappeared on October 9, 1949, two days after Spangler. This led police to investigate the possibility that Spangler and Ogul, who was under indictment for conspiracy, had fled to avoid prosecution. Police interrogated Thomas Ellery Evans, a gangster and acquaintance of Ogul, during their investigation. In April 1950, Spangler's sister Betsy testified that neither she nor her sister were ever acquainted with Ogul, Cohen, or any of his associates. In 1950, a customs agent in El Paso, Texas reported seeing Ogul and a woman who looked like Spangler in a local hotel. The hotel clerk identified Spangler from a photograph, but neither Ogul nor Spangler's names appeared on the hotel register.
Mysteries and Scandals - References - Netflix