Timeline: The Disappearance of Jean Spangler

Timeline: The Disappearance of Jean Spangler

September 2 1923

Jean Elizabeth Spangler is born in Seattle, Washington

1941

Graduates from Franklin High School, Highland Park, Los Angeles

June 1942

Marries Dexter Benner. Jean asks for a divorce within six month of their marriage, citing cruelty. They stay together for four years

April 22 1944

Dexter and Jean’s daughter, Christine Louise Benner is born

1945

Dexter goes to serve in the war, Jean begins a relationship with a Lieutenant Scott. They briefly live together and talk about marriages, but she leaves him after he beats her and threatens to kill her

1946

Dexter and Jean divorce. He gets custody of Christine partly due to her infidelity. He claims she “preferred parties to priorities”

1946-1949

Jean works as a dancer at Florentine Gardens and Earl Carrol Theatre, and also as a movie and television extra. She signs up to become a member of Screen Extras’ Guild

August 13, 1948

Jean is awarded custody of her and Dexter’s five-year-old daughter, Christine. She moves into a two bedroom apartment with her daughter and mother at 6216 Colgate Avenue, in the La Brea neighbourhood of Los Angeles

June 1949

Spotted at Ciro’s on a night out with Ronald Reagan

October 1949

Spotted in Palm Springs with Mickey Cohen associate Dave Ogul. Jean also tells actor Robert Cumminhs she has a new romance. She appears very happy. According to later reports, the secret romance was with writer Peter Brooks

October 7 – 5-5.30pm

Jean, cheerful and in good health, leaves her apartment on Colgate Avenue, telling her sister-in-law Sophie she is going to meet her ex-husband at his house for unpaid child support, and later, to work on movie shoot. Police later find out from Central Casting corporation and the Screen Extras Guild that Jean had not been called for work Friday night. Her ex-husband, when questioned the following week, says he has not seen Jean for about a month

October 7 – 6pm

Jean is seen at the Farmer’s market at Third and Fairfax, not far from her home. According to the clerk, she was there for a couple of hours, browsing and appearing to be waiting for someone

October 7 – 7pm

Jean calls Sophie to say she will return home later

October 7– 10-10.30pm

A friend of Jean sees her eating hot dogs with a “clean-cut, young man” in front of a Vine St. market. “She didn’t appear distraught or upset,” he told police, adding he had been introduced to the man but couldn’t remember his name

October 8

A newsboy sees Jean outside the Cheesebox restaurant at Sunset and Laurel Canyon Blvd early morning October 8

October 8 – 1.30am

Jean is seen at the front table at the Cheesebox. According to manager Terry Taylor, Jean was sitting with a tall, “neat appearing” man around 30-35-years-old with dark hair

October 8 – 2.30am

Jean is seen arguing with two men at the Cheesebox by an employee. She is now seated at a different table

October 8 – earning morning

Service station attendant Art Rodgers sees a blue-grey convertible, carrying a man and a woman who looks like Jean, pulling into his station near Sunset Strip. The man ordered gas, saying they were going to Fresno. Rodgers said the girl was shrinking into her seat, but as they drove off she cried “Have the police follow this car!” After the convertible sped off, Rodgers called police, who were unable to find it

October – morning

Ex-husband, plastic manufacturer Dexter Benne, arrives at Colgate Avenue to pick up their daughter for her regular weekend visit with him

October 8

Sister-in-law files missing person report

October 8 – 6pm-10pm

Jean’s purse is dropped at the Fern Dell entrance of Griffith Park. According to park attendant Henry Anger, who found it, this was the only time the purse could have been left at that spot

October 9 – 9am

A man says he saw Jean with a man in a Fresno bar, according to him, she remarked, “What a tough night I’ve had!” This sighting was dismissed

October 9

Purse found at Fern Dell entrance of Griffith Park, about ten feet off the road, by attendant Henry Anger

October 10

Jean’s previous date Davy Ogul disappears

October 11

Three waitresses at a drive-in restaurant in Monterey claims they saw Jean having lunch with a dark, heavy-set man, before heading towards San Francisco

October 12

Movie star Kirk Douglas questioned by police. They decide he is not involved in Jean’s disappearance. A man claims he saw Jean at a bus depot in Stockton, “She had dark circles under her eyes and wore a plain print dress”

October 13

A 13-year-old schoolgirl and a friend of Jean, claims she saw the missing woman looking nervous and frightened in a big sedan with an older looking man in North Hollywood. Las Vegas gambler Tomas Evans, arrested for robbery, is questioned about the disappearance of Jean and Mimi Boomhower, a Bel Air widow who had gone missing August 19. Rumour had it Evans had been seen with Mimi at a hotel bar. Police decide he is not involved.

October 18

Police, after having found no clues of her whereabouts, announce they believe Jean is alive and missing of her own volition while “recovering from an illness that she wishes kept secret.” They say they will give her until the end of the week to reappear, and if she does not, proceed on the assumption she is dead

October 27

Custody of Christine is awarded temporarily to Dexter Benner. Florence Spangler is granted visitation rights

September 1950

Micky Cohen is questioned about his recent visit to Texas. Was he looking for Ogul, Niccoli and Jean? He laughs it off, and as media interest in Jean Spangler slows down, so does the sightings

1950

Dexter Benner is given a five-day suspended jail sentence for contempt of court, after not allowing Christine see her maternal grandmother

April 1953

Dexter Benner is sentenced to 15 days in jail for contempt of court, after failing to allow Christine see her maternal grandmother. Dexter flees with Christine and wife to Florida, never to return to California

March 9 1962

Jean’s father, Martin dies

July 13 1991

Jean’s mother, Florence dies

May 7 2007

Dexter Benner dies in Florida, leaving his wife of 63 years, Lynn and daughters Christine, Kimberly and Julia

Episode Forty-Four: Marjorie West / Annandale Jane Doe

Episode Forty-Four: Marjorie West / Annandale Jane Doe

Episode Forty-Three: Jean Spangler

Episode Forty-Three: Jean Spangler