Police Report On George deMohrenschildt's Death
Sheriff's Office Palm Beach County
Disposition Cleared By Exceptionally
1. Type of Crime death investigation (suicide)
2. Code 9545
3. Grid Code 12500
4. Date 3/29/77
5. Day of week Tuesday
6. Weather Clear
7. Case No. 77-11753
8. Occurred at 1780 South Ocean Boulevard Manalapan, Florida
9. Unit tag number 1220
10. Zone C-1
11. Deputy No. 5104
12. Time Disp. 1455
13. Time Arr 15:20
14. Time Comp 03/30/77 @ 03:00
15. Assistant Manalapan P.D.
16. Resident or non-res. Non-resident
17. Police Agency on scene Manalapan Police Department
18. Name of Officer Patrolman Don McBride
19. Phone 585-4078
20. S.O. Investigating Office Det. Thomas Neighbors
21. I.D. No. 5104
22. Full Name of Deceased George deMohrenschildt
23. Street Address 2737 Kings Road, Apartment #142 Dallas, Texas
24. Previous Address Business Address: Bishop College 3837 Simpson-Stuart Road Dallas, Texas
25. Age 65
26. Date of Birth 04-17-11
27. Race White
28. (Other) n/r
29. Sex Male
30. Height 6'1"
31. Weight 180#
32. Hair Brown
33. Eyes Blue
34. Where Body Found Upstairs hallway of 1780 South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan, Florida
35. By Whom Alexandra deMohrenschildt
36. Address 158 Villa Lengine Mexico City, Mexico
37. Bus. phone None
38. Res phone n/r
39. Related yes--daughter
40. Inv. Officer viewed body at Same as block #8
41. Body I.D. by Same as block #35
42. Body Photographed by Det. Gary Green/PBSO
43. Body Fingerprinted by Det. Gary Green/PBSO
44. Ambulance Company Scobee-Combs Funeral Home
45. Attendants Don Combs Mike Bowden
46. Body Examined by Dr. Gabino Cuevas
47. Where Bethesda Memorial Hospital/morgue
48. Date 03-30-77
49. Time 1300 hours
50. Medical History of Deceased Victim had history of mental depression. On 11-09-76, his wife had him committed to a mental institution and listed four previous suicide attempts in a notarized affidavit.
51. Last Doctor to Examine Deceased Prior to Death Unknown
52. Address n/a
53. Phone n/a
54. Date n/a
55. Autopsy Unknown
56. Name of Medical Examiner Dr. Gabino Cuevas
57. Date 03-30-77
58. Cause of Death Gunshot to the brain
59. Body Released to Scobee-Combs Funeral Home
60. Address 1622 N. E. 4th Street Boynton Beach, Florida
61. Date 03-30-77
62. Body Interred cremation
63. Nearest Relative Jeanne deMohrenschildt
64. Address 2737 Kings Road, Apt. #142 Dallas, Texas
65. Phone 213-363-6889
66. Relationship Wife
67. Disposition of Personal Property of Deceased Personal papers and documents by this department
68. Witness Name None
69. Address n/r
70. Res. Phone n/r
71. Bus. Phone n/r
72. Reporting Deputy's Signature Det. Thomas Neighbors/lea
73. Crime Scene Tech Called Yes: Det. Sgt. Ben Green and Det. Gary T. Green
74. State TWX MSG. No [blank]
Local TWX MSG. No. n/r
75. N.C.I.C. No
At approximately 1455 hours, 29 March, 1977, this writer received a telephone call from Det. Sgt. Louie Lee, Officer In Charge of the Delray Beach Sub-station Detective Bureau, requesting this writer's presence at 1780 South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan, Florida, regarding a shooting death at that location. Upon arrival at 1520 hours, this writer encountered Sgt. Lee, Gary Green, of the PBSO Crime Scene Unit, Chief Ralph Meadows of the Manalapan Police Department, and one of his officers, Donald McBride. From the Manalapan officers it was learned that they had received a call, at 1445 hours, to respond to the above address regarding a shooting. Upon their arrival, they were directed to the second floor of the residence; where, the deceased was found in a small hallway at the south end of the home. The scene was secured, after first determining that the victim was, indeed, dead; and this department was notified.
This writer examined the scene with Det. Gary Green and observed the victim slumped over in a high-backed chair in the southwest corner of the hallway. His head was facing downward, and blood quite prominently was dripping from his mouth in large amounts and accumulating on the floor below. The head was painting in a northerly direction; and the feet, both of which were touching the floor, were pointed in a somewhat northeasterly direction. The deceased was dressed in a blue, long-sleeve, turtle-neck sweater; white long pants and dark stockings. Lying across the left foot was a double-barrel shotgun, lying with the barrel pointing in a southeasterly direction. The scene was turned over to Detective Gary Green for photographing and processing (refer to his supplementary report to this case number for details of his investigation).
Also present in the house at the time of this investigation were MRS. NANCY TILTON, owner of the residence; MISS ALEXANDRA deMOHRENSCHILDT, daughter of the deceased; MISS KATHERINE LOOMIS, a friend of Alexandra deMohrenschildt and house guest of Mrs. Tilton; and MR. COLEY WIMBLEY, who is the live-in yard man at the residence.
The victim's room, which adjoined the hallway, was searched, and a brown attache case was found in a chair on the north side of the room. In the case were numerous personal papers belonging to the deceased and identifying him as GEORGE deMOHRENSCHILDT, a Professor at Bishop College, in Dallas, Texas. Also found in the case was a two- page personal affidavit which indicated it was written on March 11, 1977, in Brussels, Belgium, which made reference to his friendship with LEE HARVEY OSWALD, who assassinated President John F. Kennedy, in Dallas, Texas, on 22 November, 1963. Found in the deceased's pants pocket was newspaper article from the March 20, 1977 edition of the Dallas Morning News, which indicated that the deceased may possibly have been involved in, or have knowledge of, some type of conspiracy in the above-mentioned assassination. This, coupled with the fact that an investigator from the U. S. House of Representatives Committee on Assassinations had been at the residence earlier looking for the victim, indicated to this writer that the death of this individual could possibly be of major importance. Lt. Richard Sheet, was, thus, notified by Sgt. Lee of the nature of this case; and he responded to the scene with Det. Sgt. Ben Green, and Det. John Skebe to supervise and assist in the investigation.
Based on documents found in the victim's attache case, it was learned that the victim was born in Russia, on April 17, 1911. He was educated in Europe and America and held a Doctorate Degree in Economics. He was last employed as an Assistant Professor of foreign languages at Bishop College, in Dallas, Texas. He was a world traveler and apparently an unofficial advisor to several foreign governments. The part of his life which arouses the most interest and notoriety is his reputed friendship, in 1962 and 1963, with LEE HARVEY OSWALD and his wife, MARINA OSWALD, prior to the assassination; and there has been much reported speculation by government agencies and the press that he had involvement in the assassination plot.
After interviewing all of the above individuals, the following sequence of events leading up to the victim's death was determined. It should be noted at the outset that the exact moment of death and time sequences afterwards have been established by a taped recording of a television show which was taking place in the room adjacent to the hallway in which the victim met his demise. Further references to that taped recording and details of it will be outlined in narrative elsewhere in this report: The victim arrived in West Palm Beach, Florida, on the evening of 16 March, 1977, from New York City, after having returned from a business trip to Belgium. He arrived at the Grey Hound bus station in that city and was met there by Mrs. Tilton and Miss Loomis. His only baggage, apparently, was a green attache case and a few articles of clothing. He was taken to Mrs. Tilton's ocean-side home; where, he was reunited with his daughter, Alexandra. From that time up until 29 March, 1977, the victim seemed to enjoy his leisure and prepared for his up-coming meeting with a writer, named EDWARD EPSTEIN, in Palm Beach, on 29 March, 1977. On that date, he arose, at approximately 0720 hours, dressed, and went to the kitchen, at 0730 hours; where, the cook, Miss Romanic, fed him a light breakfast of toast and coffee. He then was seen taking a short walk on the beach, then went for a short ride in his rented car, which he had received from Mr. Epstein, after making brief contact with him on the previous day in Palm Beach. He returned to the house, but he stayed only for a short period of time, then departed for his appointment with Mr. Epstein at the Breakers Hotel, in Palm Beach. There he discussed an article which Mr. Epstein was writing and for which the victim was to receive Four Thousand Dollar ($4,000.00) from Reader's Digest, about the Kennedy assassination; but the discussion at this first of what was expected to be several meetings centered mainly on the victim's early life and war years. During this time, between 1000 hours and 1100 hours, an investigator for the House Committee on Assassinations, named GAETON FONZI, appeared at the Tilton residence inquiring about the victim and his whereabouts. Mr. Fonzi left after speaking with Alexandra deMohrenschildt and saying that he would return at a later time to see her father.
The interview at the Breakers Hotel was terminated after noon, and the victim promised to return later that day, at 1500 hours, to continue the conversation. He returned to the Tilton residence and ate a light lunch in the kitchen, at approximately 1245 hours. After lunch, the victim's daughter informed him, in Spanish, apparently so that the house maid and cook who were also present would not understand, that investigator Fonzi found him and wished to speak to him. The news apparently upset the victim, and he went upstairs to his room after bidding good-bye to his daughter and her friend, Katherine Loomis, who went shopping, at roughly 1330 hours.
Mrs. Tilton had left the house at noon and drove to a card- playing appointment with several friends in Palm Beach, and she did not see the victim at all on the day of his death. Prior to her leaving, she instructed her maid, ANNA VIISOLA, to place her cassette tape recorder near the television in her bedroom and record two of her favorite day time serials, so that when she returned she could listen to the tape recording and be able to follow the story line. This is the tape recording referred to earlier in this narrative which was helpful in establishing the time of death.
Prior to 1400 hours, Mrs. Viisola went to Mrs. Tilton's bedroom on the second floor and was doing some housework when the victim came out of his room and complained of hearing scratching noises and suspected that a cat, of which there are none in the household, was responsible for the noises. The maid searched the second floor briefly, concluded that the victim was hearing things, and continued with her work. Roughly at 1415 hours, that tape cassette ran out and was switched over to side two by the maid, who then went downstairs, leaving the victim in his room. He apparently left his room, walked the short distance down the hallway to Mrs. Tilton's room, and removed a double-barrel, .20-gauge shotgun from its resting place beside her bed, along with two live .20-gauge shotgun shells form a night stand which also was beside the bed. He then walked out of the bedroom, turned to his left and entered a small hallway off the main hallway in which there was a chair and a chest of drawers. The victim loaded the weapon, sat in the chair, placed the barrel in his mouth, and pulled the trigger, at 1421 hours, thus, discharging the weapon at an upward angle through the roof of his mouth and into his brain. The shot went unheard by Mrs. Viisola, who was working in the kitchen below, as well as by Miss Romanic, who was sunning herself in the back yard; and by the gardener, Coley Wimbley, who also was at the rear of the house in the garden.
The victim's daughter and her friend returned to the Tilton residence, at 1435 hours, from their brief shopping trip. They entered the house, at 1437 hours, and Miss deMohrenschildt went upstairs to give her father some toilet articles which she had purchased for him. At 1439 hours, she discovered his body and summoned the help of the rest of the household, who notified the Manalapan Police Department.
This writer interviewed the house maid, White female, ANNA VIISOLA (DOB: 07-08-17), who lives at 3000 Lake Osborne Drive, Lake Worth, Florida (telephone 588-4228). She stated that on the date of the incident she arrived at work, at approximately 1245 hours. At that time, she found the victim seated at the kitchen table eating lunch, which comprised of three pieces of toast and cup of coffee. At that time, the victim's daughter was also present, and she conversed with her father in Spanish, a language of which Mrs. Viisola has no comprehension or fluency. The conversation appeared to upset the victim, but she could not tell to what extent, due to the foreign language used in the conversation.
At approximately 1330 hours, the victim went to his room and laid on the bed and read a book. Mrs. Viisola has started taping a television soap opera for Mrs. Tilton in her room and was performing household chores on the second floor. During that time, she saw the victim from time to time and spoke briefly to him about some shirts she was washing for him and answered his question regarding whether the "girls" were home, obviously referring to his daughter and her friend; and he was described at that time as being quite polite and calm. However, several minutes later, prior to 1400 hours, the victim entered Mrs. Tilton's bedroom and questioned Mrs. Viisola about a scratching sound which apparently annoyed him. He speculated that it was a cat, which there are none in the Tilton residence, and he began to pace up and down the long main hallway, calling for a cat.
Mrs. Viisola did not argue with him about the impossibility of there being a cat in the house and went downstairs via the elevator after turning the tape cassette to side two, at around 1415 hours. At the time of the cat-scratching incident, Mrs. Viisola felt that the victim was not behaving normally and was, in her own words, slightly mad. Mrs. Viisola went to the kitchen, spoke with Miss Romanic there and did not hear the gun discharge on the second floor. At roughly 1435 hours, the victim's daughter and her girlfriend returned from their shopping trip, and Mrs. Viisolas was asked where the victim was. She replied that he was upstairs and it was when Alexandra deMohrenschildt went to her father's room that she discovered the body and screamed for Mrs. Viisola.
During the time between when she last saw the victim alive and the time his body was discovered, Mrs. Viisola did not see or hear anything suspicious or out of the ordinary. She did not see any strangers in or around the residence and did not have reason to suspect that someone had entered the house without her knowing it (It should be noted that all doors and windows are equipped with an alarm system and if any door or window is opened, there is an audible beep which is heard throughout the house.)
This writer next spoke with White female, LILLIAN ROMANIC (DOB: 09-15-21), who is the cook for Mrs. Tilton, and lives in a small room at the south end of the residence, off the kitchen. She stated that on the day of the incident, she arose, at around 0700 hours, dressed, and went into the kitchen to begin breakfast. At 0730 hours, she fed the victim his breakfast and saw him drive away in his rental car for a few minutes and then return. He left for a short while after that for his appointment in Palm Beach and returned some time after noon. He ate a light lunch in the kitchen and she witnessed the conversation between the victim and his daughter, referred to by Mrs. Viisola above.
After serving lunch, Miss Romanic drove to Lantana, Florida, and conducted some business at the U.S. Post Office there. She returned home, encountered Anna Viisola in the kitchen, but spoke to her only briefly, then went to her room, changed into her bathing suit and went into the back yard to sun herself. It is estimated that during this time is when the victim met his death; yet, Miss Romanic did not hear the shot and did not know that anything had happened until later when the victim was discovered by his daughter. Miss Romanic did not observe any strangers in the area during this time, and she did not have reason to believe that there was any suspicious or unusual activity in the house.
This writer interviewed Negro male, COLEY WIMBLEY (DOB: 03-25- 00), who is a live-in maintenance man for Mrs. Tilton, who lives in a small apartment on the south side of the detached garage. According to him, on the day of the victim's death, he was working outside tending to gardening chores. Early in the morning, the victim was observed walking from the house, crossing State Road A1A and going for a short walk on the beach along the Atlantic Ocean.
He returned, got into his rental car and drove away briefly and then returned. Mr. Wimbley did not see the victim drive away the second time for his Palm Beach appointment and did not see him return. During the time that the shot was fired, Mr. Wimbley was at the back porch, watering flowers and did not hear the gun discharge. He admitted to having poor hearing, but he is assisted by a hearing aid, which he said he was wearing on that date. This writer spoke in a normal, conversational tone of voice, and Mr. Wimbley did not strain to hear or ask that anything be repeated, which leads this writer to believe that the gunshot was not audible from where Mr. Wimbley was working, even by someone with good, uncorrected hearing. He was asked if he had seen any strangers around the house prior to the incident, and he replied that he had been working all around the exterior of the residence on that day, and he did not see anyone approach the house.
This writer interviewed DIANNE and LAURIE TISDALE, who live at 1720 South Ocean Boulevard, in Manalapan, Florida, but who were working in an apartment above the garage at the Tilton residence, at the time of the incident. They were painting and repairing the apartment, so that Laurie Tisdale could eventually move into it. Neither of them stated that they heard a gunshot or were suspicious that anything strange or unusual had occurred in the main house. They left the apartment to perform an errand, at approximately 4130 hours [sic], and returned, at 1500 hours, to continue their labors.
Mrs. Nancy Tilton, wife of C.E. Tilton, III, who was away at their home in Arizona at the time of this incident, was interviewed by this writer. From her it was learned that the victim's first wife was married to her cousin and that shortly after his daughter, Alexandra, was born, Mrs. Tilton took her to raise as her daughter, due to the fact that the victim's wife had abandoned her at a young age; and Miss deMohrenschildt has lived with Mrs. Tilton off and on all her life, and to this day they refer to one another as mother and daughter. She stated that she has enjoyed the company of Miss deMohrenschildt and her girlfriend, Katherine Loomis, since they arrived there from Mexico City, on 15 December, 1976. The victim arrived 16 March, 1977, and Mrs. Tilton and Miss Loomis drove to the Grey Hound Bus station, in West Palm Beach to pick him up and transport him to her residence. During his stay, he discussed previous attempts at suicide while he was in the Dallas area, in 1976, and expressed feelings of persecution from unspecified Jewish elements, the Federal government and blackmailed by an attorney in Dallas, Texas; but she knew that he was suffering from mental illness and depression and she did not lend credence to his fears.
On 29, March, 1977, the day of the victim's death, Mrs. Tilton rose from bed, after the victim had departed for his appointment in Palm Beach, and did not have the opportunity to speak with him, on that date. She left at noon for a card-playing appointment at the home of a friend, MRS. RICHARD KNIGHT, who lives at 225 Sea Breeze Avenue, and arrived at, roughly 1230 hours. She received a telephone call from a family friend, ATTORNEY WILLIAM SPROTT, of Palm Beach, at approximately 1500 hours, or sometime thereafter, advising her of what had happened and asked her to return home as soon as possible. She could provide no personal speculation about what had driven the victim to his unstable mental condition, but thought that it was not one incident, but the combination of many years of depression and personal fears (most of which were imagined) which brought him to that state.
This writer spoke with the victim's daughter, ALEXANDRA deMOHRENSCHILDT (DOB: 12-25-43), who lives at 158 Villa Longine, Mex5 DF, Mexico City, Mexico. She stated that after her father's arrival at the Tilton residence, on 16 March, 1977, she talked with him at length and found him to be deeply disturbed about certain matters and had expressed a desire to commit suicide. At around 1000 hours, on the day of her father's death, Miss deMohrenschildt answered a knock at the door and encountered Mr. Gaeton Fonzi, who identified himself as a Staff Investigator for the House Committee on Assassinations. He wished to speak with the victim but learned that he was away at a meeting. Mr. Fonzi stated that he would call later in the day, left his business card and departed. When the victim returned home, Miss deMohrenschildt told him over lunch in the kitchen of the investigator's presence there and of his desire to talk to him. Miss deMohrenschildt felt that the message was of a personal nature and related it in Spanish to her father, so that the maid and cook who were also present in the room would not comprehend what was being said. The news seemed to upset the victim, but his daughter did not think that his reaction was overly fearful or dramatic.
After lunch, Miss deMohrenschildt and her friend, Miss Loomis, went shopping in Boynton Beach and purchased several toilet articles for her father, as well as things for herself. When she returned home, at approximately 1435 hours, she entered the house by the rear kitchen door and inquired of Anna Viisola where her father was. The response that she received was that he was last seen in his room upstairs. Miss deMohrenschildt walked to the second floor, entered her father's room, and placed the bag on a dresser against the north wall. She then looked to her left and saw her father bent over in the hallway chair with a pool of blood and shotgun at his feet. She screamed for Anna and alerted the household to what had happened.
Miss deMohrenschildt stated that her father's relationship with Presidential assassin, LEE HARVEY OSWALD, was one of coincidence, rather than friendship. They happened to meet in Dallas, Texas, in 1962, or 1963, as part of a small community of Russian people in that area. She denied that her father participated in the assassination of President Kennedy and stated that the has been shadowed with that suspicion since the murder. This, along with other personal problems, disturbed the victim to the point where he made several attempts to take his life, in 1976, and was committed briefly to a mental institution in Texas.
White female, KATHERINE LOOMIS (DOB: 11-17-41), who lives in Mexico City with the victim's daughter, stated that when she encountered the deceased, on 16 March, 1977, he was in a depressed state and often spoke of his persecution at the hands of the Jews, but he was never specific; and she attributed it to his mental condition. On the day of his demise, the victim was last seen alive by Miss Loomis, at approximately 1330 hours, when she and Miss deMohrenschildt left to go shopping. When they returned at approximately 1435 hours, they stopped Coley Wimbley and asked him to carry a case of soda pop, which was in the car trunk, into the house. Miss Loomis entered via the rear kitchen door with Mr. Wimbley, followed a minute later by Miss deMohrenschildt. Miss Loomis heard the victim's daughter ask where her father was and saw her go upstairs. She heard Miss deMohrenschildt screaming and learned that the victim was dead.
At 1900 hours, this writer went to Room #4179, at the Breakers Hotel, in Palm Beach, and contacted MR. EDWARD J. EPSTEIN, the writer with whom the victim had met earlier in the day. Mr. Epstein has written a book, called INQUEST, on the Kennedy assassination, as well as several articles on the topic for leading periodicals. Mr. Epstein received a request from the deceased several months ago that they arrange an interview about his friendship with Lee Harvey Oswald, and Mr. Epstein agreed, but every time an appointment was made to meet, the victim would break it for one reason or another. The meeting was finally set up by the victim for Mr. Epstein to come to The Breakers in Palm Beach and interview him, for which the victim had negotiated a Four Thousand dollar ($4,000.00) fee.
On 28 March, 1977, the victim went to The Breakers Hotel and spoke with Mr. Epstein briefly. Mr. Epstein used his American Express Credit Card Number 3714-614657-01006 to rent the victim a car at the Hertz rental agency to allow the victim ease of transportation in getting to and from their meetings. The vehicle, a blue Ford LTD sedan, Florida license 1E-67209, was driven home by the victim that day and was used by him the next morning to drive to his first appointment. At that first interview, Mr. Epstein basically covered the victim's early life and did not learn very much about his time in Dallas in the early 1960s and his relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald. Mr. Epstein did say that his research uncovered a man named, SAM BALLIN, of Dallas, Texas, who had reportedly received a letter from the victim, in which the victim stated that he would commit suicide if Epstein did not believe his story. When asked to elaborate on what he thought might have been meant by "his story", Mr. Epstein replied that the took it to mean his relationship with Oswald, the Jewish Mafia, FBI harassment and other of his fears, either real or imagined. Mr. Epstein felt that the victim was being deceptive in many of his answers to questions put to him, but he did not feel that the victim was under stress and did not seem to mentally deranged, in any way.
At this point, this writer received word that Palm Beach County State Attorney, David Bludworth, wished to speak to all those who had knowledge of the deceased, and Mr. Epstein was transported to the Palm Beach County Courthouse; where, he was questioned by Mr. Bludworth in the presence of this writer and Lt. Richard Sheets, and Assistant State Attorney, Carl Harper. Also questioned on this night were Mrs. Tilton, Miss deMohrenschildt, with their attorney present, Mr. William Sprott. The tape recording of these conversations was turned over to Lt. Sheets by Mr. Bludworth to be transcribed and retained as a part of this investigation.
At 2315 hours, on 29 March, 1977, this writer made contact with the victim's wife, MRS. JEANNE deMOHRENSCHILDT, in California (Area Code 213-363-6889), and advised her of her husband's demise; a fact which she had already been made aware of by several newsmen who had telephoned her seeking a story. She stated that she has been married to the victim for the past twenty-one years and noted that over the past several years he has been acting in an "insane manner". He constantly was in fear of what he termed the "Jewish Mafia" and the FBI, but she felt that his fears were groundless. She, personally, in all her years of marriage to the victim, had never witnessed anything which would lend credence to any of her husband's fears. On the 9 November, 1976, Mrs. deMohrenschildt signed commitment papers in Dallas County, Texas, to have her husband placed in a mental home for treatment. In the affidavit she stated that the victim suffered from depression, heard voices, saw visions and believed that the FBI and the Jewish Mafia were persecuting him. She noted that he was, at times, physically violent and has beaten her to the point that several of her ribs were broken and several teeth damaged. She went on to say in the affidavit that the victim had attempted suicide four times in 1976 by slashing his wrists, trying to drown himself in the bath tub, and twice taking overdoses of medicine. The victim was confined in a state mental institution for only three months as a result of Mrs. deMohrenschildt's efforts and was judged to be harmless to himself and to others and was released.
It should be noted that the victim's body was turned over to Scobee-Combs Funeral Home, in Boynton Beach, per the request of his daughter, who followed the recommendation of Mrs. Tilton. The body was transported to the Bethesda Memorial Hospital morgue; where, on 30 March, 1977, at 1300 hours, an autopsy was performed by Palm Beach County, Florida, Medical Examiner Dr. Gabino Cuevas, and witnessed by Detective Gary T. Green. After his post mortem examination was complete, he concluded that the victim died as a result of a gunshot wound to the brain, which was indicative of suicide. (For full details, refer to Det. Green's supplementary report to this investigation).
On 30 March, 1977, this writer went to WPTV television station, in West Palm Beach, florida, in an attempt to ascertain the exact time of death, based on the television program which was being recorded at the Tilton home. The television show was "The Doctors", day time serial which was being broadcasted from New York City by the NBC Television Network, from 1400 hours to 1500 hours, on that day. Side number two of the tape cassette begins in the middle of a Betty Crocker frosting mix commercial and then leads into a General Mills Golden Gram commercial, which according to a computer read-out from NBC in New York began at 2:19 and 11 seconds. Two other commercials follow and they end at 2:20 and 40 seconds. Twenty-three seconds later the shotgun blast, which took the victim's life, can be heard over the television show, thus, establishing the time of death at 2:21.03 P.M. EST (Eastern Standard Time).
From interviews with the principals in this case, and after reviewing the non-television-related sounds on the tape cassette, the following outline of activities and times was assembled; (it will be recalled that the Rawlins Alarm System installed in the Tilton residence produces an audible beep when the doors or windows are opened). The first beep is explained as being Miss Romanic, the cook, walking out the back door to sun herself for a while in the back yard.
At 2:21.03 P.M, the gunshot is audible and almost immediately something is heard falling to the floor, believed to be the shotgun falling, or catapulted by the blast, to the floor. No other sounds are heard until 2:23 P.M., when the door beeper again sounds, this time it is Mrs. Viisola taking a bag of garbage out the rear door and disposing of it in a trash can immediately to the right (south) of the door. At 2:26 P.M., the rear door beeps again and is Miss Romanic coming in from the back yard.
No sounds, other than the t.v. show, are heard until 2:37 P.M., when the door beeper is heard when Miss Loomis and Coley Wimbley enter the house via the back door after the shopping trip. Another beep is heard a short time after that, at 2:38 P.M., which is the victim's daughter entering the rear door.
At 2:39 P.M., a woman's voice apparently coming form the end of the upstairs hallway can be clearly heard, "Hey, where is he?" and is known to be Miss deMohrenschildt. Twenty seconds later the shrieks of Miss deMohrenschildt can be heard as she discovers the body of her father and is taken downstairs.
At 2:46 P.M., the sound of a siren nearing the Tilton residence can be heard, thus, marking the arrival of the Manalapan police units.
This writers investigation has failed to produce any evidence which would tend to indicate that the victim met his death by any means other than by his own hand. All of the facts indicate that he was a disturbed man, who, at the time of his death, was suffering from the same overwhelming mental pressures which must have surely prompted his four prior suicide attempts, in Texas, in 1976. This death investigation is, therefore, declared to be a suicide and is hereby EXCEPTIONALLY CLEARED.
THIS CASE IS EXCEPTIONALLY CLEARED.
This report transcribed from tape: On 4 April, 1977 by Linda E. Albritton. Reporting Deputy(writer): Det. Thomas Neighbors/lea Deputy No. 5104 Case Number: 77-11753 Date: 3-29-77
SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT ON GEORGE deMOHRENSCHILDT Reporting Deputy: Det. John M. Skebe/lea
On 3-29-77, the undersigned investigator, at the request of Det. Sgt. Louie Lee, responded to 1780 South Ocean Boulevard, for the purpose of assisting investigators during the investigation of the shooting death of the above victim.
Upon arrival, contact was made with Det. Lt. Sheets and Det. Sgt. Louie Lee. Having reported to the above officers, it was determined that, at the earliest possible convenience, this investigator would assist with Statements, in reference to the above investigation.
This investigator entered the residence and responded to the upstairs area of the house involving the crime scene area. Observation was made of a White male, sitting in a chair surrounded by a pool of blood. Also, a shotgun was observed in close proximity to the body. This investigator assisted briefly by locating individuals, delivering messages, and acting generally as an observer during this portion of the investigation.
After removal of the body, this investigator was assigned to respond to the Delray Beach Sub-station, pickup recording equipment, and return to the residence at 1780 South Ocean Boulevard, and there obtain statements from the upstairs chamber maid and the cook. This was done, and, on return to the residence, interviews were started. At this point, contact was made with Lt. Bondick, Acting Captain of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Delray Beach Sub-station, who advised that the taped statements of the employees were to be held for a short period of time. At this point, this investigator was instructed to respond to the Palm Beach County Courthouse, Office of the State Attorney, Mr. David Bludworth, with the White female, known as the daughter, ALEXANDRA DONNA deMOHRENSCHILDT, for the purpose of interview by investigators of the State Attorney's Office and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. At this time, this investigator followed ALEXANDRA deMOHRENSCHILDT, as well as MRS. TILTON and an attorney to the Palm Beach county courthouse. While at the courthouse, this investigator maintained a position outside the interview room, answering phone calls and assisting in any other way possible. Upon conclusion of the interviews by the State Attorney's Office, incoordination with the Sheriff's Office, this investigator accompanied Det. Lt. Sheets, Det Sgt. Louie Lee, and Det. Tom Neighbors to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Central Office. While at the Central Office, this investigator assisted Det. Sgt. Lee in separating items from the brief case being held in the possession of Lt. Sheets. Certain items of evidence marked earlier by Lt. Sheets were placed in numerical order; while other items were checked. Upon completion of this basic inventory, copies were make for investigative purposes.
This investigator then secured from the investigation for the evening. On the morning of 3-30-77, this investigator returned to 1780 South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan, Florida; where, taped interviews were obtained from ANNA VIISOLA, DOB: 07-08-17, and LILLIAN ROMANIC, DOB: 09-15-21.
On 3-31-77, this investigator met with investigators at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Central Division; where, the investigation was to be critiqued. At this point, it was determined that this investigator would obtain a telephone toll subpoena in reference to the above investigation for the time period of approximately 10 March, 1977, thru 30 March, 1077, for the residence telephone locate at 1780 South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan, Florida, identified as the Tilton residence, at 582-4180. The subpoena was obtained from the State Attorney's Office and served on Southern Bell Telephone Company, on 3-31-77. The tolls will be ready tentatively during the first week of April, 1977.
Also, the undersigned investigator responded to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Communications Division; where, a cassette tape recording made from the dictaphone 40000 recording equipment, in regards to a call made to the Department by an anonymous caller. This tape will be held for the investigation.
Also, interviews were conducted at 1215 North Lake Way, Palm Beach, Florida; at which time, contact was made with a MR. GABRIEL ALLEN. It is noted for the official records that nothing of any substance was obtained from the interview with Mr. Allen. As of the evening of 3-31-77, the undersigned investigator has not additional information in regards to this case, other than that received through the reporting process of other detectives assigned various parts of the investigation. This report will be added as a supplemental to the existing reports.
CRIME SCENE REPORT Death Investigation Crime 9545
Grid Code # 12500
Date 3-29-77, Tuesday
Case Number #77-11753
Location of Crime--1780 South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan Florida
Investigator--Det. Gary T. Green/lea
At 1500 hours, on Tuesday, March 29, 1977, writer was requested by Det. Sgt. Louie Lee to proceed to 1780 South Ocean Boulevard, in Manalapan, Florida, for the purpose of assisting with the investigation of possible suicide.
Upon arrival at 1520 hours, the weather was noted to be clear and sunny with the temperature approximately 82 degrees. Writer met with Chief Meadows and Officer McBride of the Manalapan Police Department, who both briefed writer of facts pertaining to this investigation, stating that a guest in the home of MRS. NANCY TILTON had been found dead in the sitting room.
SCENE; The scene where the body was located was in a sitting room on the second floor and the south end of this three-story, wood-frame residence, which is situated on the west side of South Ocean Boulevard. The front faces the east; however, the entrance mainly used is at the rear, or on the west side.
A hallway runs through the middle of the second floor, separating bedrooms and other rooms on this floor. The sitting room already mentioned is on the west side of the hallway. The only room south of this room is a study and to the north is a bedroom, which has an entrance form this sitting room and another entrance from the hallway. The bedroom of Mrs. Tilton is in the southeastern most corner of the home on the second floor. Two other bedrooms are located on the north end of the residence.
The room in which the body was located measured 7 feet from north to south, and 12 feet 7 inches from east to west. Contents of the room consisted only of a chest-of-drawers against the north wall, a book-case against the east wall, and a stuffed armed chair in the southwest corner, facing in a northeasterly direction. In this chair the body of a White male was seated on the front edge of the cushioned seat, bent forward and leaning to the left. Both arms were between the legs; the left arm was crossed over in front of the body, and the elbow was resting of the left knee; and the right arm was hanging straight down and the hand touching the floor. The right leg was outstretched, and the right foot was on a small throw rug. The left leg was bent slightly at the knee and the upper portion of a double- barrel shotgun was resting on the top of the left foot. The butt of the weapon was in a northwesterly direction.
The throw rug already mentioned was rumpled slightly, in the area of the victim's feet. The deceased was clothed in a pair of tan slacks and a blue, turtle-neck sweater, and black socks. A watch was on the left wrist.
A large quantity of blood was on the floor below the area of the victim's head. Also, blood was noted on the pants leg of the deceased, the front and left side of the skirt of the chair, and spattering of blood were noted on the lower outside door frame to the bathroom immediately west of the body and on the lower portion of the west wall, between the bathroom and the bedroom, and on the lower legs of the chest-of-drawers and on the north wall and door frame of the doorway to the bedroom.
The weapon, when examined, was found to be a .20-gauge Ithaca double-barrel shotgun, Serial Number 6114893. The right chamber contained an empty Western Number 9 shot .20-gauge shotgun shell. The left chamber contained a live shotgun shell of Number 9 shot, also made by Western. The weapon measured forty-four-and-one-half inches(441/2") in length and twenty-eight inches (28") from the tip of the barrel to the trigger. This weapon was later processed for the presence of latent fingerprints; however, none were developed, largely due to the heavy concentration of blood on the barrel and stock of the weapon.
Further, writer was advised by Mrs. Tilton that this shotgun was hers and that she kept the same next to her bed and extra shells in a night stand also next to her bed. In this night stand writer collected a box containing twenty-one shotgun shells, all of which were Western AA Number 9 shot.
After photographs were taken of the body from all directions, the deceased was placed in an upright position for examination of any wounds. Once this was done, writer observed a blackening of both eyes and blood was coming from the mouth, nose, and ear. No signs of injury were noted on the face or head; however, the jaw appeared to be fractured, and the left side of the face was sunken, indicating that the wound was possibly in the mouth.
EXAMINATIONS: At 1655 hours, Det. Sgt. Ben Green, Supervisory of the Crime Scene Unit, arrived at the scene. At which time, he assisted writer in photographing the other rooms of the second floor of this residence, and with the processing for fingerprints in the room in which the deceased was found and the bedroom he had been using since his arrival in the Tilton home. Said bedroom is located north of the sitting room, and it consisted of a double bed with head against the east wall and two night stands on each side of the bed. The bed was unmade, and on top of the sheets was a hard-back edition of The Sensuous Woman and a pair of reading glasses. A desk was against the north wall; a vanity was against the west wall; and a chest-of-drawers was against the south wall. A window air conditioner was in the south window of the west wall, and the other window to the north of the window containing the air conditioner was closed.
A drab olive green attache case containing personal papers belonging to the deceased was found on a chair in this bedroom. This was turned over to Lt. Sheets upon his arrival at the scene and later returned to writer, on 31 March, 1977, by Lt. Sheets. For a list of contents of this attache case, see the attached property receipt and inventory.
Found in the right front pants pocket of the deceased was Two Hundred and seventy-nine dollars and seventy cents ($279.70) in U.S. Coins and Currency. In the left front pocket was a Christian Dior pouch and a plastic check folder, which contained miscellaneous personal papers. Also in this pocket was a clipping of a front-page headline from the Dallas Morning News, dated Sunday, March 20, 1977, with the headline reading: "MENTAL ILLS OF OSWALD CONFIDANT TOLD."
At 1810 hours, the body was removed from the scene by Mike Bowden and Don Combs of Scobee-Combs Funeral Home and transported to Bethesda Memorial Hospital, in Boynton Beach, for further examinations.
At 1830 hours, writer proceeded with further examinations of the deceased at the Bethesda Hospital morgue. Additional photographs were taken of the victim, the clothing collected, and the hands were swabbed for the possibility of obtaining gunshot residue through neutron activation analysis. The body was fingerprinted, and palm prints were obtained along with pubic and head hair samples. The only wound on the body was in the left side of the roof of the mouth. The shotgun at the scene, as already mentioned, measured forty-four inches in length, and twenty-eight inches for the tip of the barrel to the trigger. From the center of the victim's lip to the tip of the right thumb measured thirty-three inches, and to the tip of the index finger measured thirty-five inches.
AUTOPSY: On Wednesday, 30 March, 1977, at 0830 hours, writer spoke with Dr. Cuevas, Assistant Medical Examiner, at Bethesda Hospital; and facts pertaining to this investigation were related; and, at this time, an autopsy was scheduled with authorization having been obtained from David Bludworth, State Attorney of Palm Beach County, Florida. At 1400 hours, the autopsy was begun on the deceased. Prior to the beginning, however, x-rays were taken by x-ray technicians from the radiology department of Bethesda Hospital. During the course of this examination by Dr. Cuevas, writer was present and received small pieces of lead as they were collected from the brain and skull area. Also recovered was the plastic wadding from the shotgun shell. Further, blood and urine samples were obtained by Dr. Cuevas, and these were transported to the Crime Laboratory by this investigator, on 31 March, 1977. Dr. Cuevas stated that the wound was, in fact, in the left side of the upper maxilla and that the pellets from the shotgun shell traveled upward front to back and right to left.
On 31 March, 1977, writer learned from Mrs. Tilton, owner of the residence where the victim was found, of the alarm system, which is wired through the residence, located at 1780 South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan, Florida. Mrs. Tilton stated that at night or while no one is at the residence the alarm system is activated so if anyone breaks or enters the doors or windows on the alarm system, an audible alarm will be activated in the residence, and the Rawlins Protective Service Company is notified who, in turn, notifies the Manalapan Police Department. When there is someone present in the home, the system is set so when a window or door is opened a high-pitched beep is made and is heard in Mrs. Tilton's bedroom and in the downstairs's kitchen. Mrs. Tilton went on to state that the third floor and the windows on the south side second floor are not on the alarm system.
EVIDENCE: Photographs taken of the scene of the body and during the autopsy will be on file with this agency. The following is a list of property collected and is pertinent to this investigation:
1. Olive green attache case with miscellaneous personal items and papers (See attached property receipts)
2. Paper items from pants pockets ( See attached property receipts)
3. Three Hundred seventy-nine dollars and seventy cents in US coins and currency
4. A pair of brown-framed reading glasses
5. A man's wrist watch
6. Clothing of the deceased
7. .20-gauge Ithaca double-barrel shotgun, Serial Number 6114893.
7.(A) Empty .20-gauge Western Number 9 shot shotgun shell
7.(B) Live .20-gauge Western Number 9 shot shotgun shell
8. A box of Western AA .20-gauge Number shot shotgun shells
9. Pellets removed from the victim
10. Plastic wadding removed from victim
11. Neutron activation swabs from the victim's hands
All of these items mentioned above will be in the custody of this officer until further notice.
This report transcribed from tape: 5 April, 1977, By Linda E. Albritton
Reporting Deputy is Det. Gary T. Green/lea
CRIME SCENE REPORT
Case 77-11753 Article by Sgt. B. Green
On Tuesday 29 March 1977 at 1625 hours, this officer received a telephonic request at my home from Lieutenant Sheets to proceed to the above location and assist with the investigation of a death at that location.
Upon my arrival at the above location, this officer met with Lieutenant Sheets, Detective Gary Green, Sergeant Lee, Detectives Neighbors and Skebe. Also on the scene was Chief Meadows of the Manalapan Police Department.
The scene of the death occurred in a three-story wood dwelling which is situated on the west side of A!A, with the rear of the dwelling adjoining the intracoastal waterway.
The room where the death actually occurred was located on the second floor, in a chair which was situated in the southwest corner of a hallway, or drawing room, leading from the victim's bedroom to the bathroom.
Upon entering this room, this officer observed the body of the deceased situated in the aforementioned chair; also noted on the floor at the victim's foot was a shotgun and a large amount of red substance appearing to be blood. This officer further noted blood to be located on the bathroom wall and the wall leading to the deceased's bedroom.
See Detective Gary Green's report for details of this Crime Scene, as he is the primary crime scene investigator, and the undersigned was on the scene only to assist Detective Green and to supervise the crime scene investigation.
This officer assisted Detective Green by photographing all of the rooms on the second floor of the dwelling, with the exception of the area where the deceased was, and the deceased's bedroom. These photographs were taken by Detective Gary Green.
This officer further examined each of the windows and noted them to being a locked position, either the screen or the window itself. Upon examining Mrs. Tilton's room, this officer observed three cassette tapes. These tapes were collected by this officer and submitted to Detective Gary Green.
Also removed from the deceased's bedroom were two hardback books. These books were submitted to Detective Green.
This officer further assisted Detective Gary Green by processing the are around the body for latent fingerprints, and also examining and processing the room where the deceased had been living. Latent fingerprints which were developed by this officer were submitted to Detective Green.
In addition to photographing the rooms on the second floor of the residence, this officer further photographed the entire exterior of the residence, and on Wednesday 30 March 1977, this officer took aerial photographs of the dwelling, and surrounding area.
Further, upon completion of my examination of the scene on 29 March 1977, this officer proceeded to Bethesda Hospital, where I met with Detective Green, who had at this time, almost completed his examination of the body at the morgue. This officer did assist Detective Green with the measurements of the victim's arm length.
This concludes this investigator's investigation of this case as of this date.
Did you notice that the body was cremated? Did you notice that, despite him supposedly sticking the gun INTO his mouth and FIRING, there was no exit wound from a shot?
This is a very important document.
-- Lisa Pease