Chapter 6 ~ The Carlos Avenue House

Beth was frequently in hot water with Mark. He would throw her out and then let her back in.  Shortly before her death, Anne said Mark told her that he was going to allow Beth to return for a few days when she got back from San Diego.

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Mark Hansen’s modest home at 6024 Carlos Avenue was a block north of Hollywood Boulevard, behind the Marcal Theatre. It was also home to aspiring actresses and young girls who were down on their luck, as well as Hansen’s friend, Anne Toth.

Carlos Avenue, between Gower Street on the west and Bronson Avenue on the east, was situated one block north of the hustle and bustle of Hollywood Boulevard and a string of theaters, including Hansen’s Marcal and the Florentine Gardens. By fall of 1946, the Marcal had shown Howard Hughes’ The Outlaw, starring Jane Russell, for eight months. It was predicted that the Marcal would break all attendance records across the country.

Down the street was the Hawaii Theatre, a movie house with a tropical theme. Carlos was a residential street with the sprawling First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood on the north east corner. Along the south side were six or eight or more bungalows, set back from the sidewalk. They were single story, unpretentious homes with front porches and lap siding exteriors. Hansen’s house was a couple of doors from La Baig Avenue, a street that ran south from Franklin Avenue and dead-ended at Carlos. Further to the east was Tamarind Avenue and after that Bronson Avenue. Mark Hansen’s home was on a quiet street, just a block from the action of Hollywood Boulevard, and easily accessible through a gate in his back yard that lead to the parking lot behind the Marcal Theatre.

Anne Toth lived there while she pursued her modeling and acting career. Her boyfriend, Leo Hymes, was a friend of Mark Hansen, and according to Anne, she was the one girl that was not approached by Hansen. Anne said that Mark moved in on all the girls that stayed at his house, “-every one, outside of myself.”  She was asked by investigators what happened if he was turned down.  “Out they go,” Anne replied.  She also said that Mark Hansen discovered that Beth was a virgin, “so he didn’t want to bother with her.”

Investigators determined that the girls that lived at Hansen’s home “were financially embarrassed at the time they were living there.”  Anne was unaware whether any of them paid rent.  Sergeant Finis Brown said he couldn’t determine if the girls were paying rent or not.  “As far as I know, I couldn’t state.  Some say they were and some say they weren’t.”

Besides Beth and Anne, some of the other girls that Mark allowed in his home were Connie Starr, Rosalind Kingston, Lola Titus, Marjorie Graham, a  girl known only as Barbara, another named Cecile, as well as other unidentified young women. Anne’s boyfriend, Leo Hymes, looked at photographs of Carol Fisher and Sara Lee Testa, two former “Camp Cooke Cuties,” and said he might have seen them at Mark’s home.

The men who visited the Carlos Avenue home included, Leo Hymes and Marvin Margolis, the man that Beth called her cousin.  Finis Brown felt Margolis was still a good suspect in 1949.  He said Margolis,  “was interrogated at first, but it was not – there was nothing to tie him to the case at that time other than being a medical student.  He could possibly be a very good suspect.” By then, Margolis was living in Chicago.

Anne said that Beth got in trouble with Mark one day when she had an argument with another girl who worked in pictures.  Mark told Beth to leave. Anne’s boyfriend, Leo Hymes, recalled that, “This short girl wanted to chase that other girl out of the house.”

“I walked in there at that particular time.  We were going out to eat and Mark -the argument was over but you could tell, the atmosphere – Anne told me, ‘you remember that girl.  She really let her have it then.  Wasn’ t there – she was a little short girl.  Ann told me, ‘You remember that girl.  She was that little short girl that used to come over there all the time; little stocky girl, blonde.’  I could be off on that but that was the story on it at the time.”

As for Beth, Leo said, “-I don’t think he had anything to do with that girl.”  Investigators asked him if Hansen said anything that would indicate that. “Oh, I guess it is just- Anne told me- second-hand information, but it is just a strange thing about that setup there.  I don’t know, she – naturally I’d kid Mark about it at different times, but I’d never see her there enough to get to know her.  The few times I did see her – Mark said he never had anything to do with that girl; it just so happens it is one time I believe him”

Another time, Hansen found out that Beth had made a long distance call and left him to pay the bill. Leo said, “She called somebody down in Texas, an army camp or somewhere it seems to me.  Anne was telling me about it, because – I came over there the early part of the afternoon and I never did see that Short gal around there very much – she was gone.  In fact, I think she said Mark told her she worked for the T.W.A.  T.W.A., that’s why I think that Biltmore came into the thing, but  he was pretty hot about a phone call.  He must have found it on his bill;  he must have caught her in a lie – she must have said she didn’t  call or send a wire  collect or something like that.  I know he was upset about it.  I don’t believe I ever saw her around there  in the daytime, except twice.  She would leave there and – went to work.”

“As far as I am concerned, I think she sought more refuge with Mark and myself than anybody but I don’t know all the conversation and I think if she had more encouragement from  Mark to come back, she would have come back in a minute, if he would have asked her,” Anne said.

It wasn’t until 1949, when Lola Titus shot Hansen, that investigators were finally able to conduct a search of the Carlos Avenue house. Finis Brown said, “Jones of the Crime Lab went over the whole house, checked for blood in other rooms.  During the time that I went out there, I have checked myself, the various rooms, when the opportunity presented itself, to check bathroom and such.”  When asked by investigators why such a search was made, Brown replied, “Connected with death of Elizabeth Short, if any possibility that it could have been committed there. “Brown also said, “I talked to Lola Titus and from what I could gather the girl talks in riddles.  She is – she told me that she didn’t  know the Short girl at all.”

Brown also said he found two pictures of Beth in Mark Hansen’s home.  “There was a photograph of the Santa Barbara photograph, and another one taken by a boy named Glenn Sterns.” Brown further said that listening devices were installed in the Carlos Avenue home from roughly March to October, 1947, under the direction of Chief of Police Horrall.

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Mark Hansen was a family man, but he was separated from his wife and daughters during the time he lived in the Carlos Avenue house.  In July, 1949, he moved back with his family on Canyon Drive in the Hollywood Hills. Mark and Anne kept in touch with each other for years after the murder.

One Response to “Chapter 6 ~ The Carlos Avenue House”

  1. Rhetta Says:

    Whatever became of the information from the listening devices placed in the Carlos Ave house?

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