kidnapping and brutal mutilation murder

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Marion, Mrs Parker, Marjorie. [Photo courtesy LAPL]

The Tragic Tale of Marion Parker

?Warning, some parts of this story are disturbing.

It is every parent’s most horrific nightmare: a child’s violent death at the hands of a predator.

Nearly five years before the internationally reviled kidnapping of aviator Charles Lindbergh’s 20-month-old son in New Jersey in 1932, Angelenos reacted with that same horror and fear at the abduction and murder of a local girl, 12-year-old Marion Parker?she went to school in a wealthy part of Los Angeles. The perpetrator swiped her and proceeded to send her family notes entitled ?Death? and simply signed ?The Fox?, hence his self-titled nickname.

The grisly crime that left the child lifeless, dismembered and discarded along the streets of Los Angeles triggered one of the biggest manhunts in the West, and the first insanity plea under a new state law. National press coverage turned the 1927 tragedy into what many then considered the “crime of the century.”

Because the child and her parents, Geraldine and Perry Parker, were not global celebrities, the grim deeds are now mostly forgotten, eclipsed by more recent outrages. But few have been more revolting.

Angelino Heights is an odd little neighbourhood. Old market buildings, charming Victorian homes, and wood frame homes in all states of repair sit high on a hill, cut off from the badlands by the buzzing 101 Freeway.?In the heart of Los Angeles, minutes from downtown there is now called the Brownstone Lofts, an imposing red brick apartment building that seems too massive for its quaint surroundings. It was pretty hard to believe that within this gentrified building, where one-bedroom apartments go for over $2,000 a month, the grisliest, strangest murder took place. Adding to the strangeness, for reasons that will soon become apparent, is the fact that just down the road, there is a little street called Marion Avenue.

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