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The Mystery of Jean Hilliker’s First Marriage – Solved

March 15, 2020

Jean Hilliker and the ‘Spalding Man’

Jean Hilliker

One of the most enduring mysteries of Jean Ellroy’s (nee Hilliker) life is her first marriage. When James Ellroy was re-investigating his mother’s murder in his memoir My Dark Places, he was stunned to discover that his mother had been married before she met his father Armand Ellroy. Ellroy found out about the marriage when he met Jean’s niece Janet Wagner Klock: ‘She said Aunt Jean was married once before. It was a very brief marriage. She was married to a young man named Spalding. He was an heir to the Spalding sporting goods fortune.’

Ellroy, along with his co-investigator Bill Stoner, looked into the claims, but they were never able to find a date or location of the wedding: ‘Jean moved to Los Angeles. She might have met the Spalding man there. They were married somewhere. It wasn’t Chicago. It wasn’t in LA County, Orange County, San Diego County, Ventura County, Las Vegas or Reno.’ After such an exhausting search Ellroy might have been tempted to believe Jean’s marriage to the Spalding man was a myth. However, partial confirmation was found as Jean and Armand’s 1947 marriage licence ‘stated that this was the second marriage for both parties.’

The Marriage of Jean Hilliker and Easton Ewing Spaulding

I can now reveal that the wedding took place in Yuma County, Superior Court on November 5, 1940. I have obtained a copy of the marriage licence. Jean was married to Easton Ewing Spaulding. Jean’s family got the Spalding/Spaulding names mixed up, but then the wedding took place in great secrecy: ‘Leoda (Jean’s sister) never met the Spalding man. Jean’s friends never met the Spalding man. Nobody knew his first name.’

This is what I have been able to find out about Easton E. Spaulding. I have taken a lot of this information from the book, The Spaulding Heritage, which was written by Jewell Spaulding Akey in 1970 and is now available online.

Easton was born in Springfield, Illinois, in 1902 to Albert Starr Spaulding and Nellie Locke Burrows. In 1908, Albert and Nellie moved their family to Long Beach, California. Nellie died in childbirth the same year. Albert Starr Spaulding had great success as a real-estate speculator in Los Angeles. He purchased and subdivided an area of land ‘between Sunset Boulevard and Fountain Avenue to the east of Fairfax Avenue.’ He used inventive methods to get potential buyers interested ‘Spaulding offered a free streetcar ride, lunch and a lecture on the allure of the area, which was midway between the studios and up-and-coming Beverly Hills.’ The area is now named Spaulding Square after him and is one of the most historically preserved areas in LA.

The Spaulding Family. Easton Ewing Spaulding is on the back row, fourth on the right.

Easton followed his father into the real estate business. His marriage licence to Jean Hilliker lists his occupation as a broker. He had been married twice before he met Jean. In the early 1920s he married Pearl Phelps. They had a son, Frank Tillman Spaulding, born in 1923. He divorced Pearl and married Beatrice ‘Bebe’ McCarthy Clark. They had a daughter Ann, born in 1935. After he married and divorced Jean Hilliker, Easton married for a fourth time. In 1945, Easton married Emile Hensel in – you guessed it – Yuma County.

Once again, the wedding took place in secrecy, but it was reported in the Morning Herald (a Pennsylvania based newspaper) after a tip-off from a source inside the Superior Court:

Didn’t Emily Hensel, sister of Betty Hensel, in whom Cary Grant is interested, get married in Yuma last Monday to Easton Spaulding, wealthy Beverly Hills man? The clerk there says that a license was issued under those names and that a ceremony was performed by Judge Henry C. Kelly…

The marriage lasted until Easton’s death in 1986. Emile died in 2014. Easton was a Beverly Hills resident and records show that he was living there until at least the 1970s. Armand and Jean lived together in Beverly Hills at North Doheny Drive, ‘the address was ritzier than the pad. My mother said it was just a small apartment’. They moved to West Hollywood after their son Lee Earle (now James) was born in 1948. Beverly Hills had a population of 26,000 in 1940. It was a rapidly developing community at the time (it had less than a thousand people in 1920), and was presumably big enough for Jean not to worry about bumping into her ex-husband Easton.

Aftermath

Those are the facts, just the facts. Here are some of my thoughts:

Jean first visited LA on December 12, 1938. She had won a glamour contest as the ‘Most Charming Redhead’. She stayed at the Ambassador Hotel. She took a screen test. She was paid $1,000 and was given a tour of Hollywood. The Spaulding’s had connections in Hollywood. Many Hollywood stars lived in Spaulding Square. Perhaps she met Easton this way. Perhaps he persuaded her to move permanently from Chicago to LA. Perhaps they met after she moved to LA.

Easton’s marriage to Jean was something of an outlier in his life. Yes, he had been married and divorced twice before but those unions had been long enough to produce children. His marriage to Jean appears to have been short and disastrous. It does not appear in the book The Spaulding Heritage, so presumably (as with Jean) none of his family were at the wedding and he probably didn’t tell them about it. The marriage was dissolved shortly afterwards. Armand Ellroy abandoned his first wife, Mildred Feese, to live with Jean in 1941. Easton was short and balding. Armand was tall and handsome. Armand was a few years older than Easton. Perhaps Jean abandoned Easton for Armand. Maybe they were already divorced by the time Jean met Armand. We don’t know. Did Easton pay alimony to Jean until she remarried, or was their marriage too short to warrant that?

Jean Ellroy was murdered in 1958. Armand was questioned by police and ruled out as a suspect. Their son was his alibi at the time Jean was murdered. Armand had custody of the boy at weekends. Armand would have made for a natural suspect if he did not have such a strong alibi. His divorce from Jean had been bitter and acrimonious. Leoda Hilliker always suspected Armand had murdered Jean, ‘my father got a kick out of the notion’. Easton Spaulding, it seems, was never interviewed by the police. His name is never mentioned in Ellroy’s detailed account of the original investigation. It’s probable that the police were unaware of Jean’s first marriage. Ellroy recalls overhearing detectives talking to his father, ‘The cops were saying their case was dead. Jean was such a goddamn secretive woman. Her life just didn’t make sense.’

Jean Hilliker was indeed secretive, but at least we now know the identity of her first husband.

Author’s Note: I informed James Ellroy of my findings prior to the publication of this article.

 

 

 

 

30 Comments leave one →
  1. Catherine Nealy Judd permalink
    March 29, 2020 5:30 am

    Gosh Easton was henpecked, meek, genial, and gentle—an extreme hypochondriac with a wandering eye. Highly unlikely that he murdered his ex-wife, Mr. Ellroy’s mother! The lovely Jean was Easton’s third wife and he went on to several more before finally settling down. In order to see my mother—his daughter Anne—he would have to sneak off to lunch with her on the Sunset Strip. His last wife ruled him with an iron fist. Catherine Nealy Judd

    • Karenhardy504@yahoo.com permalink
      April 10, 2021 2:46 pm

      He had noting to do with her death he did not match the killer composite drawing that will finger him as the perpetrator in the murder of ms Jean ellroy…

  2. April 15, 2020 2:21 am

    There is no mystery that can`t be solved.Whatever things the left hand is doing it will eventually be revealed.

  3. Zach hardy permalink
    January 24, 2021 2:11 pm

    My thoughts on it because I read my dark places I am a very big fan of james ellroy and I came to the notion as a teen boy to pick up his book my dark places in 1998 two yrs after the fascinating book came to publicization. really really a fascinating book to me and my mother who is the one who inspired me to pick up the book and read it after discovering me using it to hold my door open,my punishment was to pick it up and read every single word in there,and top it all off I had to be quiz on it after reading it lol but u did and man when I tell u I can’t explain to you what thaook did to not only my conscious,but what it did to my heart,and what it did to me as being a son of a beautiful mother.all I can say is the legendary book writer changed my life and my relationship with my mother forever but his very very fascinating story about his mother mss Geneva hilliker thank you very much sir!

  4. Zach hardy permalink
    January 24, 2021 2:40 pm

    I like to add one last thing I don’t believe that mr armand ellroy had anything to do with ms jean ellroy murder like the original investigators and even james ellroy hisself been knew as he was his father alibi the night of June 22,1958,but I will say as I strongly believe that by mr james ellroy uncovering and breaking one of the secretive codes in his mother’s past life her first marriage,and he may could unlock the 62 yrs old secret unsolved murder of his mother and by all means he could be on the right track..who was her first husband is the question besides the new info we already know and if this starting new information regarding his mother first marriage plus her first husband has no relations to his mother murder then I strongly believe if mr James ellroy choose too move forward towards a new direction then I think the investigation should be leaning towards allegations against the late fred sexton or at least give it a thought towards a new revenue in pieces his mother murder move together by investigating fred sexton to include him in his mother’s murder or exclude him either way I feel it won’t hurt to try because I really want to know who took his mother life away from her 62 yrs ago Mr james ellroy if he don’t want closure well at least he could get his own private resolution even if it takes the world not ever knowing at least he will one day when he leave here he will have full knowedge on who killed his mother on that hot June night in 58. As Mr Steve hodel said he pointed it out first then anyone that fred sexton should be looked at at least and I totally agree he do fits that composite sketch but if mr hodel is wrong then at least if mr ellroy try to stumble up on more info on fred sexton then at least we have real evidence to prove he right or wrong because not knowing much on who that guy was fred sexton got me wondering could he had been apart of a secret society I will say this and I’m done I believe that whoever his mother killer was we being protected by very powerful ppl by then even to this day

    • January 24, 2021 3:31 pm

      Hi Zach, thanks for your comment. I know James Ellroy strongly disagrees that Fred Sexton is a plausible suspect. I agree with you though it is still possible, albeit unlikely, that the case will be solved. There could just be one lucky break. We have to continue hoping. I was exceptionally pleased to have discovered the identity of Jean’s first husband, and since then I’ve received a lot of help from the Easton Ewing Spaulding who have been very kind in sharing heir memories of him.

      • Karen Hardy permalink
        April 9, 2021 8:31 pm

        U are so welcome mr steve. I completely understand by all means how mr james ellroy would disagree with me regarding the subject fred Sexton.in the murder of his beloved mother ms Jean ellroy.but I also come to the conclusion why after going thru hours of research concerning this matter and the public notes and speeches by mr James ellroy in which he stated so many times how it didn’t matter if his mother murder be solved as long as he founded his mother in which I can guess now was the moral of the story,but I dont wont it to end without the future which is now and constantly moving with men such as myself who have a beloved mother not knowing who murdered another mother.and even tho justice on ms jean ellroy murder will never be seeked due to the passage of time and the real killer I believed died on Sept 11 1995. At lease we would finally know the identity of the swarthy man and who he was…and mr Steve u are awesome for breaking the codes to ms Jean ellroy life by presenting the existence of her first marriage..and I want to add that I don’t believe that this case is dead maybe as far as a arrest but I still believe any DNA that was collected from the body of ms Jean ellroy can be texted and it may take a while to link it if it may be linked to Sexton because he died plus he had all his personal belongings destroyed because I believe he had missing evidence from the jean ellroy murder and the missing blonde woman murder who was seen with him as. The swarthy man and ms Jean ellroy..and the lip stick murder because he was the killer in that murder Sexton had his third wife destroy all that before he died..so my point u know he may requested to be cremated so it will take a while what ever DNA they founded on ms jean ellroy to link Sexton because all his family is bout dead what accept his last wife and whatever kids he had by her but my point to link him in el monte and to ms Jean ellroy murder If u able to text any old dna

  5. Johnny Stompanato permalink
    April 5, 2021 10:16 am

    Jean was out on a date with the unknown ‘swarthy man’. Likely just some random guy she met somewhere a few days prior to her murder. She refused his sexual advances and he killed her out of rage. It has been gone over at length in My Dark Places. It wasn’t Spalding or anyone else she knew historically.

    • April 5, 2021 10:28 am

      Agreed. It couldn’t have been Spaulding. He didn’t match the description of the ‘Swarthy Man’ in age or appearance. As for how well Jean knew the ‘Swarthy Man’ we just don’t know. She may have known him for a few days, weeks or months.

      • Karenhardy504@yahoo.com permalink
        April 10, 2021 3:01 pm

        It is strongly possible that jean ellroy could had met the swarthy man the previous day on that fri before her death that sunday morning..she could had met him that fri and they set a date and they rendezvous that fateful Saturday night at that bar with that blonde…after all witnesses also placed her out a bar that fri question are was she alone then or since as stated by a person who have spoken to her said jean was scouting for bars to go to safe bars so that could explained why she was seen at the bar fri and I wonder while she was scouting that fri is there she first met the swarthy man?I’m willing to bet that it is highly possible…

    • Karenhardy504@yahoo.com permalink
      April 9, 2021 9:09 pm

      Johnny was a random guy to her for the fact the swarthy man did not live or worked in el monte period!he passed thru there on occasions for bars or dance halls to relax the swarthy man I believed was. Living out of the country at the time and was in la on business and pleasant..maybe staying miles from el monte at the blonde as a hotel resort or at a old flame house while he in the country as I said on business and pleasant either that blonde put him on to bars or his ex put him on to bars that weekend and maybe just maybe he met ms Jean ellroy the day before the final deadly encounter then set a date for Saturday after jean met the swarthy man on fri he had some sex with her I believe before she came on her monthly and doing they drives and stops she could had then inserted her tampon in her after they first sex encounter as she came on after some sex he wanted it again and that’s when it got out of control and he killed her..and all the news reports on it and composite drawing of the killer posted all over the news the swarthy man Panicked again believing his identity will be identified because he watched news clippings so he got up with the blonde played it regular fucked up first then killed her to silence her in the jean ellroy murder I believed that blonde was Bobbie long..but my point I believed these women killer was fred Sexton and Jean may have met him fri and set a date for Saturday and rendezvous with him as the swarthy man and bobble long as the blonde read between the lines ppl it makes alot of sense now plus fred Sexton fit both composite drawing of the el monte suspect and this was a man who raped his own 8 yrs old daughter at the time and his step daughter he fited the profile perfect as a sex killer

      • April 10, 2021 6:17 am

        Hi Karen, thanks for your comment. Hodel posited Fred Sexton as a hypothetical suspect, but even he admitted he didn’t have a lot of evidence to tie him to Jean. I think he wanted Sexton to be considered as a possibility.

  6. Johnny Stompanato permalink
    April 5, 2021 10:04 pm

    Thanks for the article BTW. I was obsessed with this book when I was young, I must have read it half a dozen times. I bought everything James published. My Dark Places is one of the best true crime books ever written in my opinion.

    • April 6, 2021 7:21 am

      My pleasure. Glad to hear there are plenty of fellow Ellrovians out there. Hope you find this website a good place to feed your obsession.

      • Karenhardy504@yahoo.com permalink
        April 10, 2021 3:30 pm

        Mr Steve yes that’s where I have gotten my info from mr Steve hodel master piece the bda..I studied his notes going on 13 14 yrs now but I have been on top of the Jean. Ellroy case for nearly 25 yrs now with the exception of once being a Criminal myself and being around ppl with criminal minds to where I have study alot about law and have been highly skilled in steps in life far as common given sense,and it dont by all account take a rocket scientist to study the movement and psychological minds of human behavior and with my opinion I strongly believe without a doubt that mr Steve hodel has taken this case into a new light ppl just have to use they common sense In regards to connecting fred Sexton to jean ellroy the man back ground and movements after 1955 and his selective act before his death by having his third wife as mr hodel pointed out destroy all his personal belongings rings questions man’s one why did he have his third wife destroy all his stuff what was he even trying to conceal before his death?let’s not forget jean ellroy had missing things from that crime scene and so did Bobbie long think about that the man have a very serious background look how he basically paralyzed his first wife glain if I spelled it correctly he paralyzed his first wife by having George hodel inject her just so he would have his way with his li 8 yrs old daughter at the time he was a sex maniac and a sex killer he match jean ellroy killer profile to the tie mr Steve hodel have solved this case but only without a arrest which is impossible now and they have dna but question was in which I know are if it’s not decompose then why not test it or I know why they still covering up protecting the swarthy man identity in this case even tho he been long dead and other cases that match the same killer mo in other sex kills murder I believe that got Sexton name all over it I believe steve hodel have solved this case and the black dahlia

  7. Karenhardy504@yahoo.com permalink
    April 10, 2021 5:49 pm

    I dont at all want to keep picking at this but the composite drawing of jean ellroy killer the second composite to me only fits one individual other fred Sexton and that was a guy name I believe jim boss but he died in 1979 to me if I am correct by a pic i came across i too such as legendary retired det bill stoner and legendary crime writer james ellroy… eliminates jim boss as being the swarthy man as his face features connects to the composite drawing of the swarthy man.his skin tone does not match the swarthy man features such as his skin tone in which the swarthy man that was seen with Jean ellroy and the blonde in the desert inn was of olive complexion.but as Steve hodel has to me unsealed the swarthy man identity such as fred Sexton who matches the composite drawing of the swarthy man seen with Jean ellroy and the blonde the second composite the ears the cold dark stare eyes the nose the mouth matches that drawing more then anyone in the whole country at that time after the murder and even to this present day.. ppl need to come to grips and research yourself..as I do believe As well that if fred Sexton could be investigated well his back ground can be investigated such as more pictures and any living kin that could be available in case any type DNA could be tested regarding Jean ellroy murder then we could aim to solve or eliminate any possible connections between fred Sexton and jean ellroy..and if we could eliminate his involvement then if that’s possible then the next step would be digging up backgrounds of couples who killed involving sex crimes involving women lonely women back then because if fred connected be disregarded as well as George hodel concerning jean ellroy then my guess may be the swarthy man and the blonde was married and targeted lonely women into third ways that’s my next theory if sexton could be eliminated ms Jean. Ellroy could had been killed by a marriage couple or the husband of the blonde…

    • April 10, 2021 6:29 pm

      Yes Jim Boss Bennett was a suspect as detailed in My Dark Places but, for a variety of reasons, was ruled out. Fred Sexton may be a plausible suspect, although I know Ellroy doesn’t think so. Unfortunately, there isn’t any evidence that ties him to the scene or to Jean. It’s probably impossible to find any direct evidence after more than six decades.

      • Karenhardy504@yahoo.com permalink
        April 10, 2021 7:59 pm

        I totally agree with 100% steve and I want to say that I do apologize for my errors of typing as I am working with a damaged phone and it seems to solid have a mind of it’s own by vividly typing for me excuse my typo error please,but u are correct mr Steve about the lack of evidence in linking Sexton to ms jean ellroy,but I believe by you cracking open one of the Secrets to jean ellroy life regarding her first marriage also may blew the lid off something if it’s not just the discovery of another marriage besides to mr james ellroy father but as I stated before if any DNA exists regarding being removed from ms jean ellroy body that didnt belong to her and only the killer dna then if it eliminates Sexton and George hodel or any known lone woman killer then the investigation could center more on her first marriage because to me even by her first marriage being a secret the way it did could had caused her murder to go unsolved the way it did because investigators didn’t even know she had a first marriage or that Spalding guy even existed or at lease in ms jean ellroy world and if dna could be used now almost 63 yrs later and it excluded Sexton or any other then I would drive into her second marriage to this Spalding fellow because I cant eliminate him either for the fact her first marriage wont known so there for he was never talked to for any enforcement officer to eliminate him but my suspect will still be fred Sexton

  8. Karenhardy504@yahoo.com permalink
    April 10, 2021 8:07 pm

    And one more thing question they say she ran to el monte from a man so my second question could be was she still running from her first marriage and that man she was first married too?never know and if so it could eliminate Sexton as I said and the focus would be on new areas and a new dead person back ground her first husband but my opinion Sexton could had did it but if not then who else could had been the killer then nee area would be her first marriage research more on that

  9. Karenhardy504@yahoo.com permalink
    April 10, 2021 10:54 pm

    I want to add one more piece to this is that I do believe the waitress that served jean ellroy and the swarthy man twice description of the victim and the suspect was authentic but I do believe the witnesses who seen them In the desert inn bar description of the swarthy man can be off and that’s only by the age of the swarthy man and the blonde and that can could be the reason also the investigation went ice cold witnesses account after the murder and 36 yrs after mr james ellroy reopened his mother murder back up..important thing are now is what was the swarthy man age in attempt to match Sexton or Spalding to the swarthy man expected age by witnesses who seen him with jean ellroy and so far sexton match the swarthy man height weight and face structure and complexion but due to witnesses account the swarthy man age dont match sexton age in 58 after all witnesses place his age at 35 and 40 yrs old Sexton was like 51in 58 but here where could had confused the case here the age he may had looked 35 and 40 but maybe witnesses could had mistaken a 50 something year old man for a 40 yrs old there where the problem could had been the age of the swarthy man and witnesses memories yrs after the crime…

    • April 11, 2021 8:09 am

      Neither Sexton nor Spaulding matched the age or physical description of the Swarthy Man, and that alone would have been enough for the police to rule them out as suspects, if either of them had even been on the police’s radar. But to show just how difficult this case is to crack, we are not even sure of the ethnicity of the Swarthy Man. He was variously described as Italian, Greek or Mexican looking. If he was the latter, then he could have slipped across the border and never have been heard of again.

      • Karen Hardy permalink
        April 11, 2021 5:29 pm

        Mr steve the swarthy man height by some witnesses place him around 58 to 60 foot tall now sexton was 61 now that’s kind of close as hell by one of the witnesses description of how tall the swarthy man was sexton was 61 and some witnesses from the other have differences in how tall he was but let’s say one or two of the victims was correct about his height being 60 foot then if sexton dont match noting of the swarthy because the swarthy man was 60 then I still say that one of the witnesses was damn near perfect in her measure In height and at the same time the witnesses was off by one inch if the swarthy man was fred Sexton in which he was 61 you say he match noting of the swarthy man but he comes close as hell to the swarthy man height..and it prove the witnesses matched his height almost perfectly to Sexton height and the second composite of Jean ellroy killer match Sexton hair which was slicked back and black the composite of the swarthy man eyes which looks cold black matches sexton cold black eyes and the composite of the killer the nose matches sexton long nose the ears what matches sexton ears to the tee only thing that fred Sexton dont match of the swarthy man are the age In which witnesses only estimated noone really knew the age of the swarthy man so u still can’t rule Sexton out but I do rule the Spalding fellow out but not Sexton for the fact the main reliable and authentic witness to how the swarthy. Man looked was the woman. Who served jean ellroy and the swarthy man twice and she stated the swarthy man was of Greek or Italian fred Sexton was both but many ppl and at u look at fred Sexton pic he could pass as such all plus he could passed for Mexican because of his olive complexion.read between the lines he was back and forth from Mexico and la plus if u study fred Sexton movement he moved just elusive as the swarthy man that was seen in el monte with jean ellroy thats explain why. He wont on noone radar because he moved around alot he was a Mason plus he had tides to the underworld and la let’s not forget we talking about the same guy who created the maltese falcon for a major Hollywood movie worked on major Hollywood sets this fred Sexton we are talking about how could he been on anyone radar when he had his fine art and his Hollywood and Masonic friends he was protected then and he is still being protected now for the fact the killer DNA from ms jean ellroy could be still tested DNA semen can be froze and retested 50 60 something yrs after it was first froze so that’s crap not going to say nomore

  10. Karen Hardy permalink
    April 11, 2021 5:38 pm

    And u stated he could had slipped across the border yes and that’s where fred Sexton went back too after the murder over the burden to Mexico before he started sneaking back over here all thru the 60’s until he committed another unspeakable act but this time against his step daughter there then he panicked thinking he would be arrested for putting his dick in his step daughter mouth a child at the time and they would pinpoint he is the swarthy man in a murder back in el monte and a few miles couple of months later of another women he knew he had to run again to Mexico but this time for good so by the late or mid 60

  11. Karen Hardy permalink
    April 11, 2021 5:41 pm

    He slipped thru us borden again and running to Mexico forever meeting and marrying his third wife that’s why the swarthy man fred Sexton was never on the radar because he was too elusive and he had ties to the underworld in which he travel back to and here before finally running and living safe In Mexico for the rest of his life as ms Steve hodel stated and I believe it

  12. Karen Hardy permalink
    April 11, 2021 5:48 pm

    Once again do apologize for my typo error and spelling error

    • April 11, 2021 6:10 pm

      Not a problem. Thanks.

      • Karenhardy504@yahoo.com permalink
        April 11, 2021 9:30 pm

        You are welcome but may I add that my phone is damaged and it freezes up consistently and misplace my words and interrupt my spell bound but I am pretty much a well read speaking guy who does not really believe in such hideous gadgets such as these Electronics today part of which u can use as typing something..I am by far stuck solely on the 20th century to well illustrating your thoughts or your opinions thru speaking and writing in a note book as now technology progressed rapidly with no decline you can write anything but mainly by today’s standards and writing my ideas up here has shown that I sometimes get side swipe by today’s technology I’m so use to just speaking or writing my opinions down with no error but these phones are funny lol

  13. May 6, 2021 4:35 am

    Jean Hilliker’s family was aware of her marriage to Spaulding. She is listed as Mrs. E. Spaulding in her father’s 1940 obituary. It was common knowledge to her extended family in Wisconsin that she had the relatively short marriage to Spaulding before marriage to Ellroy. But in a small town in the Upper Midwest, such scandalous things weren’t talked about.

    • May 6, 2021 9:39 am

      Hi Purdyvalleygirl, thanks for commenting. Do you have a copy of the father’s death certificate? Jean’s family knew that she married a Spaulding, but they didn’t know which one and they even got the family wrong. They thought it was a Spaulding from the Spalding sporting goods fortune. I’ve spoken to Jean’s nieces and can confirm this.

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