A Cast of Killers: The True Story of Hollywood's Most Scandalous Murder

A Cast of Killers: The True Story of Hollywood's Most Scandalous Murder

Sidney D Kirkpatrick / Apr 04, 2020
A Cast of Killers The True Story of Hollywood s Most Scandalous Murder On February the distinguished silent film director William Desmond Taylor was shot to death in his Los Angeles bungalow by an unknown assailant Reports of strange activities at the scene of t
  • Title: A Cast of Killers: The True Story of Hollywood's Most Scandalous Murder
  • Author: Sidney D Kirkpatrick
  • ISBN: 9785551541356
  • Page: 118
  • Format: Hardcover
  • On February 1, 1922, the distinguished silent film director William Desmond Taylor was shot to death in his Los Angeles bungalow by an unknown assailant Reports of strange activities at the scene of the crime circulated soon after When the police arrived, was the head of Paramount Studios burning a bundle of papers in the fireplace, and was a well known actress searchingOn February 1, 1922, the distinguished silent film director William Desmond Taylor was shot to death in his Los Angeles bungalow by an unknown assailant Reports of strange activities at the scene of the crime circulated soon after When the police arrived, was the head of Paramount Studios burning a bundle of papers in the fireplace, and was a well known actress searching the house for letters she claimed were hers Despite a full scale investigation, the case was never solved for sixty years is has remained a lingering Hollywood scandal In 1967, than forty years after Taylor s death, the great King Vidor, whose directing credits include Northwest Passage, The Fountainhead, Duel in the Sun, and War and Peace, determined to solve the mystery, which had haunted him throughout his career, in order to make a film about it Through his intimate knowledge of both the studios and the stars, he succeeded, where dozens of professional detectives had failed, in discovering the identity of the murderer But because his findings were so explosive, he decided he could never go public and locked his evidence away After Vidor s death in 1982, Sidney D Kirkpatrick, Vidor s authorized biographer, gained access to the evidence and reconstructed the amazing story of Taylor s murder and Vidor s investigation With a cast of suspects that includes the actress Mabel Normand, a reputed drug addict the beautiful ing nue, Mary Miles Minter Mary s domineering mother, Charlotte Shelby Taylor s homosexual houseman and Taylor s secretary, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Taylor s mysteriously elusive brother, this true crime story has all the elements of a classic murder mystery Covered up for than half a century, the full story can now be told in all its riveting, shocking detail.
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      Posted by:Sidney D Kirkpatrick
      Published :2020-01-10T00:17:12+00:00

    About "Sidney D Kirkpatrick"

      • Sidney D Kirkpatrick

        Sidney D Kirkpatrick Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the A Cast of Killers: The True Story of Hollywood's Most Scandalous Murder book, this is one of the most wanted Sidney D Kirkpatrick author readers around the world.


    1. King Vidor was a legendary film director largely forgotten by Hollywood at the time of his death Sydney Kirkpatrick came to Vidor s home after his death to research a well deserved biography, but instead discovered a buried box full of virtual dynamite In the box were notes for a planned project which was to be the director s comeback film But the explosive nature of his findings had prompted Vidor to bury it literally.This book is based on what Kirkpatrick found in that box It is full of myster [...]

    2. 3.5 Stars A Cast of Killers is nonfiction but it reads like fiction and it took me a while to get use to A Cast of Killers is about old Hollywood director King Vidors 20 year investigation into the 1922 murder of silent film director William Desmond Taylor A lot of liberties were taken and I thought it was riddled with inaccuracies but Hey so was the actual police investigation into the murder If you ve never heard of William Desmond Taylor please Google him Now His murder was the first Hollywo [...]

    3. One of the best books written about Hollywood A true Sunset Boulevard kind of story, which also reads like a thriller about Hollywood in the twenties Kirkpatrick s own inquiry is extremely believable and it s hard not to think that he did actually find the solution to one of the most notorious mysteries of Tinseltown The true characters of this delicious read are bigger than life and riveting It s also a perfect painting of the true face of the Dream Factory in the silent era.

    4. Although there have been other and solid theories out there about the motive and perpetrators of director William Desmond Taylor s murder in 1922, this one has an added level of interest because Kirkpatrick tells the story of a high level sleuth King Vidor, well known director and contemporary of Taylor s, investigated the crime over the course of decades and this book is the result of that inquiry As I said, the finale is not completely convincing and may be a bit of a cop out , but for anyone [...]

    5. A first rate whodunit about the murder if William Desmond Taylor Aging director King Vidor searches for answers to the 50 year old mystery and what he finds is a studio cover up, a LAPD deliberate stonewall, love affairs, homosexuality and stars and starlets whose careers were destroyed Kirkpatrick keeps us guessing and the ending is bittersweet but meanwhile we get a glimpse of Tinsel Town in the 20 s 60 s and the power of the studio system A must read 4 stars.

    6. I found this wonderful gem in pristine condition in a used bookstore I absolutely hung on every word of how the story unfolded For anyone who loves old hollywood and mystery A Cast of Killers is an absolute must read I had heard of the William Desmond Taylor murder when I was a boy and always wanted to learn about it This book is as close as I believe any one has ever come to learning much of what was kept hidden from the public.Great book

    7. A CAST OF KILLERS is a compelling look back into the 1922 unsolved murder of William Desmond Taylor The author tells the story through the eyes of director King Vidor, using his actual research of the murder during the years sixty six and sixty seven.Once I picked this up, I could not put it back down, or rather, I didn t want to put it down for a second Sydney D Kirkpatrick knows how to grab ahold of a reader and keep them locked into the book until the very end To make sure nothing spoiled the [...]

    8. What a fun book trying to uncover the murder of a 1920 s starlet It s full of golden age movie stars, coverups and discoveries about people who d never expect A great, fun read.

    9. A Cast of Killers is a fascinating account of the murder of William Desmond Taylor and a sleuthing director King Vidor on the trail of who murdered him Vidor wants to make a film about the Hollywood scandal which turned up no results and left an open case for the police Along with Colleen Moore, lover and business partner, Vidor researches a case filled with contradictions and cover ups.This book s print is rather large, and it makes the 300 pages go back rapidly with aid from the intriguing sto [...]

    10. Very interesting true crime novel about an early Hollywood scandal In 1922 the director William Desmond Taylor was found murdered, with various Hollywood players implicated in his death Despite much rumour and speculation the crime was never solved Forty years later, in the 1960 s, the legendary director King Vidor decided to investigate what really happened to his friend Written by Sidney Kirkpatrick, the novel recounts Vidor s investigation and involves many people from 1920 s Hollywood, both [...]

    11. Although slow to start, once you get about 50 75 pages in, it really picks up and becomes darn near impossible to put down It reads like an old noir mystery and the author imagines it in a way that the reader can very much picture it as a movie in their mind We follow King Vidor as he unearths the facts of the old 1922 William Desmond Taylor murder and we wind the paths of all the multiple leads was it young actress Mary Miles Minter or possibly the other silent era star whose career was lost ov [...]

    12. On February 1st, 1922, noted American film director William Desmond Talor was murdered in his Hollywood home The mystery was never solved In the late 1960 s, the great film director King Vidor decided to finally solve this murder He did so, also discovering why the murder went unsolved.King Vidor never made a film of his findings, deciding to wait until those involved died Vidor passed away without ever disclosing his findings The author of this book, with permission of the Vidor family, has fin [...]

    13. Based on several true stories King Vidor was a famous Hollywood movie director He directed Gary Cooper in The Fountainhead He also directed War and Peace with a large cast including Audrey Hepburn Kirkpatrick sets out to write a posthumous biography of the director who appears to be a biographer s dream He kept a detailed diary and calendar of his every day appointments and thoughts for years.But Kirkpatrick discovers a surprising blank in the Vidor record A period of about 18 months is complete [...]

    14. A fascinating look at the death of William Desmond Taylor, silent Hollywood film director, who was murdered one night by a mysterious assailant The suspects included everyone from two silent film starlets, an overbearing stage mother, to drug dealers, studio heads and Taylor s own brother.Making it even fascinating is that King Vidor, a great director in his own right, undertook his own investigation of the case in his twilight years, laying bare just how corrupt and strange the Los Angeles of [...]

    15. As many have said, this is as good a thriller whodunit as you ll read anywhere.but it s true In what would make a great film, legendary filmmaker King Vidor tried to solve the murder of William Desmond Taylor, one of the top filmmakers in early Hollywood We see the evidence through Vidor s eyes as he tracks down leads and clues, and by books end we know who the killer is I won t spoil it, but having read other books on the subject who reached different conclusions, I would say Vidor got it right [...]

    16. At first, I thought that this was a Dan Brown ish made up thriller After reading the end notes, I am not sure Instead of just presenting the murder and clues, we are instead lead through the murder investigation by a long dead movie director including what this director, King Vidor, was thinking And, if these were indeed his thoughts, what a pedestrian man he was It s hard to believe that a man who directed such great movies was such a dolt In short, a twisted and plodding retelling and maybe so [...]

    17. As a fan of old movies and Hollywood in its heyday, this is a fascinating look at the seamier side of Tinseltown in its infancy A true unsolved murder mystery, with many of the important celebrities of the time involved or linked in some way Don t know if you would call it a fun read , but it was definitely as good, or better, than fiction.

    18. I normally love historic true crime, but it was a slog to get through what should have been a fascinating whodunnit Kirkpatrick s writing style isn t to my taste.

    19. William Desmond Taylor was an A list Hollywood film director of the silent era On February 1, 1922, the dapper Irish American was found shot in the back in his bungalow in the Westlake Park area of downtown Los Angeles He was 49 years old There was no sign of a struggle.When the police arrived 30 minutes later, the house was already swarming with movie studio people At first, police believed Taylor suffered a perforated ulcer and died from interior bleeding But when the body was moved, it was cl [...]

    20. I m not a great reader of true crime books I find them depressing since, so often, innocents die and villains get away with it This book attracted me because the protagonist and the victim were renowned Hollywood directors and the solving of a long unresolved murder was intriguing This is actually less a true crime novel than a police procedural, with the lead investigator a friend of both victim and villain.A Cast of Killers was published in 1986, 4 years after the death of director King Vidor, [...]

    21. I really enjoyed it, but I know I was exactly the kind of person it was written for It s not going to be for everyone An avid interest in Silent Movies is required, and if you particularly enjoy King Vidor s work it s another plus Then there is a real life crime investigation so interest in the field will also make this enjoyable.However, if you like only one of the above you might find it wanting.What s it about retired involuntarily film director sets about to solve the murder mystery of a on [...]

    22. I listened to an audio version of this book a long time ago and it s never left me I have always loved silent films, and had a great interest in this particular story, though I don t think it s necessary to have that interest to enjoy or understand the story It s a true crime mystery that is compellingly told, full of human complexity and emotion It left me a feeling like a wrung out rag by the end.

    23. I don t know what I expected going into this It is not of the true crime genre It is best viewed as a novel Is it entertaining It starts off with a very brisk pace but it eventually embraces cliche I would be very interested in reading a polished non fiction account of the Taylor case.

    24. Fabulous read, exciting, different, page turner Everything I want in a book And, a look inside the silent movies.

    25. Purporting to solve the 1922 murder of Hollywood director William Desmond Taylor, this book came out with much fanfare, but it is an almost total failure Sloppily researched, with many of the photos misidentified the photo captioned as being Faith MacLean is actually Kathlyn Williams, for example the photo captioned as being Taylor in his Canadian army uniform standing with Mary Pickford is not Taylor the photo captioned as being Mary Miles Minter in Faith is neither MMM nor from Faith, for exam [...]

    26. Reads like a whodunnit than true crime story I m also bothered by the fact that Mr Kirkpatrick never made the copy of the files he references available to the general public.Without those, it s not possible to evaluate the quality of the information he presents, and especially the solution he presents.If the book is as Mr Kirkpatrick tries to tell us simply an exploration of King Vidor s process and his fascination with the William Desmond Taylor murder mystery, then the book fails to capture h [...]

    27. this book is about a famous hollywood director King Vidor and he trying to solve the case of who killed the director William Taylor the case in this book is like a typical hollywood movie but into a book with lots of sex, blackmail, drugs, lies and a very good confusing story this books doesnt seem like it would actually happen it does surpirslingy you really have to pay attention to the details and can hardly skim through pages but i recommend it to all who like to think and figure cases out In [...]

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