The Tragic Story of Marvel Rea

Early dawn of September 3rd, 1936, a young woman staggers into the Compton police station in California.

She reports that she had been kidnapped and raped by three men hours before.

This woman is former actress and bathing beauty model Marvel Rea.

Marvel Rea
Marvel Rea

As Marvel walked on 107th Street & Compton avenue in Los Angeles, midnight September 2nd, three youths approached her in a red truck and offered her a ride. She politely refused their offer.

The three young men then lept out of the car, grabbed Marvel, threw her into their truck, and then drove away to a eucalyptus grove in Los Angeles.

Marvel screamed as they dragged her out of the car and threw her on the ground. They began beating her with glass bottles; breaking them over her body. Her face and hands were scratched by the broken glass. Each man raped Marvel and continued to beat and choke her. She suffered a seizure and passed out.

When Marvel woke about 4 hours later, she ran to the Police station.

As Police searched for the three men, Marvel was taken under the care of a physician. Suffering from severe shock and hysteria.

September 5th, the men-Harvey Allen Zinke, Elwood Robert Gidney, and Daniel Bailey-were arrested and kept in jail as they couldn’t provide the $10,000 in bond. The three truck driving men were in their early 20’s; Marvel was 35.

The Attackers
The Attackers

January, 1937: The three men unsuccessfully requested a new trial on charges that they attacked Marvel. The three were sentenced to serve from one to fifty years in prison. They were all released two years later.

Marvel couldn’t handle the pain which was left after the attack.

She committed suicide by eating ant paste at the age of 36.

Marvel Rea

A new report is that Marvel and her brother Clyde made a late night suicide pact as they were drinking. Marvel carried it out as Clyde passed out.

She loved to swim and surf. With her blonde hair, blue eyes, and innocent smile she became a beautiful film actress and model.

But Marvel’s life wasn’t easy.

She suffered a miscarriage while she was filming a scene with a live Gorilla and it kicked her in the stomach causing her to stop her career in 1921.

Her first husband, Henry Wells, was abusive. He stepped on her head and stole money from her to support his narcotic abuse.

Marvel’s second husband (name unknown) was a famous violinist and she often toured with him. His sudden death shocked her and left her a widow.

Her third marriage to Edwin Wilkinson began shortly before her attack.

Marvel felt she had nothing to live for.

She is buried in California in a family plot under the name Marvel Wilkinson.

Rest in Peace Marvel.

Marvel Rea4

The Photo Album

I love all pictures of anyone who was associated with Lucille. Weekly I am going to try to share my favorite pics!!

Here’s some to start off.

Pictured is Conrad Nagel and his daughter Ruth, Jack and Mary Pickford, Paul Bern and Jean Harlow, Robert Agnew and Lucille.

Conrad and his daughter Ruth.
Conrad and his daughter Ruth.
Jack  Pickford with his sister Mary.
Jack Pickford with his sister Mary.
Paul Bern and Jean Harlow
Paul with his first wife Jean Harlow.


Lucille in her final film role, The Denial (1925)
Lucille in her final film role, The Denial (1925)


Until next post, Best wishes! – AmyXo

On This Night…

On this night (of Sep. 5th) in 1920 Jack Pickford and his wife Olive Thomas dined with friends, including actress Mae Murray, in several hot spots in Paris.

They arrived to their hotel at Ritz at about 3 am (On Sep. 6th).

While Jack was asleep, Olive drank Mercury Bichloride, which she mistook for her sleeping medication, in alcohol.

Her screams woke Jack and he rushed to the bathroom, where Olive was at. He called for help and shoved egg whites, butter and milk down her throat to get her to vomit.

When paramedics arrived, they pumped her stomach while Jack held her.

When all failed, she was secretly rushed by ambulance to the American Military Hospital at Neuilly, just outside of Paris.

The Last Images of Olive. With husband Jack.
The Last Images of Olive. With husband Jack.

Story/Excerpt From My Book

I am working on a book about my life as Lucille Ricksen. I am writing it as a memoir. It will contain memories I have and the events that molded and shaped my life and untimely death.

I am almost fully completed with the first draft and I could not be more happy with the result! It’s not perfect but I am happy with the work I have done so far.

I’m going to share some of the stories that I remember. This is not what will be written in the book, they are just fragments of memories as they come to me. I’m working now on filling in the pieces for my book. There will be a ton of mistakes so please don’t be to harsh.

This story consists of Jack & Mary Pickford on set of the film The Hill Billy, and stories that Syd Chaplin had told me. It’s a short, sad story. But it is one that I remember well.

Hope you enjoy!!


One thing I remember specifically about Jack — he loved Coca Cola. I would see him walk around set with the glass bottle, sipping it down like it was his last drink. Knowing him, he probably spiked it with liquor.
Mary would often visit the set. All I can say about Mary is that she was stunning. Her golden hair bounced at her shoulders and her smile was darling. She is very small. She was wearing a white, casual lace gown with a sun hat when I first saw her. Mary is simply as cute as a button.
I would always observe Mary and Jack very closely from afar. Jack is only a few inches, if that, taller than Mary. She has such confidence about her; you know that she knows she is powerful. Jack, however, exceeds almost little to no confidence at all. Especially when he’s by Mary.
The more I worked with Jack, the more I felt sorry for him.
He often got himself into a lot of trouble, which explains why Mary and his mother would check up on him on set. I never saw the “bad” or “evil” side of Jack, and my guess is that almost none of his other co stars did.
He drank a lot. But only in his own privacy. Sometimes, if he drank enough, he would call out for a girl who had been dead for 4 years:
He would call out for her into the lonesome night, with only his echoes returning back to him.
Syd had told me stories of Jack. Painful stories that Mary had apparently blabbed to Charlie, among other people.
Stories of how Olive would plead to Jack,
“Don’t let me die! I don’t want to die!” She would beg him.
Olive died in his arms and he had been living with her voices in his head ever since.
He drank to silence the voices.


*Olive is Jack’s first wife who was poisoned on their second honeymoon in Paris of 1920. He was 24 years old when this happened.