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