(Image credit: Albuquerque Journal)
On October 12, 1959, the Associated Press column appeared in newspapers across the country with similar headlines to this one, “Admirer Kills Young Actress In Alamo Movie.” The article reported the death of LaJean Eldridge, an actress in the John Wayne film project being shot in Bracketville, Kinney County, Texas. Ms. Eldridge, about 26 years old, had died the day before, the victim of a stabbing that took place in a rented residence that she and five male actors shared in nearby Spofford, Texas. The group were members of a little theater troupe. Eldridge had been cast in the film as “Mrs. Guy” and the alleged killer, Chester Harvey Smith, about 32 years old, was her boyfriend who had been cast as an extra in the project.