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Ramblin' man

October 12, 2007 |  6:49 am



Oct. 11-23, 1957
Los Angeles

1957_1012_burton_pix Hey there, men, feeling blue because you can't get a date? You might try the Clifford Earl Burton method: You don't have to be tall (he was 5-5), highly educated (he could barely read or sign his name) or particularly handsome (see photo). You don't even have to be a sharp dresser (what is that thing on his head?)

Then what was his secret weapon that drove women wild? How did Clifford Earl Burton manage to get at least nine wives (that's according to police; he lost count) and 10 children (three of them born within a month in 1953)?

He knew how to WELD! (Great pickup line: "Want to come over to my place and see my acetylene?")

OK, enough fun with Mr. Burton. He broke a lot of women's hearts and made many children grow up without a father. There isn't much humor in that.

How did he do it? Mostly he picked on girls in their teens (the oldest was 20 and the youngest was 15) whom he met by hanging around high school football games, police said. One of his wives was the babysitter. He moved around the country: Van Nuys; Lancaster; Tulsa, Okla.; Carson City, Nev.; and Muncie, Ind.

Burton married for the first time in 1941, when he was 16. He married again in 1944, three times in 1946, once in 1950 and 1952 and twice more in 1953, police said. Some of the marriages may have been annulled and he might have gotten divorced, but Burton was vague about the matter. He said he had been married "several times but I can't recall dates or details."

Police got involved in the case in 1954 when a Lancaster woman, the mother of Wife No. 4, saw a TV show describing his three previous wives.

Burton was given five years' probation after being arrested in Jackson, Miss., and extradited to Los Angeles on bigamy charges.

His only explanation: "I was all confused."

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