The Daily Mirror

Los Angeles history

« Previous Post | The Daily Mirror Home | Next Post »

Four-time loser

August 12, 2007 |  6:17 am



1957_0812_janet02 Aug. 12, 1957
Los Angeles

John Gordon Fawcett, 42, had enough. His last three marriages had ended with his wives getting boyfriends and so when he found his fourth wife in the bedroom with another man....

"This happens every time," he said. "I got just a little tired of it."

At 28, Janet Fawcett was 14 years younger than her husband. I suppose if she'd been more mature she could have asked John a few questions before marrying him. Something like, "Have you been married before?" or more to the point: "Do you keep a loaded .45 semiautomatic around the apartment?" (The answer to both those questions was: Yes).

But from what she told police about the shooting, she doesn't sound all that bright--or at least she didn't think through what might happen if her husband found her with another man in their bedroom.

John and Janet, who had been married six months,  moved out of their old apartment at 12835 Burbank Blvd. and into a new apartment at 13737 Oxnard St. There was a pool party that night for new residents and their guests, The Times said. During the evening, John discovered that Janet had disappeared. He went into their apartment and left a note on his pillow telling her that he was upset because he couldn't find her and that he was spending the night at their old apartment.

But John couldn't get to sleep, The Times said. And so he returned.

With the .45.

John went into the bedroom with his pistol and found Janet with Louis C. Spichtig, 25, 15635 Colbalt St., so John shot him in left shoulder. John called the police and when two officers arrived, he handed them the .45 and told them what happened.

1957_0812_johnSpichtig was taken to General Hospital after being treated at Van Nuys Receiving Hospital and apparently recovered as he can't be found in the California Death Index. In fact, The Times never published a follow-up on this case, so we don't know what happened unless we go to the Mirror for these details:

Spichtig told police: "I didn't know she was married."

And Janet asked John: "Why did you shoot him? It was all just innocent fun."

As bad as this is, it could have easily turned into a double murder or a double murder and a suicide.  With luck, these three people sorted out their lives and moved on. Maybe all of them learned something. Spichtig, by the way, refused to press charges, the Mirror said.

The real mystery, at least to me, is how Jerome Voelker, 23, who was lying on the sofa, managed to sleep through the entire incident. If you have ever been around a .45 when it's fired, you'll know it's loud.  I suspect, and this in only a hunch, that alcohol was somehow involved.

Email me