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Intruder attacks

December 26, 2007 |  9:20 am



1957_1225_jensen Dec. 25-26, 1957
Los Angeles

It was a little before 3:30 a.m. as he tried the front door of the apartment at 4447 Finley Ave. and found it unlocked. It was the morning of Christmas Eve and the presents were already stacked. He ignored the packages, even though they were decorated with dollar bills. That's not what he wanted.

He saw the purses of the two women who lived in the apartment, but he wasn't interested in any money that might be in their wallets.

What he wanted was upstairs--asleep.

He found two women in twin beds. One was Thelma Burlingame, 30, a secretary at an insurance company. Her young niece and nephew, who were in town for the holidays, were asleep in the other bedroom.

He didn't want any of them either.

What he wanted was Ellen Jensen, 29, a legal secretary at 20th Century Fox. Using a heavy weapon, he began savagely beating Jensen in the head. She awoke screaming: "Someone hit me! I can't hear! Help me!"

Roused from her sleep in a bed that was three feet away, Burlingame thought Jensen was having a bad dream and reached out to calm her. In the dark, Burlingame felt blood on Jensen's head and her blood-soaked pillow.

As she rushed down to call for help, Burlingame got a glimpse of him as he ran out the front door, but apparently not enough to provide a description.

He wasn't through yet. He began trying more doors and about 15 minutes later he found one that was unlocked at 2005 Talmadge St. This time, the intruder attacked Ronald Britton Bacon, 27, a TV stage manager, who was asleep in bed with his wife. Bacon woke up and began struggling with him. Bacon told police the intruder was 5-feet-9, 150 to 170 pounds and was wearing a red shirt, green pants and a dark jacket.

Jensen was taken to Glendale Community Hospital, where she was in serious condition with a concussion and a skull fracture.  Burlingame said one of Jensen's ears was partially torn off in the attack.

Bacon was treated at Central Receiving Hospital for a bloody nose and bruised forehead.

David C. Rogers, 3938 Cumberland Ave., and Raul C. Howard, 2351 Silver Lake Blvd., who were parked in a car in the neighborhood at the time, told police they saw a man trying doors in the area.  The Times failed to report why these two men were sitting in a car at 4 a.m.

The attacks were never solved.

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