Discovering herself pregnant, Barbara Burholme, of Golden Avenue, Los Angeles, telephoned the prospective father, Russell St. Clair Beitzel, and begged him to marry her. “I’m not ready for that, really,” he replied. “But let’s take a picnic up to Stone Canyon and talk about it. And by the way, I’d like to practice shooting up there with my revolver.”

So saying, he asked Barbara to fetch his gun, which he had left in her house, and read out the numbers on it so that he could buy the correct ammunition.

On the picnic Beitzel shot Barbara three times, stripped her body and left it to be devoured by coyotes.

Bullets recovered from her skeletal remains revealed that the killer had used a revolver with a partly sawn-off muzzle to allow him to fit a silencer. This caused distinctive markings on the bullets. Beitzel owned such a gun – the silencer had given him away.

He was hanged on Thursday, August 2nd, 1928, exactly a year to the day after a motorist noticed buzzards circling over Barbara’s body in the canyon.