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Shopping For Carole

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Carole's Last Day


Tragically on July 5, 1948 Carole was found dead in her Pacific Palisades home. She had committed suicide at the young age of twenty-nine. Carole spent her final evening alive with her married lover Rex Harrison. Many people have speculated about what actually happened that night. Here is a timeline we have put together based one everything we know ...
 

SUNDAY, JULY 4

12:00 PM - Carole hosts a pool party for a dozen friends including Rex Harrison. She goes swimming and appears to be in good spirits. Carole tells her friends they have to leave early because she is having a private dinner with Harrison. This is the seventh night in a row that they have dinner together. Rex is married to actress Lilli Palmer and Carole has been having an affair with him for over a year. Because of the affair she had filed for divorce from her husband Horace Schmidlapp. She has also put her thirteen room mansion up for sale.
 
Carole in her backyard
 
5:00 PM - Carole puts on a plaid skirt, a white blouse, and gold sandals. She is also wearing her favorite gold cross and a St. Christopher medal. Before dinner Carole and Rex each have a Scotch and Soda. They dine on cold roast chicken, a tossed salad, and lemon chiffon pie that Carole had baked herself. She plays "Warm Kiss And Cold Heart" on her phonograph. Rex will later claim they had a pleasant evening discussing Carole's career. The truth is Carole is hopelessly in love with him and wants him to leave his wife. During the evening they have an argument and he ends their relationship.
 
Listen to Warm Kiss And Cold Heart

 
 
Carole and Rex Harrison

9:00 PM - 1:00 AM - According to Rex he leaves Carole's house at 9:00 but other sources say he was there until after midnight. He is the last person to see her alive. Rex goes to visit his best friend Roland Culver who live a few blocks away. Carole is heartbroken over what happened that evening and has a few drinks. Her autopsy would later show that her blood alcohol level was .12 which meant she was not drunk. She tries to call several friends including Marguerite Haymes but no one is home. Marguerite gets Carole's message later that evening but decides it's too late to call her back.
 
 
 Carole and her friend Marguerite Haymes (the mother of actor Dick Haymes)
  
MONDAY, JULY 5

1:00 AM - 3:00 AM - Carole collects all of the photos and mementos from their relationship and puts them in a suitcase. Then she drives to the Roland Culver's house and leaves the suitcase in his driveway. She also leaves a note saying she is going to kill herself. Unfortunately Roland does not find it until the next evening. He will burn the note and everything in the suitcase. Carole returns home and decides to write two final letters on her personal stationary. First she writes a four line lovers farewell to Harrison. The she writes a heartbreaking note to her beloved mother Clara. She folds the notes and puts them on her dresser.

"Dearest Mommie - I'm sorry, really sorry, to put you through this but there is no way to avoid it - I love you darling you have been the most wonderful mom ever And that applies to all our family. I love each and every one of them dearly - Everything goes to you - Look in the files and there is a will which decrees everything - Good bye, my angel - Pray for me - Your Baby"
 
3:00 AM - Carole goes into an upstairs bathroom and takes an envelope filled with Secanol out of her cabinet. She was not a chronic user of Secanol but her doctor had given her a prescription when she was hospitalized in 1946. It appears that this was the first time she took any of the pills. There is writing on the envelope that says "Red - quick - 2 hours. Yellow, about 5, Can take 2. Use for severe pain". Carole swallows approximately forty Secanol tablets. She leaves the envelope and a glass of water on the bathroom counter. Then Carole goes into her bedroom and lays down on the bed for several minutes.

Carole's Pacific Palisades home located at 1465 Capri Drive
   
3:30 AM - She walks back into the bathroom where she collapses. Sadly Carole will die on the bathroom floor. She is lying on a carpet next to an open cabinet. Her arms are bent as if she had been trying to raise herself up. Carole's head is resting on a jewelry box and her left hand she is holding a satin bookmark with the Lord's Prayer on it. She had taken five times the amount of Secanol needed to cause death. This was the third time she had attempted suicide but in the past she had always been rescued by friends.
 
Carole on bathroom floor
 
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Rex calls Carole several times but her maid, Fannie Mae Bolden, tells him she is not awake yet. He goes to the house and tells Fannie "Well, I think she's dead". Together they go to the bathroom where they discover Carole's body. Harrison says "Oh, no, my darling, why did you do it?". He feels Carole's wrist and tells Fannie there is a slight pulse. Instead of calling for an ambulance he goes home and calls his boss Darryl Zanuck. Fannie goes to a neighbors house where she calls the police and Florence Wasson, Carole's best friend.

Detectives view Carole's body

4:00 PM - Florence Wasson calls Dorothy Ross, Carole's sister, in Long Beach to tell her what happened. Rex finally returns to the house and is questioned by the police. They find the note that Carole left for her mother but there are conflicting reports about the second note. Florence claims that it was simply a memo Carole wrote about taking her cat to the vet. However Lilli Palmer will later admit that a police officer found the personal note Carole wrote for Rex. The Harrison's paid the officer $500 to destroy the note.
 
                                                                                             Carole's mother and sister at her house           
 
7:00 PM - Carole's mother Clara Ridste and her sister Dorothy arrive. Clara is heard screaming "Oh my baby, I want to see my baby. Why didn't somebody call me?" and then collapses. There are dozens of reporters and photographers at the house. The next day photos of Carole's dead body will be on the front page of every newspaper. Carole is taken to Bogg's and Mashmeyer's funeral home. The official cause of her death is "barbiturate poisoning due to ingestion of overdose of Secanol".