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 ...
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.
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
Carole's parents after learning of her death
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".