From the files of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.:
The following article regarding
two members of the Church of Scientology appeared in the November
25, 1969 issue of the "Los Angeles Times':
Motive Sought in Slaying of
Only Clue Discovered Was Common
Membership of Pair in Scientology Sect
BY DIAL TORGERSON and JERRY
Times Staff Writers
Police investigating the weird
slayings of a youth and young woman pursued Monday what they termed
the only common thread between the pair: their membership in the
Church of Scientology.
The Scientology organization--a
mystical, quasi-scientific group--verified that Doreen Gaul, 19, and
James Sharp, 15, were members of the group.
"We are shocked and bereaved by
this sudden and brutal crime," a Scientology spokesman said.
The deaths brought to 13 the
number of seemingly motiveless murders in Los Angeles since the
first of the year. As in the Tate case and other still-unsolved
killings, the murders of Miss Gaul and Sharp were crimes of shocking
Miss Gaul had been stripped
except for a string of Indian beads. Both had been repeatedly
stabbed and beaten about the face and head. Their eyes were slashed.
They had been murdered elsewhere
and their bodies dumped in an alley a half-mile from a hippie-like
cult commune which Miss Gaul had left Friday evening for a
Scientology session with young Sharp.
Police were concentrating on two
aspects of the mystery: where the couple had gone Saturday night and
where the crime occurred.
"It's difficult to see how a
crime of this sort could be committed--one which would involve this
much blood and this much noise--without someone noticing it," said
Capt. Frank L. Brittell.
He said it could have been the
work of a gang--because of the excessive number of blows rained on
the victims. Police talked to scores of people in the
Alvarado-Westlake district where the victims lived. Many were fellow
"These two people could have
both belonged to the Meat Cutters Union or the church down the
street, " said Brittell. "But the only thing they have in common in
Scientology. This is the only thread we have so far."
Scientology had its beginnings
in the Dyanetics [sic] fad begun in 1950 by science fiction writer
L. Ron Hubbard, who now runs what he calls a worldwide church.
In Los Angeles, Scientology has
four "church" and administrative buildings and a number of communal
living quarters in old Victorian mansions on side streets in the
neighborhoods near MacArthur Park.
"Auditors" who offer
"parishioners" of Scientology a mystical version of psychological
therapy have been ordered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
to stop using a crude form of lie detector called the Scientology
ter with two tin cans attached.
It was learned that Miss Gaul
had said that Sharp who came here from Missouri last June, was going
to "audit" her Friday night. "Auditing" is a term applied to the
process of achieving a "clear" state of soul.
The victims lived about a block
apart. Sharp lived with an older Scientology worker in an old but
well-kept three-story apartment building at 921 S. Bonnie Brae St.
Miss Gaul had lived four days at a 14-room commune called Thetan
Manor at 1032 S. Bonnie Brae. (Operating Thetan, in the language of
Scientology, means reaching the advanced level of study in the
Sharp was the son of a
prosperous salesman living in the upper middle class suburb of
Crestwood, southwest of St. Louis. He left high school in June, with
his father's permission, to study Scientology here.
"He was a very, very intelligent
boy," the father told newsmen in St. Louis.
Miss Gaul, the eldest of four
children, was graduated in the spring of 1968 from a parochial high
school in Albany, N.Y. Friends said that until she became devoted to
Scientology after graduation, the attractive young woman had been a
devout Roman Catholic.
Her father told a newsman in
Albany that she had apparently become disenchanted with Scientology
in recent weeks.
"She was a good kid, but an
emotional kid," he said. "She was always looking for green grass and
Miss Gaul was wearing a skirt
and blouse or sweater when she left Thetan Manor to go to Sharp's
house. Mike Thompson, a resident at the commune, remembered her
looks: "She was outa sight," he said Monday.
Shortly before midnight, a man
taking a short cut through an alley between Arapahoe St. and
Magnolia Ave., south of 11th St., found the bodies. They were so
badly battered police at first believed them the victims of shotgun
Preliminary reports indicated
Miss Gaul had not been raped.
Police said Scientology
officials cooperated with them in their investigation. The Rev.
Natalie Fisher, who describes herself as resident agent of
Scientology's American St. Hill Organization at 2723 W. Temple St.,
issued a statement saying in part:
"This organization has no facts
or information regarding the circumstances of the crime, but we are
doing everything in our power to assist law enforcement agencies to
see that justice is done."
Police said there was no
apparent connection between the latest deaths and 11 others,
including the five Tate murders, which have remained unsolved in Los
Angeles County since January.
Other seemingly motiveless
crimes included the deaths of a wealthy grocer and his wife in the
Los Feliz district and the slaying of four young women in separate
-- HELTER SKELTER by Vincent T.
Bugliosi, page 647