Another high-profile suicide today in Los Angeles. Helen St. Claire Evens, the wife of writer and former bucket shop operator, Arthur Frederick St. Claire Evens ended her life by swallowing a quantity of antiseptic lotion following a domestic quarrel.
The Evens’s had quarreled a few nights earlier, and were encouraged by a friend of the family to cool their tempers at the Hollywood Police Station. Captain Charles Knowles spoke with Arthur and Helen, then sent the seemingly reconciled couple home. Today, Knowles was summoned to the Evens’s house at 2235 N. Cahuenga Dr. on a report that Helen had attempted suicide. When he arrived, he found her dead on the bathroom floor. Arthur had been working on a scenario for a new film when Helen asked him to take her to a motion picture theater. Engrossed in his work, he refused, and Helen retreated to the bathroom where she consumed the poison.
Police were prepared to declare it a suicide until they received a wire from Albert T. Daniels, the father of the deceased woman, asking if there was anything suspicious about the death, and did they have anything on which to hold Evens? Apparently, he had disapproved of the marriage, claiming to police that Evens had been previously married and that he had served time in prison for shady business dealings in New York City. And Helen had seemed happy enough. Just days prior to her death, she’d written an upbeat letter to her mother saying, "We want to make a success of life, to have a nice home, a few friends (real ones), and an unquestionable position in life."
Evens was further questioned, but his statement was not in doubt, and police had no basis for a charge to hold him. Then Daniels switched his tactics, wiring that "frequent threats to kill Helen" had been made when she lived in New York. An inquest was ordered; however, reports from both the police and the coroner maintained that all evidence was consistent with suicide, and custody of the body was granted to Evens.
Daniels continued to wire the police from New York, demanding that further investigation be made and that custody of the body be granted to him. He even contacted James A. Blake, a relative living in Glendale, asking him to take over the burial, but Blake refused to get involved. For days, Evens’s body lay in the R.C. Dellenbaugh funeral parlor at 630 Venice Blvd., until Evens finally relented, and agreed to send his wife’s body to her family in New York.