Here things get hazy, bordering on opaque. There are numerous photographs of her being placed in her "coffin" before a crowd of mildly interested Angelenos & one showing Goodwin's then-estranged wife Florence kneeling by the coffin, dressed as a nurse & offering Graves a refreshing bottle of milk before the burial, but no record (on the internet anyway) of how long she was underground, or if the hypnotist & the morbid minx from Ocean Park managed to consummate the stunt at all. The hypnotist's role in all this & why Graves felt she needed "Mr. Q" to accomplish something she'd already managed herself sans the sly cozening of a vaudeville fakir -- these matters remain a mystery. Whatever occurred at the main event, billed scrupulously as "The Most Outstanding Astounding Attraction Ever Presented", it led to an altercation between the hypnotist and one Dr. Harold T. Edwards which concluded with the good doctor shooting the nightclub conjurer to death. It was reported by the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner that the argument concerned Goodwin's "asserted insult to the young woman"...
I'll do a little more research in the world beyond the internet & see if I can find out more about this peculiar young lady & the shooting of Dr. Q, so consider this simply a brief introduction to the colorful cast.
|Ludington Daily News, September 30, 1935|
|Gloria Graves demonstrates to the press & jurors what it's like to be buried "away from earth's turmoil", 1935|
|Gloria Graves shows the jury & press her specially outfitted coffin|
|Nightclub hypnotist/magician Robert Goodwin ("Mr. Q")|
|Florence Goodwin, the widow, 1939|
|The Main Event, 1939|
|Gloria Graves is prepared for burial by fake nurse Florence Goodwin, 1939|
JUST INWell, I've already found another piece of the puzzle. This, from the New York Post dated February 9, 1939, states that the young woman over which Robert Goodwin & Dr. Harold T. Edwards feuded was not Gloria Graves, but another of Mr. Q's assistants, Marianna Persall:
HYPNOTIST SLAIN IN ROW OVER GIRL
Mr. Q. Shot Down by a Man He Called His Friend
HOLLYWOOD. Feb. 9 - Two bullets fired by a man he had called friend killed Mr. Q-. vaudeville hypnotist, on a Hollywood street corner last night.
Police arrested Harold T. Edwards, osteopath and former theatrical
booking agent, on suspicion of murder.
Mr. Q. was Robert M. Goodwin, fifty-seven-year-old trouper.Police said Edwards admitted the shooting, claiming he drew a pistol after the hypnotist knocked him down.
Edwards' story was that he quarreled with Mr. Q. over his treatment of twenty-year-old Marianna Persall, his partner in a recent engagement here.
The girl appeared with Edwards at a police station last Friday and complained to detectives that the hypnotist choked and kicked her a week ago.
Last Sunday Edwards asserted Mr. Q tried to take his own life by swallowing poison.