Frank J. Dello Stritto's newest book will premiere at this year's Monster Bash in June, I can't wait!
In the early months of 1948, the express office of La Mirada, Florida received some odd items. In February, two large crates arrived, addressed to a local tourist attraction, “McDougal’s House of Horrors.” The crates were promptly delivered to McDougal’s, and their contents were just as promptly stolen. More on them later. In March came a steamer trunk addressed to “Lawrence Stewart Talbot.” Steamer trunks are now rarely seen, but in the 1940s and well before, many people who travelled extensively—entertainers, salesmen, and men of unclear intents and indefinite destinations like Lawrence Talbot—owned them.
Talbot left instructions at the express office to forward his trunk to the La Mirada Beach Apartments, where he leased furnished rooms. Talbot paid in advance for the transfer. When the trunk arrived, the rooming house owner had not seen his strange tenant for some weeks, and deposited the trunk in Talbot’s apartment. Talbot never returned to the rooming house. As best as I can determine, Talbot was never seen again. The landlord put the trunk in his storage room, where he stowed all items left by his tenants. There the trunk and other items Talbot left behind stayed for almost 30 years.
That landlord was my Uncle Joe. The trunk and Talbot’s other effects passed to me. In it, I found the writings of a strange man and an incredible life. My first impression was that Talbot suffered terrible delusions, as well as crippling bouts of depression, and perhaps paranoia, for he spent his last months travelling Europe and finally the United States hunting down what he himself described as “monsters.” Talbot thought himself a monster that could not be destroyed and believed that he himself had committed countless murders. The horrible memories or delusions weighed heavily on his conscience, but did not deter him from committing—or thinking he committed—more. In his mind, he killed about once a month.
Incredible the notebooks may be, but my many years of researching Talbot’s life have uncovered much evidence that confirms his tales. After four decades of digging into the facts, I cannot find one that contradicts him.