VAUGHN, Robert

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VAUGHN, Robert (c. 1894-1934) died as a result of a fight with is friend, Jack Vallely offshore at the Isthmus, Santa Catalina Island on September 26, 1934. Vallely hit Vaughn, who fell overboard and drowned.



In the News~

September 27, 1934 [San Pedro News Pilot]: “Two held in drowning at Isthmus Cove. Robert Vaughn, L.A. contractor, knocked overboard in quarrel. Rocking at her mooring at the Bauer boat landing, berth 133, west basin, the converted fishing boat Patrata was a thing of curiosity today as the scene of the violent death of Robert Vaughn, 40-year-old sand and gravel contractor of Los Angeles last night at Isthmus Cove, Catalina Island. Vaughn's own boat, the Zelda D, waited nearby for the owner who would never return. Vaughn, and Jack Vallely, Beverly Hills writer, were close friends. They took all their holidays together on one boat or the other. Yesterday morning, they put out on the Patrata for Catalina Island. Arriving at the Isthmus, they got in an argument over who would steer the cumbersome craft to a mooring. Vallely admits he hit Vaughn. The latter fell overboard and is friend dived in after him. Vaughn is a big man, weighing more than 200 pounds, while Vallely weight but 160. The latter and a companion on the trip, Ed Abbott, Long Beach oil man, also slight of build, were unable to lift the unconscious Vaughn the four feet over the cockpit rail. Placing a rope about him, they towed him to the Isthmus where it was learned Vaughn was dead. Two skiffs piled on the cockpit deck aft were forgotten by the men in their attempts to rescue Vaughn from drowning. Aboard the boat on which the trio set out pleasure-bent yesterday morning, they were returned here at 2 a.m. today in custody of L. Moricich, Avalon constable. The body was turned over to a Los Angeles undertaker and Vallely and Abbott to deputy sheriffs. They are in custody as material witnesses while authorities consider a possible charge against Vallely. Vallely's wife, Rita, is known widely in California as a book reviewer and lecturer. Vaughn is survived by his widow, Aelda. The couple had no children.”


September 27, 1934 [Woodland Daily Democrat]: “Los Angeles — Killed on yacht. Robert Vaughn killed in altercation on yacht off Catalina Island. Jack Vallely and Edward Abbott taken into custody.”


September 28, 1934 [San Bernardino Sun]: “Los Angeles, Sept. 27.—A heart attack caused the death of Robert Vaughn, 40, as a tragic climax to a Catalina Island cruise aboard the yacht of Jack Vallaly, wealthy insurance broker and husband of Mrs. Lorita Vallely, writer and literary critic, County Autopsy Surgeon A. F> Wagner testified today at a coroner's inquest. Vallely and Edwin V. Abbott, who were booked early yesterday on suspicion of manslaughter, were released from custody following the hearing. In its verdict, the jury expressed inability to determine the cause of Vaughn's fall from the yacht. Vaughn fell into the ocean as the yacht neared Catalina Island's Isthmus, Vallely testified. He told the jury they all had been drinking and that Vaughn had taken five drinks of brandy instead of eating breakfast yesterday.”