Murder in Hollywood

In 1973, Cynthia Bouron, a notorious Hollywood hanger-on who alleged that Cary Grant fathered her child, was found dead. Why has the case remained unsolved?

By Hadley Meares at Air Mail: October 1973. A car is parked in the lot behind Market Basket, a popular grocery store off busy Ventura Boulevard, in Studio City. As the days pass, patrons and employees begin to smell a noxious odor coming from the car. When police finally arrive, they discover the horrifying cause: in the trunk is the decomposing body of a bound woman. She had been bludgeoned to death.

Police identified the victim as the car’s owner, Cynthia Bouron, alias Samantha Lou Bouron, a 39-year-old mother of three who worked as a saleswoman at a local department store. Bouron was not an ordinary mom. In Los Angeles, rumors swirled that she was a call girl. The actor Gardner McKay, a Hollywood star in the 1950s and 1960s, called her a “con-woman.” Three years before her murder, she’d made front-page news for claiming Cary Grant fathered her daughter, Stephanie Strom.

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