Addicted to Luxury: The Pampered Killer
March 16 was the anniversary of the death of Julia Whitcombe's father, Ernest Beebe, from cancer. Her mother, Dora Beebe, was still alive and she suffered each year when this date came around. Julia called her to offer comfort but received no response. She then went to the condominium into which she had moved her mother the year before, so she'd be safer and have less maintenance to worry about. "Her one terror," Julia would later tell reporters, "was becoming a victim of violence in her home."
Dora's fear came true. A male friend with whom she had missed an appointment went to her home to find out if she was all right. He was well aware of the murders in the area of elderly women in their own homes. He had spoken to Dora earlier that day and she had been fine, but it was not like her to say she would be some place and not show up. He just wanted to be certain. But when he went into her residence late in the afternoon of March 16, he found her door unlocked (also unlike her), and her blood-covered, battered body on the bathroom floor.
She lay in a fetal position, as if protecting herself, and her blood stained the gold carpet beneath her. Her scalp had bled freely from a terrible gash, probably made by a dented, blood-stained iron that sat in the sink. Detectives determined from blood patterns on the door and wall that Dora had been hit while in several different positions, including when she was on the floor. She appeared to have been dragged to the bathroom and left where she lay. But she was also beaten there. She had received five separate blows from the iron. Oddly, beneath her, they found a telephone.
Yet before she'd even been found, the suspect in the two earlier murders was being interrogated. Even as police sat with her, getting her to talk, they had no idea just how depraved she had been over the past month.