Los Feliz Murder House

Murder, suicide

The Los Feliz Murder House is a Spanish Revival estate, 5,050 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms designed by architect
Harry E. Werner, and constructed in 1925. In December of 1959, this mansion in the Hollywood Hills became the scene of a tragic murder-suicide.

Harry F. Schumacher had this house built for $20,000. His wife Florence died of heart disease on July 1, 1928, and Schumacher died of pneumonia 27 days later.

Then the house was rented to several tenants, one of whom died of infection during his tenancy. The house then stood without incident for almost three decades.

On the night of December 6, 1959, in the wealthy Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, a doctor named Dr. Harold Perelson killed his sleeping wife, Lillian, with a ball-peen hammer to the back of her head. With one strong blow, he left a gaping hole in her skull killing her instantly.

Dr. Perelson then attempted to kill his eldest daughter, Judye, the same way, missing a fatal blow and luckily only grazing her head with the hammer. She fled the house screaming and was found by neighbors, bloody and terrified.

Dr. Perelson’s two youngest children woke up, but he told them that they were only having a nightmare and that they should go back to sleep. Harold then took an overdose of Nembutal[1], a drug commonly prescribed for sleep disorders at the time, and the same drug that killed Marilyn Monroe. He passed out and died with the bloody hammer in his hand and an open copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy at his side.

It was a heinous scene, but fortunately, all three children were spared, thanks in large part to Judye’s screams. Though the teenager was hospitalized, she sustained no life-threatening injuries. Harold had tried to commit suicide several times in the past and was admitted to Temple Hospital for a brief psychiatric stint.

The Los Angeles Times – Los Angeles, California · Monday, December 07, 1959

Not much is known about his stay there, but the use of the drug Thorazine[2] indicated on his bill, points to obvious mental health problems. The reason for the murder, attempted murder, and suicide that evening he took to the grave. Shortly after the killings, the family’s home was sold via probate auction to Emily and Julian Enriquez, who lived in Lincoln Heights.

While the couple visited the mansion on occasion, and even stored some of their possessions there, for reasons that remain unclear, they never inhabited the property, nor did they ever move the Perelsons’ belongings out! The house simply sat, frozen in time, collecting dust on its midcentury furnishings. It finally hit the market again in March 2016, the first time in over 60 years, and completely stripped of its historic artifacts, with a $2.75 million asking price. It was quickly picked up by attorney Lisa Bloom and her husband, Braden Pollock, in June 2016 for $2,289,500.

Bloom wasn’t at all put off by the property’s dark history, told NBC Los Angeles, “I don’t really believe in ghosts and spooky spirits. The house didn’t do anything wrong. The house is innocent.” The couple promptly began an extensive remodel, taking the interior of the 5-bedroom, 4-bath, 5,050-square-foot pad down to the studs, though the exterior was left largely intact.

Then in May 2019, completely out of the blue, the property once again was listed for sale, shocking those following the story. The house is located at 2475 Glendower Place in Los Feliz. Several famous homes, quite a few of the Haunted Hollywood variety, are located on the adjacent Glendower Avenue, including the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis House from “House on Haunted Hill” at 2607 Glendower Ave., Dolly Green’s (Beverly D’Angelo) house from “Eye for an Eye” at 2757 Glendower Ave.,

the Doppelganger mansion at 2421 Glendower Ave., and Donna Martin’s (Tori Spelling) residence from the first season of “Beverly Hills, 90210” at 2405 Glendower Ave. The Griswold family home from “National Lampoon’s Vacation” is around the corner at 2310 North Vermont Avenue.



Footnotes
  1. Nembutal (pentobarbital sodium) is a barbiturate that acts as a depressant, or sedative used short-term to treat insomnia. Nembutal is also used as an emergency treatment for seizures, and to cause patients to fall asleep for surgery. Nembutal is available in generic form. Barbiturates are nonselective central nervous system depressants that are primarily used as sedative hypnotics and also anticonvulsants in sub-hypnotic doses. The barbiturates and their sodium salts are subject to control under the Federal Controlled Substances Act (See “Drug Abuse and Dependence” section). The sodium salts of amobarbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital, and secobarbital are available as sterile parenteral solutions. [Back]
  2. Thorazine treats certain mental/mood disorders (such as schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, the manic phase of bipolar disorder, and severe behavioral problems in children). Chlorpromazine helps you think more clearly, feel less nervous, and participate in everyday life. It can reduce aggressive behavior and the desire to hurt yourself/others. It may also help to decrease hallucinations (hearing/seeing things that are not there). Chlorpromazine is a psychiatric medication that belongs to the class of drugs called phenothiazine antipsychotics. It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain. Chlorpromazine is also used to control nausea/vomiting, relieve prolonged hiccups, relieve restlessness/anxiety before surgery, and help treat tetanus. [Back]

Further Reading

Sources

Dirt
The Los Feliz Murder Mansion
New York Post
Morbid Tourism
Newspapers


Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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