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Held in wife's slaying
Alternative Title
Valley Times Photo Collection;
Dean, Gordon
This project was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian
Made accessible through a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation and Photo Friends
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
On the morning of February 12, 1957, the nude, battered and lifeless body of Mrs. Lillian R. Schiers was discovered on the bedroom floor of the modest tract home she shared with her husband Wallace, in Granada Hills. At 11:35 a.m. two female friends went to the Schiers' home to see why she had failed to keep their luncheon bridge date at the Granada Hills Women's Club of which she belonged, and upon entering the house by means of an unlocked side door, the two women discovered the brutal crime scene. A preliminary examination showed that Mrs. Schiers had been struck repeatedly about the head, and the murder weapon was believed to be a hatchet. Neighbors told police they had heard a disturbance at approximately 3:00 a.m., and went outside to look around, but did not see anything out of order. Wallace L. Schiers, 33, an ex-Air Force major and electronics foreman at the Bendix-Pacific Aircraft Corp. was questioned by detectives for several hours following the murder, but maintained his innocence throughout questioning. He was ultimately booked and jailed by Valley Division police as their principal suspect after giving conflicting statements and failing to pass a polygraph test. Schiers was also given a benzidine test for blood stains, which showed a positive reaction over his hands, arms and chest. On July 1957, after three days of deliberations, a jury of four men and eight women returned a verdict of second-degree murder against Wallace Schiers and he was sentenced to prison for a term of five years to life. He entered prison on August 23, 1957, and was ultimately paroled in 1964. Schiers consistently maintained his innocence in the brutal bludgeoning of his wife Lillian, and continually sought relief in both state and federal courts. On January 1971, he got a state appellate court to listen, and 14 years after he was found guilty, Schiers won a reversal of his conviction. See images 00153274 through 00153281 for all photos in this series.
Photograph caption dated February 13, 1957 reads, "Wallace R. [sic] Schiers, 33, of Granada Hills is quizzed by Valley detectives about death of his wife. Officers said Schiers, an ex-Air Force major, had given 'conflicting statements' and booked him on suspicion of murder." Photograph was also used for an article dated July 17, 1957. Caption reads, "Awaits jury's verdict - Former Air Force major Wallace L. Schiers, 33, awaits decision of jury in his trial on suspicion of murdering his wife. There are five possible verdicts ranging from acquittal to first degree murder."
1 photographic print : b&w ; 26 x 21 cm.
Valley Times Collection;
HCNVT_d057_ f3_i4
Los Angeles (Calif.).--Police Department.--Valley Division
Criminal investigation--California--Los Angeles
Violent crimes--California--Los Angeles
Suspicion--California--Los Angeles
Crime--California--Los Angeles
Police--California--Los Angeles
Husband and wife--California--Los Angeles
Marital violence--California--Los Angeles
Women--California--Los Angeles
Men--California--Los Angeles
Death--California--Los Angeles
Veterans--United States
Granada Hills (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Portrait photographs
Time Period

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