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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 July 19, 1957 reads, "Mrs. Sally Johnson, mother of Mrs. Schiers, walks from courtroom after jury read murder verdict."
1 photographic print : b&w ; 21 x 13 cm.
00153281 Valley Times Collection; HCNVT_d057_ f3_i10 http://188.8.131.52/cdm/ref/collection/photos/id/126595
Van Nuys Courthouse (Los Angeles, Calif.) Los Angeles (Calif.).--Police Department.--Valley Division Criminal investigation--California--Los Angeles Violent crimes--California--Los Angeles Crime--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 Arraignment--California--Los Angeles Courtrooms--California--Van Nuys (Los Angeles) Parents of murder victims--California--Los Angeles Van Nuys (Los Angeles, Calif.) Portrait photographs