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What happened to Lora Lee, Part 2

Episode Summary

For over a year, L.A. Times reporter Stacy Perman tried to find out what happened to a former child star. The search eventually surfaced buried secrets, giving the family of long-lost Lora Lee Michel answers and a sense of closure.

Episode Notes

For over a year, L.A. Times entertainment reporter Stacy Perman tried to track down Lora Lee Michel, a former child star whose custody case scandalized 1940s Hollywood. Michel went through a string of marriages — and then disappeared.

In Part 2 of our miniseries, Perman finds out Michel’s shocking fate. Read the full transcript here.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times entertainment reporter Stacy Perman

More reading:

Podcast: What happened to Lora Lee? Part 1

A child star at 7, in prison at 22. Then she vanished. What happened to Lora Lee Michel?

Explaining Hollywood: Your child wants to act. What do you need to know?

Episode Transcription

Gustavo: Yesterday, we heard about the turbulent early life of child actress Lora Lee Michel. 

Gustavo: She was starting to become a star in the 1940s, but then a judge decided Lora Lee should move back to Texas with her adoptive parents and end her acting career for good. 

Gustavo: But what happened to her next?

Mux Beat drop here 

Gustavo: I’m Gustavo Arellano. You’re listening to THE TIMES, daily news from the LA Times. 

Gustavo: It’s Wednesday, July 13, 2022. 

Gustavo: Today…We continue our story about a Hollywood child star who went from working alongside screen legends like Humphrey Bogart and Gary Cooper at the age of 7 to leaving Tinseltown, ending up in prison, then eventually disappearing.

Gustavo: It’s a story that reveals the dark underbelly of Hollywood’s Golden Age and the perils still facing child actors today.  

Gustavo: If you haven’t listened to part one, you should go back and do that first. 

Theme mux bump to fade out 

Gustavo: My LA Times' colleague, Stacy Perman worked for more than a year to find out what happened to the former child star. Stacy, welcome back

Stacy: Great to be here.

Gustavo: Lora Lee was adopted by the Michel’s when she was about 5 years old in 1945. A year later, she's in Hollywood, gets some fame. And then two trials about whether her parents abused her and who should have custody of her happened. And all of this happened in 1950. So that’s barely five years from when her name was changed to now she’s going back home. 

Stacy: Yes. I mean, this was sort of a lightning fast period of time from, you know, living in a small town in Texas with five siblings to being in Hollywood and being touted as the next Shirley Temple. And then she's the center of these sensational trials that give her notoriety and headlines around the world. And then she's ultimately sent back to Texas by the Los Angeles judge. 

Gustavo: So when she goes back to Texas, what happens? 

Stacy:  So Lora Lee returned to Texas at the end of August in 1950 to great fanfare. She's met at the airport by her sister, Barbara, who is her biological sibling. Before the family reached out to me, Barbara's daughter, Leslie, had begun recording interviews with her mother as part of the family's own search process. And in one of these interviews, Barbara said that she was too young to remember when she and Lora Lee were taken in by separate sets of adoptive parents. But she definitely had memories of Lora Lee's return to Texas. // 

MUX in

Barbara: Barbara: I was 7 years old and she flew in to the San Antonio International Airport. That's probably my earliest recollection of Lora Lee. You don't really remember her prior to being adopted or? No. 

Stacy: There was a big celebration at the airport. It was covered by the media. They had a police escort to this fancy hotel. 

Barbara: I remember her entertaining me, singing songs to me that she sang in the movies. And then later on I was told she did it in the Minger Hotel singing the same songs, by my mother. 

MUX out 

Barbara:My mother thought it was disgusting that they would allow that child to be like, yeah. But anyway, that wasn't my snooty mother,

Stacy: When Lora Lee and her siblings were adopted out, Lora went to Otto and Lorraine Michel and her sister Barbara went to Auto's brother, Henry Michel, and his wife, Lilly. They were apparently not the biggest fans of Lora Lee. Their brief interactions, she recalled as very loving and she longed for her, but she was really kept in the dark about most of her sister's life. Barbara had no idea that her sister was this movie star in Hollywood. 

Leslie Hannah: When she came back on the airplane and y'all met her, I mean, you just sorta knew you had a sister. Yeah. That, that, that your sister Lora Lee and

Leslie Hannah: cousin really, really, they just told you that's your sister and you were seven. So you were probably like, what the heck, right? No. Yeah. She was a stranger.

Leslie Hannah: When she was in Hollywood and stuff, you didn't really, like you Didn't knew nothing about

Barbara: i knew nothing about that until I was older.

Leslie Hannah:  Yeah.

Stacy: So after Lora Lee's return to Texas, her sister Barbara would see her at family gatherings, but they were largely kept apart.

Barbara: My mother didn't want me to hang out with her. So every time I'd go out in the yard to play with her to be with her my mother can run me off.

Stacy: Sometime after their reunion, Barbara recalled seeing Lora Lee for the last time before she ultimately lost contact with her.

Leslie Hannah: // And then you saw her at the school though the Catholic School. How old were you then? 

Barbara: About 8 years old. And so Lora Lee saw me and she comes running to the fence and, uh, one of the nuns ran her off the fence. And after that never saw Lora Lee again.

Gustavo: Did Lora Lee get to have the normal life that her adoptive parents promised back in Texas? 

Stacy_Times: She really didn't. When she got back to Texas, every move she made was chronicled by the newspapers,  and although her parents had promised the judge back in Hollywood that she wouldn't be in the movies anymore, when they got back to Texas,  they still made a point of putting her on display in a number of plays and recitals.

Gustavo: Does at least her home life remain stable? /// 

Stacy: No, sadly, she was only back in Texas for about three years before Otto, her adoptive father, died. And two years later her adoptive mother died.

Leslie Hannah: But you said that she didn't even go to her momma or her daddy's funeral? No, but you, you were there.

Barbara: I went to both of them. One more tragedy in her life. That's all she's known. Who do you think had custody of her after that? Where did she go? I have no idea. No idea.

Stacy: So much of her early life, particularly her Hollywood career, and obviously the trials were well-documented, but after her parents died and when she was about 13 // she kind of vanished, so to speak initial, that was her initial sort of vanishing. There was very little documentation on her and // the story Barbara understood was that after her father died, she was told that Lora Lee's mother took her to New York to audition for a play and was arrested and sent to reform school. And that's what she thought for decades. And I couldn't find any evidence of that, but I was able to uncover a trove of documents that indicated a lot of what happened to her during these kinds of missing years or these gap years after Hollywood. // And she didn't go to New York. She went to Houston. After her father died, she was placed in the care of the Catholic charities. And from there, she cycled through a bunch of foster homes and dropped out of school after the 11th grade when she was 17, she became pregnant to a man named Donald Ford, who was her first husband. 


Stacy: According to these documents and filings, they had a baby girl named Donna that she put up for adoption, but what was not in these files, which I also found was a year later, she also had a baby boy with // Donald Ford. They named him William Henry, but he died just hours after he was born. He had a congenital birth defect. And they split up. I couldn't find any record of their divorce, but about seven months after // their baby boy died, she checked herself into a mental hospital in Texas. 


Stacy: It was a brief stay. It looks like she had a nervous breakdown. The hospital administrators wrote letters to Barbara's parents.

Um, Henry and Lily Michel, uh, giving them updates , um, letting them know when she was discharged, but Barbara said she had absolutely no idea about any of this.

Barbara: Nobody ever tried to get in contact with me. And if they did, my mother would probably never allowed it. So she wouldn't have told me anyway.

Gustavo: So Lora Lee Michel goes through all this trauma.// She was basically left completely alone.

Stacy: She was alone and she was isolated and not long after she was discharged from the mental hospital, she met a man named Joe Wendel Owen, who was about nine years older than her; handsome man, worked for Texaco. And they had a whirlwind courtship. I don't think they knew each other for more than a few weeks and they married. Um, he'd been in the Marines and, . But within just two weeks of their marriage, she up and left him, and he never knew why. he was apparently quite taken with her. Um, And as I was researching this, I found this curious detail that a few months after he married Lora Lee, he married another woman. 

Mux in 

Stacy: When I tried reaching out to that woman, I didn't have a lot of luck, but I found, and he had passed away, but I'd found that he had a number of siblings. I reached out to the ones, the surviving siblings that I was able to track down. //  kind of, they had . Knew,   They had no idea what I was talking about, um, essentially, but, um, and I thought maybe I had the wrong Joe Wendel Owen, or I had, uh, but, but the dates matched up, the identifying markers all matched up. Um, It wasn't until, you know, this period I ended up connecting with one of his daughters. And I emailed her and said, I'm working on this story about this child actress, who at one point was married to a man named Joe Wendal ho Owen, who I believe might be your father. And if that's the case, I was hoping we might talk. // And for about four weeks we went back and forth. Um, she was kind of hesitant and terse. What, You know, at one point she said, what makes you think he's my father? And I thought, well, she didn't, you know, debunk the whole thing and said, you know, you have the wrong name, the wrong number. So I thought there was something to this.

Mux out 

Stacy:  And then out of the blue, one morning, she just called me and she was this very warm and lovely person. 

Mux out

Gustavo: We’ll continue the story…after the break. 


Gustavo: So Stacy….You finally connected with a daughter of one of Lora Lee’s ex husband. What did she tell you about Lora and her father?

Stacy: Well, it, it was this, you know, deep, deep secret. 

Andi McWilliams: This is like a humongous drama in our family. So that, that was my hesitation. // I did not even know about this woman until I was 29 years old.

Stacy Perman: So how did that come about

Andi McWilliams: When my parents were in the middle of a very messy divorce, that was when my mother threatened to tell me and my sister. And so dad was kind of forced to tell me “guy's…” got very dramatic…it was a big scandal kind of thing // 

Stacy: So Andi began to tell the me the story of her father’s brief marriage to Lora Lee 

Andi McWilliams: Dad said, no, we fell in love and we were together. Um and she left with no explanation, no nothing. 

Stacy: That ended up having long term consequences 

Andi McWilliams: And you know that he met my mother - and this is the, where the, where it gets tricky. My, They were never divorced.

Stacy: What happened was is that when they went to get married, he needed to divorce Lora Lee, but she had abandoned him

Andi McWilliams: Dad told me that I told your mother that I was married and that we would have to, because I didn't know where Lora was, that we would have to announce it in the paper. That I was looking for her before I could get a divorce, you know, it had to be like announced and then she doesn't show up and then it can go to court and whatever, and then they can declare the marriage over or whatever. And mother didn't want that because her, she didn't want people to know that she had actually was dating a married man.

Stacy: So that was Andi's piece of the story, but she believed her sister might know more.

Andi McWilliams: Let me see where I can dig up and I'll talk to you early next week. Okay?

Stacy Perman: Okay. Thank you so much Andi. 

Gustavo RT: We'll come back to Joe Wendel Owen's daughters in a bit. But what happened next for Lora Lee, after she disappeared from her second husband’s life?

Stacy:\ Y you know, uh, Barbara and her family knew that she was married three times, but Carrie hand bra was not one of them. So as I was scrolling through these old newspapers, looking for any, you know, word or mention of Lora Lee, I came across a single sentence. It was in a marriage announcement between a miss Lora Lee Michel and a Mr. Carey Hand Bray. And it was just months after she was married to Joe Wendel Owen. And I thought this is either a curious coincidence or there's more to the story. Turns out there was more to the story.


Stacy: So there was a car theft in 1962. um, Newspaper reports at the time said that she had stolen the car of her Um, ex-husband that was unnamed, who was a druggist. // When I started looking into Carey Bray, it turned out he was a pharmacist in Houston. So I thought this was something that needed checking out. 


Gustavo: So you get this detail. What are you then? How do you try to get in contact to with Carey's Uh Descendents

Stacy: Well, I, he had eight children and a wife, uh,. So I basically just went looking to see if I could connect with any of the children that they were largely spread out across the Southern states, 


Stacy:  got a lot of bad numbers. Um, you know, no, this isn't me. Um, and then one night I ended up, um, calling David Bray, one of his sons who picked up the phone and he was, you know, a little gruff with me. Didn't know I was calling him. He had never heard of Lora Lee. I think he said something like, you know, You're asking a 64 year old man about something that happened 60 years ago. He asked me if I was a real reporter and before we got off the phone, I just said, let me just ask you one last thing, you know, do you remember when you were growing up, maybe there was a crazy story your father told about a woman stealing your father's car. 


And when I said that he went quiet, he said, what's her name again, And he said, let me call you back. And within minutes he called me back saying, you know, call my sister, Penny. She knows everything.

Penny Pearson: but tell me what you're doing now please Sure

Stacy Perman: Sure. I am writing a story about Lora Lee. Um,

Penny Pearson: why are you writing a story about her? 

Stacy Perman: Well, she was a child actress. 

Penny Pearson: I know she was she was in “Mighty Joe Young”

Stacy: And she told me this story about what happened in this  you know, segment of this, you know, very, you know, seminal segment of Lora Lee's life 

Penny Pearson: she was, she was a very petite blonde she had bleach blonde hair and she was petite, very cute figure. Uh, she dressed very sharp

Stacy: They met in Houston and got married very quickly, which seemed to be quite a pattern with Lora Lee.

Penny Pearson: They met at a bar. The Tangley Lounge. My mom had passed away and, um, my daddy was really lonely and he married her. And when he brought her into that house and introduced her to me, I think I was 13.I think she was a con artist

Stacy: Penny took an instant dislike. She said to Lora Lee, she said she was a con artist. She remembered their brief marriage. It was only three or four months long, was mostly spent stealing things from the family. She said she stole the family china.

Penny Pearson: Daddy would come home and she would be gone. And she'd take stuff, anything of value. // We had lots of crystal, China, whenever she left. She took all this stuff. // I mean, I had record albums, you know, teenagers have records.I worked at a record… anyway, I won't go that. // She stole all my record albums, you know, I mean, she just was nasty

Stacy: And then one day Lora Lee just left. 

Penny Pearson: The first time that she left, she took a bunch of stuff with her and stay gone. I mean, she stole stuff out of it. I guess you couldn't say she's. But she took stuff out of our house that had been our possessions before daddy married her and stayed gone for about a month. And then daddy took her back, which I made it my life's mission at that point to get rid of her.

Penny Pearson: she was, She was just really horrible. Um, she, She said to me, one time I screwed your father on the piano bench I mean and here I am 14 year old girl.

Stacy: And about a month later, she returned and Penny said she was afraid she was just coming back to steal more things and she wanted her out of her father's life. 

Penny Pearson: Then she stayed around at daddy, bought her bought her house, house in Westbury, which was a brand new subdivision in Houston, brand new 1960, uh, Ford Fairlane, a black convertible with red rolled and pleated interior. And, um, they sported around that. She stayed for a while and then she left again. And when she left that time, she took the car with her and daddy had to ride the bus Daddy was a pharmacist and daddy had to ride the bus to work. and he let that house go. To the bank. He let all that furniture that he bought go back to the furniture company, ruined his credit for seven years, but he didn't care. 

Penny Pearson: He wasn't gonna have anything else he sold. Uh, I'm sorry. He hadn't gotten the car back yet. So I've decided daddy and I had moved into a rental house and I just had this feeling one day that she was going to come back by the house and take some more stuff out. And I went to the neighbors and kept looking out the window, kept looking out the window. And here she pulls up with a friend of hers, a woman in the car and they go into our house. Well, I ran out and I let the air out of the front. Well, First I called my dad and said, if you want your car back, you better get home pretty quick. She's here. Well, And I went out and I ran out and I let the air out of the front tire and I let the air out of the back tire and then she comes out and I was scared that she might drive off with two flat tires. So I tried to get the keys away from her and she bit me on the back and made me bleed, so this is really a funny story. I've told this to all my siblings. Daddy had didn't have a car to get over there. So his receptionist that worked at the pharmacy drove him home. And she saw me bleeding and she lifted up my shirt and she said, “Carey, look what she did to her.” Look what she did to your daughter. And at that point, I hate to admit this, but my daddy socked her in the jaw. *laughs* I never saw her or heard from her again, I have no idea if my daddy did. 

Gustavo: Stacy. Did Penny's father ever hear from Lora Lee again?

Stacy: She did, but not right away. Lora Lee had moved on. She moved down to Corpus Christi and was working as a waitress at a nightclub. When she met husband number four, a man named Frank O’Neil Scott.

MUX IN + Tap Dancing 

Stacy: He was a heavy drinker. He had a 10th grade education and a long record for writing bad checks.

Um, He had been married to his first wife when he met her, he was still married and he had four kids, but that didn't stop either one of them from getting married to each other, in what the authorities would call a bigamous marriage. 

Pause + Tap Dancing 

Stacy: Not long after they were married. He took her up to his hometown in Iowa. It was a small town, and according to court filings, he, uh, pimped her out, turned her into a prostitute.  

Pause + Tap Dancing 

Stacy: They were thrown in jail for a week and while she was in jail, the sheriff reported that he actually had heard Lora Lee tap-dancing while she was incarcerated.

\MUX Out + Tap Dancing 

Gustavo: Why did that detail stick with you?

Stacy: I found it very striking because in so much of Lora Lee's story, her story, who she is, is told through the lens of everybody around her. And I just thought it was a really authentic, honest moment. // In this, you know, horrible situation, she's jailed, arrested for prostitution, and yet she's tap dancing, you know, that's sort of an act of joy or self expression. And it was one of the few times in this whole story that she did express herself in a, in a, in a moment.

Gustavo: So she gets out of jail for the prostitution charge. Then what what happens?

Stacy: Well, they kind of, you know, orbit in and out of Texas and, you know, around other states, you know, conniving and various schemes. And in June of 1962, they end up in Jonesborough, Arkansas. And while they were there, they looked to buy a used car. It was a 1957 Mercury and they were supposed to take it for a test drive instead of taking it for a test drive, they just drove straight to Houston. And when they went to Houston, Lora Lee reconnected with husband, number three, Carrie Hand Bray, and…

Gustavo: Jeez…

Stacy: Yeah, and for whatever reason, again, you know, she was nothing but trouble for him, at least that's what he said. And that's what it seemed, you know, he said she could have his convertible for the day. // And then he went to work and she took off and picked up her, her husband number four, Frank O'Neil Scott, in this convertible.

Gustavo: I hate to do recaps like this, but I think we need one here. After the sit in jail, Lora Lee and her fourth husband steal this car from a dealership, end up in Houston. Then Lora Lee asked her third husband to lend her his car, the convertible that she already stole from him one point that his daughter went to a lot of trouble to get back from him.And the third husband says, yes, you could borrow the car that you stole from me.

Stacy: I know it's a little bit crazy, but that's exactly what happened.

Gustavo: Wow.

Stacy: And then they went on the lam for about six months in the car, living off three credit cards of Carey Hand Bray’s that were in the, in the glove compartment //. 

Gustavo: At what point does this end like this life on the run on CR crimeing and defrauding people?

Stacy: It ended on a highway near El Paso when a Texas patrolman caught up with them, arrested the pair and they were sent to a Houston jail.


Stacy: They were facing five years in prison each and a $5,000 fine. // They ended up pleading guilty to one count of stealing a car and crossing state lines. Lora Lee was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison in West Virginia, her husband, and I say that in air quotes, um, was, uh, sentenced to 27 months in prison in Texas. And that's where the story gets interesting again. If she served her full term, she would have been released in about 1964, but it's just at this point where she simply just disappears.

Gustavo: You couldn't find any more trace of her after that?


Stacy: No, you know, it was really incredible that she just vanished into thin air. 

MUX IN (scoot Stacy tracking back a smidge) 

Stacy: There was no record of her. There were no social security records. I tried to get her prison records. I was met with a big “No.” Usually in cases like these, people kind of come out of the woodwork and say they crossed paths with her, whether they did or didn't, but there wasn't even any of that.There was just very little information, except it appeared that for a brief period of time after prison, she remained with her fourth husband, Frank O'Neil Scott, although they eventually split up and his daughters had some fleeting recollections of her, but that's kind of where the story hit a big wall. 


Gustavo: So what are you do then?

Stacy:  Well I mean, I think most reporters reach this place where you feel like you've exhausted all avenues, you've pushed and persisted, you've made calls, you've been blocked, and then you just kind of hope for luck or serendipity to happen. Um, And it did. you know, Her you know, second husband, Joe Wendel Owen, had also been searching for her for years and years and years. 

Gustavo: And this is the husband who got into the new relationship right after Lora Lee left him, but he couldn't marry that woman because he and Lora Lee had never gotten divorced.

Stacy: That’s right.

Gustavo: Jeez.

Stacy: And I spoke to his daughter again and she brought her sister on the phone. // 

Stacy Perman: Kelly, this is Stacy. Hi Kelly.

STACY RT: And it turns out he had written down a lot about his search. 

Andi McWilliams: So our dad, like I had told you, um, kept copious notes and records. I'm just going to read you what he wrote. He wrote. Fact: Lora Lee appeared as a child in a  number of movies. I saw press clippings and eight by 12 glossies, um studio photos, I remember her saying something negative about her mother that put her in the movies and she and also something negative about being put in a girl's home when she was 13 years old. And then he goes on; she got married when she was 17 had a child that died um no divorced Then she met and married me. all the time She was with me She slept around just sleeping around not for pleasure but because of a need. Check with studios as to the date “Mighty Joe Young” was made and other pictures she was in 

Duck tape under Stacy 

STACY: I was able to find this seminal piece of information through this conversation that I had with them. 


STACY: And it kind of wrapped up the whole story of her life.  For me, it had been something I'd been looking for, and it was just hidden in the notes of Joe Wendell Owen that he had kept for years and just left somewhere. And the information, certainly wasn't everything the family had hoped to learn, at the same time it was the best that anyone was going to get, and it was going to give the family a measure of closure. So that's when I took my final trip to Texas to see Barbara and to tell her and her daughters everything I learned.


Gustavo: We'll be right back. 


Gustavo: OK…so, Stacy… you finally  found out about Lora Lee’s fate. How did that happen? ? 

Stacy Perman: Stacy: Right so I got on the phone with Joe Wendel Owen's daughter Andi again, and this time her sister Kelly joined us


Andi McWilliams: So our dad, like I had told you, um, kept copious he, his notes and records.

Stacy RT: So for decades it appeared that he hadn't been able to marry the mother of his children because Lora Lee had never divorced him. She just disappeared. So he was motivated to find her and eventually he got some results.

Andi's Sister: He evidently, dad just wrote, found mutual friend, Herb Fisher, and found out Lora Lee had died sometime in 1979 from cancer. 


So evidently this Herb guy was someone that knew both dad and Lora Lee.

Stacy on tape: Is there a death certificate for Lora Lee in there?

Andi's Sister: Nope. And I've got, we've got the documents where he wrote, um, in ‘92 for her death certificate, but, um, no one had it.


Gustavo RT: Were you able to find that friend, Herb Fischer? 

Stacy RT: Unfortunately it seems he passed away. But what we do know is that in 1985, soon after talking with Herb Fischer, Joe Wendel Owen officially married the mother of his children. So we have to assume the information was true enough to allow him to do that.    

Gustavo RT: You just couldn’t find that last, official document that would confirm everything? 

Stacy RT: That's right.. I spent quite a bit of time looking for a death certificate under a variety of indexes, names, dates, nothing turned up. I couldn't find a grave site for her either. And earlier Barbara's family had marshaled quite a few resources to look for her. At one point a lawyer was looking for her who had deployed a private investigator and they had also come up empty. But, this was more of a conclusion // than the family had ever discovered. That's when we decided we have as full a picture of Lora Lee's life as we're gonna get at this point. 

Gustavo: When you went to the family's house in Texas, ready to wrap up this story for them, how were you feeling? 

Stacy: Well, I mean, I was very sort of, you know, the whole thing was very sobering. and I drove to the house with our photographer, Donna Maxwell, We got to the house, you know, they didn't know what to expect. I mean, this was this thing, I knew the story and I was going to be giving it to them. So I was so tired of the weight of carrying this was fairly heavy for me. And they're a lovely family and they're very Southern and polite and they couldn't have been nicer. And we made small talk. I remember Barbara showed me some pictures of Lora Lee before she went to Hollywood and she commented on what a beauty her sister was. And then we kind of all sat around her daughter's dining room table. 

Ambi in

Stacy Tape: Okay. So I begin. So again, thank you for entrusting your story to me. Um, I really appreciate it. It's been fascinating and I felt, you know, since you were so good that it was important to come here and, and, and give you the findings.

AMBI of taping under–

Stacy: Well, I mean, I think that's when, you're sort of journalistic instincts kick in about reading the room. I would wait for their pauses. I would listen to them. I asked them at several points. Do you want me to continue? I let them respond. Um, it, it was, it was, it was difficult for everybody.

Stacy tape: And there's quite a bit, and I'll start with, I wish I could be the bearer of better news, but unfortunately we believe Lora Lee died in 1979 of cancer.

Bandera_3-1-22_Mic 4: Interesting.

Bandera_3-1-22_Mic 2: in 1979. Okay

Bandera_3-1-22_Mic 2: Well, this is sad. This is a very sad thing to hear, but it's closure. It's closure for Me, but now I don't have to wonder. My other siblings have all passed I don't know why I'm so lucky. a purpose.

Bandera_3-1-22_Mic 2: but that's, you know, w I knew in my heart, she was not alive because looking for someone as long as I've been looking for Lora Lee and so much that we have put on the end at time. After time after time, she had been alive, I think she would have responded to me. Yeah. she tried so hard to find me when she was young and my mother wouldn't allow it. So, you know, what was she supposed to do? You know, go away. Yeah she did. laugh

I feel relieved and I do have closure now. I know she's gone, so I'm not going to glum, dwell anymore. I told my husband, and I said, well, maybe someday we'll meet again in heaven. I'd like to believe that, but I don't know now. I’m not quite sure one of us is gonna make it.

Bandera_3-1-22_Mic 3: laughs

Mux in-

Stacy Perman: But you’ve memory alive, and that's something. All of you, you you've always kept her in your hearts and she's not been forgotten.

Bandera_3-1-22_Mic 2: She was never forgotten. She had family that would have loved her, loved her. right She had kids that would've loved her. She had grandkids would have been, you know, grand nephews that would have loved her. Yeah. She would had a great life had, that's what I'm saying, if I had gotten a hold of her at one point in life that maybe things would've been different for her. they'd have been worse. I don't know, but I, my heart



GUSTAVO: Stacy. Thank you so much for sharing Lora Lee and her family’s story. 

Stacy RT: Thank you, Gustavo.

Mux Out


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Gustavo: And that’s it for this episode of THE TIMES, daily news from the LA Times

Alex Higgins was the jefe on this episode, Lauren Raab edited and Mario Diaz mixed and mastered it. 

Our show is produced by Shannon Lin, Denise Guerra, Kasia Brousalian, David Toledo and Ashlea Brown. Our editorial assistants are Madalyn Amato and Carlos De Loera. Our intern is Surya Hendry. Our engineers are Mario Diaz, Mark Nieto and Mike Heflin. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmin Aguilera and Shani Hilton. And our theme music is by Andrew Eapen. 

I'm Gustavo Arellano. We'll be back tomorrow with all the news and desmadre. Gracias.

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