Los Feliz Murder House
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
2475 Glendower Place in the wealthy Griffith Park neighborhood in Los Feliz has long been a mysterious address with decades of local legend and folklore. The Spanish Revival home was built in 1925 for Harry F. Schumacher by architect Harry E. Weiner for $20,000. When Schumacher died, the house was sold on December 6, 1932.
The next owner was Frederic Zelnik, one of the most important producers-directors of the German silent cinema. After Hitler took power in 1933, Zelnik moved to London where he continued to direct and produce films until he died in 1950.
In the 1950s a second-generation immigrant couple Dr. Harold Perelson from New York and his wife Mrs. Lillian Silver Perelson moved in with their 3 children, Judye, Joel, and Debbie. Harold purchased the home for $60,000 and placed his family amongst upper-class Angelinos.
Harold Perelsons was from a Polish/Russian Jewish family and moved to California from New York to work at an Inglewood physician's office. He was a driven man determined to live the American Dream. He published several papers on neurology and went on to become a cardiology professor at USC School of Medicine. It was in California where he met Lillian Silver and together they elevated their family's name and status.
To friends and family, Lillian was remembered as being a kind and attentive mother and wife. One neighbor who babysat the Perelson children stated that her own father who was a lawyer was better suited for Lillian than Harold. She believed her mother and Harold were more of the same personality and her father and Lillian were better suited. She remembers her father stating what a gourmet cook Lillian was with her chopped hotdogs in tomato soup dish meanwhile her own mother was in fact a gourmet chef. The neighborhood children remember the family being pleasant which has made this story what it is today, a complete head-scratcher...
December 6, 1959
Upon reading pretty much every article I could get my hands on I stumbled across a lot of misinformation and left out facts. I've pieced together the best I could what I believe to be real and what I believe to be local legend...
On December 6th, 1959 during the predawn hours between 4:30-5:00 AM the energy in the house quickly shifted from quiet and calm to complete chaos and fear. Dr. Harold was awake, pacing back and forth in his house and decided to go retrieve a ball-peen hammer and with all his force strikes a sleeping Lillian in their bed. Lillian starts to asphyxiate on her own blood slowly choking. He then goes into Judye's room and strikes her but she awakens and starts to fight back. Harold starts to beat his daughter and tells her to keep quiet and stay still but she manages to escape her bedroom and heads towards her parent's room to her mother. When she sees what her father had done her screams wake up Joel and Debbie. Judye runs for the front door while Harold tells Debbie, 11 to "Go back to bed, baby, this is just a nightmare"...
A nightmare indeed, one which no one will ever wake up from again. Neighbors reported to police that they heard Judye screaming out of her house while running down the concrete steps "DONT KILL ME".
She ran across the street screaming and banging on the door but no one would answer. She then ran to the house next door at 2471 Glendower Pl and was let in by Marshall Ross. Once inside, the police were phoned and Marshall took the courageous journey up the hill to where the rest of the children were. When Marshall inside the house and was up the stairs he saw a Dr. Harold out of sorts with blood on his hands and shoulder still clutching the hammer. The last Marshall saw of Dr. Harold was when the Dr turned to Marshall and told him to "Go on home, don't bother me" and laid down next to his dead wife, Lillian.
The younger children were removed from the house and by the time the police and ambulance arrived Dr. Perelson was on the floor but still holding onto the hammer. He had taken a fist full of Tranquilizers and Nembutal.
The home was then sold in a probate auction to a Lincoln Heights couple, Emily and Julian Enriquez. The couple never actually moved into the home but instead kept the property as a storage unit. They had a son named Rudy who inherited the property once both his parents had passed. Rudy was a music store manager and lived in Washington Heights, not too far from Glendower Place. However, he also chose not to live in the house and was quoted telling Times in 2009 “I don’t know that I want to live there or even stay here.”
In 2012, miss Vaugh from Lifeinmylense went up to the house and took photos looking in through the windows and also gained access inside. Through her own photographs, you can see a house full of furniture and belongings but not all belongings are from the Perelson's. Local legend often says the Perelsons Christmas tree and wrapped presents are still inside with Spaghetti-O's cans on the kitchen counter. However, Spaghetti-Os weren't marketed until 1965, years after the murder. Also, the Perelsons were a Jewish household.
Master bedroom with the mural still perfectly visible on the wall where the bed was...
These photos provide a lot of clarity regarding the Christmas tree as well as wrapped presents. In her post, she mentioned there was no Christmas tree or wrapped presents but there were Christmas wrapping papers and an assortment of other stored items from the Enriquez family who were Catholic.
So much life has happened since the house sat vacant for so many decades, first televised presidential candidate debate, the assassination of Robert Kennedy, the moon landing, Marilyn, Malcolm X, JFK, MLK, Walt Disney, Elvis Presley, Clintons, the crew of the space shuttle Challenger, Andy Warhol, 9-11, LGBTQ rights, Michael Jackson, and Prince as well as so much more happened since 1959. But inside those walls the air was still for decades, the wallpaper started to peel and dust started to gather.
So many people throughout the years have driven up the small narrow street to see the house up on the hill. There have been squatters, prostitutes servicing their Johns, and even goth groups having picnics in the yard. Not only has this created a lack of privacy for the neighbors but it had become a problem on the street which is as I said narrow and on a curve. Neighbors got together and painted the dilapidated detached garage and a gate was constructed for the house to keep true crime revelers at bay.
When Rudy passed away the property was once again sold at an auction and the only people that were there and interested in the home were Lisa Bloom, TV Analysis, and American Civil Rights attorney as well as the only daughter to high power attorney Gloria Allred. Both Lisa and her husband Braden stated they had no problem with the homes grizzly past and wanted to remodel it completely before moving in.
...however, they never moved in... after 3 years of renovations and removing practically everything from the interior the house is once again vacant and on the market. As of this week though the home is in escrow. That's right, the home has chosen its new owners to fill its walls or maybe it will be a complete teardown. 2020 is a long time since 1959. The home could have several issues other than cosmetics but I don't know what percentage was repaired and replaced.
I heard there is a possibility of a movie in the works about this story. I could only hope that a production company bought it and will restore it to its original model but that's unlikely.
The older looking photos and the photos from the Enriquez family ownership items are from various online articles; puckerandpout, Alexis Vaughn of lifeinmylense, LAist. One thing I did notice aside from all the renovations inside is that the banister wasn't changed out. The floors, walls, doors, light switches are all gone, either thrown out, stolen or sitting in a thrift shop some place but not the bainster.
I will have my eyes on this property and see what happens from here....