The Last Night Of Judy Garland
In march of 1969, Judy married her fifth husband, Mickey Devinko, better known as Mickey Deans, a gay night-club promoter. Judy had an unfortunate habit of marrying gay men. They lived together in a tiny mews house in Chelsea, London. For a look inside, click here. The evening of Saturday June 21 1969, Judy and Mickey were watching a documentary, The Royal Family, on television, when they had an argument. Judy ran out the door screaming into the street, waking the neighbors.
Several versions of what happened next exist, but the fact remains that a phone call for Judy woke him at 10:40 the next morning, and she was not sleeping in the bed. He searched for her, only to find the bathroom door locked. After no response, he climbed outside to the bathroom window and entered to find Judy, sitting on the toilet. Rigor Mortis had set in. Judy Garland was dead at the age of 47.
The press was already aware of the news before the body could be removed. In an effort to prevent pictures being taken of the corpse, she was apparently draped over someone’s arm like a folded coat, covered with a blanket, and removed from the house with the photographers left none the wiser.
The day Judy died there was a tornado in Kansas. Several people have claimed this to be false, but Findadeath friend Kris Fenton sends this: When I came across the Judy Garland page, I noticed the part about the legend of a tornado occurring in Kansas the day she passed. Being somewhat interested in tornadoes, I checked out Tornado Project.com which has a database listing historical tornadoes by state and by county. There were none on June 22nd, 1969 in Kansas. Actually, 1969 was a light tornado year for Kansas, they usually average about 75 tornadoes/year but that year only had 17. However, in Saline County, a rather large F3 tornado (injuring 60, but causing no deaths) did hit at 10:40 pm on June 21st, that would be 4:40 am, June 22nd, London time, the morning she died. I know the time of death has never been firmly established, but since Rigor Mortis had already set in, I think this tornado may very much be in the ballpark in terms of coinciding with time of death. The St. Petersburg Times, on June 23, 1969 featured a story on that early summer tornado outbreak, and on page 2-A there is a mention of the Saline county tornado from June 21st, which hit the county seat at Salina, next to a photo of Garland, Bolger and Haley from The Wizard of Oz as a part of a story on Garland’s death. The St. Petersburg Times article indicates the Tornado in Salina was “early yesterday [June 22] morning” which may indicate this may have been a rather long-lasting tornado, as some of them are, or that the 10:40 pm start time given by Tornado Project is only a best estimate. Other news articles suggest the tornado struck Salina “late at night” which could certainly also mean after midnight on June 22, or roughly 6:00 am London time.
The Toledo Blade for June 24th, also in an article located right next to a picture of Garland, in a write-up on the Salina tornado noted that “Late Saturday [June 21] and early Sunday [June 22, another batch of tornadoes struck in central Kansas.” So it seems the legend seems confirmed.
The text for this story comes from Findadeath. You can spend hours at this site. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.