Left Behind

As an actress, she never rose out of B-grade obscurity, but when her mummified corpse was found last year, Yvette Vickers drew the international headlines she’d always yearned for.
  1. A blast of heat slapped the side of Susan Savage’s face as she stood at the top of the stairs inside her neighbor’s Benedict Canyon cottage. It was a spring afternoon in 2011, and a growing dread had made Savage a little woozy as she crawled into the barricaded home belonging to Yvette Vickers, an 82-year-old B-movie actress who lived a few doors away. Savage hadn’t been on good terms with Vickers for years—not since Savage pointed out that Vickers’s dog, Garbo, had gotten into the yard to play with her dog, Orson. But the neighborhood recluse’s mailbox had begun filling with yellowing envelopes, and Savage was here to check on her.

    Westwanda Drive is the kind of tight, shaded road where drivers instinctively inhale when two cars pass each other. Musicians, senior UCLA faculty, and movie people live in hillside houses that seem in danger of being engulfed by the ivy and bougainvillea that creep up the vertiginous landscape. Since buying her home from Godfather II producer Fred Roo...

The complete text of “Left Behind” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.lamag.com.

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