September 2, 1923
Jean Elizabeth Spangler is born in Seattle, Washington
Graduates from Franklin High School, Highland Park, Los Angeles
Marries Dexter Benner. Jean asks for a divorce within six months of their marriage, citing cruelty; they stay together for another four years
April 22, 1944
Dexter and Jean's daughter, Christine Louise Benner is born
Dexter goes to serve in the war, Jean begins a relationship with a Lieut. Scott; they briefly live together and talk about marriage, but she leaves him after he beats her and threatens to kill her
Dexter and Jean divorce; he gets custody of Christine partly due to her infidelity; he claims she "preferred parties to priorities."
Jean works as a dancer at Florentine Gardens and Earl Carroll Theatre, and also as a movie and television extra; she signs up to become a member of Screen Extras' Guild
August 13, 1948
Jean is awarded custody of her and Dexter's five-year-old daughter Christine. She moves into a two bedroom apartment with her daughter and mother at 6216 Colgate Avenue, in the La Brea neighborhood of Los Angeles
Spotted at Ciro's on a night out with Ronald Reagan
Spotted in Palm Springs with Mickey Cohen associate Dave Ogul
Jean tells actor Robert Cummings she has a new romance; she appears very happy
(she's currently working as an extra in Cummings' movie "Girl of the Year" -- according to later reports, the secret romance was writer Peter Brooks)
October 6, Thursday, 10.00 - 10.30 p. m.
A friend of Jean sees her eating hot dogs with a "clean-cut, young man" in front of a Vine St. market. "She didn't appear distraught or upset," he told police, adding he had been introduced to the man but couldn't remember his name.
(originally reported as the night Jean disappeared; date changed after interrogation)
October 7, Friday, 5.30 p. m.
Jean, cheerful and in good health, leaves her apartment on Colgate Avenue, telling her sister-in-law Sophie she is going to meet her ex-husband at his house for unpaid child support, and later, to work on a movie shoot.
Police later find out from Central Casting corporation and the Screen Extras Guild that Jean had not been called for work Friday night. Her ex-husband, when questioned the following week, says he has not seen Jean for about a month
October 7, 6.00 p. m.
Jean is seen at the Farmer's market at Third and Fairfax, not far from her home. According to the clerk, she was there for about one and a half hour, browsing and appearing to be waiting for someone
October 7, 7.00 p. m.
Jean calls Sophie to say she will return home later
A newsboy sees Jean outside the Cheesebox restaurant at Sunset and Laurel Canyon Blvd early morning October 8
October 8, Saturday, 1.30 a. m.
Jean is seen at the front table at the Cheesebox. According to manager Terry Taylor, Jean was sitting with a tall, "neat appearing" man around 30-35 with dark hair.
October 8, 2.30 a. m.
Jean is seen arguing with two men at the Cheesebox by an employee. She is now seated at a different table
October 8, early morning
Service station attendant Art Rodgers sees a blue-gray convertible, carrying a man and a woman who looks like Jean, pulling into his station near Sunset strip. The man ordered gas, saying they were going to Fresno. Rodgers said the girl was shrinking into her seat, but as they drove off she cried "Have the police follow this car!" After the convertible sped off, Rodgers called police, who were unable to find it
October 8, morning
Ex-husband, plastics manufacturer Dexter Benner, arrives at Colgate Avenue to pick up their daughter for her regular weekend visit with him
Sister-in-law files police report
October 8, 6 p. m. - 10 p. m.
Jean's purse is dropped at the Fern Dell entrance of Griffith Park
(according to park attendant Henry Anger, who found it, this was the only time the purse could have been left at that spot)
October 9, Sunday, 9 a.m.
Henry Mertz of Fresno, Calif., says he saw the missing girl with a man in a Fresno bar, according to him, she remarked: "What a tough night I've had!"
The sighting was dismissed
Purse found at Fern Dell entrance of Griffith Park, about ten feet off the road, by attendant Henry Anger
October 10, Monday
Police and volunteers begin a foot by foot search of Griffith Park's Fern Dell canyon section for any clues regarding Jean's disappearance. The search, directed by Lt. George Banta, lasted several days. Among the items discovered was an inmate's uniform from Los Angeles County Jail - but nothing related to Jean was found
Jean's previous date Davy Ogul disappears
October 11, Tuesday
Three waitresses at a drive-in restaurant in Monterey claims they saw Jean having lunch with a dark, heavy-set man, before heading towards San Francisco
October 12, Wednesday
Movie star Kirk Douglas questioned by police -- they decide he is not involved in Jean's disappearance
Jack J. Williams claims he saw Jean at a bus depot in Stockton: "she had dark circles under her eyes and wore a plain print dress"
October 13, Thursday, morning
Shirley Ann Morse, 13-year-old school girl and friend of Jean, claims she saw the missing woman looking nervous and frightened in a big sedan with an older looking man in North Hollywood
Las Vegas gambler Thomas Evans, arrested for robbery, is questioned about the disappearances of Jean and Mimi Boomhower, a Bel Air widow who had gone missing August 18; rumor had it Evans had been seen with Mrs. Boomhower at a hotel bar -- police decide he is not involved
Police, after having found no clues as to her whereabouts, announce they believe Jean is alive and missing of her own volition while "recovering from an illness that she wishes kept secret." They say they will give her until the end of the week to reappear, and if she does not, proceed on the assumption she is dead
Custody of Christine is awarded temporarily to Dexter Benner; Florence Spangler is granted visiting rights
Mickey Cohen is questioned about his recent visit to Texas: was he looking for Ogul, Niccoli and Spangler? He laughs it off, and as media interest in Jean Spangler slows down, so does the sightings
Dexter Benner is given a five-day suspended jail sentence for contempt of court, after not allowing Christine see her maternal grandmother
Dexter Benner is sentenced to 15 days in jail for contempt of court, after failing to allow Christine see her maternal grandmother. Dexter flees with Christine and wife to Florida, never to return to California
March 9, 1962
Jean's father Martin dies
July 13, 1991
Jean's mother Florence dies
May 7, 2007
Dexter Benner dies in Florida, leaving his wife of 63 years, Lynn, and daughters Christine, Kimberly and Julia