Los Angeles Examiner

Dianetics Head Gives Police Busy Day Over Wife, Baby

February 26, 1951

Efforts of Dianetics Founder L. Ron Hubbard to reconcile with his estranged wife, Sara, yesterday kept police busy after she was reported missing under mysterious circumstances.

The strange episode was punctuated with a report that Mrs. Hubbard was whisked away in an automobile-and later, by her telephoned assurances from Yuma, Arizona, that she left Los Angeles of her own accord.

The incident was touched off Saturday when Mrs. Hubbard left the couple's 9-month-old daughter, Alexis, at Hubbard's Dianetics Research Foundation, South Hoover and Adams boulevard, hub of the nation-wide "mental healing" system.

Miles F. Hollister Jr., a former official of the group, told police Mrs. Hubbard-separated from her husband for several months -returned late Saturday from a hurried airplane trip to San Francisco.

Hollister said she decided to spend the night in her husband's apartment, 1251 South Westmoreland avenue, upon finding it unoccupied. Hollister said he and a private detective were requested by Mrs. Hubbard to stay in the neighborhood.

At 1 A.M. two cars parked near the apartment and a short time later drove off-with Mrs. Hubbard beside her husband. Hollister and the detective gave chase.

They lost the Hubbard auto. The other was traced to Frank Bernard Dessler, 42, a foundation official of 128 South Camden drive, Beverly Hills.

Dessler told Beverly Hills officers that Hubbard, 39 had sought to reconcile with his wife and she agreed to accompany him to Tampa, Florida.

As police questioned Dessler, Hubbard telephoned from Yuma to say Sara had decided to return to Los Angeles by airplane. Detective Sgt. Ray Borders heard her assurances she had made the trip voluntarily.

"But my husband won't tell me where the baby is," she complained to the officer.

She was informed the child had been left by Hubbard and Dessler at the Westwood Nurses Registry Agency, 10838 La Grange Avenue, Westwood, where they had paid for a week's care in advance.

Vince McGonigel, owner of the registry, told police he would have to see an attorney before releasing the child.

McGonigel had reported the placement to Beverly Hills police when the men aroused his suspicions by identifying themselves only as "Mr. Olson" and "Mr. Rank"-which Dessler admitted to police were fictitious names.

Last December 18th Hubbard was fined $50 by Municipal Judge Kenneth Holaday for leaving the baby unattended in his automobile while he delivered a lecture. A 10-day jail term was suspended.