Jayne Mansfield’s Death

I want to note that I am not including photos in this piece. If you want to see them, there are plenty of sites that offer them (Find A Death has them). There are a ton of misconceptions out there about Jayne’s death and I hope that this article sorts out any confusion that may have lingered for people over the years. I’ve done a quick Q&A style to make the article easy to navigate.

Was the road cloudy either by fog or a mosquito truck?

No. According to Richard M. Rambo, who was driving the truck that Ronnie Harrison (Jayne’s driver) ran into, the road was clear. There was still some fog from when the mosquito truck had sprayed earlier but it was in the marsh and drifting towards Lake Catherine, away from the highway. James McLelland, the man driving the fog truck, also states that there was no fog on the highway because the wind kept carrying it off. Finally, Mava Fountain, who pulled onto the scene shortly after the accident (and wound up taking Jayne’s children to the hospital with her boyfriend) testified that there was no fog on the road. Furthermore, the police department did testing and found that there was, you guessed it, no fog on the road.

What does this tell us?

Well, first off, there was no fog on the road. I would be willing to bet that Ronnie had drifted to sleep when he collided with the truck. The truck also was not stopped, it was moving. The report claims that the truck was moving at 20 mph while Ronnie was driving at 60. There were no marks on the road, indicating that Ronnie had not attempted to stop, further supporting that he may have been asleep.

When did the accident happen?

According to Major Edward Reuther, it was reported shortly after 2:15 am. This puts it around 2:00 am, not the commonly recited 2:30 am.

Was Jayne drunk? (This question always confuses me being she wasn’t driving)

Jayne likely hadn’t been drinking in the car but her blood alcohol content was a .08, which was not considered intoxicating at the time. Sam was found to have no traces of alcohol, nor did Ronnie. Hollywood Babylon claimed that Jayne was drinking in the car but the police report states that the two bottles of alcohol in the car had their seals intact. After Jayne was paid $1,250 for the night by Gus, she asked for a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of scotch, which she was given. Stevens claimed that Jayne and Sam Brody had two cocktails while he was paying them at 12:45 am (although it was likely earlier than this) and had been drinking before then but he didn’t know how much either party had consumed.

Why was Ronnie Harrison driving them and what time did they leave?

Jayne and Sam had earlier demanded a limo but Gus couldn’t get them one and they wouldn’t rent a car. Jayne offered Ronnie $20 to take them to New Orleans, which he accepted, although he hadn’t slept in roughly 24 hours. Ronnie agreed to drive the couple at roughly 8:40 pm, on June 28th. He went home to take a nap and arrived back at the club at 11:00 pm (although Gus would at first claim 12:40 am) to take Jayne to New Orleans. Ronnie, Sam, and Jayne then stopped at the Edgewater Gulf Hotel, where Jayne and co were staying, to pick up the kids, the chihuahuas, and the luggage. A hotel employee remembered this happening at exactly 12:45 am. Gus Stevens employees would claim that the chihuahuas, children, and luggage were already in the car. Whether or not Jayne stopped at the Edgewater is up for debate. The group likely left around 1:00 am. Ronnie was driving on a suspended license dating back to 1964, when he was involved in another accident.

How many chihuahuas were in the car?

There were four. Two died, most likely Precious Jewel and Emerald who were bred by Hilary Harmar of Surrey, England, and two lived, Dorothy and Cow. There is footage available showing Dorothy and Cow being put in the back of a police car as well as pictures showing the two that passed away. Momsicle and Popsicle are commonly claimed to have been the two dogs that perished in the accident but both were still in quarantine in the UK. It is unknown what happened to them but I like to think they found a new home that had as much love as Jayne’s did. As far as I know, both Dorothy and Cow were adopted out to people in Mississippi.

Was Jayne decapitated?

No, Jayne was not decapitated. Jayne suffered a crushed skull and was scalped. The death certificate and the over 65 page police report both support this.

 

 

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