Three’s A Crowd

By Brad Dison

In 1958, Joseph Yule, Jr. married his fifth wife, Barbara Ann Thomason, in Mexico. Unsure of the legality of their Mexican marriage, they renewed their vows in Los Angeles two years later. By 1966, Joseph and Barbara had four children, but their marriage was falling apart. Barbara began having an affair with a soon-to-be-divorced Yugoslavian actor, stunt double, and bodyguard named Milos Milosevic. Joseph also worked in movies and was away from home for long periods of time. When he returned home from the Philippines in December, 1965, he was shocked to learn that Milos had been living in their home for a significant period of time. Milos even went so far as to claim that Joseph’s and Barbara’s home was his legal residence on official documents. On January 28, 1966, Joseph filed for divorce and petitioned the Superior Court of California for custody of their four minor children.

Since his return to the United States, Joseph had been a patient at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and was receiving treatment for a gastrointestinal tract infection. Joseph really did not want to divorce Barbara and tried to convince her to give their marriage another chance. On Sunday night, January 30, 1966, two days after Joseph filed for divorce, Barbara visited him in the hospital. Joseph and Barbara discussed their marriage, and Joseph told friends that they were close to reconciliation. Joseph was unaware that Barbara had hired a private detective to help her record their conversation. Barbara succumbed to his persuasive reasoning and agreed to stop seeing Milos.

Barbara and the private detective returned home and were met by Milos, Wilma Catania, who was staying at Barbara’s house, another female friend, and her attorney. Barbara explained to Milos that their friendship could not continue and played the tape recording of her conversation with Joseph. Milos sat quietly as he listened to the recording. Once the recording ended, Milos asked to speak with her privately. At about 8:30 p.m., Barbara and Milos entered the master bedroom and locked the door. Wilma decided to go to dinner an hour later. She knocked on the bedroom door, got no answer, and left for dinner. The other guests left as well. Wilma returned at about 2:30 a.m. to find the home exactly as she had left it. The lights were still on, the master bedroom door was still locked. Not wanting to disturb what she suspected was a touchy conversation, Wilma turned the lights off in the rest of the house and went to bed.

Wilma awoke around noon and found that the master bedroom door was still locked. The maid had not seen Barbara all morning. They unlocked the master bedroom and found that the bed was still made. Wilma then opened the bathroom door. Barbara’s lifeless body lay face up on the bathroom floor. She was still wearing the same tan capris and flowered blouse from the day before. A single .38 caliber bullet had entered her jaw. Milos’s lifeless body was sprawled over Barbara. He was still wearing the same black pants and white shirt that he wore the day before. A single .38 caliber bullet had entered his temple. The pistol, which belonged to Joseph, lay on the floor next to the bodies.

Police theorized that Milos, distraught that their affair was ending, murdered Barbara then committed suicide shortly after they left their guests and entered the master bedroom. None of Barbara’s guests heard the gunshots because the thick walls and doors muffled the sound.

You may not recognize the names Milos Milosevic, Barbara Ann Thomason, and Joseph Yule, Jr. The three of them adopted stage names? Milos Milosevic went by a shortened version of his name, Milos Milos, and appeared in just two films. Barbara Ann Thomason, better known as Carolyn Mitchell, was a beauty queen who was crowned “Miss Venus,” “Queen of the Championships of Southern California,” “Miss Muscle Beach,” “Miss Surf Festival,” and many, many more. She became a model where she met Joseph. She appeared in just three films. Joseph’s movie career, however, spanned nine decades. He appeared in just over 340 productions including notable movies such as “Babes in Arms” (1939), “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (1963), and more recently in “Night at the Museum” (2006), and “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” (2014). Joseph Yule, Jr. is better known by his stage name, Mickey Rooney.

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Long Beach Independent, January 29, 1966, p. 6.
San Rafael Daily Independent Journal, February 1, 1966, P. 13.
Long Beach Independent, January 29, 1966, p. 6.
San Rafael Daily Independent Journal, February 1, 1966, P. 13.
San Bernardino County Sun, September 11, 1966. P. 3.
San Rafael Daily Independent Journal, December 24, 1966, P. 7.

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