CA CA - Johanna Brighton, 38, Los Angeles, 25 Feb 1981

Discussion in '1980's Missing' started by Gardener1850, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Timeline Guru (Still Remembering Cupcake)

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    [​IMG]
    Johanna Catherine Brighton
    Los Angeles County, California
    38 year old white female

    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD]Height (inches)[/TD]
    [TD="class: view_field"]68.0[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Weight (pounds)[/TD]
    [TD="class: view_field"]125.0[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]

    Hair: Blond/Strawberry; blonde
    Eyes: Green

    Distinctive features:
    Healed fracture to right wrist.

    Johanna was last seen February 25,1981 in Los Angeles, CA.


    https://www.findthemissing.org/en/cases/17253/

    Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, green eyes. Brighton previously fractured her right wrist; the injury had healed by the time of her disappearance. Her birth name was Catherine Crawford and she went by the nickname Kay; she changed her name in 1968 for career reasons.
    [h=3]Details of Disappearance[/h] Brighton was last seen in Los Angeles, California on February 25, 1981. She has never been heard from again.

    Brighton was working as a model at the time of her disappearance, and left behind a young son. She was born in Arkansas and attended the University of Arizona. Few details are available in her case. She is missing under suspicious circumstances.

    http://charleyproject.org/case/johanna-catherine-brighton
     
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  2. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    Her son posted this silent YouTube video of his mother. You can watch her when she was alive (in the beginning it's starting a little odd...the footage comes a little later) She was actually a very pretty, bubbly (and a little clumsy in a funny way)person. Maybe this will motivate to start searching for her again.



    This is written underneath the video
    Published Dec. 14, 2014
    This is a silent film. My mother (Missing Persons Case File 856DFCA in the LAPD since late February 1981), Johanna Brighton (born Linda Katherine Crawford) journeys through LA (The Sunset Strip, Fairfax Ave, and the remains of the Pan Pacific Theatre parking lot) around 1978/79 in this footage originally shot on Super 8 mm film by Ron Hugo. It also features Penelope Spheeris, Lorrie Sullivan, and my mother's 1948 Black DeSoto Suburban sedan, which we drove from Wellington, Kansas to Los Angeles in the summer of 1978.

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Johanna was last seen February 25, 1981 in Los Angeles, CA. Foul play is suspected.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  3. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    And so we can distract more picture of her face. And it the video we can see that she was a smoker.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. alb1on

    alb1on Well-Known Member

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    The video is interesting, not just for the pictures but also because it supports the information that she was well connected in the industry. Penelope Spheeris is a well known director (and former actress) who directed Waynes World amongst others, and was already writing for Saturday Night Live when the film was made. And I assume Lorrie Sullivan is the photographer of some of the biggest album covers around that time. All of which makes it even odder that there is so little out there about her disappearance.
     
  5. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    Bumping....
     
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  6. ivonne

    ivonne Member

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    She could have been a victim of "The Sunset Strip Killer".
    "My mother (Missing Persons Case File 856DFCA at the LAPD since late February 1981), Johanna Brighton (born Linda Katherine Crawford) travels through LA (The Sunset Strip, Fairfax Ave, and the remains of the Pan parking lot Pacific Theater) around 1978/79 " Words of his son.

    Jane Doe, victim of "The Sunset Strip Killer", said to be called Cathy. The clothes that the killers described make me think of Johanna Catherine Brighton's dress style. Sorry for my bad English.
    The Doe Network: Case File 856DFCA
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1363ufca.html
     
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  7. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    I see what you mean by the clothing, but I think this UID was much younger then Johanna, who was already 38 when she went missing.
     
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  8. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    What happened to Johanna, she was a well known model once, if I recall right in the NY scene, but I couldn't find any picture of her of those days.
     
  9. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    Maybe she was a "hand" model or a model in the porn industry (sorry, don't want to offensive).....
     
  10. annie7

    annie7 New Member

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    She was not a porn model or a hand model, but a print/fashion model.
     
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  11. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    My suggestion was not meant to be offensive or judgemental in any way. It's just that I couldn't find any picture nore reference to her modelling career. I searched all over the place and was hoping to find a fashion/modeling picture of her. Did you ever find a picture of her in any (fashion) magazine? I would love to see it.
     
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  12. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    I also went through films, pictures, album covers etc. made by Penelope Spheeris and Lorrie Sullivan hoping I see Johanna somewhere in/on it, but no. Does anybody know who Ron Hugo is/was?
     
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  13. alb1on

    alb1on Well-Known Member

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    A couple of comments;
    • I would assume that a model with her contacts (director of Waynes World and a leading album photographer for the music world) would be from a fairly mainstream modelling background. I know there are exceptions where crossover to mainstream happens, but the cases are unusual and were well known.
    • I note this case being raised in the context of the arrest of Horace Van Vaultz. I can see why given the timeline (a murder in Montclair in July 1981), the victim type (young pretty white women) and his connections to the music industry. My big problem with this link is his modus operandi. In both the cases to which he is linked he left the victim where she was going to be found. If Johanna was a victim (of Vaultz or anyone else) they seem to have done a good job of disposing of the body. Whilst changes of behaviour are not unknown it would be odd if he started by concealing a victim in February 1981, then left subsequent victims (in July 1981 and in 1986) to be found.
     
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  14. alb1on

    alb1on Well-Known Member

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    I suspect he may be this man Ron Hugo - portfolio who seems to be or have been a fashion photographer for some leading names, is 73 years old (so about the right age) and lives in LA. He lives in Hillside Avenue, off Hollywood Boulevard, which is about as pricey and exclusive an address as you could have. I could be wrong but he is a good fit.
     
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  15. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    Why did never ever somebody came forward in all this years. There must be more to know....more details....her surrounding scene...her demeanor.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
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  16. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    After all this years I have some kind of bias when I look at a serie of pictures of a photographer....but there are also good people...you have to believe that......
     
  17. alb1on

    alb1on Well-Known Member

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    Ron Hugo has an interesting history (although unrelated to this case except that it may reflect on the crowd Johanna moved in. In 1972 he was sentenced to 3 years for drug dealing .... in Beirut, Lebanon. The report confirms he was a Hollywood cameraman at that time. Star News Newspaper Archives, Mar 17, 1972, p. 32. Back in 1961 he was also arrested for breaking into a car. A small correction to my previous post is that he is now 76, not 73.

    In the 1980s he did a bit of film work according to IMDB, including an early Penelope Spheeris film, Suburbia. So he seems to have been a reasonably mainstream player. Ron Hugo - Biography - IMDb. In the 1990s he moved into location management according to a second IMDB entry Ron Hugo - IMDb.

    In the early 80s both Spheeris and Hugo seemed to be closely involved in the punk scene (she made at least 2 punk films and he provided the cover photography for albums by the likes of the Violent Femmes). It would be interesting to know if Johanna shared these connections.
     
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  18. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    Just some tidbits...don't know where it may lead to. I just wonder where he may have crossed paths with Johanna and what kind of a relationship they had eventually, besides maybe a professional one (model, photographer, cameraman, making een movie of her, with her).

    Following World War II, the Lebanese capital <Beirut> became a tourist destination and financial capital, nicknamed "the Paris of the Middle East" thanks to its French influences and vibrant cultural and intellectual life. That changed when civil war broke out in 1975, ravaging the city. Explains why of all places he would have been drugs dealing to there. Beirut was buzzing so to speak. Was Hugo actually in prison for the whole 3 years he was sentenced to, so from 1972 until somewhere in 1975 when war broke out? and by then came back to California? It doesn't going to help much in Johanna's case.....

    Slash: A Punk Magazine from Los Angeles: 1977-1980
    The legendary punk and new wave alternative weekly magazine Slash was founded in Los Angeles in 1977 by Steve Samiof and Melanie Nissen (a couple at the time) , and published a total of 29 print issues before its demise in 1980 (though it had a second life as the punk label Slash Records

    Violent Femmes (cover photography by Hugo) were on the Slash record label. They originally specialized in punk rock bands including Fear, The Blasters and L7 and was formed in 1979 by Bob Biggs, married to Penelope Spheeris from 7 July 1977 - 14 December 1984.

    And then there was Lorrie Sullivan who did for instance the cover photography for Good Clean Fun made by a girl band Bonnie Hayes & the Wild Combo, released in 1982, who signed with LA's Slash Records. Ron Hugo was the art producer.
    Good Clean Fun - Bonnie Hayes, The Wild Combo | Credits | AllMusic

    And there a much more people from that scene that must have known eachother or worked together on art projects somehow. The main thing is Johanna was in the mid's of this. Still don't understand there is no trace of her left.
     
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  19. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    If I look at all the connections and see all the folks in this scene...I just don't see Johanna in this punk scene.....Melanie Nissen (when she was younger, looks like the same type of woman). We even can push Blondie (Deborah Harry) in ....and Johanna has the same kind of sexapeal.
     
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  20. kemo

    kemo Well-Known Member

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    It would seem that that the disappearance of a real fashion model who’s photo would certainly catch the eye of a newspaper reader or an evening news watcher, would be news worthy at the time. Apparently it wasn’t. There is just so little information out there. It is possible that she was not considered a crime victim but rather a “ voluntary missing” situation. She may have contacts who were “ players” in the entertainment industry but she wasn’t.

    I read somewhere that she really did own the 1948 DeSoto that is seen in the film clip. It was found “ abandoned” in downtown LA soon after she vanished. She left a young son but otherwise there is little information out there about her or her disappearance.

    Horace Van Vaultz Has been named as a possible suspect in her case. He had a lot of photos of women but there is no indication that he was posing as a professional photographer and targeting models.

    Alcala and Bradford lured victims under the pretense that they were photographers but it is doubtful that a pro like Johanna would have had anything to do with them. On the other hand, Charles Rothbun was a legitimate professional photographer who murdered a model who was working with him on a contracted photo shot in 1995 and is suspected f other similar murders in the early 1990’s. Was he in L A in 1981?
     
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