The Bizarre Murder of Vera Stone

Beaten and strangled to death in 1924 downtown Los Angeles, Vera Stone’s murder remains unsolved

Heather Monroe
8 min readDec 29, 2020


Los Angeles Evening Post-Record
Los Angeles, California
05 Apr 1924, Sat • Page 2

Doomed from the Start

She wasn’t always known as Vera. She was born Carrie Elizabeth Dunbar, likely in San Francisco, California, in December of 1890. Carrie was the second child of George Dunbar and his wife, Gertrude.

George Dunbar spent most of Carrie’s younger years in an out of San Quentin, convicted of various burglaries in the area. Eventually, the Dunbars relocated to 3031 Eagle Street in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.

When Carrie was only 15-years-old, her brother, George Jr, playfully aimed a gun at her face and demanded she hand over her ice cream. The gun accidentally discharged, and a bullet tore through Vera’s cheek, exiting near her eye. Doctor’s thought the girl would lose her sight. Miraculously, she recovered in a month without so much as a scar.

On July 11, 1914, one of the Dunbar girls found Mrs. Dunbar dead in her bedroom. George believed whole-heartedly that his wife committed suicide. He specifically stated that his wife swallowed carbolic acid. However, the coroner reviewed her medical history and determined Gertrude died of natural causes.

23-year-old Carrie and her little sister, Pearl, began short careers as cabaret dancers in Downtown Los Angeles. Vera amassed an impressive collection of male suiters and kept their names and phone numbers in her diary. These men came from all walks of life — from politicians to underworld mob types and lowly cabbies. None were suitable husbands, but all of them were worth a meal.

During a party, Vera was the victim of a robbery. The details of the crime are scant. It isn’t clear if she attended the party as a guest or a dancer, but Vera claimed the perpetrator was a police officer. Around this time, Vera met the man she would marry — a patrolman named Bill Stone.

Billy Stone shortly before illness, Public Domain Photo courtesy of Ancestry


Vera and Bill dated and enjoyed a long engagement before marrying on January 22…



Heather Monroe

Welcome readers! Heather Monroe is a genealogist and writer who resides in California with her partner and their nine children. •True Crime• History• Memoir•