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Horror Film Director Found Slain, Buried Under Floor

August 08, 1995|JOHN M. GLIONNA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In a scene that could have come from one of his horror flicks, Hollywood B-movie director Al Adamson was found murdered and buried in a grave where his indoor Jacuzzi once sat, Indio police said Monday.

The body of the 66-year-old Adamson--whose films included "Five Bloody Graves" and "Satan's Sadists"--was discovered Wednesday in Indio, about 100 miles southeast of Los Angeles, said Lt. Bruce Bower.

"The guy made some pretty gruesome movies with bodies turning up all over the place," Bower said. "So finding his body where we did is a pretty ironic twist."

Acting on several anonymous telephone tips, police late Monday arrested an independent contractor who had been living in Adamson's house while remodeling it. Fred Fulford, 46, was taken into custody in a St. Petersburg, Fla., hotel room, Bower said.

Police said Fulford traveled to Florida about a week before Adamson was reported missing. Detectives have yet to establish a cause of death or a motive. An autopsy was set for Wednesday.

Police said Adamson hired Fulford several months ago to complete renovation of his two-story home, located in the middle of an orange grove. "It was pretty remote," Bower said. "There weren't too many neighbors within earshot."

Adamson reportedly lived only part time in the home, choosing to divide his time between there and several other addresses in Las Vegas, Texas and abroad.

On July 26, Adamson's brother contacted police after the director had been missing for five weeks. After examining the construction work at his house, police took up the flooring in a separate room that once housed the Jacuzzi and unearthed the body wrapped in linens. Investigators said the Jacuzzi had been dismantled and the body buried in the "deep hole" filled with dirt and concrete. A new tile floor was over the grave.

His brother suspected something was amiss because Adamson loved the tub and would not have removed it.

The son of a filmmaker, Adamson made his reputation with 1960s and '70s movies, most of them with horror or science fiction themes.

Among his cult works was the 1971 spoof "Dracula vs. Frankenstein," the last movie made by Lon Chaney Jr. He also directed "Hell's Bloody Devils," "Blood of Dracula's Castle," "Horror of the Blood Monsters," "The Naughty Stewardesses" and "Stud Brown."

Adamson's wife Regina Carroll, 49, star of several of his films, died three years ago of cancer, and it was believed that Adamson lived mostly alone after her passing.

"He was known in the film industry and all over the country," Bower said. "But here he was just a regular guy."

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