Details of Disappearance Siddall was last seen in Long Beach, California on August 23, 1961. She left her three children in the care of a babysitter and has never been heard from again.
She lived in the 700 block of Redondo Avenue at the time of her disappearance, and worked as a barmaid. She disappeared after telling multiple people that she was "in trouble" and going to see Hugh MacLeod Pheaster to have an abortion, which were illegal at the time. She borrowed $100 from a friend to pay for it. A photo of Pheaster is posted with this case summary.
Pheaster was subsequently tried for Siddall's murder and for performing an illegal abortion, but in early 1962 a jury acquitted him of both charges. He was later convicted of abortion in three other cases, and also of federal armed robbery and auto theft charges. After these convictions, he confessed that he had in fact performed the abortion on Siddall in his Long Beach apartment, and that she had accidentally died during the procedure.
Pheaster said he put her remains in the trunk of his car and dumped the body in deep a ravine in the Lake Arrowhead-Big Bear Lake region in San Bernardino County. Although he passed a lie detector test about his statement, searches of the area turned up nothing. He was subsequently convicted of participating in the 1974 kidnapping for ransom of a sixteen-year-old Palm Springs, California boy, the son of a multimillionaire. The boy's skeletal remains were found in 1977.
Siddall's body has never been found.
- Long Beach Police Department
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 22, 2020; casefile added.