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Actress Strangled in Hollywood

Dec. 1, 1963 - A strangler killed Karyn Kupcinet, 22-year-old actress, a surgeon reported after an autopsy today. Her nude body was found by friends last night on a living-room couch in her second-floor apartment in Hollywood. She was the daughter of Irv Kupcinet, columnist for The Chicago Sun-Times. “Whoever did it got a three-day start on us,” Lieutenant George Walsh, sheriff’s homicide officer in charge of the investigation, said after the autopsy. He referred to the estimated time she had been dead when found. The autopsy was performed by Dr. Harold Kade, assistant chief Los Angeles county autopsy surgeon. He reported death was caused by “asphyxiation due to manual strangulation, which fractured the hyoid bone in the throat.” The hyoid is a U-shaped, horizontal bone at the base of the tongue. There was no immediate evidence of sexual assault, but Dr. Kade said further microscopic tests would be made. Miss Kupcinet had recently appeared on television with Jerry Lewis and had been in many television shows. Today, Mr. Lewis said: “She was a vibrant young kid. She had a great dramatic future. I’ve known her since she was a baby. Her father and I are very fast friends.” Her last television performance was on an episode of “Perry Mason” called “The Case of the Capering Camera.” The episode is scheduled for release next month. When her body was found, the apartment door was unlocked, and the television set was on but turned down, according to the friends, actor Mark Goddard and his wife, Marcia. A bowl of cigarettes and a coffeepot had been knocked to the floor and a lamp turned over, they said. “Karyn was very vivacious and happy the last time we saw her,” Goddard said. “She’s not the sort of girl who would commit suicide.” Lieutenant Walsh said that seven detectives were questioning Miss Kupcinet’s “tremendous” number of friends, acquaintances, and associates.

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