The Unsolved Murder of 1970’s Hollywood Starlet Christa Helm

Last Update: 2007
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by Steve Thompson and John O’Dowd © 2007 with an Intro by the daughter of Christa Helm

The late 1960s and early 70s were an exciting, if challenging, time for women of the day. Their moms were of the 1950’s—housekeepers and caretakers, mostly—held against their will by the ‘Right thing to do’. Divorces back then hadn’t much in the line of options, either. Then there was the incoming age of drugs, peace and rock and roll, and the newfound sexual freedom that no generation of women before them had the pleasure, and pain, of experiencing. My mother was one of these women, finally finding her power in her sexuality, as opposed to the shame her adolescent experiences had taught her. Her beauty and charm were undeniable, and once she mastered the art of manipulation she found her way onto the path of her dreams. She was going to be a Movie Star!

A few years of modeling and “faking it” paid off when she moved to Hollywood and changed her name to Christa Helm. Living in a mansion, driving a new Jag, rich men falling all over her—she had it made! Movie stars, sports figures, producers, politicians and musicians…they were all hers for the taking, and she took, and she worked, until she found herself on the Yellow Brick Road of fame. Guest starring in Wonder Woman and Starsky and Hutch, making B-grade movies, lathering in the Coppertone commercials of the day, and recording a disco album that would never see the light of day, all introduced her to the thrills and dangers of stardom. The lifestyles of many Hollywood starlets of the time were filled with sex, drugs, murder and money. My mother gained it all, and then lost it all in a very short time.

Down to her last few dollars, waiting on a prime role and desperate to survive, she logged all of her escapades in a secret journal. The journal is rumored to have been filled with the names of her many famous lovers, as well as the details of their more private moments. Her affairs, her beauty and her strength enraged many who knew her, but those same attributes also brought her career growth and an array of people who truly loved and respected the beauty within her. In the end, those who loved and hated her would all be scrutinized under an investigation that remains open today—30 years later.

In the early morning hours of February 12, 1977, my mother was murdered. Stabbed over 30 times and bludgeoned with a blunt instrument, she bled to death under a parked car in an upscale Hollywood neighborhood. As of now, the case remains unsolved.

She was born Sandra Wohlfeil. She died Christa Helm. This is her story…

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