Famous Cases | Historical Tales | Vampires | Zombies
Report Number: 9336
Date: December, 1971
Location: Los Angeles, California
Background: Wanda Schiffler's journey to ignominy began in the leafy New York City suburb of Scarsdale. The rebellious Wanda never felt at home among the country club set, so in 1967, at the ripe age of 17, she ran away to Los Angeles and became a fixture in the burgeoning rock and roll scene.
Like many heavy metal devotees, Wanda expressed a strong interest in vampirism, though her friends passed it off as a fad she would outgrow. However, late in 1971, those same friends noticed a change in Wanda. While never a morning lark, she stopped going out during the day completely, and when she emerged at night, it was underneath sunglasses and a thick layer of kabuki-like makeup.
|Ian Allen of|
Late in 1971, Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant sent
Incident: On the night of December 11, 1971, Ian Allen looked past the hordes of groupies and sycophants in his dressing room and saw a statuesque, ghostly-pale woman in black standing by the door, smiling enigmatically. It's likely Ian Allen had heard of the Magic Wanda, but the sight of her knocked him for a loop. He quickly ejected the teenage girl sitting in his lap and went over to introduce himself. A short time later, the two fast friends left the Whiskey together, and when Ian didn't return to his bungalow at the Chateau Marmont the following day, a panicked Zeppelin manager Peter Grant went looking for him at Cedars. The butler who answered the door told Grant that Wanda was not home and that Ian had never been to the house. When the 300-pound ex-wrestler Grant bulled his way into the house, he was viciously beaten and driven off by what he described as "three amazons." After Ian failed to turn up for that night's show, foul play was suspected.
|The Whiskey, site of|
Ian and Wanda's meeting
Police wanted to question Ian and Wanda about Cassie Burke's disappearance, but the band had left L.A. for the Pacific Northwest and a week of shows in Seattle and Portland. Between gigs, Ian and Wanda would disappear and not be seen until the next night's show. Ian's band mates thought that Wanda had gotten him hooked on heroin.
The day after the band returned to L.A. for more shows at the Whiskey, drug dealer Colin Lamb was arrested in possession of dozens of vials of frozen vampire blood. The vials were part of a lot stolen from Washington D.C.'s Walter Reed Hospital the previous summer. As part of a plea bargain, Lambke gave FVZA officials the names of people to whom he had sold some of the stolen vials. Among those names was none other than Wanda Schiffler. The FVZA was called in.
Investigation: On the morning of December 21, the FVZA Los Angeles team set up a surveillance post at the guest house of a property adjacent to Cedars. Aside from visits by a pool cleaner and a landscape crew, the team observed no activity at the house during the day. That night, Ian Allen and Wanda Schiffler were observed leaving the house about 9:30 p.m. Accounts put them at the Whiskey for the next several hours, after which they returned with a caravan of cars in tow. The group, made up mostly of young women who had been at the show, adjourned to the back yard, where they were joined by several others from the house.
Once they had confirmed the presence of vampires with infrared scopes, the FVZA team surrounded the house and conducted an assault. The rescue was greatly complicated when one of the vampires released a pack of vicious dobermans. Nevertheless, the FVZA team managed to eliminate a dozen vampires in the back yard; the terrified young women who had followed Wanda and Ian home from the show were escorted to safety.
With the outside secure, the FVZA advance team conducted a sweep of the house, with disastrous results. The team was overwhelmed by attacks from all sides. Vampires emerged from hidden rooms beneath staircases, false bookcases and trap doors in the floor. Agent Frank Vallejo, a 15-year veteran, was killed; two other agents were bitten but managed to escape. The team was forced to withdraw.
As night turned to morning, the team, with the help of the L.A. Police Department, cordoned off the street to the mansion and set up a perimeter. Demolition of the house was considered and rejected in the event there were innocent people being help captive inside. The team, augmented by agents from San Diego and San Francisco, went inside and conducted a room-to-room sweep, encountering fierce resistance along the way. It was nightfall before the house was fully secured. Over 30 vampires were destroyed and 12 agents injured. Among the macabre items found in the house were a subterranean torture chamber and Samir Sheeshia's decapitated head.
Officials were unable to find the bodies of Wanda Schiffler and Ian Allen among the dead vampires. A thorough search of the area led to the discovery of a secret tunnel leading from the basement of the house to an exit spot opening up on the hills. An All Points Bulletin was issued for Ian and Wanda.
|LA Times headline|
December 23, 1971
Post Mortems: The toll from the battle at Cedars was considerable: 34 vampires destroyed, two police officers and one FVZA agent dead and 12 agents injured. Among the dead vampires were a number of young women who had apparently been lured to Cedars by ads in local trades seeking actresses for movie work. In addition, 12 people were treated for vampires bites in Seattle and Portland, where Mr. Crowley had played for one week.
|Ian Allen's grave|
in Wales, England
The years since Ian Allen's death have seen a growth in his popularity. In 1976, a local artist painted a large mural of him on the side of a building in Venice beach, where it remained for a number of years until community activists managed to have it removed. Ian's grave in England has become a pilgrimage site for both rock fans and vampire cultists, and Mr. Crowley's debut album ended up spending over 100 weeks on the charts.
Comments from Dr. Pecos: While the case files are full of stories of male vampires using females to lure victims, this is one of the few cases where the tables were turned. As a result, L.A. was for one long night paralyzed with fear, and a town that had churned out so many phony vampires found out the real thing was a whole lot scarier.