Walter J. Gilmour, In Memoriam

Walter J. Gilmour

There are memories galore. I’ll share one.

When I finally convinced Walter to appear on the Sally Jessy Raphael show to promote “Butcher, Baker,” he was still less than enthusiastic. He didn’t like New York. He didn’t think much of the show. He thought our hotel (the legendary Plaza Hotel) was too old, the rooms too dated, with big porcelain tubs instead of showers.

At the studio, we were taken to a Green Room separate from the other guests, who were, no surprise, the surviving relatives of Robert Hansen’s victims. One of the runners kept promising that Sally “will come see you before you go on.”

Walter mumbled, “She’s not coming.”

After makeup (still no Sally), we were led to the set. Walter said, “I’m looking forward to this about as much as a visit to the dentist without Novocaine.”

He was right, of course. In the little world of daytime TV, Walter was cast as the villain. He was the cop. Robert Hansen had killed 30 odd women. Someone had to take the blame.

They underestimated Gilmour. He had the AST at his back. He refused to play the fall guy.

Instead, we watched with amusement as the stage manager walked us through the elaborate rituals of daytime TV. “When I raise both hands, I want you to start interrupting each other, okay?” she insisted. “There’s nothing more boring than people politely waiting their turn to talk.”

Okay, we said. And promptly ignored her. Every single one of us. Walter had set the tone. We didn’t budge. Perhaps that’s why the show never aired.

2 thoughts on “Walter J. Gilmour, In Memoriam

  1. If you have been searching forpast stuff maybe you can help. I once had a not to thick book that was written the daughter that was a real shady person. She was raised I think by him and he was owner of one of the theater. It was the 4th avenue theater. He was also I think either owner or had an interest in the Kit Kat Klub that was south of Anchorage. He also might have been owed money from that owner and it burned down by arson. He was involved in a lot of criminal activity. I don;t think he was ever prosecuted. I’m trying to find the book by the daughter and I think her name was Jennie or Jeniffer or something like that. I once had the book but I have misplaced or loaned it out 20 years ago but I would like to get a copy. Maybe you could help me with my quest

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