Anissa's Last Hours

Anissa's Last Hours

Robert Leibold
Robert Leibold

January 9th, 2006, 1:08 pm #1

I was present at the party the night Anissa died.

I was a Navy Hospital Corpsman at the time, temporarily assigned to Bravo Company, Second Battalion, First Marine Regiment, at Camp Pendleton. Two Marines that evening had said, "You're leaving for Okinawa in a couple of months; let's go out tonight and do the town. It'll probably be the last time we can do it before you're shipped out." One of these Marines, an Hispanic kid nicknamed "Zoe," knew the location of a get-together some one or two miles off Oceanside's northeast mainstreet, and said, "We're invited to a party; I know a couple of chicks who're gonna' be there (Zoe himself was from Vista or Fallbrook, and had graduated from high school there). I had already finished a half-bottle of Boone's Farm when we pulled up outside the party-house, and, oddly enough, I remember thinking how beautiful the tropical plants were which stood near the house's front door. I was just an ordinary kid from the midwest, and I was continually enthralled by California's abundant exotic plantlife. We hadn't been there more than seven or eight minutes when a really cute blonde girl ran toward me in the living room and said, "Zoe says you're a doctor--WE NEED YOU RIGHT NOW!" I followed the girl down a short hallway leading to a bedroom when we came upon a girl lying on her side near the bedroom door. It was a little dark in the house as I remember, and I was a little stoned from the wine, so my first thought was that someone was only kidding when they asked, "She's OD'ing real bad...can you please help her?" Someone else, a second girl, pleaded in a voice that truly broke my heart, "Please! Please do something for her!!" There was such pain and panic in the girl's voice that I immediately leaned over her prostrate friend and checked her radial pulse, and then her carotid, both of which were fluttery and barely discernable. I next leaned closer, my right ear actually touching the downed girl's nose, and discovered that she was breathing very rapidly, shallowly. Her eyelids were half-drawn. With my thumbs, I retracted them only to discover that her pupils were extraordinarily fixed and dilated. Not knowing anyone aside the two Marines who'd brought me to the party, I told one of the girl's girlfriends to immediately phone the Oceanside police. Well, this suggestion only served to instill fear in several of the partygoers--all of whom had apparently been mixing booze and quaaludes--and I recall hearing someone say, "Oh, shit--we can't do that! We've got too much crap in the house!!" Trouble or not, I repeated my first warning: "You'd better call a paramedic pretty damned quick, or else!" From out of nowhere I heard another's girl's plaintive voice, and it sent a chill down my spine--"Oh, God! Please, you've got to help her!" At that point, I believed that without an artificial breathing apparatus of some kind, and an emergency stomach pump, the girl wasn't going to make it. In a final gesture, I said once more, "I highly recommend you call the police right now!" With that, a medium-tall, dark-haired guy--perhaps the girl's boyfriend?--leaned down, picked her up in his arms, and carried her into the bedroom. That was the last time I saw the girl, and we left the party within two or three minutes. The following afternoon, I was nursing a slight hangover back on base when three Marines burst through the door of my living quarters, and fairly shouted, "That little chick you tried to help last night at that party in Oceanside? That was Anissa Jones!!" Sad to say, I didn't know who Anissa was at the moment that I had attempted to treat her. In fact, though I had long been a fan of CBS' "Family Affair," I didn't know "Buffy's" real given name nor her surname. All I knew was that a young girl had desperately needed my help, and I hadn't done what I had been trained to do and should've done to begin with--and that was to immediately call the police and paramedics. I won't say with utter certainty that Anissa's life could've been saved had we gotten her to prompt professional help, but the possibility does exist--and, the fact is, I've long felt considerable guilt for not having persevered that night. If any of you were present at the party that evening, perhaps you'll remember me. At any rate, I'm deeply, irrevocably sorry that Anissa's life ended so abruptly and prematurely. What a horrific waste of so tremendously talented a young woman.
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W.D.
W.D.

January 9th, 2006, 2:37 pm #2

Robert, I truly admire your courage in posting that. I've been in a very similar situation and even though there was nothing I could do (rigor mortis has already set in) the feeling of hopelessness hung over me like a cloud and I still get flashbacks occasionally and dumb useless guilt like, 'why did i stop and Applebee's with the guys instead of coming straight home'.. i could go nuts playing 'what if'. Maybe reading that was a bit too vivid and haunting for me but it was so well done I do feel obliged to thank you for being so open with that experience and I imagine it must have been difficult brining it all back again so I hope the pain of recollection was minimal. I sincerely hope life has been good to you since then and also that any spectre of guilt will be lifted. All the very best for the future from me to you, Michael.
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R.L.
R.L.

January 9th, 2006, 10:53 pm #3

Thanks for your very kind response, my friend.

In fact, while attending a 30-year Marine Corps reunion two years ago, I returned to Camp Pendleton and Oceanside for the first time since October 1976, and gave thought at the time to perhaps driving to the house on Littler Street. As fate would have it, we didn't make it--but for the three days I was in southern California in '04, my mind intermittently drifted back to those years, and to that night that Anissa died. I never told my parents of the party, because I didn't want to disrupt their memories of "Buffy and Jody." Like millions of Americans, my folks were avid fans of "Family Affair," and I didn't have the courage to tell mom that Anissa had died from overdose. Mom and dad had been born during and before the Depression, had survived WWII and Korea, and didn't understand illicit drug use. It would've broken their hearts knowing that "Buffy" had died so tragically, so needlessly. Admittedly, I haven't dwelled on this for many years, but after recently seeing photos of actors' Tony Dow, Paul Petersen, and other child stars of the past on Angela Cartwright's and Billy Mumy's webpages, something suddenly triggered my subliminal mind to recall that night on Littler Street. A full-fledged Baby Boomer, it greatly disturbs me to witness the stars of my youth age so, and it's even worse to try and comprehend that someone like Anissa did not live to enjoy older age, to truly celebrate her considerable accomplishments as one of our country's most-cherished entertainers. A real tragedy. The very best to you.
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C.S.
C.S.

January 10th, 2006, 4:21 am #4

To Robert, my brother sent you an email just before he left, hope you got it okay. Thanks for the story, I too think it was very brave to tell what you had to say and I know it gave my brother a feeling of closure with regards to her final night. I'm a big fan of Angela Cartwright myself and have met her in Sydney & Melbourne at a convention with Nicholas Hammond and they were both very sweet and genuine people. take care, Christabelle
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JSG
JSG

January 10th, 2006, 4:26 am #5

I was present at the party the night Anissa died.

I was a Navy Hospital Corpsman at the time, temporarily assigned to Bravo Company, Second Battalion, First Marine Regiment, at Camp Pendleton. Two Marines that evening had said, "You're leaving for Okinawa in a couple of months; let's go out tonight and do the town. It'll probably be the last time we can do it before you're shipped out." One of these Marines, an Hispanic kid nicknamed "Zoe," knew the location of a get-together some one or two miles off Oceanside's northeast mainstreet, and said, "We're invited to a party; I know a couple of chicks who're gonna' be there (Zoe himself was from Vista or Fallbrook, and had graduated from high school there). I had already finished a half-bottle of Boone's Farm when we pulled up outside the party-house, and, oddly enough, I remember thinking how beautiful the tropical plants were which stood near the house's front door. I was just an ordinary kid from the midwest, and I was continually enthralled by California's abundant exotic plantlife. We hadn't been there more than seven or eight minutes when a really cute blonde girl ran toward me in the living room and said, "Zoe says you're a doctor--WE NEED YOU RIGHT NOW!" I followed the girl down a short hallway leading to a bedroom when we came upon a girl lying on her side near the bedroom door. It was a little dark in the house as I remember, and I was a little stoned from the wine, so my first thought was that someone was only kidding when they asked, "She's OD'ing real bad...can you please help her?" Someone else, a second girl, pleaded in a voice that truly broke my heart, "Please! Please do something for her!!" There was such pain and panic in the girl's voice that I immediately leaned over her prostrate friend and checked her radial pulse, and then her carotid, both of which were fluttery and barely discernable. I next leaned closer, my right ear actually touching the downed girl's nose, and discovered that she was breathing very rapidly, shallowly. Her eyelids were half-drawn. With my thumbs, I retracted them only to discover that her pupils were extraordinarily fixed and dilated. Not knowing anyone aside the two Marines who'd brought me to the party, I told one of the girl's girlfriends to immediately phone the Oceanside police. Well, this suggestion only served to instill fear in several of the partygoers--all of whom had apparently been mixing booze and quaaludes--and I recall hearing someone say, "Oh, shit--we can't do that! We've got too much crap in the house!!" Trouble or not, I repeated my first warning: "You'd better call a paramedic pretty damned quick, or else!" From out of nowhere I heard another's girl's plaintive voice, and it sent a chill down my spine--"Oh, God! Please, you've got to help her!" At that point, I believed that without an artificial breathing apparatus of some kind, and an emergency stomach pump, the girl wasn't going to make it. In a final gesture, I said once more, "I highly recommend you call the police right now!" With that, a medium-tall, dark-haired guy--perhaps the girl's boyfriend?--leaned down, picked her up in his arms, and carried her into the bedroom. That was the last time I saw the girl, and we left the party within two or three minutes. The following afternoon, I was nursing a slight hangover back on base when three Marines burst through the door of my living quarters, and fairly shouted, "That little chick you tried to help last night at that party in Oceanside? That was Anissa Jones!!" Sad to say, I didn't know who Anissa was at the moment that I had attempted to treat her. In fact, though I had long been a fan of CBS' "Family Affair," I didn't know "Buffy's" real given name nor her surname. All I knew was that a young girl had desperately needed my help, and I hadn't done what I had been trained to do and should've done to begin with--and that was to immediately call the police and paramedics. I won't say with utter certainty that Anissa's life could've been saved had we gotten her to prompt professional help, but the possibility does exist--and, the fact is, I've long felt considerable guilt for not having persevered that night. If any of you were present at the party that evening, perhaps you'll remember me. At any rate, I'm deeply, irrevocably sorry that Anissa's life ended so abruptly and prematurely. What a horrific waste of so tremendously talented a young woman.
Well I got in deep you know when I brought your post up in the other forum. But at least they set me straight. Here is the responce from 2 classmates:

<Sorry, you weren't there!

Number one, NO Marines or Navy Corpmen were there at all, at any point and if you had read previous posts you would know that.

Second, she did didn't die at night at all, she passed right about dawn. She didn't even take her last drug coctail until 2 or 3 AM and then she went to bed, which is where she was found at dawn.

Third, the people that were there say there is one element of your story that no one at the scene would have left out (especially medical personel,) but you did. (Jeff left out some of the details to spare people the gross stuff, but it has been the defining point that is now used to determine if anyone really saw the death scene or not.)

Also she was found naked and you left that out too. Finally she never left the bedroom where she died. (Until the coroner's unit removed her sometime during the afternoon.) She was found, pulled from the bed, a poor attempt to walk-it-off was made, but she ws not breathing and she was replaced on the floor by the bed and dressed there. Once she hit the pillow she never left the bedroom again.

Bobby B' knows the source that Jeff always quoted, who really was at the party, but the post is so week with fantasy that he probably won't bother asking her...

Every now and then someone keeps popping up with a military connection, but there was none, the Police report and others there confirmed that!>

So relax dude, even your boonsfarm wasn't there...
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JSG
JSG

January 10th, 2006, 4:35 am #6

Actually I left out that you had to get nude to get rude, dude. It was a drug party, you had to get nay to play! If you read the earlier posts both here and at IMDb you would have noticed that too!
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C.S,
C.S,

January 10th, 2006, 5:35 am #7

To Robert, my brother sent you an email just before he left, hope you got it okay. Thanks for the story, I too think it was very brave to tell what you had to say and I know it gave my brother a feeling of closure with regards to her final night. I'm a big fan of Angela Cartwright myself and have met her in Sydney & Melbourne at a convention with Nicholas Hammond and they were both very sweet and genuine people. take care, Christabelle
If it is a hoax then it was quite an elaborate and detailed one. I'll give Robert a chance to respond though.
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R.L.
R.L.

January 10th, 2006, 1:37 pm #8

Hello, Christabelle: I thank you very much for your truly gracious note.

It's now 6:46 am here in the midwest, and I've spent roughly an hour looking at some of the photographs of Anissa found on this webpage. The photo of the house on Littler Street certainly seems to be the same one to which we went that night 29 years ago--only in my mind's eye I seem to recall palm trees closer to the house, almost in the center of the front yard. For some strange reason, I don't recall the frame portion of the house as being white, either, but rather a very light green, or muted avocado tone. Again, my mind could be playing tricks on me--for one, the porch light was on when we arrived at the front door that night.

I can readily understand anyone who might doubt my story: One can only imagine the hoaxes that have been played with this tragic tale through the years. I can only say that, in the 20-30 minutes that I spent there, I saw no 'naked' partygoers, male or female, and I wasn't present in the house at the exact moment of Anissa's death. To be entirely honest, I don't recall what I was wearing that evening, let alone the next person's attire. But I had been raised in the RLDS Church before entering military service, and had a scantily-clad or nude female approached me at a party of that nature, I'm sure I would've been too embarrassed to stick around.

When I look back on the event, I recall having seen only six or seven people in the house while I was there, though there may have been many more. I didn't venture from the front room except to go to the aid of the fallen girl, for I wasn't intimately acquainted anyone at the party, and I was highly reluctant to stroll freely about someone's house without their express permission.

In a different post, someone noted that Anissa was in a disheveled state after she had overdosed--or, to be reluctantly blunt, that she had vomited. I saw absolutely none of this, and Anissa, though in marked respiratory distress when I was monitoring her vital signs, was not dead, but entering into an early stage of coma. The sad fact is, had she received prompt medical attention within those few minutes, I fully believe she would've stood a strong chance for survival.

A final note: Though the years have dulled my memories of that night, I do recall one of Anissa's girlfriends calling out in an anguished voice, "Somebody call Eileen!" (or Ellen? Stella?)

I've awaited an e-mail from your brother, though have yet to receive one. Nevertheless, you're more than welcome to contact me if you're compelled. I'll be more than willing to help you or your family, or Anissa's friends, in any way I can.

Upon leaving the party, we drove to Oceanside's main pier, and then north to Main Street, where we finally decided to stop in for drinks at a little haunt known then as the "Normandie Lounge." But the tragic events of the party had removed any thoughts I had earlier entertained for a festive night out, and after only a couple of drinks, we returned to base in the minutes before the lounge closed (1:30 am?) As I noted earlier, in my first entry on this forum, I'm deeply sorry that I didn't take control of the situation to begin with; perhaps then we might have prevented this poor girl's passing. At fifty, I can only now imagine the horrific grief--the terrible thunderclap--her parents must have experienced when they learned the news.
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C.S,
C.S,

January 10th, 2006, 1:56 pm #9

My brother sent an hallmark e-card to say 'thank you'.. hopefully it'll arrive. I'm frankly scared of the depth and range ppl will go to when it comes to attacking my brother and BKOH and hate coming here so i'll let my brother pick up the thread with you in February / March sometime. Thanks for replying though and take care!!
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don't clone me Michael
don't clone me Michael

January 10th, 2006, 8:11 pm #10

Hello, Christabelle: I thank you very much for your truly gracious note.

It's now 6:46 am here in the midwest, and I've spent roughly an hour looking at some of the photographs of Anissa found on this webpage. The photo of the house on Littler Street certainly seems to be the same one to which we went that night 29 years ago--only in my mind's eye I seem to recall palm trees closer to the house, almost in the center of the front yard. For some strange reason, I don't recall the frame portion of the house as being white, either, but rather a very light green, or muted avocado tone. Again, my mind could be playing tricks on me--for one, the porch light was on when we arrived at the front door that night.

I can readily understand anyone who might doubt my story: One can only imagine the hoaxes that have been played with this tragic tale through the years. I can only say that, in the 20-30 minutes that I spent there, I saw no 'naked' partygoers, male or female, and I wasn't present in the house at the exact moment of Anissa's death. To be entirely honest, I don't recall what I was wearing that evening, let alone the next person's attire. But I had been raised in the RLDS Church before entering military service, and had a scantily-clad or nude female approached me at a party of that nature, I'm sure I would've been too embarrassed to stick around.

When I look back on the event, I recall having seen only six or seven people in the house while I was there, though there may have been many more. I didn't venture from the front room except to go to the aid of the fallen girl, for I wasn't intimately acquainted anyone at the party, and I was highly reluctant to stroll freely about someone's house without their express permission.

In a different post, someone noted that Anissa was in a disheveled state after she had overdosed--or, to be reluctantly blunt, that she had vomited. I saw absolutely none of this, and Anissa, though in marked respiratory distress when I was monitoring her vital signs, was not dead, but entering into an early stage of coma. The sad fact is, had she received prompt medical attention within those few minutes, I fully believe she would've stood a strong chance for survival.

A final note: Though the years have dulled my memories of that night, I do recall one of Anissa's girlfriends calling out in an anguished voice, "Somebody call Eileen!" (or Ellen? Stella?)

I've awaited an e-mail from your brother, though have yet to receive one. Nevertheless, you're more than welcome to contact me if you're compelled. I'll be more than willing to help you or your family, or Anissa's friends, in any way I can.

Upon leaving the party, we drove to Oceanside's main pier, and then north to Main Street, where we finally decided to stop in for drinks at a little haunt known then as the "Normandie Lounge." But the tragic events of the party had removed any thoughts I had earlier entertained for a festive night out, and after only a couple of drinks, we returned to base in the minutes before the lounge closed (1:30 am?) As I noted earlier, in my first entry on this forum, I'm deeply sorry that I didn't take control of the situation to begin with; perhaps then we might have prevented this poor girl's passing. At fifty, I can only now imagine the horrific grief--the terrible thunderclap--her parents must have experienced when they learned the news.
Your wacked slug-o! Get some help! Your story isn't even believable. If you spent the time reading the posts here for the last year you'd notice that they always got naked when they lit up, everyone of them. I guess you can count her as paranoid about going back to lock up and the negative press that another bust would cause. It was their way of weeding out narcs!

You get a zero for your story.
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