Mary B. Skeele, wife of Walter Skeele, the Professor of Organ and Dean of the College of Music at the University of Southern California was kidnapped in 1933. The ransom was paid and Mrs. Skeele was returned unharmed. A former student was found guilty of the crime.
Josef Sigall was born in Poland. He was educated in Vienna and was a gold medalist at the Royal Art Academy during 1909-15. He lived in South America before moving to Los Angeles in 1926 and to Saratoga in 1930. He worked as a portrait painter in California. In the course of his career he painted portraits of presidents Coolidge, Hoover and Roosevelt, and Hollywood notables including the actress Pola Negri. According a Los Angeles Times report, March 2, 1933 pg. 4, the Sigalls divorced on March 1, 1933.
The photograph appears with the article "Bride Denies Murder Plot; Says Plan to Poison Husband Was Only Joke; Man Confesses Part After Phone Talk Heard; Husband and Pastor Will be Questioned Today," Los Angeles Times, March 11, 1926