Mary Gladys Miller Murder: Humble Harve Miller Is No Longer Alive Today

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In 1971, the lifeless body of the wife of a famous DJ — Mary Gladys Miller — was found, leading the police to launch an extensive investigation. Thanks to the surveillance footage of the neighborhood, the authorities were able to gather critical clues about the identity of the killer/s. Investigation Discovery’s ‘On the Case With Paula Zahn: When the Music’s Over’ profiles all the intricate details surrounding the case that sent shockwaves through the community. Given the social status of Mary and her husband, the murder case received nationwide attention.

Mary Gladys Miller’s House Help Found Her Shot to Death

Born on November 6, 1935, in the Brannon household in Buchanan, Georgia, Mary Gladys Brannon Miller grew up in the company of her loving parents, Murdock and Oda Bell (McClure) Brannon, and her multiple siblings, including Elizabeth Brannon Bowling, Catherine Brannon Masi, Oliver V. Brannon, Murdie Brannon Cheatwood, and more. Having grown up in a close-knit family, she began a family of her own with a popular Los Angeles disc jockey named Harvey “Humble Harve” Miller, who worked at the legendary station KHJ.

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During the course of their marriage, Mary and Humble Harve took care of two children — Frank and Humble Harve’s stepdaughter Barbara Joyce, respectively. They resided in a lavish property in the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Everything seemed to be going just fine for Mary on the outside, but things were apparently quite different in reality. On May 7, 1971, the 35-year-old wife and mother of two was found dead by a maid in her Hollywood residence. The authorities were quick to get involved and rushed to the scene of the crime, launching an investigation immediately. Upon inspecting the body, the police found no signs of struggle. The autopsy result showed that she had been shot to death in the chest with a .38-caliber pistol.

Mary Gladys Miller’s Killer Was a Veteran Radio DJ

Once the investigators were done collecting evidence, they brought in Humble Harve for questioning as they considered him a primary suspect in the case. Barbara allegedly suspected that the popular disc jockey was responsible for murdering her mother, as the married couple had been involved in long-standing quarrels. Another witness claimed that they heard the gunshots and Humble Harve’s car driving off at about 6:30 am on the morning of the fateful day.

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Reports suggested that on the fateful morning of May 7, 1971, Humble Harve entered their Hollywood house and shot his wife Mary to death before speeding away from the scene. He went AWOL and remained hidden for a couple of weeks. His friend Phil Spector allegedly convinced him to turn himself in to the police. Thus, he took his friend’s advice and surrendered himself to the authorities. Later, he was tried for the murder of Mary Gladys Miller. After his arrest, Humble Harve’s job at KHJ ended without any notice.

Humble Harve Miller Passed Away in 2019

At first, Humble Harve pleaded not guilty, but soon, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. During the trial, the defense argued that it was Mary who pulled a gun on Humble Harve first. So, when he tried to take it from her, the gun accidentally got fired, which went right through her chest. Humble Harve also claimed that his wife was “mentally abusive to the extreme.” There were reports that she used to call him using the studio hotline while he was at work at KHJ, and elaborated on her affairs.

Image Credit: am/Find a Grave

Due to him pleading guilty, Humble Harve was sentenced to five years to life but there was a possibility of parole in three and a half years. At the trial, the disc jockey talked about his wife’s death, “She was my wife, my lover, my partner and my companion for life. I swear to God I never meant to harm her.” Due to good behavior while behind bars at the California Institution for Men in Chino, he served much less than he was supposed to as he got out of prison after about three years. During his time in prison, he used to teach radio skills to his fellow inmates, and even recorded some materials.

Right after he was released, Humble Harve was able to resume his broadcasting career as he was hired by Rick Carroll for KKDJ (now KIIS-FM, 102.7). In July 1974, he was substituted for Casey Kasem on American Top 40. In the following years, he also worked for other LA-based radio stations, including KIQQ, KIIS, KUTE, KRLA, KRTH, KCBS-FM, and KZLA. Apart from Los Angeles, he also lent his talents to WIBG in Philadelphia in 1985 and KVI in Seattle, from 1986 to 1989. He also went on to feature in a couple of movies for filmmaker Floyd Mutrux — ‘The Hollywood Knights’ and ‘There Goes My Baby.’ Giving another chance to love, he got married again, this time to a woman named Serena Miller.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Humble Harve even tried his hand at narrating several syndicated radio specials. Nearing the end of his disc jockey career, he was honored with the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1995. In the early 2000s, he was keeping himself busy by doing satellite radio and making many connections and friends in the radio industry by then. The former disc jockey and former convict Humble Harve Miller took his final breath on the morning of June 4, 2019, and passed away at the age of 85.

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