Discarded tombstone names are TV crime show characters

Tombstone (partically covered) found at Stevenson Ranch home Monday. photo released by Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

The mystery of Alice Beatty and her “loving husband” Timothy – whose names were engraved on a polished granite tombstone found on a Stevenson Ranch lawn Monday – may be over, according to the woman named Alice.

When Simi Valley toy designer Thomas Steves read about the tombstone being found on the front lawn of a home on Durant Place he was moved by the mystery and began looking for the people named on the slab.

Before he began his search, Thomas, who at one time worked in the movie industry, had a hunch the tombstone was a prop.

The bluish gray slab, left in gravel and found Monday, was engraved with the words “Timothy Beatty – born in 1949 and died in 1996 – Loving husband of Alice.”

Steves found Alice Beatty, he said, listed as a character on the dark critically-acclaimed TV series “EZ Streets” which ran just one season in 1996/1997.

The woman who played Alice was actor Meg Thalken.

Actress Meg Thalken

One of the show’s episodes was shot in a cemetery, Thalken said, where her fictional character husband, Timothy, was buried. Her character husband died the same year the EZ Streets series began.

“There was a policeman played by Ken Olin, who was brilliant, and my husband was his partner,” she told The Signal Thursday.

“I remember we shot the scene in a cemetery and I was with Ken Olin. I was holding a little girl’s hand and I vaguely remember the head stone,” she said.

So, when toy designer Steves tracked her down through social media 20 years after the show aired, Thalken was just as shocked as the Stevenson Ranch homeowner stunned to find the tombstone on her lawn Monday.

“I was a little freaked out,” Thalken said.

As resourceful as Steves proved in tracking down the people spelled out on the tombstone, the mystery is only half solved.

The question remains: Who put it there and why?

“Somebody in the prop department must have had it,” Steves said Thursday, speculating. “Maybe it was sitting in his garage all this time.”

Steves said he felt compelled to research the story after he read about it in The Signal online. He said he suspected the stone was a prop since the birth and death dates listed just the year, no specifics.

“I searched all the obits and there was no Timothy Beatty,” he said. “And there was no Alice Beatty.”

That is, until he suspected the head stone might be a prop, and found the character created by Canadian Oscar-winning writer Paul Haggis.

The Haggis teleplay for Episode 4 of the show – “St. Jude Takes a Bullet” – ends with Alice Beatty attending the cemetery with her character husband’s police partner.  “It was fabulously written,” Thalken said, calling the series dark and brutal.

The closing scene sets the stage for a brooding cop series described on the IMDB website as involving a disgraced police detective who goes undercover to break up organized crime in the city where he lives and where he faces off against a powerful mobster.

The next chapter in the real world, however, is finding the person who placed the tombstone on Durant Place.

A check with officials at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Thursday revealed that deputies also had a hunch the tombstone was a theatrical prop.

“They heard the same thing that it may be a movie prop,” Sgt. Janice Banks said Thursday.

Deputies are still trying to determine how the tombstone – the prop – ended up on someone’s lawn, she said.

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