The Mary Miles Minter
© Butterfly Morph

About the Butterfly "Morph"

I was trying to figure out a creative way to bring up the infamous "love letter" which was found in William Desmond Taylor's bungalow during the homicide investigation. The letter which has been published in the newspapers and popular books about the murder is a phony! There was a letter, no doubt, and my collection contains a (very poor) photocopy of the actual item. But the letter which has been published since 1922 is a forgery!
Below I'll show a side by side comparison of the two, with the real letter on the left which shows the famed butterfly stationary logo of Mary Miles Minter. That's the letter found in Taylor's bungalow and if you glance at the logo a bit, her name was spelled out in the butterfly.

Mary Miles Minter Actual Love Letter Mary Miles Minter Phony Love Letter

At first, I was merely going to show the letters and leave it at that. But then I decided to have a little fun with it. I took the bad photocopy of Mary's actual letter and scanned her butterfly logo. I cleaned up the bad portions a bit and then started adding color. The colors are not accurate, but were chosen to highlight Mary's name on the butterfly. I then decided to use her Flying" A" Studios monogram, as a sort of cocoon.

Now's a good time to show the first Mary Miles Minter logo. This was used during her day's at the Flying "A" Studios. It really is somewhat cocoon shaped and if you look at it very closely, it actually spells "Mary Miles Minter". Have a look!

Mary Miles Minter Flying A Letterhead And Logo


At that point, I had the original butterfly, cleaned up and colored, along with the original logo. Individual .gif's were created from the seperate elements, with multiple .gif files of the wings being created in different aspects which would be used to create the fluttering. After those tasks were finished, the images were assembled in frames for animation, and the result is what you've seen. The buttons were then easily created from one of the same images!

I don't consider myself to be anywhere near artistic, but I was happy with the results! This was my first attempt at an animated GIF, back in 2001, and it was done in a day. Someday I'll get around to trying it again with better detail and closer to the original colors (it was lavender).

Below are just a handful of the 60+ individual images used in the animation. The wings were created seperately so that the aspect could be changed without affecting the "body" of the butterfly. The green backgrounds were helpful while creating the images, and was ultimately given transparency when the animation was created.

And, our final version compared to the original!