A Visitor from 1947


April 29, 1947 Hollywood 

We interrupt our regularly scheduled turn of the century to follow up on one of the more striking cases from the first year of the 1947project, the attempted carjack and kidnapping of Ginevra (note corrected spelling, though she prefered to be known as Ginger) Knight, an 18-year-old war widow who surprised her would-be kidnapper Thomas Housos by having a gun of her own that she wasn’t at all shy about using.  

We were recently contacted by Ms. Knight’s son Ian, who was a toddler in the house on Courtney Avenue at the time of the fatal incident, and who wanted to share with our readers some images of his brave mama.

It’s always interesting to hear from the family members of people featured in our stories, and we’ve been fortunate that everyone we’ve heard from has recognized that our aims are not exploitative. In this particular case, we were startled to hear not only from the children of the victim, but from the son of the attempted kidnapper who she killed, as well. Just a little reminder from the universe that these shocking incidents leave ripples that flow outward for many decades, leaving wounds and curiosity in those who come after.

Thank you, Ian Knight, for the photo gallery that follows. And here’s to Ginger Knight, who courageously faced her would-be kidnapper’s brother in court, and made quite a life for herself in the years that followed. RIP, brave lady.

ABOVE: 1515 Courtney Ave., circa 1947. At right, the driveway where Housos grabbed Knight.


ABOVE: Ginger (top) at work with a friend, BELOW: the New Elysian Theater marquee


BELOW: The inquest


ABOVE: Wee Ian Knight, with Dee. 

BTW, Ian let us in on a little secret… Ginger was carrying her gun that night, and she didn’t have to go into the living room to get it, despite what she told the police. You see, she carried the theater receipts home every night, since the banks were closed. Maybe Thomas Housos knew she was carrying lots of cash. Anyway, she wasn’t about to lose it, and she didn’t.

BELOW: Ginger at the helm of the fishing boat she later built by hand