Husband Kills Self After Phoning Wife

March 21, 1947
Los Angeles

Robert Duff, 27, was looking for his wife, Ruth. He located her by telephone, in her attorney’s office where she’d gone to discuss a separation. “So that’s where you’ve gone,” he said. “If that’s the way it is, you’ll never see me again.”

Mr. Duff hung up, and William Esterman, his wife’s attorney, called police. When they arrived at the Duff home (1116 Waterloo St.) they found Robert Duff’s body on the living room floor, a .38 revolver nearby. Elsewhere in the house were the couple’s young son and daughter.

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Kim Cooper

Kim Cooper is the creator of 1947project, the crime-a-day time travel blog that spawned Esotouric’s popular crime bus tours, including The Real Black Dahlia. She is the author of The Kept Girl, the acclaimed historical mystery starring the young Raymond Chandler and the real-life Philip Marlowe, and of The Raymond Chandler Map of Los Angeles. With husband Richard Schave, Kim curates the Salons and forensic science seminars of LAVA- The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. When the third generation Angeleno isn’t combing old newspapers for forgotten scandals, she is a passionate advocate for historic preservation of signage, vernacular architecture and writer’s homes. Kim was for many years the editrix of Scram, a journal of unpopular culture. Her books include Fall in Love For Life, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Lost in the Grooves and an oral history of Neutral Milk Hotel.

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