Olivia de Havilland’s ‘Advisor’ Lands in Jail

May 30, 1947

“Psst! Olivia de Havilland! “Operations Everything” is off!”

That’s the happy news police gave today to the Academy award-winning actress, with the arrest of her self-styled advisor, Paul Randall, a 34-year-old artist from Chicago who has been inundating de Havilland with unsolicited advice letters signed “St. Paul” or with a creepy P-in-a-circle motif.

The letters were followed by recent telegrams announcing Randall’s imminent arrival in Los Angeles and demanding de Havilland meet him “alone.” Today he angrily phoned de Havilland’s agent Kurt Frints to protest her failure to meet him at Municipal Airport. He told Frints that he was in town to carry out “Operations Everything,” and that Miss de Havilland, whom he had met twelve years ago when they were doing theatrical work (in Van Nuys, no less), would understand what he meant. He intended to wait at 1738 N. Las Palmas Avenue, where “she better see me.”

Instead it was detectives who came to take a look at St. Paul in his new digs in Hollywood Jail. They wired Chicago for more information, and asked that police psychiatrist Dr. Paul De River examine him. Olivia de Havilland denies knowing her visitor.

1738 Las Palmas To-day

Maybe de Havilland (in town to work on The Snake Pit) gave Randall a roll back in ’35. Maybe they were coconspirators in the Marshall Plan Rembrandts-for-gold scandal. Maybe he was just your garden-variety stalker-psycho. In any event, they were to hook up here:

The Las Palmas is best known as where Richard Gere rescues Julia Roberts from the lumpen whoreitariat that is our lot. Worth seeing for the shot of the old neon that used to grace the pole outside, since replaced with backlit plastic.

A taste of Old Hollywood: nothing says Old Hollywood like a punker with a big mohawk in front of the Las Palmas. Depending on your definition of Old Hollywood, of course.

Polar Climate Changes Viewed As Menacing

May 29, 1947

At a seminar of the Geophysical Institute of the University of California today, professor Hans W. Ahlmann of the Swedish Geographical Institute, Stockholm warned that profound temperature changes are affecting the North Polar region, and possibly the world. Dr. Ahlmann bases his conclusions on expeditions to the region starting in 1919. Since 1900, water temperatures have risen 3-5 degrees Fahrenheit, and air temperatures are as much as ten degrees higher. This has triggered the melting of glaciers and the incremental rise of the nearby seas.

Ahlmann warned the group of scientists, “If the Antarctic ice regions and the major Greenland ice cap should be reduced to the same rate as the present melting, oceanic surfaces would rise to catastrophic proportions. Peoples living in lowlands along the shore would be inundated.” He urged his colleagues to discover the reasons for these mysterious changes, which are, he believes, already affecting the weather in Eastern Africa.

House Damaged By Girls’ Pony

May 28, 1947

Two little West Covina girls found themselves wondering today if a pony would ever go into a house, and what might happen if it did. They acted out their fancy within the unfinished El Rancho Estates home of Mrs. Bernie M. Osborn, causing $258 in hoof damage to the new linoleum. Sheriff’s deputies from the San Dimas substation detained the young equestrians, while the patient Mrs. Osborn declined to press charges until she had a chance to talk with the girls’ parents.

Rancher’s Shotgun Kills ‘Terror’ Of Orchardale

May 27, 1947

For the past six weeks, the more nervous citizens of the Orchardale neighborhood (near Whittier) have shuddered at the thunder of a huge animal racing around their homes, yards and nearby farmland by night, never straying close enough to be clearly seen.

That all ended tonight, when Victor S. Moffett, of 2102 Valley View, set a trap at the edge of his orchard, laying down a quantity of feed and lurking in the darkness with his shotgun loaded with high powered shells. Whatever was out there, he was ready for it. The animal suddenly appeared, Moffett fired and… felled a 400 pound wild hog sporting three-inch tusks. The Terror of Orchardale was no more.

The Terror of Orchardale

Shotgun-wielding Whittierites? And I thought the Quakers were such peace-loving folk. Of course, try telling that to the Cambodians.

Whittier, 1947. Orange and avocado groves were being gobbled up by tracts. So when the Russian Boar weren’t busy rooting out roots and rutting with blood-crazed feral razorbacks, they were getting cranky about the encroaching subdivisions. Thus they’d thunder through backyards, letting housewives chill to the sound of them sharpening their whetters on their lower tusks.

(Note Valley View a little southwest of center. Sure, Whittier College has expanded and roads have multiplied, but it looks as though there are still some wilds nearby – take care, beasts of the wild, the locals’ve got Acts 7:42 under their belts-or do they see in themselves II Pete 2:12?)

Can only assume they dug a big pit and Hawaiian’d this noble brute. Maybe made some summer sausage. My heart goes out to you, O Terror of Orchardale.

Nazis’ Victim Convicted in Slaying of Publisher

May 26, 1947
Los Angeles

Angelenos will recall the shocking case of linotype operator Otto P. Parzyjegla, 38, who on February 15 killed his boss, Alfred Haij, publisher of the Swedish newspaper California Veckoblad, in the paper’s print shop at 821 W. Venice Blvd. and dismembered him with a blade from the paper cutter.

The two men had been arguing for weeks, and February 15 was to be Parzyjegla’s last day, with a new operator due to arrive from San Francisco. Parzyjegla claimed that despite his being let go, he still took his job seriously.

Parzyjegla: I told Haij that the linotype machine needed attention. All of a sudden he ran wild and said, “You dirty German, you aren’t going to run my business.”

Parzyjegla, who is a Russian-born Pole, was held prisoner in a German concentration camp, during which incarceration he was tortured by standing in a fake execution by firing squad. He claims that being called a German, and a dirty one at that, triggered a dreamlike flashback state, during which he beat his employer to death. Then he pinched and hit himself, hoping to wake up, and realized it was real.

Within minutes, several people walked into Haij’s office asking for the publisher. Parzyjegla said that he was out, and locked the door. All day, Parzyjegla sat in the print shop with Haij’s body, wondering what to do. “Finally I thought of the blade on the paper cutter.” Wrapping rags around the blade, Parzyjegla dismembered Haij and packed the parts into cartons, cleaned the floor and burned the rags, Then he went home to 415 W. Jefferson Blvd., his 21-year-old wife and infant child. Around midnight, having been unable to sleep, Parzyjegla returned to the print shop with idle thoughts of disposing of the body-maybe he could rent a car, take it someplace-but police, alerted when Haij failed to return home to 1445 S. Hayworth Ave., were already in the vicinity.

Radio Patrolmen B.H. Brown and A.J. Drobatz spotted Parzyjegla in front of 1609 Cherry St., in the act of tossing Haij’s watch away, and observing his cut hand, took him to the print shop. There Parzyjegla promptly confessed and acted out the assault and dismemberment.

Noting that one of the anonymous Black Dahlia confession letters had clearly been prepared in a print shop, Captain Jack Donahoe of Homicide Division expressed interest in Parzyjegla and arranged a line up where six recent female assault victims tried and failed to recognize him.

In Superior Court today, in a juryless trial before Judge William R. McKay, Parzyjegla repeated that since 1939 he has been subject to black outs and “seeing red,” which he claims that he did before striking Haij. McKay convicted Parzyjegla of second degree murder, and invited him back on Thursday for sentencing of between five years and life.

The World of Otto Parzyjegla

With Kim and Larry’s complete coverage, I’ll go photo-heavy on this one and let them speak for me.

The scene of the crime – amazingly, still a printer’s shop. 821 is on the far right.

While post-47, a pic of the cut-out signage:

Much of this area was demo’d for freeway construction. Had the 110 had been built a hundred feet to the west, we would have lost the Veckoblad HQ. Instead, this Utter-McKinley mortuary was sacrificed for an overpass abutment:

Looking up Cherry, a quiet residential street, now neither, scene of the watch drop:

The area bounded by Pico, Figueroa, Washington and Burlington:

The Parzyjegla home – the 400 block of Jefferson was also eaten by the 110.

House Safe Job Nets Burglars $200,000 Haul

May 25, 1947
Los Angeles

Next time his brother Lawrence asks if he can put a safe in his bedroom closet and fly out periodically on his private plane to rummage around in it, Archie Bardin will probably say “nix.” Archie and the missus came home from a day at the beach to find their house at 8655 Airdrome Ave. filled with smoke, a souvenir from the acetylene torch burglars had used to gain access to the floor safe after climbing through a bathroom window.

Detective Harold B. Williams asked about the safe’s contents, only to learn Archie had no clue. Whatever rested inside-cash and securities, Archie thought– was the property of brother Larry, general manager of the Indianapolis Brewing Company. A call to Indianapolis revealed the missing cabbage to number 250,000 leaves.

The missus told Detective Williams about two strange phone calls received yesterday, from an anonymous, accented caller, but otherwise clues were scarce. Police reckon the crooks knew the location and contents of the safe, which implies the answers will be found in Indiana.

8655 Airdrome To-day

A modest house. Who’da thunk it fulla clams. Clams stink. Something stinks.

Missing moolah. Accented callers. We know about those accented callers. Bruno Hauptmann was one.

[While here at 47hq we leave the day’s events suspended in time, Bardin’s juicy tale cries out to be heard: The question stands-noone pulled down this sort of action in LA, so who tipped the crew? Or were these Indy-savvy boys out from the Hoosier state for a business/pleasure vay-cay? The FBI didn’t even look into it-they were curious about the interstate transfer of a large sum of cash, not the robbery. Bardin stated that the money was going to pay taxes, but, uh, had less of an explanation as to why he didn’t put that money in a bank. Probably had something to do with his background as a WWII-era beer-peddling black marketeer, and fellow traveler in the famously corrupt Democratic machine out Indiana/Illinois way. He bought the brewery from Democratic National Committeeman Frank McHale, with money from Democratic National Chairman Frank McKinney and, after serving a six-month Federal prison term in 1948 on the charge of putting 12-ounce labels on bottles actually containing 11 ounces of beer {hanging’s too good for ‘im!} finally got popped in ’52 by Repub Senator John Williams for concealing $231,000 of his 1946 income from his return.]