Mortuary Car Hit By Auto Crashes Store

[There are some stories from 1947 that seem custom-tailored by some benevolent Surrealist god who seeks only to delight my co-blogger Nathan Marsak. This is one of those stories…]

July 26, 1947
Los Angeles

David James Cline, an 18-year-old transient from Ohio, smashed into a hearse today at Pico and Crenshaw Blvds., sending the mortuary car hurtling into the corner candy store. The back of the hearse flew open, and the stretcher shot through the front door of the shop.

Don Luke, the hearse’s 31-year-old driver, 284 Cherry Ave., Long Beach, was slightly injured, but his assistant Chester Hanson, 29, 8301 Kenyon Ave., had his back, leg, right hand and nose broken.

Cline bolted from the scene, but was captured by witnesses. He’s been booked for felony hit-and-run.
suggested reading: American Funeral Vehicles 1883-2003: An Illustrated History

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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.

One thought on “Mortuary Car Hit By Auto Crashes Store”

  1. One night in July, Bernard Robert Monday Jr. finally had enough.

    The violence had been going on at least a decade, maybe longer. In 1937, when Bernard was 8, his father attacked one of two deputies serving a warrant and tried to grab the officer’s revolver out of its holster.

    Bernard was asleep when it happened, about a week before his 19th birthday. His parents, Bernard Sr. and Johanna, were arguing because a friend hadn’t repaid a loan. His father, a tinsmith who operated a small shop behind the house at 3414 Pasadena Ave., threw a load of groceries into the street. Then he knocked Bernard’s mother to the floor, picked up the kitchen table, threw it on top of her and began jumping on her.

    But this time, Bernard got his father’s .38 and shot him twice in the stomach. He died before the ambulance arrived.

    The judge dismissed the charges and Bernard was freed. His mother died three years later at the age of 66. It isn’t clear whether Bernard had siblings or relatives—his father was described as a former member of the merchant marine and a Dutch sea captain—but none turn up in public records. Bernard died Feb. 27, 1993. I wonder what sort of life he had.


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