Mass Vacination Set for All Aboard Train

July 24, 1947
San Bernardino

Ray Thompson, 38-year-old waiter on the Santa Fe Grand Canyon Limited, had a rash. It looked a lot like chickenpox, but after doctors offloaded him Wednesday it was determined he was suffering from smallpox.

Health officers now plan to board the train this morning in San Bernardino, and inoculate the 138 persons still on board before its 11am arrival at Union Station. Anyone who refuses the shot will be taken directly from the train to their home and quarantined for two weeks.

Among the passengers are five carloads of delegates en route to the west coast Lions Club International convention. (What’s a little shot between lions?)

Post-hypnotic suggestion?

July 23, 1947
Los Angeles

Remember Lula Colias, yesterday‘s unfortunate whose Hindu yoga teacher took her for $20,000 while she sat helpless? Police picked her up this evening at Fifth and Main.

Det. Sgt. F.I. Ellis explains that the lady took a long cab ride (Long Beach to Ocean Park, and thence downtown), hopped out of the cab and created a disturbance. Is she bats, in a trance, or just driven batty by her recent loss? Lula’s under observation at the General Hospital psych ward, so maybe an answer is forthcoming.

Suggested reading (again): The New Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnotism

Woman Says Hypnotist Vanished with $15,000

July 22, 1947
Los Angeles

Lula Colias, art student and would-be publisher of books on mystic arts, called police today to report that the Hindu mystic with whom she has been studying yoga and spiritualism, and whom she last week loaned $5000 for publication of a book on hypnotism and “secrets of the Far East,” is no fake.

It seems the Hindu dropped in to see Miss Colias, 35, of 615 W. 35th Street on Monday evening and carried on a seemingly normal conversation with her before suddenly intoning, “You can’t move!”

And indeed she could not, and watched helplessly as her spiritual friend made straight for the cash box, liberated $15,000, and waltzed out the door. When the lady regained her senses, she dropped a dime on her holy hustler. Bunco is investigating.

Suggested reading: The New Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnotism

Marooned Travelers Make Rail Station ‘Home’

July 21, 1947Downtown Los Angeles

The train engineers are on strike, and Union Station is beginning to look like a flophouse. Guitar-strumming Mexican actor Jose Y. Torvay made the mistake of cashing in the bus ticket he’d bought in Mexico City after the Warner Brothers gave him train ticket as an après-shooting gift. There’s now a two-week waiting list for southbound bus seats, and no hint of when the engineers will return to work. Fifty manual laborers bound for Portland kibitz in the patio, and a big brown Boxer dog named Duchess swelters in her crate, while a dame in El Paso waits for the living symbol of puppy love she’d been promised from a West Coast Romeo (that’s Albert J. Kallis of 1300 S. Mansfield Ave.-sorry, gals–and sci fi poster geeks–he’s taken!).

Suggested reading: Science Fiction Poster Art

‘Hobo Camp’ Estate Gift Made to Santa Barbara

July 20, 1947
Santa Barbara

The hobos of Santa Barbara’s Jungleville gave a rousing cheer tonight as news filtered through their encampment that their great, but aging, benefactress Mrs. John Howard Child had ensured their protection for the foreseeable future by deeding her estate Vega Mar-17 acres on East Cabrillo Boulevard between the Mar Monte Hotel and the Mrs. William A. Clark Estate, currently valued at more than $100,000-to the city.

A previous attempt to give the property to the University of California foundered when the school was unwilling to allow Mrs. Child to remain in her home. Some years ago, she sold the section of property where the hobos camped to the Mar Monte Hotel people, and personally supervised the moving of their ragged dwellings to the new location.

Mrs. Child retains a life interest in the property, and has declared that the hobos shall not be moved so long as she survives.

Suggested reading: Riding the Rails by Errol Lincoln Uys

He was kind to dogs

July 19, 1947
El Monte

When traffic officers busted 14-year-old Leonard Kiter of 521 S. Muscatel Avenue, San Gabriel last night for jumping a signal on his motor scooter at Five Points in El Monte, they opened up a hornet’s nest. For it seems young Leonard was carrying the wallet of his grandfather William, and could give police and his father Leland no explanation for it.

Leland was concerned, and went with officers to the campsite near Big Bear where the 70-year-old was staying (in town, he lived at 2511 Las Flores Ave., Alhambra). There they found William Kiter, dead from axe wounds, laying on a cot.

The boy initially denied knowledge of his grandfather’s death, but soon confessed to killing him. They had spent the morning fishing, and the old man was mad about a lost anchor and anchor rope. Before that, there were fights over William’s refusal to rent horses and motorbikes for Leonard. So when William went to take a nap, Leonard crept up and whacked him.

Suddenly helpful, Leonard showed police where he hid both parts of the axe, about a quarter mile away from the camp site, in two places. And he told them how before the killing, he’d carefully placed a blanket over his little dog to spare the creature the terrible sight.*

suggested reading: Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Robert D. Hare

[* a note from 2005: Leonard was charged with murder the next day, and not a single mention of the boy or his crime ever again appeared in the pages of the L.A. Times.]

2511 Las Flores To-day

Had only Bill Kiter stayed home instead of going out to brave bears and snakes and axe-wielding delinquents, he could have lived out his days in this little home here in Alhambra. True, this little cross-gabled house hasn’t escaped the dreaded stuccoman, as have his flanking neighbors. That notwithstanding, life in a stucco’d house, it could be argued, is somewhat preferable to death in a cot.

‘Hecate’ Seller Found Guilty

July 18, 1947

Are dirty books being sold in Hollywood? According to an 8 woman/ 4 man jury in Municipal Judge Mildred L. Lillie’s court, yes. Although the conviction of bookseller Harry Wepplo and the Pickwick Book Shop Corp. was previously dismissed following a reversal in the State Supreme Court, the City of L.A. made a fresh charge. The offense was selling Edmund Wilson’s racy “The Memoirs of Hecate County,” and Judge Lillie insisted that every word of its six short stories be read aloud in her courtroom. It was no defense for Wepplo to claim ignorance of the content: if the jury found the book dirty, it was their civic duty to convict.

And so they did. Harry Wepplo was released on his OR, and attorney Raymond Stanbury stated he would ask for dismissal when court reconvened on Friday.

And from the uppity New York literary critic who wrote the filthy tome, or Doubleday, the fly-by-night smut merchants who published it, not a peep was heard.