October 4, 1947
Long Beach

James Harry Hoxworth, 40, has a pretty good idea who’s messing with his wife Violet–family friend Harold E. Ward, also 40. Why, they’re out in a car together right now!

James and his shotgun waited at the Hoxworth home at 1143-B Junipero Ave., and when Harold and Violet pulled up, James jammed the barrel through the car window and blew a fatal hole in Harold’s chest. Then he yanked Violet out the passenger door and beat her soundly.

When police arrived, they found a note inside the home, scrawled in crayon, in which James accused Violet of infidelity.

Gift suggestion for the prison bound artiste: Crayola Travel On Case

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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 “tHE cRayON kILLeR”


    Motorists speeding past the intersection of 4th Street and Central Avenue early yesterday need not have feared arrest by radio police.

    While seated in their car, its windows closed and the motor running as they waited for prospective speed-law violators, Radio Officers J.H. Hausman and T.L. Mauk lost consciousness from leaking carbon monoxide fumes.

    Hausman was overcome in the car and when Mauk opened a door in efforts to revive him, the latter fell unconscious into the street. They recovered sufficiently to notify their sergeant, who sent an ambulance to the scene. Both officers were completely revived at Georgia Street Receiving Hospital.

    Today, there is a new rule in the Police Department—No more sitting in police cars with the windows closed while the motor is running.

    + + +

    The point here is the condition of police cars in 1947. Despite the image promoted by films that the LAPD used gleaming new black-and-whites in the 1940s, most of the cars were prewar vintage and had been driven hard. Retired officers say “we drove whatever we could get.â€Â While some crime authors write with uninformed assurance about the black-and-whites at the Black Dahlia crime scene, there isn’t a single marked police car in any of the pictures. In fact, the lack of marked cars is one reason Caryl Chessman was able to pull people over in 1948 with nothing more than a red light.

    Hausman not only recovered from his brush with death, he made detective by 1948:

    Friend Booked
    in Investigation
    of Model’s Death

    William Simkins, 46, of 3835 W. 8th St., was booked on suspicion of manslaughter last night at Wilshire Police Station in connection with the death last Saturday of Mrs. Mary Jane Burson, 41-year-old widow and former model.

    Mrs. Burson’s nude and badly bruised body was found Saturday afternoon on the bedroom floor of her apartment, 908 S. Hobart Blvd. Simkins, a roofer, was arrested by Det. Lts. W.H. Brennan and J.H. Hausman when he went to the apartment yesterday.

    Simkins told police he had been going with Mrs. Burson for some time and last saw her when he went to her apartment at 1:30 a.m. Saturday. He left when he found there was another man there, he said.

    Police said they found a half-filled whiskey glass in the bedroom and a partly filled whiskey bottle in the kitchen. Several latent fingerprints obtained in the apartment are being checked.

    Mrs. Burson was described as a very attractive brunette. She had been employed as a secretary in recent years.

    (There are no further stories on the outcome of the Burson case, which apparently remained unsolved).

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