The Poisoner’s Nephew

October 22, 1947
Los Angeles

After being examined by three alienists, Louis William Rains was ruled insane and committed to Mendocino State Hospital by Superior Judge Charles W. Fricke. Rains, a house painter, aged 40, suffered hallucinations which caused him to believe his elderly aunt, Lucy Nolan, sought to poison him. On August 5, he beat the woman so badly that she died at Maywood Hospital.

Rains, a veteran who saw no wartime service and was seeing a psychiatrist at the time of the crime, lived with his aunt at 6217 Pala Ave., Bell.

Published by

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 Poisoner’s Nephew”

  1. Moviegoers Walter Saul of Cincinnati and his wife had just settled into their seats for a double feature with his friend Aloysius Bollin and son Joseph when he felt Bollin’s head on his shoulder.

    Saul, a firefighter, thought Bollin had fallen asleep but after checking his pulse a few minutes later, realized that his friend was dead—and already getting cold.

    But rather than disturb the audience, Saul sat with Bollin’s head on his shoulder through both features, later explaining he “didn’t want to cause a disturbance that might have led to a panic.â€Â

    After finally calling an ambulance once the movies were over, Saul told 6-year-old Joseph Bollin to go get his mother because “your father is sick.â€Â

    The Times didn’t run any follow-ups to this AP story, so there’s no telling what happened next. It would be interesting, for example, to know what double feature was so engrossing.

    Quote of the day: “If you drop their rompers, you’ll find the hammer and sickle on their rear end.â€Â
    Director Sam Wood, testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee on Communists in Hollywood.

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