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.

6217 Pala, To-day

I like to huff fumes as much as the next guy, paint included. Sure, they make you think some kraaaazy things. But honestly? The old bat was out to poison him. With aunt paste. Mmm, paint-and that Sherwin-Williams? Cover the Earth? Red? Commies. And that bastard Judge Fricke was in on it. Bastard Thulist Albert Pike Commie is what-murmur-

Here’s where that traitorous poisoness Lucy Nolan got what was coming to her-

(What do we notice about the houses on this street? They’ve been stucco’d-or “texture coated” as the man on the radio ad says, and will continue to say until he hangs from piano wire in the town square-and therefore there’s no paint around the ‘hood. No fume-crazed suburbanites drubbing family and friends. Man, I wish kids still built plastic models. Not a hint of mayhem or disorientation on this block. Made me want to push a shopping cart full of whippets and butyl through the streets-the first one is free-then they’ll have to pay for the paint thinner and scotch-guard and white-out and felt tip markers-what am I going on about? Sorry. Am building a ’64 Aurora Dr. Jekyll kit and the Testers is really getting on top of me.)

One tough old bird

October 20, 1947

After being forced off the road around 3 am, 64-year-old rancher Heinie Rodemacher spent twelve hours pinned beneath his pick-up truck in a dry wash off Highway 99 until his cries were heard. Gasoline and battery acid dripped onto him during his ordeal.

The fatalistic fellow told attending CHP officer Joe Green and Dep. Sheriffs W.C. Collin and L.C. Smith “you’ll never get me out of here,” but two hours of hacksaw and acetylene torch work did the trick.

Rodemacher is at Newhall Community Hospital for treatment of his chemical burns and leg injuries.

Who the hell are you, lady?

October 19, 1947
Los Angeles

Emboldened by the attentions of fellow bus riders and the media, Chuck Harader (see yesterday’s post) displayed a photograph which he said depicted the mysterious Susan, object of his affections.

But the photo was soon identified as being that of Lynn Allen, radio actress (and ex-Marine) of 802 S. Norton Ave. She expressed bewilderment at how Harader got her photo, but wished the romantic fool luck in his quest.

When taken off the bus to be introduced to Miss Allen by journalists, Harader broke down and cried “That’s not Susan!” Well, she never claimed she was.

Harader, who is giving up his quest after six days riding the Vermont Avenue bus, says Susan knows where he lives should she wish to see him.

I love Susan Simpson, and I’m going to ride this bus until…

October 18, 1947
Los Angeles

For the past five days, ten hours at a stretch, Chuck Harader, 28, pianist/composer of 2208 Cahuenga Street, has been riding a Vermont Avenue bus, trying to match female riders to his ideal, a gal called Susan Simpson who, he says, he “dated” last summer on numerous evening bus trips into Griffith Park. She never told him where she lived or let him escort her off the conveyance, but he adores her all the same.

She’s even sent him letters, asking him to meet her at their usual place (that would be the Monroe St. bus stop just south of City College), and later asking why he had failed to make the date, and suggesting a mysterious “Steve” would be incensed by her actions. He must have missed her when he got off the bus to grab a bite. He won’t make that mistake again. And so Chuck rides, with his weekly pass, sandwiches and coffee thermos by his side, ready to protect his lady… if he can just find her again.

Some dark stuff from Subcrawl

Another soul goes free, cont.
A piece of a Delaney & Bonnie & Friends song would not stop playing in my head. It was the soundtrack to various tapes of painful and shameful moments from my life.

The Return of Manny Chavez

Manny is often homeless, and yet owns 25,000 records.

Luv is
Sure he’s a bit forward for the first date; straight shooters like Tom often have rough edges.

The architecture of chance

Of course, when planes crash into churches called Pillar of Fire and then wheel into local funeral homes, one wonders if some higher preservationist is pulling the strings.

beautiful paranoia
If you grew up with nightmares of mushroom clouds like I did, even though it was the seventies, you could get behind this article threading the abstract expressionists to cold war propaganda.

Where’s the girl?

October 17, 1947
Los Angeles

Sitting in Edward R. Brand’s Superior Courtroom, movie actor/ boilermaker Gerald D. O’Neill, 50, heard his sentence of 10 to 20 years read.

There was no wife there to comfort him–not Mrs. Stella Frank O’Neill (720 S. Bonnie Brae, wedding date 2/7/42), nor any of his subsequent bigamous brides: Mrs. Margaret Beeler Williams (156 Coolidge Ave.), Mrs. Julia Twitchell (826 W. 49th St), Mrs. Anna Gwendolyn Ashley (221. Columbia Street).

Even his special lady friend and financier of his legal expenses, Mrs. Myrtle Riley (4532 Willowbrook Ave., “the sweetest girl in all the world”), sat out the special day.

Attorney Richard Erwin intends to appeal. As for O’Neill, let’s hope he stays out of the dance halls, which it seems he can’t visit without proposing marriage.

Are you going to eat that?

October 16, 1947

Mayo Elementary School nutrition supervisor Helen Peal of 1316 N. Edgemont Street and butcher J. Berman, whose shop is at 1006 Monroe Street, Hymes, are facing misdemeanor charges after school cook Ruth Mills blew the whistle on them.

Seems Berman delivered 25 pounds of foul-smelling hamburger to the school cafeteria, and when Mills told Peal that she thought it was spoiled, Peal advised she spice it up good and serve it to the children.

The city health department seized the meat before anyone ate it.

Augusta Mayo To-day

I’m sorry. What’s the big deal? If rancid meat is good enough for our fighting men, shouldn’t it be good enough for our children? Sure, only 379 of our 5,462 casualties in ’98 were caused by battle, a fair share of the rest felled courtesy Chicago’s Armour & Co. Carrion Plant, but did you hear our brave boys in Guanica and Santiago piss and moan about a little spoiled meat? No! Because they spiced it up a bit, using those delicious native spices! Spiced it up good, I bet!

And now, I am going to inundate you with photos of Mayo Elementary. Trust me, it will do you good.

And last, but not least-

-the cafeteria! Yes, the cafeteria (no finer original 30s industrial tile floor in all of Los Angeles), scene of Peal and Berman’s “crime.”

Peale is a NUTRITION SUPERVISOR, for the goodness’ sake. I think she knows what she’s doing. And I’ll thank you not to denigrate our brave fighting men again.

Death of an old timer

October 14, 1947
San Fernando Valley

Lester Henry has been losing beehives and honey during the night, so he called in two Glendale hunters, Jim Stevenson and H.A. Mathieson, along with six of their hounds. The dogs swiftly treed a six-foot bear about 100 yards from the intersection of Balboa Blvd. and Rinaldi Street. The men used bows and arrows to drop their quarry.

The bear, estimated to have been 14 years old, is the first seen in the area in several years, and is believed to have come into the valley from the Wilson Ranch.