The Case of the Singed Curtains

December 11, 1947
Los Angeles

Some criminals just want to be punished. Consider the case of Mrs. Betty Cole, 27-year-old cocktail waitress, raising her twins alone while her Army captain husband serves at the San Francisco Presidio. Police investigators picked Betty up when it became clear that she was the pyromaniac responsible for four small blazes at the Palms Wilshire Hotel, 626 S. Alverado, on September 14, one at 1272 S. Western on October 14, and an initial fire at 1326 Oak Street on November 7, 1946.

Realizing that they had a nutty dame on their hands, and that no one had as yet been injured, the investigators offered to waive the charges if Betty would agree to stop smoking and drinking. But when Betty called the station to ask her nice policeman friends to join her for a beer, they revived the prosecution. Betty was picked up in a cocktail lounge, and her bail is set at $2500.