The Case of the Killer Longshoreman

December 15, 1947
Los Angeles

Police are holding Rufus Avery, 47, on suspicion of murder and arson after discovering the longshoreman wearing scorched clothing in the aftermath of a fire at 10351 1/2 S. Hickory Street.

Mrs. Vera Dudley directed police to look at her former suitor, who had previously attempted to burn her house down, following the early morning blaze in which her mother Mrs. Minnie Dudley, 50, and children Lawrence, 8, Carol, 6, and Kenneth, 4, were killed.

Avery was taken into custody at his hotel room at 108 Palos Verdes Street, San Pedro. Vera Dudley was not at home at the time of the fire.