Do Not Mess with a Woodman

April 26, 1907
Los Angeles

Thomas Cash, State Deputy Treasurer of the Woodmen of the World, was sleeping in his room at 852 Stephenson Avenue early this morning when awakened by a rustling in his adjoining office. Cash armed himself with what was nearest—a sturdy shoe—and advanced on the burglar, who fled, but Cash gave chase. Cornering the housebreaker at the end of the hall, Cash dealt a fearsome blow to the intruder’s face with his shoe. From there they grappled and struggled and rolled onto the rear porch, where the burglar made a wild leap sixteen feet into the back yard and, after having to clamber over a barbed-wire topped fence, disappeared. As a relic of the desperate battle, Cash has the collar and shirt front of the burglar. Other than that, Cash came away without so much as a scratch.

The Big Pickup

April 25, 1907
Los Angeles
Fiesta is coming!  And men of low standing are being swept from the streets—today one M. Lawrence was arrested on the charge of peddling worthless jewelry.  The police are making a special effort to remove from our midst swindlers of all stripes before Fiesta.  Sometimes they have help:  a Mr. Johnson was admitted to Receiving Hospital with cuts and lacerations to the face; he was recognized as being C. W. Draper, the recently paroled forger.  While attempting to sell goods to a woman at 115 North Olive Street, an unknown man leaped upon him and beat him severely.

Watch Out!

April 24, 1947
Santa Monica 

When Antoine Busier agreed to purchase eleven trays of golden trinkets for $197.60 from the Elgin National Jewelry Company of Illinois, he thought he was getting a fine bargain. It was only after he had taken possession of the gewgaws that he began to suspect he might have been taken.

He addressed an inquiry to the celebrated Elgin National Watch Company to confirm that he was dealing with so esteemed a firm… only to discover that they did not offer gold collar buttons of the sort he had obtained, and further that they knew nothing of the agent who had sealed the deal.

Antoine Busier had made two payments at this stage; he did not extend the third. The Elgin Jewelry Company subsequently assigned the debt to F. R. Robertson, and it was he who met Busier in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Wilbur today to demand the remaining $98.80, plus court costs.

Busier suggested to Judge Wilbur that the items might not truly be gold, freeing him of the obligation to complete the purchase. Accordingly, the Judge sent out for a bath of muriatic acid, and dropped a few of the shining pieces into the liquid. The golden surface bubbled briefly, then fell away, revealing plain metal below.

The case continues tomorrow, but courtroom observers suspect it will fall in Busier’s favor. 

Woman Doctor here Near Death

April 24, 1907
Los Angeles
Doctor Mary Green had a thriving practice once, for which she rented an office at 624 Fifth Street; she lives in a comfortable suite of rooms in the Hotel Avalon, also on Fifth.  And yet the Good Doctor, who has practiced in Chicago, Cincinnati, and San Francisco before landing in Los Angeles, is said to be unable to show any certificate showing she is a graduated physician.  It is said as well that she is addicted to morphine.
Last night, according to the proprietor of the Avalon, a man (claiming to be her husband) visited; a short time later, Doctor Mary Green lay dying.  At Receiving Hospital she was indeed found to be a heavy user of the needle.  And, as letters from a Doctor Anderson pointed out (penned after a recent trip of Green’s to Emergency General), she seemed likely to take her life.  While that life was saved at Receiving, it remains to be seen whether Doctor Mary Green will make it through much more life-time.

Whither Our Useful Friends, the Corpses?

April 23, 1907
Los Angeles
Traffic in the Dead was the topic before the Board of Supervisors today.  There is a “disgraceful scrabble for bodies,” stated Supervisor Alexander, chairman of the County Hospital Committee.  Supervisor Patterson remarked as well that “the officials of the institutions where these poor unfortunates die are simply hounded for the bodies.”  It seems that while forty-six cadavers of unclaimed indigents were, in March alone, distributed among the the likes of the Los Angeles College of Osteopathy, Pacific College of Osteopathy, USC and the College of Physicians, there was still a shortage, despite the contention of A. B. Shaw of Los Angeles College of Osteopathy that “the death rate at the County Hospital is much in excess of any proper need of all the medical schools of this county.”  In the interest of rational cadaver distribution (especially one carried out in more seemly a manner), permits shall now henceforth be issued to those qualified Angelenos who, in the interest of anatomical research, approach poor houses, public hospitals, county jails, State prisons and undertakers for pickings.

Toe-Bling, 1907 Style

April 22, 1907
San Bernadino
The trial of R. Patterson begins here today, wherein the accused must answer to the charge of robbery.  Patterson, a brakeman on the Santa Fe line, became acquainted with a young Pole, a tailor, en route from New York to Los Angeles.<!– D([“mb”,”

Nightmares on Bunker Hill Easter Tour Snaps

On Sunday, April 16, a merry busload of crime geeks boarded our stretch hearse (actually a plush touring coach, courtesy of our pal Dennis at American Transporation Systems) for a five-hour tour into the weird crannies and freaky nooks of downtown Los Angeles and Chinatown. From the O’Connor Electroplating Disaster to the hairy ghoul gal of Old Sonoratown, severed hands to rotting panhandlers, deadly Xmas gifts to fake mediums, it was a delightful dip into the weird old L.A. that’s not there anymore.

Here are a few photographic impressions to mark the day. And if you’d like a spin on the Crime Bus, please note: Nightmares of Bunker Hill rolls again on June 10.


Dogs and Whisky: Saviors of Man

April 21, 1907
Mr. Lorenzo La Frank was working on his ranch in Newhall when attacked and bitten by a rattlesnake, which leaped and fastened itself upon his back, twisting itself around his suspenders.  But La Frank’s brave and faithful dog leapt as well, tearing the snake from his master.  La Frank was admitted to County Hospital with a thinning of the blood, a condition peculiar and particular to a rattler’s bite.  Given as bethinned blood soaks through the walls of vessels, ending up in the lungs, La Frank is being administered copious whisky to combat the pneumonia he has subsequently contracted.    La Frank is expected to recover in full.