Maternal Manipulation, 1907-style

June 29, 1907
Los Angeles 

Police are in possession of a pleading letter, penned by Chicago hardware store merchant O.A. Derrough, and intended for the eyes of his runaway son Joseph. In the month since the 16-year-old ran off with cousin Robert Smith, both of their mothers have fallen into a pitiable state. Mrs. Smith is a nervous wreck, while Mrs. Derrough claims that she is dying–but that all will be right again if her boy will only send word that he is alive.

Derrough contacted the Los Angeles police with his plea because the boys had sent a picture postcard with a local postmark. He believes his son is using the name Adams, and asks that officers do everything in their power to find the Chicagoans and persuade them to return home.

Popped by Pups

1907carThe other day officers saw a man blazing down Pico in his autoed-mobile and gave chase for two miles. He was arrested, promised to show for court, and of course did not.

He had given the name Harry King, but a little sleuthing revealed him to be one H. B. Roy. Officers were dispatched to Roy’s home on West Seventh Street.

Walking down the street, Roy made the cops, ran into a garage, left by the back door, and snuck into his home. The policemen asked for Roy at the home but was told by a woman he was not in residence. The cops roughly badged their way in, which forced the woman to call out reinforcements—two snarling, snapping bulldogs. The officers drew their revolvers and advanced on the dogs, loudly proclaiming their intent to shoot them. This got Roy’s attention, and he emerged from the back of the house, to wind up in the paddy wagon.

(While the arrest of J. S. Cravens for a similar high-speed driving offence, posted here June 22, did not mention the speed attained in his chase, in this case Roy’s pursuit was clocked at forty-five miles per hour.)

A Kinder, Simpler Time

June 27, 1907
Los Angeles

Louise arrived in Los Angeles three months ago from Norway with her four young children. She met a man who worked in San Pedro (we only know his initials, F.G.) and before long, they were married and living in his small home at 825 Tennessee St.

One morning, she got up to make coffee, turned on the stove, took a glass of dark liquid from a shelf and poured it into the coffee pot.

But the liquid was gasoline.

I TOLD Bell the Electro-Dynamic Transmitter-Receiver Would Be Nothing But Trouble

June 26, 1907
Los Angeles

07phoneJohn Richie, contractor of East Fourteenth Street, has an unsavory record.  Richie used to, daily, beat his son with a rake handle, until such time as the boy became an idiot.  This finally drove Richie’s wife insane, and she died in an asylum, whereafter Richie got drunk and danced about in the room where the casket had been placed.

But now he’s gone too far.  He’s making rude phone calls.

Richie was hauled before Justice Rose to defend a complaint sworn by Mrs. Rose Mustactia, Richie’s grocer:

“He has been annoying me for some time.  At first he just said spiteful things, but at last his actions became unbearable.  Saturday afternoon he called up the store and told me his name and then he began to abuse me.  He called me names and my husband names and said we were bums and that all our groceries were stale and that most of the stuff we had in the store was second hand.  The next time he called up, my daughter answered the ‘phone.  He told her the same thing, abusing us all and saying hard things about us.  Twenty-five times during the afternoon and evening he called us up and used bad language until we refused to answer the ‘phone any more.”

Richie was convicted of a misdemeanor.

The Brute!

June 26, 1907
Los Angeles

Fred D. Samuels is a monster and nothing less, according to his aunt, Sister Kostka, assistant mother superior of the Ursuline Convent in Frontenac, Wis. As her mother, Maria S. Bowman, lay dying at her home, 1266 E. Adams, Samuels refused to let Sister Kostka (nee Minnie Bowman) see her.

In fact, Kostka charged, Samuels refused to let a Catholic priest visit Mrs. Bowman and refused to grant her a Catholic funeral. Instead, Bowman received two services, one at St. Patrick

The Mysterious Ms. Pulva

June 23, 1907
Los Angeles


pulvaheadlineWhat can one say about pretty young Eva Pulva?  She lived in a lonely cottage on West Fifty-Fourth, and though her mother and sister lived on East Fifty-Seventh, she told people she had no kin.  Her gentleman friends knew little of her.  The police knew her best of all—watching as she, a ward of the probation department, came to the verge of trouble via men of low character.  But she’d secured her nice little cottage, and things seemed to be going well…

…until she shaved her head and disappeared.  The cops looked for her to offer her protection from whatever trouble she was in, but didn’t find her until she had a self-inflicted bullet in her chest.

Her note read “Dearest Sister:  You will find my trunk at 2739 Budlong avenue.  Please don’t tell the lady you are a relative of mine.  I told her I had no relation.  So let me go knowing that one person on your Sunny Earth don’t think me a liar.  I am sorry I don’t leave espense money but (I belong to a gang that have my money) and when they hear I am goine most likely you will get it.  Don’t tell mother.  I wrote anything.  Put me anywhere sister.  I do don’t care where.  I know you understand and my dear I am no good here…I am a coward to live but not a coward to die.”