June 14, 1907
Mrs. Santos Rodriguez (nee Galvies) has a lover, Virde Parra. She also has a little 3-year-old daughter, and watching the babe was putting a crimp in her romantic life. A quick trip down to the druggist provided mama with what was almost certainly a bottle of lauadanum, that effective blend of opium and alcohol so beloved by Coleridge and de Quincey. As the child slipped into a powerful sleep illuminated with extraordinary visions, Santos slipped out of her little house at 643 Buena Vista Street and met Virde for a quickie at the La Guerra Hotel on North Main Street near Market.
But the lovers’ plans were thwarted when the lady’s husband, having heard rumors of her evening wanders and Parra’s visits, came home for an early dinner and discovered his child insensible. Patrolmen Leon and Murphy were called, and the child-doper and her honey were quickly found and placed in police custody, where the lady gave her maiden name and refused to talk about the case.
June 13, 1907
Voters approved a $23-million bond issue ($472,042,116.32 USD 2005) for the Owens River Aqueduct, 21,923-2,128. The Times helped mount a turnout campaign in which automobile owners volunteered to ferry voters to the polls.
Interestingly enough, The Times put the story on the first page of the second section rather than the front page.
To buy a ticket on Sunday’s tour, click here.
Location: You will be emailed directions to the tour start point soon after payment is received; include a phone number in the payment comments if you won’t be able to check your email, and we’ll call with details.
To be kept informed of future tour dates, sign up for our mailing list.
About the tour: By popular demand, and following many nights terrifying ourselves reading grisly old news reports until falling into fitfull sleep, our Pasadena Confidential crime bus tour rolls on Sunday, August 6, from 10am-3pm. This five-hour luxury coach tour offers surprising insights into the often weird and horrible history of the Crown City, from the infamous to the forgotten. Tickets are $47 per person, and include cookies and home-made lemonade.
From celebrated cases like the RFK assassination (with a visit to Sirhan Sirhan’s folks’ house), "Eraserhead" star Jack Nance’s strange end, black magician/rocket scientist Jack Parsons’ death-by-misadventure and the 1926 Rose Parade grand stand collapse, to fascinating obscurities, the tour’s dozens of murders, arsons, kidnappings, robberies, suicides, auto wrecks and oddball happening sites provide a alternate history of Pasadena that’s as fascinating as it is creepy.
Crime Bus passengers will tour the old Millionaire’s Row on Orange Grove, thrill to the shocking Sphinx Murder on the steps of the downtown Masonic Hall, wonder about the unknown fiend who sneaked past a little girl to poison her father’s beer, discover why people named Judd should think twice before moving to Pasadena, and explore the racist spirit of the early 20th century through two forgotten stories: that of a Chinaman with leprosy whose suicide by hanging was treated as a novel entertainment by hundreds of citizens, and the case of wealthy mulatto Archie Hill, who shot a white trolley ticket-taker dead for shortchanging him.
For more about this tour, see Patricia Jiayi Ho’s feature in the Pasadena Star-News. To purchase a seat using a credit card, visit our storefront. Sorry, it is now too late to pay by check for Sunday’s tour.
Disclaimer: Although it is extremely unlikely, the organizers reserve the right to postpone the tour in the event of extreme weather, riot, act of war or plague. Refunds may be available no more than 72 hours before the tour departs, and at the discretion of the organizers. You may substitute an alternate passenger’s name if you are unable to attend. We regret that there are no refunds for people who miss the bus. Potential passengers may call Kim at 323-223-2767 or email with any questions.
June 12, 1907
At 19, Florence Grover was old enough to be in love and living with a man, and at 19, she was old enough to become a mother. Her boyfriend, L.C. Lutzen of the National Messenger Service, with whom she lived at 120 N. Broadway, testified that he had made preparations to raise their child as his own.
Instead Florence sought out Dr. C. Van Peter Watson. On May 28, she took a streetcar to his home at 2652 W. Pico. When she left 30 minutes or an hour later, she was so weak that she couldn
June 9, 1907
Olga Miller was a comely young thing who worked at the Hotel Rosslyn and was considered quite attractive despite the scar on her temple from shooting herself in the head.
One day she fell ill and was taken to County Hospital, where she went into convulsions and died after a visit from Richard Hardy, who forced his way into her room and made her drink a glass of milk that police suspected was poisoned.
But her death was only the beginning of the complicated story, a morbidly Victorian tale that includes murder, insanity, false identities, suicides and fears of body snatching.
Shortly after Miller died, officials learned that she was actually Bertha Beilstein, the daughter of John Frederick Beilstein, a wealthy Allegheny, Pa., businessman and politician. Before his mysterious death in 1897 (some people suspected Bertha of poisoning him in a fit of insanity), he wrote a will putting all his money in a trust for his heirs as long as she was alive.
June 7, 1907
After a hard day of judging Boston terriers, English bulldogs and foxhounds, John Bradshaw went to a local restaurant with two exhibitors, William J. Morris and James Ewins.
Over dinner, and apparently many drinks, Bradshaw told Ewins at great length what was wrong with his prize bulldog, Moston Barnone. Although Ewins had owned several great bulldogs, including one named Moston Monarch, he took Bradshaw
June 6, 1906
Last February Antone F. Lieblich, a well-off Bohemian of middle years, sold his property in Eudunda, near Franklin Harbour, Australia and sailed back home to Austria. He never made it. After going ashore in Genoa, Lieblich vanished, and when a man’s body washed up soon after, it was duly identified and Lieblich’s family informed of his passing. His property was split up, and the mourning for the long-lost kin commenced.
Until July, that is, when Lieblich’s Australian attorney received a letter from his client–return addressed 2416 East Ninth Street, Los Angeles–with instructions for a few final real estate transactions. The Australian police became interested, and made inquiries through the police of many nations, but the mysterious Herr Lieblich was nowhere to be found. The Los Angeles police visited the Ninth Street address, and learned that a man fitting Lieblich’s description had been staying there last July, but he had made no friends in the neighborhood, and no one knew where he had gone.
So look carefully about you, Los Angeles! That dark, well-built man with the slightly graying beard and the odd accent might just be Antone Lieblich, come out of his mossy grave and wondering where all his money’s gone!