Oh Those Shriners: Recall, if you will, the grisly train wreck that killed a large number of Shriners returning from their convention in Los Angeles. It seems that one of them, George F. Hageman, inadvertently touched off a legal dispute between two belles of Reading.
Sarah Reber and Maude Weber went before the court insisting that each of them was the rightful heir of the bachelor, who was
LOS ANGELES- Since January, the bloggers at 1947project have taken their Los Angeles crime history research on the road with their lively, mysterious and very popular Crime Bus tours. Past routes have explored the dark side of Pasadena, the secret history of downtown and the real story of the Black Dahlia case. In December, 1947project offers a new tour celebrating the Beverly Hills of the early 20th century, that grand swath of city just west of downtown: Weird West Adams.
On this five-hour tour, Crime Bus passengers will be treated to detailed descriptions of some of the most notorious, strange and fascinating forgotten tales from the past hundred years, each told at the scene of the crime. They’ll thrill to the carjacking horror of silent film starlet Myrtle Gonzalez, shiver as Dream Killer Otto Parzyjegla chops his newspaper publisher boss to pieces with the paper-cutting blade, shudder at the pickled poignancy of the murder-by-brandy of Benjamin Weber, marvel at the Krazy Kafitz family and their litany of murder-suicides, attempted husband slayings, Byzantine estate battles and mad bombings, then gag at terrible fate visited on kidnap victim Marion Parker by The Fox. There will be some celebrity sites along the route, including the death scenes of Motown soul sensation Marvin Gaye and 1920s star Angels baseball catcher Gus Sandberg.
And in a special treat for the holiday season, the Crime Bus will toast the Winter Solstice by visiting the city’s shortest street and remembering 2′ 11" Angelo Rossitto, the charismatic cult actor / newsstand operator ("Freaks," "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome") who famously visited the spot in his teeny-tiny car on 12/21/37. All this, plus a robbery by Pretty Boy Floyd, Prohibition-era houses transformed into secret distilleries, fumigations gone terribly wrong, mashers, bad marriages, rotten drivers, assorted weirdos and a mummified teenage cult priestess.
Upcoming Crime Bus Tours include the 60th Anniversary Real Black Dahlia (January 13, 2007).
Want to reserve a seat for West Adams or the Black Dahlia? Just email us with the number of spots you’d like.
Nov. 27, 1907
A shadowy, global conspiracy of anarchists is being described in the trial of revolutionaries Ricardo Flores Magon, Antonio Villareal and Librado Rivera in federal court. The fourth defendant, L. Gutierrez De Lara, was charged separately with committing larceny in Sonora, Mexico.
The Times real estate section takes a look at what was then the distant suburb of Monrovia, 22 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The writer notes the increasing use of concrete and stone, explaining that the cost of lumber is forcing builders to use other materials. The writer also notes the broad, shaded verandas of three featured homes as well as the outlines of their roofs.
The story highlights the home of B.R. Davisson on East Orange Avenue, H.M. Slemmons (or Slemon) on North Myrtle Avenue and the home of John C. Rupp at Ivy and Greystone, built for $6,500 ($133,403.21 USD 2005).
Without exact addresses, it would be difficult for me to locate the Davisson and Slemmons homes, but I took a pleasant drive out to Monrovia recently to look for the Rupp house and was happy to find
that it is still standing and in beautiful condition. In fact, it was nice to discover that the neighborhood has quite a few well-maintained historic homes; a contrast to the condition of the houses I located in Pico Heights.
I had a brief chat with the homeowner who gave me a tour of the grounds. He said that Rupp, a financier, built the home for his wife, but that she decided it was too far from Los Angeles and wouldn
Nov. 23, 1907
Warning: This is a grotesque, tragic story with graphic details.
Pasadena Detective Wallace H. Copping is investigating the murder of a young baby boy, whose half-eaten body was found in a pigpen on the Berry ranch in South Pasadena.
Authorities say the boy, weighing about 14 pounds and less than 10 days old (yes, quite a large baby by today’s standards), was discovered by Mrs. J.H. Anderson, whose husband leases the ranch. Apparently Mr. Anderson picked up the baby
Nov. 22, 1907
Weeping and heavily bandaged from where her drunk, enraged husband hadshot her in the head, Ellen Larkin, 38, rose from her hospital bed, staggered to a nearby room and threw herself into the arms of her injured spouse. She covered him with kisses, vowing that she still loved him, and promised that he could come home as soon as he recovered from shooting himself and being nearly beaten to death with a baseball bat by their oldest son.
According to The Times, Jefferson B. Larkin, 45, a sometime teamster, horse player and