Monthly Archives: January 2007
Please understand, the Elizabeth Short mug shots were printed up in bulk during the investigation and handed out freely. The mug shot was also distributed by the wire services. Translation: There were many copies of this picture. Think carefully before getting into a bidding war over one of them. They turn upon EBay every couple of years.
Jan. 13, 1907
The Times takes a light, humorous look at the destructive wanderings of Eaton Wash: a docile stream, if not entirely dry, most of the year, turned into a churning monster by heavy rains.
â€œThe little river that makes so much trouble lives somewhere in the fastness of Eatonâ€™s Canyon during the summer months,â€ The Times says. â€œIn the rainy season it always comes prowling out for a wild outing.
â€œNot having a respectable bed like other rivers, it comes bursting down from the mountains and goes wherever anyone will let it go.
â€œWhen the rains began this year, it stole trustfullyâ€”undiscouraged by its previous disappointmentsâ€”down from the mountains.
â€œIt sneaked on a pleasant-looking ranch in the valley. And the farmer found it thereâ€”as it covered about half his ranchâ€”and rushed out with shovels and teams and turned it back on someone elseâ€™s ranch.
â€œAnd the ranchman who owns this second ranch on which it was driven came out in a rage and shook his fist, bellowing: â€˜Here, come and take back your old river. It canâ€™t stay on my place.â€™ And he said other things.â€
The engineers of the Southern Pacific railroad built a massive culvert to protect the tracks from washing out. But another neighbor, Annie Adams, hired men to turn the fences on her 36-acre ranch into a barrier.
â€œThe only way for the river to get on Miss Adamsâ€™ ranch was to jump the fence,â€ The Times says.
â€œAnyone familiar with the eccentricities [of the river] can guess readily enough what happened then,â€ The Times says. â€œThat fine and elegant new culvert of the railroad company lasted about a minute.â€
More men and teams of horses built a barrier of sandbags to stop the river. â€œIt went. It rippled forlornly down the side of the high embanked track trying to find a hole through the sandbag dikeâ€”but nothing doing.
â€œThen it came to a long, hard, fascinating looking strip of road leading through the middle of the little town of Savannah. It turned down this road with a little gurgle of joy,â€ The Times says.
â€œAnd the things that it did to that county road is enough to make the county supervisors weep in anguish.
â€œIt was a beautiful oiled roadâ€”smooth and flat and even. The river gouged out chuckholes as deep as a well. It made ruts in which you could drydock a ship. It ruined several hundred dollarsâ€™ worth of highway in less time than it takes to write it.â€
Lawsuits followed and a committee was appointed to pick a course for the river. But none of the ranchers wanted the river on his property.
â€œIn the end, the court will undoubtedly select a straight, direct route, with the proper angle and fall and slope from the canyon to the river, and order a right of way condemnedâ€”let it cross whose ranch it may,â€ The Times says.
Bonus factoid: The story uses the phrase “No. 23 skiddoo,” which I’ve always associated with the 1920s. Apparently the anonymous writer was ahead of his time.
E-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com
Jan. 12, 1907
For half a century, the Baptist Church of El Monte and the Masonâ€™s Lexington Lodge No. 104 shared a clapboard building on Main Street, the worshipers on the first floor and the Masons, as always, on the second.
Then came the developers and the urge to grow.
â€œSeized with the thrill of the new trolley boom, the lodge members are about to put up a new Masonic temple; the Baptists, who have shared quarters with the Masons of El Monte for more than 50 years, are also said to be ambitious for a new place,â€ The Times says.
Taking the original name of the settlement, the Masons founded Lexington Lodge in May 1853, making it one of the oldest in California, and sent for regalia that came around the Horn from the East. One of the early lodge members, Elkenna Parrish, can still be seen driving his buggy around El Monte, The Times says.
The Baptists, meanwhile, built the first Baptist church south of the Tehachapi, using ox teams to haul lumber from San Bernardino. The Rev. J.C. Freyer arrived after a six-month journey from Alabama and was the first Baptist minister ordained in Southern California, The Times says.
The Baptists had outgrown the structure, built in 1866, and wanted a new church, but the Masons refused to yield their half, so they purchased the building in 1906 in an attempt to save it. By the next year, however, they agreed to let the small, old building come down.
E-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com
And don’t forget, tonight at 9pm, we lead a candlelit vigil in memory of Elizabeth Short. It begins at the Regent Galleries at 446-450 S. Main, where the "Her Name Was Elizabeth" exhibition is opening, continuing on to the Biltmore Hotel. Along the way we’ll provide information about the crime and its connection with the downtown L.A. neighborhood, sort of a mini, walking Crime Bus tour as a preview to the Real Black Dahlia tours this weekend and Tuesday. Seats are still available for all three tours, so please click over/
to reserve if interested.
A woman living on a hog ranch near the Santa Fe railroad crossing over the Los Angeles River contacted police after seeing dismembered human bodies in the old dumping ground near George Street.
Investigators dug through the dump, retrieving the body of a child that was nearly intact, along with bits and pieces of a man and a woman, including their skulls. In addition to the remains, police found books and papers traced to the University of Southern California Medical School.
â€œWhoever is responsible for the depositing of the remains on the garbage heap should be severely censured,â€ Coroner Roy S. Lanterman told The Times.
â€œIt seems quite heartless enough to give up the human body to further science but when the students have finished dissecting the remains they should see that they are interred with the proper respect. I cannot understand the action of those responsible for sending the bodies to the garbage heap.â€
For further reading on the sorry state of medical schools at the turn of the 20th century, read Abraham Flexnerâ€™s â€œMedical Education in the U.S. and Canada.â€ Note that in this era, medical students didnâ€™t even need to be high school graduates.
E-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com
Jan. 9-10, 1907
The worst storm in 23 years blew across Southern California with the force of a gale, dumping more than an inch of rain in Pasadena, killing an Orange County rancher, washing out railroad tracks, collapsing tunnels and leaving nearly every small ship in Santa Barbara sunk, driven ashore or pounded into kindling.
Floodwaters destroyed a railroad bridge under construction near Ventura, cutting off the Southern Pacificâ€™s coastal rail service, and at Summerland, oil rigs along the shore were ripped to pieces. The San Fernando Valley was especially hard hit: The Times reports that a bridge over the Big Tujunga Wash was underwater and that the river was a mile wide and impassible. The roar of the Pacoima River can be heard two miles away, The Times says.
The Arroyo Seco tore out a railroad line and threw freight cars as if they were toys, carrying a torrent of trash and broken trees down from the mountains through Pasadena.
South of downtown, the Los Angeles River was at flood stage and threatening to destroy the 7th Street Bridge, where pedestrians were warned that they crossed at their own risk.
Many avenues were flooded from curb to curb and churning water threw aside heavy iron manhole covers and flowed from the storm sewers, turning streets (paved and unpaved) into rivers. Streetcars plying the flooded boulevards looked like ships sailing in canals and gallant conductors carried female passengers through the water to the curb.
A 75-year-old Santa Ana rancher was killed when the buggy in which he and his brother were riding was washed away as they tried to cross Santiago Creek. The horse panicked in the raging flood and the buggy overturned. Ralph Williams, who was visiting from the East, was able to grab a willow branch and save himself, but his brother Charles was carried downstream, where his body was eventually found.
â€œThe fording of torrents on the hill streets has seemed fraught with peril,â€ The Times says, â€œbut the thousands of hardy adventurers, who have braved the currents all live to tell the tale. None has been swept away to a watery death in the many deep lakes which were formed about the city.â€
E-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com
Thurs. Jan. 11, 2pm, "Her Name Was Elizabeth" art exhibition opens at 446-450 S. Main Street. Crime Bus and VIP tickets available in gallery.
6pm-9pm, Opening art reception at 446-450 S. Main Street.
9pm, candlelight vigil to the Biltmore hosted by Kim and Nathan of 1947project departs 446-450 S. Main Street.
10:30pm-midnight, free (donations gladly accepted) screening of Ramzi Abed’s "Black Dahlia Movie" at 446-450 S. Main Street.
Fri, Jan. 12, 7am, Kim and Nathan of 1947project are interviewed on Joe Escalante’s show on Indie 103.1-FM.
6-9pm, "Have You Seen this Girl?" – a woman dressed as the Black Dahlia will glide eerily along Hollywood Boulevard between Argyle and Cherokee, the old stomping grounds of Elizabeth Short. Perhaps she will be found in the Frolic Room or Pig and Whistle, or just cruising the boulevard. This spectral figure carries a basket of flowers, and will give one to anyone who calls her by her true name, Elizabeth. One of these lucky flowers is valid as one free ticket on the Sunday morning January 14 Real Black Dahlia Crime Bus Tour, or for half off one seat on the VIP midnight tour and film premiere on Tuesday January 16.
Sat. Jan. 13, 11am-4pm, Real Black Dahlia Crime Bus Tour, click to buy.
7pm, John Gilmore author of "Severed" will read from his book and offer a Q&A about his experiences and investigation of The Black Dahlia Murder at 446-450 S. Main Street.
10pm, $5 screening of "Black Dahlia Movie" (popcorn and soda included in the price of admission) at 446-450 S. Main Street. Sunday Crime Bus and VIP tickets available in gallery.
Sun. Jan. 14, 11am-4pm, Real Black Dahlia Crime Bus Tour, click to buy.
Noon, gallery is open at 446-450 S. Main Street and VIP tickets are available.
6pm, screening of "Black Dahlia Movie" at 446-450 S. Main Street.
Mon. Jan. 15, 9pm, "Requiem For A Dahlia" live music from "Black Dahlia Movie" featuring David J, Ego Plum, Dame Darcy and Death By Doll, Bella Beretta, Courtney Cruz, Eliza Bane, The Great Merlini, Scarlett Letter, Lulu Lunaris, Vixen Magdalene and more, doors open at 9pm, show starts at 10pm.
Tues. Jan. 16, 6pm, Cocktails at the Biltmore Hotel, 5th/Olive
VIPs enjoy their first cocktail on US! For more info or to purchase VIP tickets, click here.
8pm, black carpet processional at Laemmle Grand 4-Plex, 345 S. Figueroa St. World premiere of "Black Dahlia Movie" begins 8:30pm. VIPs enjoy priority seating among luminaries.
10:30pm, Once in a lifetime 60th Anniversary Midnight Real Black Dahlia Crime Bus Tour begins after the screening, with stars and creators of "Black Dahlia Movie"! Tickets for just the late evening events, starting with the bus tour, are $100, available by clicking here before Tuesday at 5pm, or just bring cash or check to 345 S. Figueroa at 10:30pm, and if there are seats left you may buy one.
On Friday, January 12, from 6-9pm, a woman dressed as the Black Dahlia will glide eerily along Hollywood Boulevard between Argyle and Cherokee, the old stomping grounds of Elizabeth Short. Perhaps she will be found in the Frolic Room or Pig and Whistle, or just cruising the boulevard. This spectral figure carries a basket of flowers, and will give one to anyone who calls her by her true name, Elizabeth. One of these lucky flowers is valid as one free ticket on the Sunday morning January 14 Real Black Dahlia Crime Bus Tour, or for half off one seat on the VIP midnight tour and film premiere on Tuesday January 16.
And on Thursday, January 11 at 9pm, a candlelit vigil will leave Regent Galleries, 446-450 South Main Street downtown, site of the Black Dahlia-inspired art exhibition "Her Name Was Elizabeth." Those wishing to show their respect for Elizabeth Short and other souls lost to violence will walk from Main Street to the Biltmore Hotel, the last place she was seen alive, then continue south for a few blocks along the route that police believe she took before being abducted. The vigil will be led by Kim Cooper and Nathan Marsak, hosts of 1947project’s Real Black Dahlia Crime Bus Tour, and true facts and myths of the case will be shared along the way. The group
will then return to Regent Galleries for a 10:30pm screening of Ramzi Abed’s "Black Dahlia Movie."
The Lost Weekend is six days of art exhibitions, readings, film screenings, live cabaret and Crime Bus tours celebrating the life, myth and legend of Elizabeth Short, The Black Dahlia. For a full schedule, visit http://myspace.com/thelostweekendlosangeles
We have some openings on the Saturday 1/13 Real Black Dahlia tour. To reserve your seat on Saturday, Sunday 1/14 or the Tuesday 1/16 VIP night, please visit http://www.dumplinglab.com/crimebus