April 30, 1927
Nice funeral today for Harry “Mile-Away” Thomas at the Gulik Funeral Parlor. A few days ago Mile-Away—the gangster known for always having been a “mile away” from whatever crime for which he was arrested—was boosting bootleg hooch and a car from the garage of Ora Lawson, 1408 West Thirty-Fifth Street.
Officers responded to her call about a prowler, and when they arrived, acclaimed hijacker Thomas went for his piece. The cops opened up with a machine gun, a sawed-off shotgun and two large-caliber revolvers, and yet the twice-arrested-for-murder, “King of the Hi-Jackers” Mile-Away Thomas, filled with pounds of buckshot and slugs, ran from the garage straight at the cops.
Mile-Away had been in the news just this last February, implicated in the murder of stockbroker/bootlegger Luther Green at Green’s home. Cops chased Mile-Away around Los Angeles for two weeks before arresting him and, while detectives said on the stand they were certain it was our boy, he was let go for lack of evidence.
At the funeral today, upperworld and underworld hobnobbed, gawked at by the public throng, and Mile-Away’s lady friend, fellow carreer criminal Betty Carroll, swooned and collapsed for the collected. The cortege moved on to Forest Lawn, and the crowd dispersed.
Think of Mile-Away, won’t you, the next time you’re down near 35th and Normandie, where his ghost, bloodied but unbowed and his clanking not with chains but from a belly full of bullets, is charging at you with final terrifying resolution, coming to hi-jack your soul.