The Dyak Go Green

March 9, 1927

On the one hand, the Dutch government’s Eurocentric cultural imperialism is wiping out the native culture of Borneo; on the other, they’re teaching headhunters the benefits of recycling.

The Dyak have long needed a nice fresh human caput for any and every sort of local ritual, but the generations-long war against the practice by their clogphilic, decapitated-headphobic overlords, has shown them the benefits of conservation (long practiced in the densely populated liberal parliamentary democracy that is Holland).

It is reported that now, the Dyak just borrow heads from neighbors for celebrations such as the birth of a child or the ending of a period of mourning. In fact, a paltry few heads are passed around in a tribe where just a generation ago each family had a bag of its own.

(According to Dr. William O. Krohn, Chicago alienist, there’s still no lack of headhunting when absolutely necessary-a rajah’s death demands craniums, for example, and victims thus beheaded are regarded as members of the monarch’s heavenly retinue.)

Despite the Dyak’s newfound respect for Westernized ideals, Borneo’s 1957 independence from windmills and tulips removed such colonialist standards of civility. The wild and wooly Americas, though, never had a break from her fascination with beheading.

Closer to home, LAPD became head-hunters of another kind when in January 1939, Cleveland Chief of Police George Matowitz received a letter postmarked from Los Angeles that read in part:

(Relatedly, while there are few great films about Los Angeles, there are fewer great films about headhunting. And Los Angeles.)

His Majesty Requests

March 6, 1927
Los Angeles

Not every L.A. woman has the chance to be wooed by royalty, but Mrs. Edith Brown of 4720 ½ Mascot Street proved singularly unimpressed by the stream of letters emanating from the pen of Lionel I, self-proclaimed King of America. The lady, apparently a democrat, called the cops. They took His Majesty (otherwise known as Lionel Craviato) before the judge, who sent the regal fellow off to City Jail to learn that even a king should not annoy a lady.

An excerpt from one of the offending missives read: "All the American army and navy love me and they recognize me as their first chief and want me to be king of their country. I will conquer and civilize the whole world!"

Hmm, maybe the problem was that this would-be king never learned how to write a proper love letter. Lionel, Lionel, Lionel, no woman wants to read about how much the army loves you! Also, for future reference, we like rubies.

You Know, For Kids

March 5, 1927






couponsBeginning in 1923, Aunt Dolly’s Page occupied its own corner of the Junior Times, a Sunday supplement that urged young Angelenos to try their hands at blank verse, cartooning, and other feats of skill for fabulous prizes. There were also picnics, parades, community service projects, and a near-constant series of elections for the President of the Times Junior Club

Today, Aunt Dolly urged the youngsters to register for the Junior Jubilee, to be held at the Echo Park Recreation Center. Young readers were tempted with refreshments, a large band, a big show, sports, contests, monkey bars, and a parade.

Boys’ coupons enlisted the tikes in a "best-decorated bike" race and parade, as well as a "Ride-the-Plank" contest, though the wording on girls’ registration forms was equally odd: "I, (your name here) wish to enter your paper hat contest. I promise to parade at the Echo Park playground."

Nothing quite like a forced march in a paper hat to brighten up one’s Saturday afternoon!

The persona of Aunt Dolly was gradually nudged from the Junior Times in the late 1920s, appearing only to write a serial entitled "Snoopy in Do-Do Land." The feature abruptly ended in 1931 — perhaps Aunt Dolly got a buyout?



A Back Alley Death Leads to A Witness’s Collapse

Mrs. Bernice ClancyLos Angeles
March 4, 1927

Late last summer, 21-year-old Evelyn Frances Taylor and her 22-year-old friend, Mrs. Bernice Clancy, visited the offices of Dr. W.E. Williams at View Larger Map” target=”_blank” title=”Dr. Williams’s office”>1548 West Sixth Street. Evelyn, it seems, was a girl in trouble-she was looking for what the Times referred to as an "asserted illegal operation." Williams provided one, but there were complications, and Evelyn Taylor eventually died from the botched abortion (exactly when was open to question-the Times gave three different dates during their ongoing coverage of the matter). When the State brought murder charges against Dr. Williams in October, Bernice Clancy became the star witness for the prosecution. After all, she had accompanied Evelyn Taylor on the fatal day, and, she told the grand jury, Williams explained the details of the operation to her.

Clancy began receiving written and oral threats. Then, as she stood on the back porch of her father’s house one day in January, "a gloved hand closed over her face and mouth and she lost consciousness." Half an hour later, her father found her in the yard on the other side of the house. "A dish towel had been tied over her face and her feet bound." Clancy recovered from the attempted kidnapping.

Today, as the trial looms closer, Bernice Clancy collapsed in a faint at the home of Inspector Horn, where she has been living under guard. Apparently, "a lineman working on – the property made some joking remark to her, which she misinterpreted [or so says the Times]. She was unconscious for almost half an hour and it was necessary to call a physician to revive her," the Times reported. As a result, the district attorneys prosecuting the trial have ordered that she be held incommunicado "with instructions to not permit her to out on the street unless accompanied by an armed escort."

Update: Bernice Clancy testified without incident on March 9, 1927. On March 24, after twelve hours of deliberation, the jury found Dr. Williams guilty of manslaughter. His motion for a new trial was granted, but before it began, the original charge against him was thrown out on a technicality. The State of California wasn’t done with Dr. Williams just yet, however; in June, he was listed as one of six physicians who were to appear before the State Board of Medical Examiners on charges of behavior "inimicable to their profession."

The Candy Man Can

candy man headline

March 3, 1927
Los Angeles

"Who can take a sunrise,
Sprinkle it with dew,
Cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two?
The candyman, the candyman can,
The candyman can ’cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good."

When local school children crave a hand full of gum drops and a pint of whiskey, where can they go? Rumor has it that if they visit Frank Belioi’s candy store at 5973 South Broadway, they may leave with a few new cavities and a major buzz.

Sgt. Childers was in charge of the squad that raided the local sweets shop, and revealed in court that although the police department had reports that Frank was selling liquor to minors, they had failed to produce evidence against him.

Frank was lucky – the only thing the cops managed to bust him for was the one and one-half gallons of whiskey on the premises. He said he kept it on hand for party guests.

Frank pleaded guilty to the possession charge, and Judge Ambrose fined the candy man $300 [$3,639.31 current USD].

I could go for a pint of gin and a chocolate bar right about now. Are you with me?

Of Pachydermatae and Murder

shootinMarch 2, 1927
Los Angeles

The Wonderly shooting of Emerson over an elephant’s affection has been continued until March 15th.

George “Scotty” Wonderly is the keeper of the bloodhounds for the studios, George Emerson, trainer of the lions at Universal City.

The story has a Old West theme to it to boot: on 15 February last, the two were arguing over the affections of said elephant at Universal. Wonderly called Emerson out; Wonderly strapped on his single shot .45 and there, on a rain-soaked muddy street, surrounded by wooden shacks and gambling dens and dance halls, Emerson staggered and twisted and slowly fell, a bullet through his breast, out his back, and lodged into the Last Chance Saloon. Elephants and the Old West, together again.


Here, Wonderly shows how his beloved raised its trunk…and went on to maintain that he acted in self-defense.

And of the love that dare not trumpet its name…the true heart’s desire of the elephant remains a sweet mystery.

The Great Phallusy

March 1, 1927

womenswoes“Feminism is destructive of women’s happiness,” declares Gina Lombroso Ferrero, Italy’s first woman physician and daughter of Cesare Lombroso (who, with Gina’s husband, wrote The Female Offender). You may know Gina as author of the Italian 1922 antifeminist classic The Soul of Woman.

“It endeavors to bring women to the enjoyment of all privileges enjoyed by man; it encourages woman to copy man in the understanding that in this way woman will enjoy all pleasures which she formerly enjoyed as well as those which only man enjoys.

"Woman and man are different,” states the plucky Gina, "and suffer and derive pleasure from different things. Aspirations which are in the one case strong and permanent are in the other case minor and transitory. The aspirations toward glory, independence, riches, power are permanent and powerful in man, incremental and impermanent in woman, whereas aspiration to love and of loving, or reuniting one’s self to continuous life are stable elements in woman and comparatively passing and irrational impulses in man.” Therefore, woman can never fine happiness in doing man’s work, because it is too alien to her real interests.

Ya see, "once the man has ceased to love the woman from the viewpoint of the usefulness she can have for him, her altruism, her gentleness, her devotion to him, then he ceases to desire woman because of gratitude for the services she can render him, casts her aside as a permanent companion and sees in her only the female who can excite and satisfy his senses.”

She may sound terrifically reactionary, but take solace in knowing that Mussolini exiled her in 1930 for being antifascist. Although to be honest, she was only exiled for being terrifically reactionary; GLF was also a staunch and vocal opponent of the wonders of the machine age.

Modes of Banditry, 1927

February 28, 1927
Los Angeles

Drivers in lonely climes like Topanga Canyon have recently been distressed when stopping to check on a "possum bandit" found napping in the middle of the road. Of course when the do-gooder leans over the prone figure, he leaps up with a gun, steals their valuables, and races off much faster than any marsupial.

Meanwhile, at 317 1/2 South Berendo, two dandified thieves of an agonizing refinement relieved Albert Zigman of $125 cash and $700 in jewels in his own apartment. The victim described one man as having kept his hands in his pockets while gazing at a picture on the wall, as the other flicked cigarette ashes from his lazy perch on the davenport. Shortly afterwards, they relieved neighbor Michael Kreel of his extraneous possessions before slipping off into the night with a yawn and a whip of their cashmere scarves.