Persian Pussy Comes to Hollywood

Persian Headline

August 27, 1927
Hollywood

Future dwellers, don’t think we can’t see you smirking. This computational device works both ways you know. Drag your minds out of the gutter and we’ll tell you a cute story about a girl and her…cat.

Lydia Dixon is a stage actress from New York with an unusual reason for coming to Hollywood – her 18 year old Persian cat. The elderly white fluff ball was finding Gotham City winters too harsh, so when Lydia wrapped up a show on Broadway she made arrangements to vacation in Southern California with her favorite feline.

Lydia hadn’t considered working here but after spending a short time enjoying our glorious climate she wasWild Westcotts delighted when she was asked to play a role in the stage comedy, “The Wild Westcotts”. She accepted the part and can currently be seen on stage at the Vine Street Theater.

Lydia has said that she sometimes gets homesick for New York, but until her cat breathes its last she plans to stay right here in Tinseltown.

See, we told you it was a cute story. Shame on you!

A Good Man is Hard to Find

A Good Man Headline

August 20, 1927
Malibu

In this case “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is not a reference to Flannery O’Connor’s allegorical tale of good and evil, faith and redemption – no, we are talking about finding a good man, one who won’t desert his date on a quiet stretch of highway at the first sign of trouble, escorting her safely to her home instead.

Thelda Gollett, of 456 Westminster Avenue, and Arthur Israel of 756 1/2 South San Pedro Street, were taking a relaxing drive in the Los Flores Canyon area when a man stepped out onto the roadway waving a revolver, and ordered them to stop. Upon seeing the bandit Thelda jumped from the car and started to run, with the gun wielding crook only a few yards behind her.

Rather than stay and protect his date, Arthur spun his car around and screeched off in the direction of Los Angeles.

Arthur wouldn’t learn of Thelda’s fate until after she had returned home unscathed. She reported to police that she hidden beneath a bridge until the highwayman disappeared. Once the coast was clear she was rescued by a passing truck – driven by a good man.

We suspect that this was the couple’s last date. Maybe Thelda will keep company with that chivalrous truck driver.

Guess Who…

Guess Who Headline

August 20, 1927
Los Angeles

Esther and Wilber Ebermayer weren’t playing a silly children’s game when Esther called out “Guess Who” – she was reading the inscription from the back of a small photograph she had found tucked inside of her husband’s watch case. Guess Who Pic

Esther had expected to find her own picture in the case so she was surprised, hurt, and angry when she discovered the coyly inscribed photo of an unknown woman smiling back at her.

Friends to whom Wilber had shown the photo informed Esther that he had been describing the woman as his future bride – once he’d managed to rid himself of his current ball and chain.

The wronged wife immediately sought a divorce from her faithless husband. “Well,” she told Judge Sproul, “if that’s the way he feels about it, he is rid of me right now as far as I’m concerned”.

Memo to Wilber: buy yourself a wristwatch.

This Ain’t No Party…

Petting Party Headline

August 13, 1927
Los Angeles

These days a petting party can be dangerous in more ways than one…just ask Dagmar Carlson.
 Dagmar Carlson
Dagmar Carlson, 324 South Rimpau Street, and her escort, William Wade were necking in his car when a trio of bandits appeared and held them at gun point, relieving William of his wrist watch, billfold and a notebook.

As a witness for the prosecution Dagmar told Judge Baird, “When they stuck that gun in my face and told me to stick up my hands, that’s just what I did.”

Five men have been implicated in a series of petting party hold-ups, but only three have been charged with robbing Dagmar and William. The three men are: Jack Olympus, Clyde Thomas and Elmer Smith.  The remaining members of the gang, Orville Kindig and Maurice Schott, were ordered to be held on two other counts of robbery. Deputy DA Crail said that seventeen more counts of robbery will be filed against the men within the next few days.  Each of the crooks is being held on $10,000 bail ($119,742.53 USD 2007).

Petting party bandits continued to be the scourge of dark side streets and remote lover’s lanes all over the country. One of the most famous criminal cases in the history of Los Angeles would be that of notorious “Red Light Bandit”, Caryl Chessman. Chessman, reform school alum and former prison escapee, would be paroled in December 1947. On January 23, 1948 he would be arrested on seventeen counts of robbery, kidnapping and rape.

Legal maneuvering and numerous appeals, particularly regarding the application of California’s “Little Lindbergh” law, would keep his case in the courts for twelve years. He wrote four books while on death row, all became bestsellers. His case achieved so much notoriety that many famous people including Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury, Eleanor Roosevelt and Billy Graham, petitioned Governor Edmund G. Brown (an opponent of the death penalty) for clemency on the death row inmate’s behalf.

Caryl Chessman

Over the years he was granted eight reprieves – but Chessman was finally strapped into the chair in San Quentin’s lethal gas chamber on May 2, 1960. As the chamber filled with cyanide the emergency telephone rang, but the call came seconds too late to stop the execution.

Where Will You Be on March 10, 1933?

where will you be headline

August 13, 1927
Los Angeles

Eminent geologist Dr. Robert T. Hill has stated unequivocally that Southern California is in no danger from earthquakes.

In his keynote address to the Building Owners and Managers’ Association, Dr. Hill told the group that “there is not a thread of evidence on which to hang a prophecy of an earthquake in this district”. He went on to say that “our occasional little earth tremors merely give me a little thrill in the day time or rock me sounder to sleep at night”. Dr. Hill’s assertion that the Los Angeles area is seismically stable was music to the ears of association members who have been vigorously protesting recent insurance rate increases. The geologist characterized the insurance carriers as “alarmist”.

Well, Dr. Hill, dial ahead six years and set your “alarmist” for 5:55 pm on March 10, 1933 when a sizeable earthquake will devastate sections of Long Beach and kill 115 people.

Dr. Hill was conspicuously absent from local newspapers following the Long Beach quake – not even a “no comment”. We hope he wasn’t spending time in this building – whatever it was.

Long Beach Quake

I Did Not Have Sex with that Woman!

Jacobson Headline

August 6, 1927
Los Angeles

Councilman Carl I. Jacobson was arrested in a morals raid at 4372 Beagle Street in the company of a woman who said her name was Mrs. Councilman JacobsonHazel Ferguson, but who later admitted her real name was Mrs. Callie Grimes.

The married councilman insisted that he was framed and that the raid was the underworld’s retaliation for his much publicized crusade against vice in the city.

Jacobson, who lives in a small bungalow at 3014 Terry Place with his wife of thirty years, told cops that he had called upon Mrs. Ferguson to discuss a matter of street assessments with her. He said Mrs. Ferguson had telephoned him at his home and asked him to look over her property to see if it was worth paying the assessments.

When he arrived for their meeting Mrs. Ferguson poured two cocktails, and then moments later all of the lights in the house went out. It was then that police announced themselves and placed Councilman Jacobson and Mrs. Ferguson/Grimes under arrest.

The four arresting officers, Captains of Detectives Wallis and Williams, and Detectives Lucas and Raymond related a version of events substantively different from Jacobson’s account. They stated that they went to the Beagle street house, watched through a window and then observing what they felt constituted criminal behavior, crashed down a door to arrest the couple on morals violations. The arrest of Jacobson and Grimes begs the question: why were four high-ranking LAPD officers creeping around in the shrubbery with their noses pressed to a window like four Peeping Toms?

The case against Jacobsen would drag on. Jacobson would be tried twice on morals charges. In the first trial the jury would vote 9 to 3 for acquittal; in the second trial the jury would be evenly divided and the DA would decide against trying him for a third time. Mrs. Callie Grimes would confess to her part in the frame-up, and then recant. Grimes along with the four officers who conducted the raid would be tried for conspiracy, and the charges against them would be dismissed in 1929.

One of the detectives, Harry Raymond, would leave the LAPD and become a private investigator. He’d turn up again in the news as the victim of an attempted assassination by car bomb, in a 1938 corruption scandal involving Los Angeles Mayor Frank Shaw, members of his administration, and the LAPD.

What Next…a Garter Belt and Stockings?

 

Rubber Heels

August 6, 1927Horse Heels
Los Angeles

 

You’ve been tossing and turning all night, when finally in the wee hours of the morning you drift off to sleep – only to be awakened minutes later by the clatter of horse’s hooves on the pavement outside of your bedroom window. How many times has this happened to you? Well, if you are lucky enough to live along the route of Crescent Creamery your uninterrupted slumber is now assured. The dairy is providing their 600 horses with heels made of corrugated rubber which they say is good for the horse, and better for the insomniac.

“Good night, sweet Prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”
– Act 1: Scene 2 Hamlet, Shakespeare

Kneel Before Me… Peasant!

Anna Anderson

August 6, 1927
La-La Land

"A lie told often enough becomes truth." –Vladimir Lenin

On July 17, 1918, Bolshevik authorities, led by Yakov Yurovsky, shot Nicholas II and his immediate family in the cellar of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Since then rumors have circulated that one of the Romanovs, Grand Duchess Anastasia, had miraculously survived assassination.

The woman in the photograph on the right is Anastasia Manahan aka Anna Anderson. Anna was a patient in a mental hospital in Dalldorf, Germany until another patient said that she recognized her as royalty. Anna would spend the next 57 years of her life claiming to be Anastasia. Neither her supporters nor her detractors would be able to substantiate Anna’s claim during her lifetime. Several years following her death, DNA tests would finally prove that she was not a Romanov.

Angelenos Run Amuck in One Day Crime Spree!

July 30, 1927
Los Angeles and its crime ridden suburbs

This has been a mad, felony fueled day in the Southland, and there isn’t even a full moon! We have four tales of crime including a beating, triple poisoning, robbery and assault, and finally the murder of a policeman in Arcadia by three wayward youths. Read them at your leisure, or devour them all at once.

Mystery Girl

A severely beaten woman was dropped off at Culver City Hospital by three men, who then sped away. The victim’s identity has not been confirmed, but she is believed to be Vivian Edwards of 501 S. Rampart. The injured woman lapsed in and out of consciousness. Finally in a moment of lucidity, she said that she had been assaulted by a man named Dick Burk. No trace of her alleged assailant has been found. The young woman’s injuries are critical and it is feared that she may die.

 

 

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Trio Poisoned

In Glendale, a wealthy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Armstrong and their nurse, Mrs. M. Woolf, are recovering in the Armstrong’s home at 1311 Rossmoyne, after having been poisoned with arsenic. The couple’s servant, Ray Tayama, is being sought in connection with the crime. The missing domestic had been discharged by Mr. Armstrong earlier in the afternoon, and as a farewell gesture Tayama served the three people coffee laced with arsenic and then vanished.

 

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Are these the only cases from the police blotter today? Don’t be ridiculous! The mayhem continues…

Wife Hovers

Ex-con and bail jumper Paul Knapp spent the day in the arms of his lovely wife Josephine, while she tenderly patted his cheek and vociferouslyPaul Knapp declared his innocence of robbery and assault. Josephine may be confident that her husband is guiltless of the charges against him, but his record speaks persuasively to a life of crime.

Paul was a cop in Seattle from 1919 until 1923 when he was dismissed for being absent without leave, refusal to obey orders, and for participating in a liquor hi-jacking. He was busted in Los Angeles in 1924 for attacking a woman, but he fled before he could be tried. By 1925 he was in Portland doing fifteen months in McNeil Island Federal pen for impersonating a Federal officer.

In April of this year, after vowing to shoot it out with the law, he was cornered by police and wounded in the shoulder. He was booked on suspicion of robbery and as a fugitive from justice. As if those charges weren’t enough, he was also wanted in Seattle for jumping bail and in Portland for violation of the Mann Act!

Earlier this month, a court order allowed the bandit to be released into the custody of two deputy sheriffs so that he could visit a dentist – whose office was conveniently located across the street from his mother’s house. Paul asked his custodians if he could be allowed to use the bathroom at his mother’s place. The police acquiesced, and once inside the Josephine Knapphouse the bandit’s cagey spouse and his wily mother engineered his escape through a trap door in the closet of the home, while the clueless officers continued to wait for him outside!

Following his escape, Paul and Josephine reunited and hid out in a small apartment at 1057 South New Hampshire which had been rented for them by an accomplice known to police. On a hunch, Detective Lieutenant Hull of the Central Police Station investigated and found Paul and his wife at the apartment. The couple’s crime partner is being hunted.

Paul’s mother and his wife have been accused of conspiracy for engineering his Houdini-like escape. A glimpse into the future finds Paul sentenced to from sixteen years to life in the state pen. His mother and his wife will seek probation, but no word if they’ll be successful.

 

 

 

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Had enough crime yet? Neither have we…

Police Slaying

Our final story for this summer day in July of 1927 is a tale of flaming youth and flaming guns! Frank Miller

Under arrest for car theft and the murder of Arcadia police officer Alfred Mathias are: Frank Miller, 18 years of age, 820-1/2 West Third Street, accused of the actual slaying; Ray Oddell, 18, Fourth and Beaudry streets, confessed driver of the get away car and Miller’s accuser. Also in custody is William Montfort, 21, 903 West Fifty-ninth Drive who admitted to have been along for the ride, but claimed to be ignorant of his two companion’s hold-up plans.

Ray OddellThe three boys have been friends since meeting in the State reform school at Ione. Both Oddell and Montfort credit Miller with being the brains of the outfit and insist it was he who formed the plan to rob a barbeque stand in Arcadia, which resulted in the shooting death of Officer Alfred Mathias.

The boys were sitting in the stolen automobile when they were approached by Officer Mathias. The cop asked Oddell for the car’s registration. Miller spoke from the back seat and told the officer he had the pink slip. Mathias thought the young man was acting suspiciously and asked “what are you sitting on?” Frank whipped out his gun and demanded that the officer “stick ‘em up”. Mathias bolted and headed for the rear of the car as Frank fired, leaving the policeman dead in the parking lot. William Montfort

Set the time machine for two months hence; September 1927. Frank Miller will plead guilty to murder and auto theft and will be found guilty. He’ll be lucky. The jury will recommend that the youth not hang, but rather spend one year to life in San Quentin. Frank’s partners in crime Ray Oddell and William Montfort, will face similar fates.

 

The flaming youths burned out…and so have we! What a day!

Death Car

death car headline

July 23, 1927
Los Angeles

Detective Lieutenants Kallmeyer, Werne, and Roberts spent all day searching for the three contemptible men who cruelly drove away from a hit-and-run accident which left nineteen year old Aristo Santelanto of 712 Clara Street, dead at the scene.

The hardworking Santelanto was with a crew of men repairing railway tracks at Washington Street and Cimarron Avenue when an automobile that was traveling at approximately sixty miles an hour struck him. Without slowing, the death car sped away.

A sharp eyed witness to the crime furnished detectives with numbers from the car’s license plate. The investigation was complicated because the crime car had traded hands several times over a period of six months. Undeterred, the cops persisted in their search and as a result, A.T. House, 32, of Lankershim (now North Hollywood), was handcuffed and taken into custody for suspicion of manslaughter.

House’s passengers, Eugene Long, 20, and Paul Post, 32, both of Lankershim, were picked up by police at Sunset Boulevard and Wilcox Street, where they were employed.  The two men were taken to the City Jail and charged with failure to render aid.