Fireman Injured in $230,000 Fire on Miracle Mile

April 3, 1947
Los Angeles

Fanned by high winds, a two-alarm fire that started today on the kitchen roof of the Melody Lane Cafe (5351 Wilshire Blvd.) spread to five other businesses and did extensive damage to their second stories. Affected were the storerooms of the Pig ‘n Whistle candy and pastry shop (5353), Randall Optomotrist (5355), McKlernan’s Fashions (5357), Horton & Converse Pharmacy (5359) and Staber’s Beauty Salon (5361). Fire Captain Noble Swanson suffered back injuries and abrasions when a section of roof collapsed, and damages to McKlernan’s store alone were estimated by owner M. J. McKlernan at $30,000, despite rubber blankets laid down by firemen.

Police Hold Six After Dope Raid

April 2, 1947
Los Angeles

Latest residents of the City Jail are two young women and four men arrested by Central Vice Squad officers in East Hollywood early today on suspicion of violating the State Narcotics Act.

Det. Sgt. J.A. DiBetta and Officers Paul Stevens and Joe Aguirre state that they observed a group inside a home at 504 N. Westmoreland Ave., among them Betty Thomas, 19, a model, who was seen injecting fluid into her arm. At this point, the officers entered the home, where they arrested Thomas, Sherry Kenton (23, phone operator, Riverside), Roman Mapili (51, 504 N. Westmoreland Ave.), Theodorico Mangosing (38, 821 Thayer Ave.), Cleto Edwarte (45, 439 N. Lake Ave.) and Felix Benigno (39, a transient). Taken into evidence were assorted narcotics and accessories, among them heroin with syrettes, amytal, nembutal and unidentified pills.

Following her arrest, Miss Kenton became hysterical, threatened suicide, and managed to slash her left wrist with her compact mirror before being restrained. Perhaps she was worried she would lose her phone operator gig if news of the arrest made the papers.

Wife Slaying Case in Court

April 1, 1947
Los Angeles

Hermenegildo G. Robles Jr., 25, scion of a Mexican soap manufacturer, had recovered sufficiently today to appear at a preliminary hearing before Municipal Judge Leo Freund. Robles stands accused of a fatal assault on his pregant, estranged wife Guillermina, 26, last February 4.

His head swathed in bandages, Robles heard testimony from his mother-in-law, Mrs. Mary Doolan, 128 1/2 W. 43rd Place, who stated that she left her home for a few minutes on that date, and returned to find her daughter dead in the bedroom.

“A few minutes later some police officers came to the house and said that Hermenegildo had shot himself,” she said. “I took them into the bedroom and said, ‘He shot her, too.'”

After shooting his wife, with whom he had quarreled about money, and from whom he had been separated for two weeks, Robles boarded a streetcar outside the home, alighting at St. Agnes’ Church at the corner of Vermont and Adams. After praying, Robles stood on the steps of the church, pulled out a .32 caliber revolver, and shot himself beneath the chin.

Officers said that they had found scribbled notes in Spanish in Robles’ pockets in which he confessed to the crime and asked forgiveness. The suspect was taken to General Hospital, and on regaining consciousness arrested.

Alleged Bandit Wounded in Trap Set By Police

March 31, 1947
Los Angeles

The third robbery was the charm today for Sid Greenberg’s liquor store at 504 S. Hill. After two recent gunpoint withdrawals, officers William M. Tamanovitch and Clarence L. Eads agreed to hang around the back room and await further developments. Sure enough, a suspect strolled in, brandished iron, and forced Greenberg and clerk Milt Katz into the back. That’s where he ran into the officers, who came out firing. The would-be crook was transported to General Hospital in extremely poor condition, where he received the last rites. Officers noted that in addition to a realistic-looking plastic pistol, the robber had a paper bag, which might tie him to the recent spate of crimes attributed to “The Paper Bag Robber.”

Suspect in Burglary Try Shot By Neighbor

March 30, 1947
Los Angeles

Career footpad Ray Mathews, 28, 417 S. Boylston St., made the mistake of plying his trade too close to home, when he was observed early today riffling the purse of his across the hall neighbor, Mrs. Harry Schwerberg.

The lady yelled, which alerted another neighbor, Kenneth Craig, who shot Mathews as he tried to flee the building. Mathews then returned to his own apartment, leaving again by way of a ladder out the window. Responding officers found the wounded man hiding in a hedge, and conveyed him to the Georgia Street Receiving Hospital, where he was booked on suspicion of robberies in San Francisco. Also taken into custody was a .45 caliber revolver, allegedly tossed aside by Mathews.

Police Jail 42 in Raids on Crowded Night Spots

March 29. 1947
Los Angeles

In coordinated raids on five South Los Angeles nightclubs tonight, police officers held hundreds of patrons while taking down names and addresses. There were 12 felony arrests and 30 for misdemeanor offences.

Assistant Chief of Police Joseph Reed, director of the operation, told reporters “This is the first in a new attempt to break up the breeding places of crime. The results show that it will be worthwhile for us to continue the raids.”

The area’s nightclubs gained some notoriety earlier this month, when conductor Otto Klemperer met two Negroes in a jazz club and accepted their offer of a personal tour of the Central Avenue music scene. His adventure ended when the men slugged him, stole his wallet and threw him out of their car at 48th Street and Compton Avenue.

The first club to be raided was the Casa Blanca (2801 S. San Pedro St.), one of the spots on Klemperer’s pre-assault itinerary. At the Casa Blanca, reputed owner Stanley W. Morgan (33, 4300 S. Main Street) was taken into custody after police found marihuana in a room to which he had a key. When the Cafe Society (2711 S. San Pedro St.) was rousted, an enraged patron threw a glass at police and photographers. The largest crowd was held by police here, as they checked more than 200 IDs to determine if any minors were in attendance. Other clubs raided include Club Joy (4505 S. Avalon Blvd.), Cafe Zombie (5434 S. Central Ave.) and Lovejoy’s (4416 3/4 South Central Ave.).

Among those arrested were Eugene Burnett (21, 105 S. San Pedro St.); Joseph Adolphus Lewis (36, 1335 E. Adams Blvd.) and Mrs. Sandra M. Langston (19, 1735 E. Gage Ave.). Burnett was held on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon for the shooting of officers Dean Bergman and Roy Phelps on March 17. Lewis and Langston were booked on narcotics offenses, musician Lewis after police found marihuana in his guitar case.

Woman Denies $100,000 Gifts to Her Had Strings

March 28, 1947
Los Angeles

When Dorothy Evelyn Burks, 25, eloped to Las Vegas with C. Earl Stoner, automobile distributor, it came as an unhappy surprise to her former admirer, Andrew Norman, 60, cosmetics manufacturer. What about the love tokens with which he had showered the young lady–the home at 348 Homewood Road, Brentwood Heights (valued at $75,000), or the square-cut emerald and diamond “engagement” ring ($25,000)?

Six months after the Burks-Stoner nuptials, the unhappy Norman brought suit against the lady, charging that her “false professions of love” made him a helpless victim of “female arts.”

Through her attorney, Hugh B. Rotchford, Mrs. Stoner denied that she was ever engaged to Norman, stated that the gifts were granted “freely and voluntarily” from “a shrewd and experienced businessman of mature years; a man of the world.” Furthermore, she noted, Norman has since confirmed her title to the Brentwood Heights home, in which she and her new husband are residing.

Century-Old Eucalyptus to Be Felled in Encino

March 27, 1947
San Fernando Valley

Tree surgeon Joseph M. Varela spent the day cutting limbs from a 120-foot tall Eucalyptus tree at the corner of Ventura Blvd. and Petit Ave., on the old Rancho Amestoy. The hundred-year-old tree, one of the oldest in the San Fernando Valley, must fall to make way for the widening of Ventura Blvd. through Encino.

‘Crime Crushers’ Bag 67 Suspects in Blockades

March 26, 1947
Los Angeles

Seven major West Los Angeles and Hollywood intersections were blockaded tonight, and passing cars searched, as part of Assistant Police Chief Joseph F. Reed’s “crime crushers” campaign. Wilshire, University and Hollywood Division Police arrested 67 suspected criminals at these stops, among them 31 robbers, 9 car thieves and 5 carriers of concealed weapons.

Curious about the lack of traffic at the Melrose / La Brea blockade, police investigated and found Thomas A. Reeves, 23, of 1200 S. Windsor Blvd., standing at the corner of Melrose and Rossmore Aves. holding a sign reading ROAD BLOCK AT MELROSE AND LA BREA.

While being booked at City Jail for public drunkenness, our hero reported that someone had given him a dollar to hold the sign. Meanwhile, Police claimed success for their campaign, noting that only one robbery was reported citywide, as opposed to eight or nine for a typical Tuesday night.

Dog Torture Still Mystery

March 25, 1947

Antelope Valley

Lendell Leydecker was horrified today to discover the crucified body of a tan dog along a railroad siding west of the Fernando Milling Company. The dog was stretched belly-down between the rails, its feet and mouth nailed to the ties with three-inch nails. Across the animal’s back was an iron bar, with which it had apparently been beaten.

Sheriff’s deputies from the Lancaster Substation were baffled, their only clue coming from a watchman at a nearby pipe yard who reported seeing a “chunky” boy in his early teens walking along the tracks the previous afternoon. With him was a dog similar to the one found dead.