Wanderlust At Sea

manfound!October 7, 1927
Long Beach

Between Christ’s wanderings in the deserts of Jericho, and Kidder’s huddlings in the gardens of Glendale, there was Robert Sankey.  

Sankey, 44, a prominent Riverside contractor, was in a splendid mood September seventh last; he had no domestic or financial troubles, and bid his lovely wife and 13 year-old daughter goodbye that morning in his home at 270 Bandini Avenue before a trip to Laguna Beach.  He made it to Laguna Beach, and picked up $12,000 ($132,359 USD2006) in cash which he had been paid by the Colton School Board for the construction of Colton High School.

Sankey then told friends he was going for a swim, and left his bag, clothing, glasses and  shoes at a hotel near the beach.  From there he disappeared…the sea was dragged repeatedly for his body, but to no avail.  Had the briny deep swallowed Sankey?  And what became of the money?  And what’s this?—a few days ago, some Sankey acquaintance came forth and reported having seen Sankey on a Seattle-bound boat a day or two after the disappearance.

Today, Mrs. Paul McKenzie peered nervously through the window of her home at 4010 Massachusetts, Long Beach.  There was a dazed, raggedy man wandering aimlessly up and down in front of her house for the better part of two hours.  When she got up the nerve to confront the torn and tattered stranger, all a-jibber-jabberin’ to himself, it was, you guessed it, her brother, Robert Sankey.  Oh no, he insisted, I’m Andrew Borg.

Well, the Borg, I mean Sankey, had only $500 left (in checks issued by a Seattle bank) of the twelve grand, and even less of an idea as to where he’d been or what he’d done.  He could only confirm that his clothes had been given to him by “the skipper,” and that he’d been to sea in a small boat with two men and a woman.

Further investigation revealed that Sankey recently boarded the steamer Evanger at San Francisco (booking passage to Buenos Aires as “Andrew Borg, grain dealer, Witchita, Kan.”), but put ashore at San Pedro the day he reappeared in Long Beach.

Sankey remains in his Borgian state at Seaside hospital, where Riverside county authorities are vexed with Seaside staff; the Sheriff is itching to serve two warrants on Sankey, each charging sixteen counts of violating the State wage law, but the pesky physicians demand that officers wait ‘til Sankey’s physical condition permits such activity.

Whether amnesia or grift, please bear in mind…steer clear of small boats, and beware "the skipper."

theskipper! 

 

The Continuing Saga of Aimee Semple McPherson

Aimee Semple McPherson

July 24, 1927
Echo Park

Relations between evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson and her mother, Mrs. Minnie "Ma" Kennedy, are reported to be on the mend today after a recent dust-up concerning the management of McPherson’s Angelus Temple. Kennedy had been acting as business manager while Sister Aimee was off on a preaching tour, but a series of burglaries (whispers said embezzlements) caused some church members—her daughter apparently among them—to lose confidence in Kennedy’s abilities. Sister Aimee cut her trip short earlier this week and returned to Los Angeles, where yesterday she announced that her mother was going to take a "long needed" vacation to the Holy Land.

Today, however, Sister Aimee presented her mother with three options by way of a peace pact. Mrs. Kennedy could either (1) remain at the church but not in a managerial position; (2) take control of the entire organization while Sister Aimee founded a new and separate church; or (3) retire from all active participation in the church and receive "a substantial income from Angelus Temple" for the rest of her life.

Mrs. Kennedy declined comment (though reporters noted her tearful visage). It is anticipated she will choose the first option. Sister Aimee meanwhile emphatically denied any personal animosity between the women (seen here reunited, along with Aimee’s children, after last year’s "kidnapping") or even that anyone had tried to oust her mother from the church in the first place.

In another blow to the scandal-plagued evangelist, former Angelus Temple band leader Gladwyn Nichols today announced his reasons for leaving McPhersons’s church to found his own, chief among them being Sister Aimee’s "sensational" alleged abduction of last May. Nichols also pointed to alleged financial improprieties at Angelus Temple, and condemned Sister Aimee’s "flagrant … activities in obtaining publicity" including "posing before the news camera in stylish and expensive dresses" and "being photographed with bobbed hair."

A Woman of Many Names—And Almost A New Face

June 26, 2007
Los Angeles

O! What a tangled web some weave when first they practice to deceive their spouses. A few days ago, Theodore A. Kocotis returned home to an empty house—his wife, Carrie, was missing. Five long days later, there came a telephone call:  Carrie Kocotis was desperately ill in a Santa Monica sanatorium, the result of a “face-lifting” operation. Kocotis made haste, but his wife died before he arrived.

The grieving widower hired Attorney Earl S. Wakeman to start probate proceedings. But instead of a few pennies’ worth of pin money squirreled away here and there, Wakeman discovered $10,000 in chattel (almost $120,000 in 2007 dollars). And then there were the aliases. As Carrie L. Brody, Mrs. Kocotis acted as a housemother in a sorority; she conducted other business under the names of Carrie Sullivan and Carrie L. Williams. Her safety deposit box was rented in the name of Carrie Wright, and it was there she stored her jewels and securities.

Wakeman announced today that he intends to see that the events surrounding Mrs. Kocotis’s untimely demise are fully investigated by the District Attorney.

Dolled as a Dapper Dad

March 31, 1927
Pasadena

paircladFourteen year-old Wilbur Garner had a lady-friend, and an older one at that, his inamoratette a fifteen year-old Eula Rittgers. They showed great attachment to one another at their Seventh Day Adventist School. When they decided to exchange biblical dullsville for the world’s treasures, they outfoxed the Man by turning li’l Eula into aeula boy. Inside a church  wastebasket was found the Eula’s hair, and persons conforming to the two young boys’ description were spotted in Eagle Rock. A fashionable bobbed ‘do meets a Joan of Arc act. Appropriately observant.  Guess they were absent the day they covered Deuteronomy 22:5.

jimmydavisIn yet more fifteen year-old news, or, that is to say, further news of fifteen year-olds, fifteen year-old Jimmy Davis and an unnamed pal of his broke into the Monterey Park home of John W. Hardman, stealing fountain pens and trinkets and, more absurdly, did Jimmy garb himself in Hardman’s best suit, silk shirt and black & white scarf. Figuring himself too conspicuous for his own good, Jimmy and pal returned to the house, threw the clothes on the floor and, afraid of being traced through fingerprints (his being known to local authorities for his repeated burglaries and check forgings), lit fire to the house. The house smoldered for some time before being rescued by the fire department, and Jimmy is now cooling his heels in juvenile hall.

A Fine Metz He’s In

May 19, 1907
Los Angeles

John B. Metz seems like just another suicide–the 44-year-old Deputy County Assessor was a well-dressed, well-trusted official-about-town who would often brood about how he would never marry because some girl had once jilted him. So when his body was found by the landlady at 514 South Wall Street, hanging out of bed with foam on his lips, self-administered poison was thought to be the death-dealing culprit.

Or could the positioning of his corpse be signs of a struggle? And what of the various recent sums of money, now missing, not properly turned into the Assessor’s office? Yesterday, before his after-work bout of heavy drinking (including, perhaps, a carbolic of some sort) Metz failed to turn in $120 ($2,637 USD 2006) which remains missing to-day.

Metz was removed to Bresee Brothers Undertaking at 855 South Figueroa; they will perform an autopsy as to aid the inquest.

Dramatic Disclosures Come After Girl Cashier’s Death

April 20, 1907
Los Angeles 

Pity Miss Alice Chevallier, native of this city, who took too powerful a sleeping potion a few evenings past, and now lays rotting in her grave in New Calvary. She follows her mother and her brother, but unlike them, her death brings with it unwelcome notoriety.

Alice was a longtime cashier at the Ville de Paris dry goods emporium on Broadway, between 2nd and 3rd Streets. At some stage in her career, she developed a system by which she could bring home with her a portion of the day’s receipts. In recent months, it is believed this was as much as $300 a day. A clever girl, she invested her takings in real estate, and built a handsome portfolio.

But her ingrained nervousness and peculiar disposition–she did not care for men, and perhaps not coincidentally suffered ovarian tumors, neuralgia and insomnia–proved the thief’s undoing. She found it necessary to escape to Catalina to rest following an operation, although she must have realized that her absense from the place of her crimes would make discovery likely. And that is precisely what happened.

Alice returned to her home at 226 West Jefferson, distraught from a sustained bout of sleeplessness and the anxiety of meeting the Ville de Paris’ lawyers. Although her real estate holdings were now sufficiently valuable to cover any restitution required and more, she languished in a state of abject horror.

On Sunday evening, Alice told her sister-in-law that she intended to take a sleeping powder, but in fact she took laudanum and chloroform, two drugs with which she had significant past experience. This time, the dose was too much for her weakened system, and the girl lingered until Wednesday before expiring. Her doctors stress that although it might look like a suicide, the true cause was congestion of the brain–the same organic disorder that lead her to steal in the first place.