Another Accepted Invite

 accused

 

luringAugust 19, 1927
Los Angeles

annaAll the noir hallmarks here:  a destitute, starry-eyed country girl, the shifty grifter she befriends, a rube with some dough in his pocket, a classic con, the crummy apartment hotel and a dark city.

Anna Karrick, 22, ran away from her Illinois farm home to win fame in pictures, but found herself down and out.  

At a dance, she met a nice guy, Phillip Linker, of 1327 West Fourth Street.  She persuaded him to come back to her annaplace at 532 South Fremont Avenue (one imagines it didn’t take all that much persuasion).  Once there, in the hallway, thoughts of ingress dancing in Linker’s head, he is brained by a rolling-pin, wielded by one Jess F. Waller.  Linker wakes up in a taxicab, lightened of seven dollars and other valuables.

Waller and Karrick are thrown into County and charged with robbery and ADW.  Anna told the court today about her relationship with Waller, sure, but denied knowing he’d be there with her rolling-pin.

Sadly the Times didn’t see the need to print the trial’s outcome, and because there’s no Anna Karrick listed in imdb, we must sadly assume she never broke through Hollywood’s gates.

532532 South Fremont (now site of Glossy Black Tower, left) may be long gone, but it was a fun place while it lasted.  In May 1929, Filipino nationals Cal Blanco and Ceferino Sandries argued over women with some sailors from the USS Colorado, when Blanco announced, “I’m going to kill all you sailors,” and so sailor Clyde Forehand shot them both dead; July of 1929 saw a riot there involving thirty sailors and six women, at which two women and seven men were booked on suspicion of robbery; Jack Wilson and Clark Falcon, leaders of a gang of automobile plunderers, were arrested with their booty here in February, 1932; in September 1935 Robert Honchell, a 25 year-old taxi driver, was having a drinking party with his pal Edward Folder, a 29 year-old unemployed café worker, when a woman showed up with her infant daughter—Folder’s insistence on taking the child out for candy started a quarrel, and Folder ended up stabbed mortally in the chest by Honchell…you get the idea.

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

Death Before Dishonor, Your Honor

 ghost

August 12, 1927
Los Angeles

leapAlice Miller, 24, was hanging out with her buddies Helen Myers, Norman Myers and Robert Wilkenson—the four of them all out on bail on various charges of grand larceny, pickpocketing, and vagrancy—in her little room at the Hillman Apartments, 1010 Ingraham Street.  

There’s a knock on the door.  Seems that Robert Seaner, the bondsman who’d bailed Alice out when she got pinched for pickpocketing in downtown department stores, has just received some disturbing news from Chief of Police Laubenhemer out in Milwaukee.  Was it true, Alice, that back in Milwaukee, where you were known as Mrs. Mary Becker, you escaped from the Industrial Home for Women at Taycheedah?  Would you be so kind as to come with me down to the station so we can sort this thing out?  Sure thing, says Alice, let me go in the other room for a moment and change into my street clothes.

aliceBut the moments come and go and the collected find the room empty.  She’s chosen death over jail:  through the open window, they see her broken body lying four stories below.

Despite the basal skull fracture, broken nose and arm, and assorted internal injuries, Alice survives to stand trial.  On November 26, Alice is freed on the charge of shoplifting, due to insufficient evidence; she is promptly rearrested by Milwaukee officers, who set off with their prisoner.
 taycheedah

Hit Records Make a Splash

August 11, 1927
Los Angeles
blasts

 

 

 

Three terrific explosions ripped through the Hall of Records to-day!  Who could have committed such a dastardly act?  Anarchists?  Bolsheviks?  Theosophists?  Vegetarians?
hor
The twelfth-floor room in which the blasts took place were stained and dripping a deep crimson red.  Surely the blood of the innocent!  Splattered across our noble governing offices by devious dynamiting moustachio’d malcontents!
kegs
On further investigation, all that dripping gore was discovered to be just red wine…for the Hall of Records, it seems, is a pretty swell place to stash some wine kegs. 

Until they burst.

Only in LA: Peat Fires, Mature Mermaids and Baboon Co-Pilots

August 10, 1927
Los Angeles 

At Hauser and Jefferson today, Vernadine Burke and Margaret Goesman, both 16, sank up to their ankles in the burning peat that was combusting merrily away beneath the surface. In trying to extricate themselves, the horrified girls also scorched their hands. They were treated at Receiving Hospital and released.

At the Biltmore, manager and VP James Woods was deftly fending off the insistent demands of Captain J.M. Burman, mariner, aviator and San Pedro resident, that the hotel back his scheme to fly from Japan to Los Angeles with his pet baboon as his co-pilot. Burman states he is ideally suited for such a flight because he knows all the Pacific mountain peaks by which he and his monkey pal would steer.

And in Venice, Mrs. Anna E. Van Skike was planning to celebrate her 67th birthday with a 25-mile swim from Point Dume back to her home shore, in recognition of the good health that regular swimming has brought her. Her doctors declared she had tuberculosis at 55 and would surely die, but swimming chased the lung blots away for the Oklahoma native. Hundreds turned out in 1924 to watch the lady dive off the Venice pier, swim ten miles along the shore and sing the "Star Spangled Banner" from the waves on her return.

This is Van Skike’s seventh birthday distance swim, and her longest, and will be done with the support, encouragement and liberal doses of hot coffee from lifeguards Slert and Kinney, who will row their boat in the wake of the olive oil-coated "aged mermaid." She’ll begin the feat at 2am and hopes to be home in time for dinner, though she often quips she would "rather swim than eat" and avoids fried food and pastry for their waterlogging effects. She prefers the pre-dawn hours for her feats, as the water is calmer then, and she is subject to seasickness in heavy surf. She has founded a distance swimming club, and recommends the activity to all.

anna e van skike

And in cultural insensitivity news…

August 9, 1927
Los Angeles 

The Mexican Consul, F.A. Pesqueira, today filed a complaint against the Los Angeles Police Commission, objecting to the recent arrests on charges of vagrancy of a large number of Mexican men who had been congregating in the Old Plaza near Olvera Street, as their countrymen have been doing since the founding of Los Angeles.

Pesqueira noted that many of those arrested were recently out of work, and had come to the Plaza to meet employment agents, something which was apparently not obvious to the policemen rounding them up.

Captain Hubbs of the vagrancy squad issued a statement that, in future, his men would ascertain how long a Plaza dweller had been without work before taking him into custody.

Bilingual officers wanted. 

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

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.

 

 

*******

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.

 

*******

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.

 

 

 

*******

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!

New Car Blues

new car blues

“… Is that its horn sounding
through the night or something darker
that needs to speak? “New Car Blues” – Charles Fishman

Los Angeles
July 23, 1927

World renowned psychologist, astrologer, palm reader, and clairvoyant Ralph Wagner, is shown in the photograph above being congratulated by his brother after purchasing a sporty new Chandler Royal eight roadster.

Mr. Wagner boasts an impressive roster of achievements as a psychic. He foretold the World War back in 1908, and he predicted the recent Weepah gold strike in October of 1926. During the past five years more than 54,000 Angelenos have consulted the palm reader for advice!

Ralph was dazzled by the performance of the vehicle and having read the palms of dozens of Chandler owners, he considered it a great buy, even though at prices ranging from $1495 to $2375 ($17,901.51 to $28,438.85 USD 2007), it was costlier than many other automobiles. Ralph was so passionate about his purchase that he raved, “…after having investigated the stability of the Chandler factory I knew that I was making no mistake in buying a Chandler, for their financial statement reads as solidly as the rock of Gibraltar.”

Poor Ralph – bad vibes must have jammed his psychic radar…or maybe the stars were out of alignment. By 1929, parts for his snazzy roadster would be difficult to find. Chandler’s best year was 1927 when they sold over 20,000 cars – one of them to our psychic friend. Anticipating continued stellar sales, the car maker expanded too quickly and by the end of 1928 they were over $500,000 ($5,987,126.44 USD 2007) in debt. Chandler was purchased by Hupp Motor Company in 1929 and vanished from the planet.

Will someone please check on the rock of Gibraltar, and give us a call?

“… In time the Rockies may crumble,
Gibraltar may tumble,
There’re only made of clay…” – George Gershwin