Poison—Everybody’s Doing It!

poisonJanuary 8, 1927
Los Angeles

Yesterday’s news told of poison booze victim Dennis Cavanaugh. Now it looks like everybody’s trying to get into the act. Take, for example, Mrs. Helen Delamere, who in court papers filed today claims that her husband, P.F. Delamere, has been trying to poison her for several years. First there was the time he tried to get her to eat some poisoned pie. Mrs. Delamare’s nurse wouldn’t let her—but when the nurse ate it (waste not, want not!), she became ill. When on several occasions Mrs. Delamere consumed chicken and soup prepared by her hubby, sickness followed. And when Mrs. D, her sister, and mother nibbled on sandwiches made by the sinister Mr. D—-you guessed it—-the ladies were seized by illness.

Even Aimee Semple McPherson has been gripped by the poison fad. Suspicion was aroused today when a man hurried into a downtown messenger bureau carrying a brown package tied with purple string addressed to the evangelist and marked “rush delivery.” The man then refused to leave the office until the package was dispatched. Due to his erratic behavior, the delivery service sent a messenger boy out with the package, but instructed him to double around the block. The sender (who paid in cash and did not state his name) followed awhile, then disappeared. In the interim, the police were called.

The officers immediately suspected “an infernal machine,” but when the package and a burning dynamite cap were placed side by side, nothing happened. The cops thereupon opened the box and discovered it was filled with candied figs—sweetmeats now suspected of being poisoned. They await analysis by the city chemist.

Worst in Show


Feb. 21, 1907
Los Angeles

Someone who hates animals is at work in Angeleno Heights, having poisoned 10 valuable dogs and several cats, The Times says.

The killer has an eye for purebreds, the paper says, avoiding mutts and mongrels.

“Detective George Home of 901 Carrillo St. lost a fine bulldog and Patrolman C.L. Johnson of Bellevue Avenue lost a trained birddog which he had for 15 years,â€Â The Times says.

The killer’s methods remain a mystery. Many of the poisoned animals were never allowed out of the yard and one Saint Bernard was always kept chained up, the newspaper says.

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The Day the Clown Cried

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September 25, 1907
Los Angeles 

The Ringling tents went “dry” today as Restaurant Inspector Schwegel turned whole tubfuls of pink lemonade into the sewer.  He told the circusfolk that while the lemonade might do for an aquarium, it wasn’t fit for human consumption.  The lemonade booth was too near the animals, Schwegel said, and that besides the fleas and putrescent gunk within, it appeared to be contaminated with clothing dye.

City Chemist Miller added that the average circus lemonade is about as healthful as wood alcohol.

Something to remember next time you journey to the big top, or out to the County Fair (‘til October 1st!).