Everybody Has to Fall Some Time

Luther Green headline

February 4, 1927
Los Angeles

A police dragnet is closing in on the killers of Luther H. Green.  A member of the Los Angeles Stock Exchange, Green was slain outside of his home at 1053 Bonnie Brae, as he attempted to thwart the hijacking of his $10,000 [$120,710.34 current dollars] stash of pre-prohibition booze. He was able to fire a single shot from his rifle before being mortally wounded by the burglers.

According to Chief of Detectives Cline, six men have been implicated in the aborted liquor heist. It is believed that the ringleader of the failed raid may be the notorious crook, Harry “Mile-Away” Thomas. Mile-Away’s mouthpiece, Attorney S.S. Hahn, told cops that he had conferred with his client and, “…he was not only a mile away this time, but sixteen miles away”. Harry and several of his confederates would soon be arrested in connection with Green’s murder, but none of them would ever stand trial for the crime.

More than a decade prior to the invention of Teflon ®, the often busted but rarely convicted non-stick felon would be released on the charges stemming from the Green killing. His lucky streak would end on the evening of April 21, 1927. Harry would be caught in a sting and gunned down by the law as he attempted to steal an expensive automobile from a private garage at 1408 West Thirty-Fifth Street.

Riddled with machine-gun bullets, buckshot, and slugs from police revolvers, Harry staggered from the garage and collapsed in the arms of a uniformed officer. Mile-Away’s last words before he succumbed to his injuries were “Everybody has to fall some time.”

Local Man Sets Record

January 20, 1927
Los Angeles

A short notice in the paper today about Sidney (or Sydney) Adams who, on August 2, 1925 (most likely) mortally shot his wife Annie in their home at 1234 East Twenty-First Street.

august25Despite there being a chance for a difference—Adams steadily asserted that the woman committed suicide—on October 12, 1925 it took a Los Angeles jury a record twenty-five minutes to send him to the gallows.  (This being in part or wholly dependent on Adams’ race seems obvious—writ large as he’s routinely described as the “giant negro,” a term of which Times seems unusually fond.)

Hangings were on the mind of all Californians as executions ushered in C. C. Young’s gubernatorial regime. The previous four years of Friend Richardson’s governorship were marked by constant rejections of eleventh-hour appeals for executive clemency; in a show of consistency Young had five executions in the first five weeks of his stewardship and saw that each one went through unchallenged.  

payspenalty

There were six sitting in San Quentin’s death row when S. C. Stone  joined the bunch on January 6, 1927—making it lucky number seven.  Adams’ departure today took it back down to six.

June 23: Esotouric Weird West Adams vintage dress-up tour

This is a special edition of Esotouric’s rarely-offered Weird West Adams tour dedicated to our friends at the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles and the West Adams Heritage Association. Passengers are encouraged to dress in whatever period attire best suits them. Current (or brand new!) members of WAHA or ADSLA can reserve seats by phone (at 323-223-2767) or email (via our contact form) and save $5 off the $55 ticket cost, provided they pay by check. Non-members are also welcome, and can either pay by check or online using the link below.

https://www.esotouric.com/adams-6-23-07

The tour will end around 3pm, and be followed by a reception with refreshments at the Susan Wilshire Residence, a private historic home nearby. The reception precedes WAHA’s Preservation Meeting on the topic of "Local History: Visual Storytelling," demonstrating the new Powerpoint narratives the city requires along with landmark applications. See old photos and ephemera related to Felix Chevrolet, the first (1878) farmhouse in Jefferson Park, a 1902 Tudor mansion on what was then Bankers’ Row by USC, and a fab Craftsman/Art Nouveau mansion in Victoria Park built by Michael Shannon, LA’s first traffic cop.

On this tour through the Beverly Hills of the early 20th Century, passengers thrill to the carjacking horror of silent film starlet Myrtle Gonzalez, shiver as Dream Killer Otto Parzyjegla chops his newspaper publisher boss to pieces with the paper-cutting blade, shudder at the pickled poignancy of the murder-by-brandy of Benjamin Weber, then gag at terrible fate visited on kidnap victim Marion Parker by The Fox. There will be some celebrity sites along the route, including the death scenes of Motown soul sensation Marvin Gaye and 1920s star Angels baseball catcher Gus Sandberg. And the architecture too is to die for.

Hope to see you there!
Kim

Architectural Ramblings

Feb. 18, 2007
Los Angeles

The buildings featured in The Times for this week have been torn down, but in glancing through the listings, I found the sale by the Althouse brothers of a lot at 3006 S. La Salle.

3006 S. La Salle

I can’t say the house was particularly remarkable, although it’s nice and I was happy to find it still standing. Even so, it was an interesting neighborhood to visit and the house at 2921 S. La Salle cries out for rehabbing.

This house is in the 2900 block; I didn’t get the exact address.

2921 S. La Salle

3015 S. La Salle

3027 S. La Salle

Lmharnisch.com
Lmharnisch.blogspot.com

E-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com




All About the Weird West Adams Tour

WHAT: 1947project Weird West Adams Crime Bus Tour, Saturday 12/16/06, 11am-4pm. $47 cost includes snacks, beverages and five-hour luxury coach tour.
 
LOS ANGELES- Since January, the bloggers at 1947project have taken their Los Angeles crime history research on the road with their lively, mysterious and very popular Crime Bus tours. Past routes have explored the dark side of Pasadena, the secret history of downtown and the real story of the Black Dahlia case. In December, 1947project offers a new tour celebrating the Beverly Hills of the early 20th century, that grand swath of city just west of downtown: Weird West Adams.

On this five-hour tour, Crime Bus passengers will be treated to detailed descriptions of some of the most notorious, strange and fascinating forgotten tales from the past hundred years, each told at the scene of the crime. They’ll thrill to the carjacking horror of silent film starlet Myrtle Gonzalez, shiver as Dream Killer Otto Parzyjegla chops his newspaper publisher boss to pieces with the paper-cutting blade, shudder at the pickled poignancy of the murder-by-brandy of Benjamin Weber, marvel at the Krazy Kafitz family and their litany of murder-suicides, attempted husband slayings, Byzantine estate battles and mad bombings, then gag at terrible fate visited on kidnap victim Marion Parker by The Fox. There will be some celebrity sites along the route, including the death scenes of Motown soul sensation Marvin Gaye and 1920s star Angels baseball catcher Gus Sandberg.

And in a special treat for the holiday season, the Crime Bus will toast the Winter Solstice by visiting the city’s shortest street and remembering 2′ 11" Angelo Rossitto, the charismatic cult actor / newsstand operator ("Freaks," "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome") who famously visited the spot in his teeny-tiny car on 12/21/37.  All this, plus a robbery by Pretty Boy Floyd, Prohibition-era houses transformed into secret distilleries, fumigations gone terribly wrong, mashers, bad marriages, rotten drivers, assorted weirdos and a mummified teenage cult priestess.

Upcoming Crime Bus Tours include the 60th Anniversary Real Black Dahlia (January 13, 2007).

Want to reserve a seat for West Adams or the Black Dahlia? Just email us with the number of spots you’d like.
 

Dislocation, Dislocation, Dislocation

Nov. 10, 1907
South Pasadena

What sort of monument do we leave for real estate developers? For John B. Althouse, who built hundreds of homes in the Wilshire district, as well as the West Adams district and the San Gabriel Valley, the answer might be nondescript offices and vacant lots.

Here’s the house he built for himself at Oxley and Fremont in South Pasadena, a few blocks from my home. In fact, I pass the corner every day.

Here’s another one he built on Manhattan Place.

Don’t rush out to look for them, though. They’re gone, although the wall around Althouse’s home survived.

Born in Baltimore, Althouse died in July 1939 at the age of 72 at his home, 230 S. Gramercy Place. He arrived in Los Angeles in 1886 and spent 37 years in the real estate business after operating a fruit store at 1st and Main Streets for many years. He constructed hundreds of homes in the Wilshire district and was one of the first members of the Los Angeles Realty Board.

What’s this? One has survived in the West Adams district, 1415 S. Gramercy Place. Also read here. And here. Zillow link.

Lmharnisch.com
Lmharnisch.blogspot.com

e-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com

Update: Further research reveals the home of Daniel T. Althouse, a partner in Althouse Brothers, at 2125 S. 4th Ave., where he died of blood poisoning in 1914.

The Crime Bus Lurches Out of the Fog

Join us, gentle rider, on the Crime Bus! We’re taking a break from our regularly scheduled Crime Bus touring in early 2006 to develop some new and very wild rides, but private tours can still be booked during this time. Typically, public tours run on both days of a weekend about once a month, and prospective passengers can subscribe to our email list– just click the link at right to be kept informed of all the details. Or watch this site for announcements.

Tours include… THE REAL BLACK DAHLIA… PASADENA CONFIDENTIAL… WEIRD WEST ADAMS… NIGHTMARES OF BUNKER HILL… HALLOWEEN HORRORS… with more to come.