Let Me Rephrase That, Officer …

August 21, 1927
Los Angeles

The voice on the phone was breathless. "Help! Murder! Police!! He’s killing me, come quick!" (All dialogue, however fanciful, comes verbatim from today’s Los Angeles Times.) "Be right over," responded the dispatcher, as he sent two of his "star murder squad officers" to the scene of the crime.

They were met at the door of 1618 East 27th Street by Mrs. Georgia Brown, who quickly assured them there was nothing out of order at her house. "Must be something wrong somewhere [else], everything’s running according to Hoyle here," she told the officers.

Then Mrs. Brown made an error, a grievous one, the kind for which you’ll forever after kick yourself, even if you live to be 100. "Just walk in and see for yourselves," she said.

The cops didn’t need to be asked twice. A five-minute investigation of Mrs. Brown’s house turned up five bottles of home brew. Called before the judge on a charge of possessing alcohol, Mrs. Brown was given the choice of a $100 fine or ten days in jail. She chose the former—though she still believes the police came to the wrong house.