Before You Watch ‘Mob City’ — Bugsy Siegel, Mickey Cohen and Chief Parker

Dec. 12, 1946, Motorcycle Officers

Before you watch TNT’s “Mob City” tonight, read these items from The Times about what Police Capt. William H. Parker was actually doing in the 1940s.

Parker served in the Army during World War II and was discharged in November 1945. On July 25, 1947, Parker was named head of the LAPD Traffic Division. By December 1947, Parker had attained the rank of inspector. He became head of Internal Affairs in May 1950 and became LAPD chief Aug. 2, 1950.

As I have noted before, by the time Parker became LAPD chief, Bugsy Siegel had been dead for three years.

Where was Mickey Cohen when Parker became chief? Traveling across the U.S. with John Stompanato.

And if the name Robert Gilmore in the Dec. 12, 1946, story seems familiar, you’re right. Regardless of what you may read elsewhere, “Severed” writer John Gilmore’s father was a traffic officer at this time.

Dec. 12, 1946: Capt. William H. Parker is looking for motorcycle officers.

Dec. 12, 1946, Motorcycle Officers

Dec. 12, 1946, Motorcycle Officers

July 26, 1947: Capt. William H. Parker is appointed head of the Traffic Division.

July 26, 1947, William H. Parker

In 1949, Parker is assigned to the staff of Police Chief William  Worton.

Aug. 4, 1946, Police Shakeup

Aug. 4, 1949, Parker

May 6, 1950: Parker will become head of Internal Affairs.

May 6, 1950, William Parker

And where was Mickey Cohen when Parker became LAPD chief?

Aug. 4, 1950, Mickey Cohen

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About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1945, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950, Hollywood, LAPD, Mickey Cohen, World War II and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Before You Watch ‘Mob City’ — Bugsy Siegel, Mickey Cohen and Chief Parker

  1. Earl Boebert says:

    Saw a promo photo for the show that had the hero firing his revolver with a two-handed grip. In (supposedly) 1947. I think we can add that anachronism to improperly tilted fedoras to the “uh oh” list :-)

  2. Carol Gwenn says:

    Am ashamed to admit that I actually tried to watch a bit of “Mob City” last night. It sent me to my bed of pain. Re: the comment above, there were also shots of people smoking filtered cigarettes, which (or so my research tells me) weren’t on the market until 1952. Let’s just ignore the general historical inaccuracy of the show and note that the production was obviously the “spare no expense” type in terms of sets, costumes, vehicles, etc. So…why the hell did someone not do a better job of researching the details?

  3. MAX K. HURLBUT, LAPD (Retired) says:

    Good comment by CAROL GWENN on failure to research the details. Aside from historical
    errors, they did little research on LAPD uniforms of the era. Sorry, EARLE B., but two-handed
    grips have been in use as long as there have been pistols and those who knew how to shoot
    them. You are correct in that LAPD taught one-handed, on-the-Academy-range target shooting, well beyond my arrival on the Department in 1960….

    Chief (then Captain) WILLIAM H. PARKER, assigned to command Traffic Enforcement Division (Motors), is wearing a patch that did not exist until 1974 (the green cross version). His Sam Browne leather diagonal shoulder strap is supposed to support the heavy revolver—but is instead attached to the opposite side, thus thwarting its purpose.

    [The original Captain SAM BROWNE had his left arm chopped off with a sword in the Indian
    Rebellion of 1857. Unable to draw his sword one-armed, he devised a shoulder strap to hold the
    sword in place]. LAPD dropped the diagonal strap, I believe, in 1958. It could be grasped by
    suspects fighting the officer to pull him off balance.

  4. Jim Kelly says:

    I was bothered by 2013 lingo, which seemed really sloppy. “Stay on task.” “Game over.” “Really?” And a reference to a dumpster, which I believe didn’t come into common use til it was trademarked in the 60s. Small but distracting stuff, especially when considering the items noted here.

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