Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + )

Jan. 21, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a mystery gent. He most certainly does not approve of such goings-on.

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Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Black Dahlia: 6 Reasons Dr. George Hodel Didn’t Kill Elizabeth Short — No. 6 No Connection

Elizabeth Short contrasted with the unidentified woman found in George Hodel’s photo album. Not at all the same.


Here are six reasons Dr. George Hodel did not kill Elizabeth Short that you will need to know before watching the TNT mini-series “I Am the Night” or listening to the eight-part podcast accompanying the production.

Reason No. 6: Dr. George Hodel had no connection to Elizabeth Short.

Previously:

Reason No 1: George Hodel was never “a prime suspect” in the Black Dahlia case.

Reason No. 2: George Hodel was found not guilty of morals charges.

Reason No. 3: George Hodel was not pals with Man Ray.

Reason No. 4: George Hodel served the poor blacks of Bronzeville.

Reason No. 5: George Hodel had no surgical practice in Los Angeles.

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Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

January 1959: The LAPD’s Pandora Files

Police Commission File, 1959

This was a fun post on Pandora’s (later Pandora’s Box), 8118 Sunset Blvd., that I completely forgot. The material is in the agenda packets of the Police Commission.

The club was under the jurisdiction of the LAPD’s Hollywood Division Vice Squad and reflects the mind-set of 1959. Sample: “The Pandora area has less ‘homos’ than other areas in the Hollywood Division, but there are ‘homos’ in this area.

For further digging, the entire file is at the Los Angeles City Archives. On the jump, the arrest of a sex worker identified as Shirley Paulos/Shirley Richards. I didn’t get into the later history of the club because so many stories and only one Larry Harnisch.

The post originally appeared on latimes.com in 2009 and is available via Archive.org.

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Posted in 1959, Food and Drink, LAPD, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Nightclubs | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jan. 22, 1959: Paul Coates on Another Claim to ‘The Brave One’

Paul Coates, L.A. Mirror, 1959

Jan. 22, 1959: Dalton Trumo (blacklisted and using the name Robert Rich) wrote the script for “The Brave One,” but there was a claim by the widow of Juan Duval. The previous entry is here.

Coates’ column was published in 1959 in the L.A. Mirror and reposted in 2009 on latimes.com. It is available via Archive.org.

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Black Dahlia: Common Myths About the Black Dahlia and Their Origins

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The FBI file perpetuates the error that Elizabeth Short’s middle name was “Ann.” She had no middle name.



Note: This item was originally posted on lmharnisch.com in 2005.

Here’s a quick guide to the most frequent errors made in writing about the murder of Elizabeth Short:

Myth: Her name was Elizabeth Ann Short.

Fact: Her mother testified at the inquest that she had no middle name.

Origin: A Los Angeles Times story in the 1970s erroneously added a middle name, which now appears in seemingly reputable sources on Los Angeles history. To add the semblance of authenticity, the middle name has even made its way into her FBI file. Whenever you hear someone call her Elizabeth Ann (like “Black Dahlia Avenger”) you can be sure they don’t know what they are talking about. A headline with the same story erroneously said there were hundreds of confessors. As the story says, there were hundreds of suspects.

Myth: The newspapers nicknamed the case.

Fact: Elizabeth Short got the “Black Dahlia” nickname in a Long Beach drugstore. The Los Angeles Herald-Express tried to nickname the case the “Werewolf Murder,” but dropped it after several days.

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Posted in 1947, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jan. 22, 1969: Lee Meyers Hoping for a Comeback With the Royals

L.A. Times, 1969

Keith Thursby has the story of baseball player Lee Meyers, who was was making a comeback, hoping to get a job with the first-year Kansas City Royals. Meyers was married to Mamie Van Doren (1966-1969)..

Note: This post originally appeared on latimes.com in 2009 and is available via Archive.org.

Posted in 1969, Baseball, Keith Thursby | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Jan. 22, 1969: Musial and Campanella Elected to Hall of Fame

L.A. Times, 1969

Jan. 22, 1969: Stan Musial and Roy Campanella are voted into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Campanella became only the second black player in the Hall of Fame, after Jackie Robinson.

This post originally appeared on latimes.com in 2009 and is available via Archive.org.

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Jan. 22, 1959: Rams Draft Rafer Johnson

Jan. 22, 1959

Keith Thursby writes: The Rams picked a real winner in the NFL annual draft.

Rafer Johnson would become world famous in 1960 by winning the gold medal in the decathlon at the Rome Olympics. He already held the world record in the event and when not competing in track was playing basketball at UCLA.

This post originally appeared on latimes.com in 2009 and is available via Archive.org.

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Jan. 22, 1959: ‘Our Gang’ Star Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer Dies in Fight Over $50

Jan. 22, 1959, Alfalfa Dies in Fight

Jan. 22, 1959: Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer is shot to death in a fight with Moses Samuel Stiltz. According to police, Switzer borrowed a dog belonging to Stiltz, then lost the dog. Switzer paid $50 for the return of Stiltz’s dog. Switzer decided Stiltz owed him the money and a fight ensued. Somewhere there should be the line: “both had been drinking heavily” and here we have it: “Switzer had three beers and a Martini.” The shooting occurred at the home of Rita Jane Corrigan, former wife of Ray “Crash” Corrigan.

Keith Thursby writes: I finally found a Times story in which the paper talked about people living in the Chavez Ravine area. Cordell Hicks’ short story told of some local kids who tried to find a place in their neighborhood to play baseball.

Hicks wrote: “They were out in force yesterday with pick and shovel and a burro named Jenny Lind intent on clearing a portion of the site they hope will be a 40-acre youth recreation center promised by [Dodger owner Walter] O’Malley. ‘We can’t wait forever,” they said.”

Father Raymond Reha, director at Queen of Angels school, said the boys “have grown strong and quick climbing these hills and scrambling in and out of the arroyos. They could be the baseball players on tomorrow.”

Note: This post was published in 2009 on latimes.com and is available via Archive.org.

Posted in 1959, Baseball, Crime and Courts, Dodgers, Film, Hollywood, Keith Thursby, LAPD, Obituaries | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jan. 21, 1959: Matt Weinstock and the Cagey Mr. Mikoyan

matt_weinstock Now that Anastas Mikoyan has returned whence he came, a lady named Natasha Smith would like a few unkind words.

She was born and reared in Russia and barely escaped with her life during the revolution. She speaks and understands the language.

She watched TV interviews in which Mikoyan answered questions through an interpreter. She knew what he and the interpreter said. She found Mikoyan very sharp and admired his sense of humor.

She is certain, however, that Mikoyan understands some English and used the time taken to translate to figure out his answers, usually evasive or retaliatory.

The reason she is sure of this is that she caught him a couple of times answering questions before they had been fully asked.

Jan. 21, 1959: Matt Weinstock has a roundup of light items, including the visit of Soviet leader Anastas Mikoyan, some poetry, pranks and funny stories. A perfect way to end the day.

Weinstock’s column was published in 1959 in the L.A. Mirror and reposted on latimes.com in 2009. It is available via Archive.org.

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Jan. 21, 1959: Paul Coates on the Porn Trade of the 1950s

L.A. Mirror, 1959
Jan. 21, 1959: Paul Coates takes a look at the way pornography (and pretty light stuff at that) was peddled in the 1950s, when it was illegal to send such things through the mail.

Coates’ column was originally published in the L.A. Mirror in 1959 and reposted on latimes.com in 2009. It is available via Archive.org.

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Black Dahlia: Fauna Hodel’s Story in 1976 – and No Black Dahlia or George Hodel

Nevada State Journal, 1976

Before TNT airs “I Am the Night,” (“inspired by a true story,”) I’m digging for references to Fauna Hodel, George Hodel and the Black Dahlia. So far, it’s not going well..

On June 2, 1976, the Nevada State Journal published a story about Fauna that says she tracked down “her natural mother and found her — in Hawaii. ‘I also found some new brothers I didn’t know I had,’ she added. It was a pleasant meeting and they correspond occasionally. And her curiosity is satisfied.”

In a later story, Fauna would describe Tamar Hodel as “the hippie of the year.”

What she apparently did not find is anything about her grandfather George Hodel or the Black Dahlia. And Fauna’s unfinished 1990 biopic also didn’t mention the Black Dahlia or George Hodel.

Maybe we should call “I Am the Night” “inspired by a new story.”

Posted in 1947, 1976, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Film | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Martin Luther King Jr. Visits L.A., Urges Defeat of LBJ, Calls for End to Vietnam War

L.A. Times, 1968

L.A. Times, 1968

March 17-18, 1968: The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. calls for the end of the Vietnam war in appearances at the Disneyland Hotel and Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles.

This post originally appeared on latimes.com in 2008 and is available via Archive.org.

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Black Dahlia: Stephen Kay Says No LAPD Coverup in Black Dahlia Case

Stephen Kay Letter to Ed Jokisch

Retired LAPD Capt. Ed Jokisch , who was in the Homicide Division in the 1940s, fought back against the claims in Steve Hodel’s “Black Dahlia Avenger” franchise until his death in 2011. This letter from former Deputy Dist. Atty. Stephen Kay agrees with Jokisch that there was no coverup by the LAPD.

I’m posting this now because TNT’s “I Am the Night” may raise questions about LAPD complicity in the Black Dahlia case. If you are new to the “Black Dahlia Avenger” franchise, Kay supported Steve Hodel’s case against his father, Dr. George Hodel. But even Kay thought Steve Hodel was going too far in claiming a massive LAPD coverup.

The letter was originally published on the “Warning Bells” blog of Gary Ingemunson, the independent counsel for the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

Posted in 1947, 2003, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Bessie Lasky, Painter

 

bessie_lasky_painting
Bessie Lasky in her studio, courtesy of Jesse L. Lasky.com.


Though overshadowed by her husband, Jesse, Bessie Lasky was as much an artist as he, a multitalented artist in many fields with some renown from the 1920s through the 1950s. Born Bessie Ginzberg April 30, 1888, in Boston, the gentle, spiritual woman earned an early education in Boston’s Sacred Heart Convent before studying at the New England Conservatory of Music with hopes of becoming a pianist.

After marrying vaudeville producer Jesse L. Lasky in 1909, however, Bessie’s life turned inward as she focused on marriage and motherhood. A shy and retiring woman, Lasky preferred the quiet and peace of her garden and home to that of the overly superficial, social, and grand world of entertainment. She spent her time playing the piano and working on poems when not gardening and taking care of home and children, enjoying the life of the mind and spirit.

Mary Mallory’s latest book, Living With Grace: Life Lessons from America’s Princess,”  is now on sale.

 

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Jan. 21, 1959: Cecil B. De Mille Dies at 77

 

L.A. Mirror, 1959

Jan. 21, 1959: The Mirror brings out an extra when Cecil B. De Mille died of a heart attack at the age of 77..

The post originally appeared on latimes.com in 2009 and is available via Archive.org.

Posted in 1959, Film, Hollywood, Obituaries | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Jan. 20, 1959: Matt Weinstock and the Maligned Mad Men

matt_weinstock Some earnest men in the advertising business are concerned about the derogatory image of their profession that has been created in the public mind and quietly are running it up on the flagpole to see who salutes.

As they see it, the constant references to the Madison Avenue boys as polite villains, enforcing conformity on people through fear and repetition has reached an alarming point.

They feel that even greater damage can be done potentially by the rash of current books depicting advertising and public relations men as ruthless, double-crossing, three Martini boys who will stop at nothing to sell a bill of goods.

Note: This column originally appeared in the L.A. Mirror in 1959 and was republished on latimes.com in 2009. It is available via Archive.org.

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Jan. 20,1959: Paul Coates and Fidel Castro

paul_coates Fidel Castro, the bearded boy wonder of Cuba, has been sassing his kindly, benevolent, slightly wealthy Uncle Sam lately.

Young Fidel has taken it as a personal insult that a few of our congressmen are suggesting tough measures to let him know that we don’t like the way he’s doling out justice to the beaten men of Fulgencio Batista’s crumbling dictatorship.

The lad is most annoyed at one Rep. Wayne Hays (D-Ohio), chairman of the House foreign affairs subcommittee, for the latter’s suggestion that we cut off U.S. credit to Cuba, or stop importing Cuban sugar.

Fidel states flatly that how he disposes of his country’s “war criminals” is none of our business.

And I — for one — reluctantly agree.

Note: This column appeared in the L.A. Mirror in 1959 and was republished on latimes.com in 2009. It’s available via Archive.org.

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Black Dahlia: No Sign of George Hodel or the Black Dahlia in the Fauna Hodel Story 1990

pretty_hatties_baby
If you’re curious about whether “I Am the Night” is indeed “inspired by a true story,” I did a bit more digging into the tale of Fauna Hodel and her unfinished film “Pretty Hattie’s Baby” (spoiler alert – there’s nothing about the Black Dahlia or Dr. George Hodel).

“Pretty Hattie’s Baby” was filmed in Reno in 1990. When the shoot finished, the Reno Gazette-Journal published a letter from Fauna “Pat” Hodel thanking the city for being so generous to the cast and crew.

But on Sept. 17, 1992, the Gazette-Journal reported that the $7.5-million film was never finished because of “litigations and financial problems.” The story by Sandra Macias said that the legal problems were settled, but that Fauna Hodel was trying to raise $3 million to finish the movie herself. Fauna said that two days of filming remained, plus two months for editing.

On June 3, 1996, the Honolulu Advertiser reported that Fauna Hodel was staging “Working the Dream: The Fauna Hodel Story,” which featured her and some friends as well as clips from the unfinished film.

Again, no mention of the Black Dahlia or Dr. George Hodel.

Posted in 1947, 1990, 1996, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Film, Hollywood, Homicide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jan. 19, 1959: Matt Weinstock and Practical Jokes in Beverly Hills

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Jan. 19, 1959: Practical jokes in mid-century America. Matt Weinstock has the details..

The column originally appeared in the L.A. Mirror in 1959 and was republished in 2009 on latimes.com. It is available via Archive.org.

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Jan. 19, 1959: Paul Coates Talks to ‘The Head of the Hair Dept.’ at Max Factor

Jan. 19, 1959, Paul Coates

Jan. 19, 1959: After Paul Coates column about the man who stole toupees – a new meaning for “hair loss,” he received a call from “the head of the hair department at Max Factor.” (Really)..

The column originally in the L.A. Mirror in 1959 and was republished on latimes.com in 2009. It is available via Archive.org.

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