Note: The murders of three little Inglewood girls was one of Los Angeles’ most notorious case of the 1930s. Madeline
Everett, 7, her sister Melba, 9, and their playmate, Jeanette Stephens, 8, were lured to the Baldwin Hills by Albert Dyer, a WPA crossing guard, who
raped and strangled the girls one at a time on June 26, 1937. Dyer was hanged at San Quentin on Sept. 16, 1938. The girls are buried in unmarked graves at Inglewood
Recently, Theresa Pinamonti Zeigler recalled:
the youngest of six children of an Italian immigrant
family. When I was a year old, my family moved to 805 S.
Prairie Ave., across the street from where the Inglewood racetrack is
trees and bushes. A couple of my
brothers and I had a good time playing there. I
believe that the house we lived in was torn down in the ’60s.
the Midnight store, but lost it during the Depression and
subsequently worked for the WPA, building roads and bridges.
little girls, who were kidnapped by Albert Dyer from Centinela Park in
Inglewood on June 26, 1937.
My sister Josephine and I
had walked to Centinela Park, which was over a mile from our
home. We were used to that long walk because we walked every day to St.
John’s school, which was approximately a mile from where we lived on
always peeked through the fence out of curiosity at all the large,
numerous tombstones that I could see behind the chain-link
pool) with my older sister Josephine watching over me.
She was 14. Afterwards, my sister allowed me to play in the park so my
swimsuit could dry.
sure but it could have been a drainage pipe in the park. We played
together digging in the dirt, running in and out of the pipe chasing each
other laughing and giggling like little girls will do, then my
sister called me to go home.
Later in the day, we heard the news of the kidnapping of the three
little girls and then later, finding their bodies in Baldwin Hills which was a few miles from Centinela Park. [Note: The girls were found June 28, 1937].
they were the ones that I had been playing with in Centinela
on Buckthorne Street around the corner from our house, was
a suspect. My sister tells me that the police questioned me
about this bachelor and they also found out that I had played
with three little girls that matched the description of the missing children,
and asked me about that also, but I don’t recall that specifically.
I do recall all the excitement in the neighborhood and all the grownups gathering
out in the alleys behind their homes, and some standing around on
the sidewalks talking about the missing children. This bachelor was
suspected of the kidnapping because he used to give his niece
and a couple of us little girls, who played with her, rides in the
back of his pickup truck.
I do remember the rides since that was as much
fun as riding in the rumble seat of a Ford. The
bachelor was eventually cleared. I know that it was a
scary time and I remember hearing the adults saying that some men wanted to
lynch the man while he was in jail.