Man kills son




Jan. 7, 1958

Los Angeles

"Dear mother," the note from 9-year-old Jimmy began.

They weren’t his words, of course. They were dictated by his father,
David James Darr, a 34-year-old machinist who was apparently holding a
.45 to his son’s head.

Jimmy told his mother that he hated visiting his father; the boy was
terrified of him. But the judge ruled that as part of the divorce and
child custody agreement, Jimmy had to go, so he did.

"Once, before he went, Jimmy told me: "Mommy, if I call you up and tell
you something, don’t believe it because he makes me do it," Eula, 28, told
The Times. "I told him, ‘I know, darling, I know.’ "

David and Eula had been married in Yuma, Ariz., in 1947, but 10 years
later, whatever love there might have been had turned into a nightmare of
hatred and legal battles that led to a February 1957 divorce.

According to The Times, David threw battery acid into the car of a man
who testified on Eula’s behalf in the divorce. He put sugar in the gas
tank of another friend’s car, broke into Eula’s home and slashed the
furniture, splashed her house with red paint and put rock salt on the
lawn to kill it.

Then there was the court fight over Jimmy. Eula petitioned the court to
have alternate visitation rights canceled because David kept
threatening to kill her and their son. One time, he sent Jimmy back
home to Colton, where Eula worked in a drugstore, carrying a bullet for his mother.

On Jan. 4, 1958, a Saturday, David called and threatened to kill Jimmy
and himself unless Eula came to see him. "Then he called yesterday and
said it was too late, that he was going to do it," she said of his last
phone call, which came on Sunday.

She called the deputies at the sheriff’s Norwalk station and asked them
to check at David’s apartment, 12616 Lambert Road, where David lived
with a teenage son from a previous marriage. But deputies couldn’t find
Jimmy or David.

About 2:30 a.m., Jimmy finished his note and his father shot him in the
head with the .45, then went into the bathroom and shot himself. A
neighbor said she heard gunfire and moaning, but added: "I haven’t
got a telephone yet and I didn’t know what to do."

David and Jimmy weren’t discovered until the next morning, when Abner
M. Fritz, a teacher who lived in an adjoining apartment, broke in after seeing a bullet hole in his bathroom
wall and a .45 slug in the bathtub. He was joined by David’s teenage
son, who had spent the weekend with a relative.

Jimmy was lying between a bed and a wall while David was sprawled in
the bathroom, The Times said. They both died a few hours later at
General Hospital.

"I wish now that I had gone to him when he asked me to," Eula wept.
"Then maybe he would have killed me instead of shooting Jimmy."

Although The Times never followed up on this story, California death
records show that Eula Fae Chabot died March 3, 2000. She was 70.

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About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in #courts, Homicide, Suicide and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Man kills son

  1. Mary says:

    This one’s going to haunt me for a long time.


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