Johnny Stompanato, RIP

Above, the Mirror brings out an extra on the Johnny Stompanato killing.


Photograph by Gary Smith / Los Angeles Times

Coroner’s attendants remove the body of Johnny Stompanato from the home of Lana Turner, 730 N. Bedford Drive, Beverly Hills. Published in The Times on April 5, 1958.

Photograph by the Los Angeles Times

Johnny Stompanato’s watch, ID bracelet, ring and good luck charms. Note that the photo was so big I had to scan in two sections and paste it together.

Los Angeles Times file photo

Johnny Stompanato and Lana Turner in an undated snapshot.


Los Angeles Times file photo

Johnny Stompanato in an undated copy shot of a picture obtained by The Times after he was killed.


Photograph by Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

Johnny Stompanato testifies Aug. 3, 1949, at a coroner’s inquest in the shotgun slaying of Mickey Cohen associate Edward “Neddy” Herbert.  Note that the background has been painted out and that the picture has been cropped in red grease pencil. Most of The Times photos from the 1940s look like this.


Photograph by Gordon Wallace / Los Angeles Times

Johnny Stompanato in a photo published Aug. 6, 1949, when he was charged with vagrancy.


Photograph by the Los Angeles Times

Attorney Joseph Scott, left, and Johnny Stompanato, Oct. 4, 1949, after Stompanato was charged with vagrancy. Note the crop marks and the retouching to paint out the background so that the photograph could be used as a one-column mug shot.

A check for $3 from Lana Turner to “John Stompanato Smith.”


Photograph by Gary Smith / Los Angeles Times

Johnny Stompanato’s T-Bird, parked outside Lana Turner’s home on the night of the killing.


Photograph by Loren Patty / Los Angeles Times

Beverly Hills Police Sgt. Russell Peterson with the knife that killed Johnny Stompanato.


Photograph by Delmar Watson / Los Angeles Times

Beverly Hills Police Officer Joe Head examines the knife that killed Johnny Stompanato. Note that the knife handle has been retouched in white to make it stand out against the background. It’s not visible in the scan, but yes, that is Cheryl Crane’s fingerprint card.


Los Angeles Times file photo

Johnny Stompanato’s funeral in Woodstock, Ill., April 9, 1958, as an American Legion official presents the flag from the casket to Stompanato’s brother Carmine. The woman seated second from the right is Stompanato’s stepmother, Verena.

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About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Front Pages, Homicide, Mickey Cohen and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Johnny Stompanato, RIP

  1. Arye Michael Bender says:

    Would love to know something about how and why there was so much obvious photo retouching during the era. The still of Mr. Stompanato walking with the fishes is a good example. Could have been Lee Harvey Oswald’s face on that body, or vice versa. Did readers comment on such things?
    –Newspaper photographs were routinely retouched to suppress the backgrounds and make details “pop out” in the days of black and white photography. We don’t do this anymore.
    –See the entry titled “Photo Shoot” on Nancy Valentine, Nov. 28, 2007….
    –Larry

    Like

  2. Tom Fox says:

    Look at that classic T-Bird. Wow. Stompanato should have been a little nicer to Lana Turner. He could have still been tooling around in it.

    Like

  3. Trimmer says:

    Amazing how photo ethics have come full circle from the most egregious retouching being routine to shooters being fired for simply color-correcting their work.

    Like

  4. Mark says:

    Great period in the history of LA. James Ellroy could write a book just on this case. Stompanato father Carmine is in the burial photo as well.

    Like

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