Pages of History — Morrow Mayo’s ‘Los Angeles’

  Hickman Telegram  

  Los Angeles, Morro Mayo  

Any day I can do research is a good day – even if I run into trouble, as I did on Tuesday. I stopped by the Los Angeles Public Library to delve into the microfilm on the Marion Parker case. And here’s what I found in the Los Angeles Evening Express for Dec. 19, 1927. (Sorry about the quality of the scan. It was a challenging day).

No, your eyes aren’t fooling you. Morrow Mayo made a slight error in transcribing William Edward Hickman’s telegram. [It should be the special delivery letter]. And the names were below the text, as signatures.


Fact-Checking “Los Angeles,” Part 1

The local newspapers of this era are a particularly generous resource on the Marion Parker case. There was the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Examiner, the Record, the Herald and the Express. Because of the time required to scan the microfilm, I was only able to get through the Herald, the Express and a bit of the Record before calling it quits for the day.

Only to discover that due to operator error, none of my scans were saved (Hint: If a microfilm scanner asks “Do you want to scan another page?” the answer is “No” even if you do. Otherwise bad things happen that you won’t discover until hours later.

Still, I was able to get several important scans that are relevant to Morrow Mayo’s “Los Angeles”: Two William Edward Hickman telegrams and a letter by Marion Parker. And I have to say it is quite troubling to see her childish handwriting saying: “Daddy please do what [the] man tells you or he’ll kill me … you don’t.”

So here’s our tally of errors on a half-page of “Los Angeles.” I count eight mistakes. Granted, none of them are major but they are distressingly frequent and reflect a disinterest in the facts that is quite unflattering for a newsman. Based on the account in the Record, there may be even more errors but I’ll defer comment on them until later.

  "Los Angeles," Morrow Mayo  

ps. We will be going back to the Los Angeles Public Library’s History and Genealogy Department to delve further into the microfilm, but the area is going to be closed much of next week for the installation of new communications cables. So be patient.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1927, Another Good Story Ruined, books, Marion Parker, Pages of History. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Pages of History — Morrow Mayo’s ‘Los Angeles’

  1. Ronald Emmis says:

    I almost forgot this case…didn’t the father find the girl with her legs or arms or both cut off? Wasn’t Hickmann put to death in the electric chair or gas chamber?


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