FBI Smashes Nazi Spy Ring in Beverly Hills: 3 Sent Coded Letters to Third Reich

Jan. 29, 1942, Spy Ring

Jan. 29, 1942, Comics

Jan. 29, 1942: The FBI accuses Dr. Hans Helmut Gros, his wife, Frances, and Albrecht Rudolf Curt Reuter of belonging to a Nazi spy ring.

According to allegations, Gros, of 328 N. Maple Drive, sent letters to purported relatives that contained coded information and newspaper clippings about “union labor strife, strikes, shortages of materials needed for military production and items regarding troop movements, training and airplane production.”

Reuter, of 447 N. Bedford Drive, was accused of helping Gros. The Times said he owned an art gallery and imported Oriental rugs.

A City Council committee is investigating a “purge” of the LAPD led by Inspector of Detectives E.C. Biffle, who allegedly met with certain detectives as soon as they were eligible for retirement and told them to go — which they called “being Biffleized.”

Biffle said he was acting on behalf of Police Chief C.B. Horrall, who told him to “do everything necessary to produce an honest and efficient detective bureau.”

Among those Biffleized was former Chief R.E. Steckel, who said that Mayor Fletcher Bowron purged him by mistake and explained that reinstatement was impossible.

City Traffic Engineer R.T. Dorsey recommends that downtown employees work staggered shifts to avoid traffic jams. How is it possible to have traffic jams in 1942, when gas rationing was a powerful incentive to take mass transit and the city still had most of its streetcar system? As I keep saying: Traffic in Los Angeles is not a new problem. It is a very old problem that we are still struggling to solve.

6503 Wilcox, Bell
Photo: Gen. Sampson Sanders Simmons’ CSA HQ! Credit: Google Street View. Apparently the paint crews had a hard time figuring out where the line should go down the middle of the street. Forget it, Jake. It’s Bell.

Gen. Sampson Sanders Simmons, a courier for Gen. Robert E. Lee during the Civil War, dies at the age of 98 after breaking his hip in a fall in his home at 6503 Wilcox Ave., Bell.

Simmons was the last survivor of Camp 770 of the United Confederate Veterans and commander of the organization’s Pacific Division. He was buried at Inglewood Cemetery, wrapped in a Confederate flag.

Supposedly, Simmons recorded what was billed as an authentic rebel yell for the MGM movie “Operator 13,” which was on TCM earlier this month. Since I DVR’d it, I’ll have to check.

“The Shanghai Gesture” opens at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and Loew’s State.

Jimmie Fidler says:Hal (Great Gildersleeve) Peary, who lives in Encino, a Los Angeles suburb, brings in four working residents daily, thereby helping them conserve gas and tires.

Jan. 29, 1942, LAPD Cleanup

Jan. 29, 1942, Traffic
Jan. 29, 1942, Spy Ring
Jan. 29, 1942, Spy Ring
Jan. 29, 1942, Spy Ring

Jan. 29, 1942, Confederate Veteran Dies

Jan. 29, 1942, Confederate Veteran Dies

Jan. 29, 1942, Shanghai Gesture

Jan. 29, 1942, Jimmie Fidler

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1942, Art & Artists, Columnists, Comics, Downtown, Film, Hollywood, Jimmie Fidler, LAPD, Streetcars, Theaters, Transportation, World War II and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to FBI Smashes Nazi Spy Ring in Beverly Hills: 3 Sent Coded Letters to Third Reich

  1. LC says:

    Re: Gen. Simmons
    Thanks for the info on him, I never knew that, and I should have, since I have lived in Bell. The Simmons name has been around Bell for as long as I can remember. I have always liked that little house and never knew that about it. It is right across the street from Veteran’s Park. I know that it was remodeled some years ago so it is not exactly as it was of course when he lived there. Also, the lines down Wilcox Ave are straight, not as the picture shows. Whoever took the photo either used photoshop or had a wild night and couldn’t see straight.
    What year was that obit?


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