‘Mysterious Objects’ in Skies Over L.A.

Aug. 1, 1953, Comics
Comics characters of the 1950s got to drive MGs!


Edward Irving Foote was born June 29, 1861, in Michigan. Someone by that name attended the University of Michigan at Lansing, class of 1877-78, and was described as a “farmer, miner, surveyor, carpenter,” living in Grass Valley, Calif.

Much of his history is unknown, but by 1953, at the age of 92, Foote was living at a gritty hotel at 423 E. 7th St., an address where half a dozen suicides and killings had occurred.  Foote, who apparently had bad vision, used a red and white cane and carried a “long-barreled .38” on his hip,” The Times said.

For some reason, Foote decided that he had been robbed by the hotel clerk, Frank Mitchell, who was also a resident.

On July 31, 1953, Foote wrote a note stating:

“Room robbers and murderers, three clerks and houseman. My purse was stolen last night, Friday. All my money was in my purse. I owe Catherine Leach $500. I promised her $1 for aid rendered. Could not pay. Purse gone. Some cash in bank until a damned thief gets it.”

Taking a piece of soap, Foote wrote on a mirror:

“I believe I was robbed in my bed three times. I am in peril of my life. Clerks and robbers. E.I. Foote.”

That afternoon, about 4:15 p.m., Foote went to the hotel desk and said something to Mitchell. When Mitchell turned away, Foote drew his .38, and shot Mitchell twice in the back, once in the head and once in the neck.  Foote fired once more, grazing Mitchell, who staggered into an office and fell to the floor.

As people scattered from the lobby, Foote went down the hallway, stopped outside his room and fired his last shot into his right temple, The Times said.

Detectives  Danny Galindo and W.C. Stevens examined Foote’s room, finding his notes, and a wallet containing $9 on the floor near the foot of the bed.

Aug. 1, 1953, Robert Taft Dies

Aug. 1, 1953: Sen. Robert Taft (R-Ohio) dies of cancer at the age of 63 and The Times devotes massive coverage to the Republican leader.

The Headhunters and the State Apache Gang planned a fight in Hollenbeck Park, but the LAPD frightened them away. The gang members were 10 to 12 years old, The Times said.

“Wealthy ceramic engineer” Clarence Z. Eatherton, 50, 504 Knob Hill Ave., Redondo Beach, strangles his wife, Geraldine Yvonne, and shoots himself in the head with a rifle.

The captain of a fishing boat contacts the Coast Guard to report “two mysterious aerial objects.”

Concerned L.A. residents also reported “odd flashes of light” to police, who said it was probably nothing but a Columbia Pictures film crew using searchlights while filming in Alhambra.

Aug. 1, 1953, Mysterious Aerial Objects

423 E. 7th St.

423 E. 7th St. via Google Street View.

Knob Hill Avenue, Redondo Beach

Knob Hill Avenue in Redondo Beach via Google Street View.


Aug. 1, 1953, Murder-Suicide

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1953, Art & Artists, Comics, Downtown, Homicide, LAPD, Obituaries, Suicide and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.