Aug. 30, 1953: Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charles W. Fricke grants attorneys for Barbara Graham a slight delay in opening their defense after the prosecution closes with a “bombshell”: A transcript of a recorded conversation between Graham and undercover Police Officer Samuel Sirianni.
Sirianni testified that he met with Graham at the County Jail and they planned a detailed alibi for the night of March 9, when Mabel Monahan was killed.
In the recorded conversation, Graham allegedly said that Baxter Shorter, who disappeared after turning informant “had been done away with.”
Court-appointed defense attorney Jack Hardy asked to withdraw from the case, but Fricke refused to grant permission. Defense attorney Benjamin Wolfe asked to listen to the original wire recording from which the transcript was prepared and said that much of the conversation in the transcript couldn’t be heard and that the transcript also misquoted the conversation.
Graham’s co-defendants were John A. Santo and Emmett Perkins. Graham died in the gas chamber at San Quentin at 11:42 a.m. on June 3, 1955. She wore a mask over the upper part of her face because “I don’t want to have to look at people,” she said. Perkins and Santo were executed together a few hours later, with Perkins dying at 2:40 p.m. and Santo at 2:41 p.m.
In the Theaters: “The Caddy.”
On TV: “Paul Coates Confidential” starts tonight.