In case you just tuned in, I was given a box of material that was cleaned out of the old press room after Parker Center closed. The items consist of photos, press releases and random bits of ephemera. There is very little information about the photos – many of them are unidentified – so the material has taken quite a bit of time to organize and then research.
John Stephen Crane was arrested after picking up a briefcase full of money on Whitley Avenue, a dead-end street off Cahuenga. Photo via Google Street View.
Today’s entry is a 25-year-old man named Harvey R. Wickert or Wikert (The Times spelled it both ways) and before we go further I must emphasize that he was found not guilty. His roommate, however, was so not so fortunate.
In 1973, prominent Los Angeles auto executive Holmes Tuttle (d. 1989), a Ford dealer who was active in Republican politics, received a note threatening him unless he paid $30,000.
On Feb. 2, 1973, The Times reported the arrest of John Stephen Crane, 19, who picked up a briefcase full of money on Whitley Avenue near Cahuenga Boulevard while walking his dog. As you might expect (but Crane apparently did not) the briefcase was under surveillance by officers.
Police arrested Crane and put out an all-points bulletin for his roommate, identified as Harvey R. Wikert, “also known as Richard Raymond.” The Times identified both men as former Holmes Tuttle Ford employees.
Crane pleaded guilty and was ordered to spend 90 days at the Chino Institute for Men for a psychiatric evaluation.
The Times reported Aug. 4, 1973, that Crane’s roommate, Harvey Raymond Wikert, was found not guilty in a jury trial.
On Nov. 10, 1973, The Times reported that Crane was sentenced to three years probation, having served 93 days in jail.