Black L.A., 1947: Reward Offered for Leads in Streetcar Conductor’s Killing

1117 E. 58th St., Los Angeles, CA
1117 E. 58th St., where streetcar conductor Harold D. Moon was robbed and killed, March 30, 1947, via Google Street View.

April 3, 1947: Harold D. Moon, a conductor on the “U” streetcar, was shot in the back and robbed of $70 in receipts in a restroom at 1117 E. 58th St., the Sentinel said.

Witnesses said they heard several shots and “saw the presumed murderer, whom they identified as a Negro, make his getaway,” the Sentinel said.

The next day, Louis Patten, 44, a conductor on the “H” line, was hit with a gun butt and a bottle, slashed with a knife and robbed of $35 at 58th and Wall streets, the end of his route. Patten described the robber as a “huge Negro,” the Sentinel said.

Los Angeles Transit Lines report for April 1947.


April 10, 1947, Detectives

LAPD Detectives E.C. McGruder and B.L. Hoskins of the Newton Division were assigned to the Moon case.

In a front-page editorial, the Sentinel offered a $100 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Moon’s killer. Moon, 30, was a Navy veteran who had started with Los Angeles Transit Lines in January. The company offered a $1,000 reward for information in the killing.

“This killing follows closely on the heels of the murder of an officer in the Watts area,” the editorial said. “Unless a halt is called to this kind of activity none of us will be safe. Murderers bent on robbery do not choose victims by their color or race; they are ready to rob, and kill any likely victim.”

The Sentinel reported that Joseph Young and Wesley Davis were arrested in the Moon killing.  On April 18, 1947, the Los Angeles Times reported that Henderson McDonald, 33, a transient, was arrested in Moon’s killing. No further information was published on the case.

April 3, 1947, Streetcar Conductor

April 3, 1947, Streetcar Conductor

April 3, 1947, Streetcar Conductor

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, African Americans, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, LAPD, Streetcars and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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