July 2, 1947: Man Held in Strangling of Mary Tate

July 2, 1947, Oscar L. Hallgren

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project.

This is, of course, a murder frequently tossed into the Black Dahlia file by crime books such as “The Cases That Haunt Us” and “Black Dahlia Avenger.” But no one (except a reference I recall from “True Confessions” and can’t locate at the moment) mentions that Tate was African American. Nor does anyone ever add that a suspect was arrested in the case.

It’s been a long time since I researched this killing and my files seem to be incomplete, but I recall that she was strangled with a rope rather than a “silk stocking,” as reported in “The Cases That Haunt Us” (a book that, unfortunately, borrows heavily from “Severed,” which is 25% mistakes and 50% fiction). The Weller Hotel at 107 E. Weller St. (now Onizuka) in Little Tokyo wasn’t exactly a silk stocking establishment.

Unfortunately, The Times didn’t follow up on this case and I’d have to make a trip to the microfilm to see how it was handled by the Examiner, Herald and Daily News.

Tate was born in Texas, Sept. 15, 1909. Hallgren was born March 24, 1907, and received a Social Security card (470-01-8027) in Minnesota. He apparently died July 17, 1976, in Long Beach.

In a few days, however, Rosenda Mondragon will be killed with a silk stocking…… stay tuned.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to July 2, 1947: Man Held in Strangling of Mary Tate

  1. Looking north on Weller (our famous(?) stagecoach shortcut) with the Weller Hotel just out-of-sight on the left beyond the Salvation Army. But because of the slight widening of the roadbed, as it approaches 1st Street, the hotel can’t be seen.



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