Black L.A. 1947: Honor Student Vesta Belle Sapenter Strangled; Suspect Released

image

image
5320 Holmes Ave., in the Pueblo Del Rio housing project, via Google Street View.

 



July 24, 1947:
The Sentinel reports that Benjamin Allen, 16, of 5217 McGarry St., is being held in the death of Vesta Belle Sapenter. Benjamin had scratches on his hands and was the last person seen with Vesta, the Sentinel said.

According to the manager of the Pueblo Del Rio housing project, neither Vesta nor her brother Carlisle ever got in trouble. “We do have considerable difficulty with teenage youngsters hanging around the administration building at night, but neither Vesta or her brother were ever among them,” the manager said.

L.A. Times publishes two paragraphs on Vesta’s killing.

The manager said that Claude Sapenter, a barber, insisted on the children being home at night and called every evening to check on them. When there was no answer, he left for home and arrived shortly after the body was found.

Benjamin was later released for lack of evidence.

July 24, 1947, Vesta Belle Sapenter

July 24, 1947, L.A. Sentinel, Vesta Belle Sapenter

July 24, 1947, Vesta Belle Sapenter

 

About lmharnisch

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

3 Responses to Black L.A. 1947: Honor Student Vesta Belle Sapenter Strangled; Suspect Released

  1. ellde2012 says:

    Well what happened to Benjamin Allen the suspect?

    Like

  2. Pingback: Black L.A. 1947: Elizabeth Ingalls to Pay Dora Jones $6,000 in Slavery Case; Sentenced to Fine and Probation |

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.