December 1947: Son Uses Coin Telescope at Point Fermin to Spot Body of Missing Father

L.A. Times, 1947


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

Herbert’s mother phoned him on Monday because his father, Fritz, was missing from their home at 3703 W. Bluff Place in San Pedro.

Herbert told police he contacted the Coast Guard after he went to Point Fermin, dropped a dime in one of the telescopes pointed out to sea and saw his father’s body floating in the water.

Because of the bruises on the face and head, Detective Lts. Donald Gray and Ralph Weyant suggested that Fritz had been killed. His family said he had been having financial problems for some time so suicide also seemed a possibility. The Times had nothing more to say about the incident.

Fritz Kraencke, 57, came to America in 1927 to design sets for the Los Angeles Grand Opera after five years with the Berlin Staatsoper, as well as Bayreuth, and he also designed sets for many German films of the silent era.

IMDB page:

Bonus factoid: Sam Wartnik died of a heart attack Jan. 26, 1949, at Hollywood Receiving Hospital two hours after he was found on the floor of his apartment, 592 N. Rossmore Ave., with a telephone receiver in his hand. He was 46.

Quote of the day: “We sometimes forget the terrific and powerful force we have in just being women, being kind and humane—something men haven’t time to be.”

Dr. Eleanor Metheny, USC physical education professor, speaking to the Los Angeles County Federation of Women’s clubs.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Crime and Courts, Film, Hollywood, LAPD, Suicide and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply. Note: Your IP is logged with your comment so a fake name and email address are useless.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s