Category Archives: Crime and Courts

March 5, 1959: Blinded by Bullet, Officer Shoots Gunman Who Killed Partner

Note: I’m way behind on revisiting old blog posts but here’s one I especially like. It’s a little story about  LAPD artist Ector A. Garcia. Garcia also published a paperback “Portraits of Crime” in 1977. It’s a bit hard to … Continue reading

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Jan. 5, 1959: LAPD Suspends Officer for – Uh-Oh

Jan. 5, 1959: Chief William Parker suspends Officer Charles Wolf serial No. 4115 for 15 days for … oh dear. Banging “a known prostitute and dissolute person” and letting her get possession of his firearm. This material is from the … Continue reading

Posted in 1959, City Hall, Crime and Courts, LAPD, Libraries | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Feb. 13, 1959: Paul Coates — Behind Bars in a Mexican Jail

Feb. 13, 1959: Paul Coates takes another look at Americans held in jail in Tijuana. Those who were arrested in a raid on a Rosarito Beach casino were the elite. A man who was being held for running a red … Continue reading

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Black Dahlia: George Hodel Boy Genius, and Rachmaninoff

Do you love research? Of course you do or you wouldn’t be reading the Daily Mirror. But do you love research about the Hodel family? Possibly not.

Posted in 1917, 1947, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Crime and Courts, Music | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Feb. 4, 1959: Paul Coates Visits Americans Jailed in Raid on Mexican Casino

Feb. 4, 1959: Paul Coates does more reporting on the case of Americans being held in Tijuana after a raid on a gambling casino in Rosarito Beach. The story originally appeared in the L.A. Mirror in 1959 and was republished … Continue reading

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Feb. 3, 1959: Paul Coates on Americans Held in Raid on Mexican Casino

Feb. 3, 1959: Paul Coates could dig into real reporting and in this column he is looking at the case of 20 Americans seized in a raid on a casino and held in an unheated city jail in Tijuana  — … Continue reading

Posted in 1959, Columnists, Crime and Courts, Paul Coates | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jan. 24, 1959: Matt Weinstock ‘The Business of Sex’

Jan. 24, 1959: Matt Weinstock has an item on an Edward R. Murrow broadcast “The Business of Sex.” Murrow said that “For Los Angeles, even though the arrest figure was 212 for the year 1957, the estimates varied from 3,000 … Continue reading

Posted in 1959, Columnists, Crime and Courts, LAPD, Matt Weinstock, Radio | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jan. 24, 1959: Law Delays ‘Alfalfa’ Burial

Jan. 24, 1959: One of the best parts of doing the blog at latimes.com was having UCLA and Cal State Northridge interns who, among other tasks, transcribed the Paul Coates and Matt Weinstock columns. Sometimes I transcribed them myself (this … Continue reading

Posted in 1959, Columnists, Crime and Courts, Film, Hollywood, Paul Coates | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jan. 23, 1959: Paul Coates — A Plethora of Ceremonial Plaques

Jan. 23, 1959: Paul Coates is all (or mostly) in favor of ceremonial honors. On the jump, Bobbie Long is found strangled with a nylon stocking a few feet off a dirt road that runs off Don Julian Road between … Continue reading

Posted in 1959, Cold Cases, Columnists, Crime and Courts, Homicide, Paul Coates | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: Common Myths About the Black Dahlia and Their Origins

The FBI file perpetuates the error that Elizabeth Short’s middle name was “Ann.” She had no middle name. Note: This item was originally posted on lmharnisch.com in 2005. Here’s a quick guide to the most frequent errors made in writing … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jan. 22, 1959: ‘Our Gang’ Star Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer Dies in Fight Over $50

Jan. 22, 1959: Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer is shot to death in a fight with Moses Samuel Stiltz. According to police, Switzer borrowed a dog belonging to Stiltz, then lost the dog. Switzer paid $50 for the return of Stiltz’s dog. … Continue reading

Posted in 1959, Baseball, Crime and Courts, Dodgers, Film, Hollywood, Keith Thursby, LAPD, Obituaries | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jan. 21, 1959: Paul Coates on the Porn Trade of the 1950s

Jan. 21, 1959: Paul Coates takes a look at the way pornography (and pretty light stuff at that) was peddled in the 1950s, when it was illegal to send such things through the mail. Coates’ column was originally published in … Continue reading

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Black Dahlia: Fauna Hodel’s Story in 1976 – and No Black Dahlia or George Hodel

Before TNT airs “I Am the Night,” (“inspired by a true story,”) I’m digging for references to Fauna Hodel, George Hodel and the Black Dahlia. So far, it’s not going well.. On June 2, 1976, the Nevada State Journal published … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 1976, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Film | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: No Sign of George Hodel or the Black Dahlia in the Fauna Hodel Story 1990

If you’re curious about whether “I Am the Night” is indeed “inspired by a true story,” I did a bit more digging into the tale of Fauna Hodel and her unfinished film “Pretty Hattie’s Baby” (spoiler alert – there’s nothing … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 1990, 1996, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Film, Hollywood, Homicide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Exploring Historic Photos on Flickr (Yes, Flickr)

In 2007, the Library of Congress began putting historic images on Flickr (remember Flickr?) and this was one of my favorites: The first all-woman jury in Los Angeles AND the first all-women jury in California.. Warning, you will see this … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, Crime and Courts, Libraries, Photography | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: The Fauna Hodel Story ‘Pretty Hattie’s Baby’

In preparing for the launch of TNT’s “I Am the Night,” I thought it would be interesting to do a bit of research on Fauna Hodel. Just to see if she ever mentioned Dr. George Hodel earlier in her life. … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 1990, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Film, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Black Dahlia: Photos From Black Dahlia’s Scrapbook Sell on EBay for $7,611 in 2003

Back in 2003, a few photos from Elizabeth Short’s scrapbook were sold on EBay for $7,611.11 Perhaps they look familiar. I archived the page (it has vanished from EBay, of course) to keep anybody from claiming that they found them … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 2003, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Found on EBay, Homicide | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A. Victor Segno: How to Live 100 Years – Olive Oil and Distilled Water

More wisdom from A. Victor Segno, my favorite L.A. charlatan. Via Archive.org..

Posted in 1903, Books and Authors, Crime and Courts | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: Trim Your Roses on Jan. 15 to Remember Elizabeth Short

Today is Jan. 15, the anniversary of Elizabeth Short’s death. As is the custom, the Daily Mirror will be dark. Trim your roses in her memory.

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Black Dahlia: Dr. George Hodel, Janice Knowlton and the Black Dahlia Case

Aug. 8, 1998: A post on the old usenet alt.news-media by Janice Knowton was the first to publicly link Dr. George Hodel and the Black Dahlia case. At this point, George Hodel was alive but would die in a bit … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 1998, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment