Category Archives: Crime and Courts

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: M.E. Firman, Lady Detective

In the early 1900s, most women in the United States lacked the right to vote. Groups such as the National American Woman Suffrage Association organized to actively campaign for enfranchisement. Winning the vote would lead to other reforms regarding child … Continue reading

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: ‘Oh Doctor’ Welcomes Prohibition

Popular culture often comments on social and political issues of the day when citizens have no other way to voice opinions, change policy, or confront government. During the early years of the 20th century, sheet music provided a running commentary … Continue reading

Posted in 1920, Crime and Courts, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory, Music | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a 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 , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

This week’s mystery movie was the 1950 MGM picture “Black Hand,” with Gene Kelly, J. Carrol Naish, Teresa Celli, Marc Lawrence, Barry Kelley, Frank Puglia and Mario Siletti. Screenplay by Luther Davis from a story by Leo Townsend. Photography by … Continue reading

Posted in 1950, Crime and Courts, Film, Hollywood, Immigration, Mystery Photo, New York | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Rose Parade Encounter Leads to Killing of Arcadia Woman

Note: This is an encore post from 2013 Aug. 9, 1963: “In Saigon, 400 miles to the south, police geared for trouble as a young, unidentified monk announced plans to burn himself to death in the continuing Buddhist struggle for … Continue reading

Posted in 1963, Art & Artists, Comics, Crime and Courts, Downtown, Film, Hollywood, Homicide, Religion, Vietnam | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dec. 23, 1947: Baby Girl Abandoned at Downtown Restaurant With Christmas Card Pinned to Blanket

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. The young mother asked the waitress at the cafe in the Subway Terminal Building to hold her baby for just a moment—and then she was gone. … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

This is an encore post from 2018. Note: “Little Shoes,” about the murders of three little girls, may not be everybody’s idea of an appropriate holiday gift, but it is more than a “true crime” book. In “Little Shoes” Pamela … Continue reading

Posted in 1937, Books and Authors, Crime and Courts, Homicide | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

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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