Category Archives: Homicide

Brian De Palma’s ‘The Black Dahlia’

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. Further note: Rotten Tomatoes, gives this film 32% on the Tomatometer. “The Black Dahlia,” directed by Brian De Palma, screenplay by Josh Friedman based on the novel by James Ellroy. Starring Josh … Continue reading

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Black Dahlia: EBay Avenger

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. OK, I’ve had my fun with Ellroy’s copies of the “Avenger” books. The hardback stands at $38 and the paperback at $29. Despite my minimum bids, there is always the risk that … Continue reading

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James Ellroy: ‘Don’t Anybody Say the Name Steve Hodel’

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. An incredibly curious thing happened yesterday. I’ve been taping segments for an “America’s Most Wanted” episode on the Black Dahlia and the producer called to see if they could get some shots … Continue reading

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Black Dahlia: Steve Hodel, James Ellroy and EBay: Outbid!

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. Gosh, I upped my bid on James Ellroy’s copies of “Black Dahlia Avenger” (the hardback and paperback) but was outbid. Darn. I’m going to do my best to get them over $25, … Continue reading

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Black Dahlia: More Steve Hodel, James Ellroy and EBay

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. I couldn’t stand the thought of James Ellroy’s copies of “Black Dahlia Avenger” going for so little on EBay. After all, don’t people know the book has been optioned by New Line … Continue reading

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Black Dahlia Avenger: From Steve Hodel to James Ellroy to EBay

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. My goodness, one never knows what will turn up on Ebay. This morning I found a copy of “Black Dahlia Avenger” inscribed by Steve Hodel to James Ellroy, who wrote the introduction … Continue reading

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Aug. 11, 1947: Two Men Found Shot to Death in Bizarre Mystery

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. Someone found them shot to death on the floor of the Portal Motel at 2775 N. Cahuenga: two men completely clothed except for their shoes, each … Continue reading

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Aug. 5, 1947: Hitchhiking Couple Confess to ‘Kiss of Death’ Murder

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. “Last Wednesday, I killed a man.” Joseph stood tall for the news photographers, with his wife, Lois, by his side, a shock of hair swept down … Continue reading

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

July 31, 1947: The Sentinel’s front page is full of news: Elizabeth Ingalls is sentenced in the San Diego slavery case to a fine of $2,500, three years probation and a $6,000 payment to Dora Jones. The Sentinel also reports … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, African Americans, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD, San Diego | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

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 … Continue reading

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July 26, 1947: Son Cleared of Killing Father During Attack on Mother

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. One night in July, Bernard Robert Monday Jr. finally had enough. The violence had been going on at least a decade, maybe longer. In 1937, when … Continue reading

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July 24, 1947: Honor Student Vesta Belle Sapenter, 17, Strangled

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. Her name was Vesta Belle and she was 17, an honor student at Jefferson High, a mile and a half from her home at 5320 Holmes … Continue reading

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Black L.A. 1947: Postal Worker Finds Body of Rosenda Mondragon

July 10, 1947: The Sentinel publishes a picture of Newton Joshua, who discovered the body of Rosenda Mondragon. I don’t recall ever seeing his name in coverage of the killing.

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July 9, 1947: Rosenda Mondragon Strangled With Stocking

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. Here’s a perfect illustration of the difference between The Times and the Examiner, which has a completely different version of Antonio Mondragon’s actions on the night … Continue reading

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

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 … Continue reading

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June 29, 1907: Horribly Beaten, Wife Begs Police Not to Charge Husband, Refuses to Testify

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. June 29, 1907 Los Angeles Through the jail cell’s bars, the officer asked, “Where did you get that blood on your shirt?” E.H. Phelan, a barber at the Hotel Alexandria, said: “No, … Continue reading

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June 25, 1947: L.A. Times Praises Gangland Slaying of Bugsy Siegel

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. Gov. Warren is justified in his concern over the growth of gangsterism in California, dramatized by the effective and efficient taking-off of the charming but unlamented … Continue reading

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Jan. 20, 1947: ‘Good Night. Sleep Peacefully With Compliments of Jacks’

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. I was talking with Siegel about seven o’clock on the Friday evening of his death. He called me at the office of Hollywood’s Daily Variety, for … Continue reading

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June 20, 1947: Dinner at Jacks at the Beach

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. Good evening, Mr. Siegel. Welcome to Jacks at the Beach. I’ll be your waiter tonight. Would you like to start off with a drink? Here’s a … Continue reading

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June 16, 1907: Lawyer Edith Foulkes Handles Her Own Divorce Case

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. June 16, 1907 Los Angeles Despite the old saying—a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client—Edith Foulkes is a smart woman, at least in the courtroom. She can’t make … Continue reading

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