Tag Archives: #death penalty

Barbara Graham Gets Death Sentence

Sept. 23, 1953: Barbara Graham, John A. Santo and Emmett Perkins are convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Mabel Monahan. The jury returned the verdict without a recommendation of life in prison. “Mrs. Graham didn’t bat an eye,” … Continue reading

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Barbara Graham Sobs During Son’s Visit to Jail

Sept. 6, 1953: Barbara Graham, on trial in the Mabel Monahan killing, sobs “almost hysterically” as she holds her 18-month-old son, Tommy, during a visit at the Hall of Justice, The Times says. He was in the custody of his … Continue reading

Posted in Art & Artists, Comics, Crime and Courts, Downtown, Film, Hill Street, Obituaries | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Man Held in Killing of Ex-Marine — Part 2

As strange as the tale of Michael Timothy Cavanaugh had been, the case became even more bizarre once he was arrested. After several days of denying that he knew ex-Marine Ralph Welch, even though he was driving Welch’s car and … Continue reading

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Rose Parade Encounter Leads to Killing of Arcadia Woman

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 what they consider their civil rights and religious … Continue reading

Posted in 1963, Art & Artists, Comics, Crime and Courts, Downtown, Film, Hollywood, Homicide, Religion, Vietnam | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Times on Spinelli Execution: ‘Good Riddance’

 Nov. 22, 1941: Here is Times reporter Tom Cameron’s description of the execution of Juanita “the Duchess” Spinelli: Eight cyanide “eggs” under the chair dropped into a bucket of sulfuric acid and distilled water. Nothing happened. The Duchess, her back … Continue reading

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Duchess Spinelli, Doomed to Gas Chamber: ‘No Christian Will Kill!’

Nov. 21, 1941: Juanita “The Duchess” Spinelli arrives at San Quentin to be executed in the gas chamber – the first woman legally executed in California’s history. “No one who is a Christian will kill!” the 52-year-old mother of three … Continue reading

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Woman Executed for Sex With Dog, 1677

Photo: Mujeres listas para recivir a Rabago, 1911. Credit: Walter H. Horne/Getty Research Institute “A Nation Emerges,” featuring images of the Mexican Revolution, will go  on display at the Central Library from Sept. 8 to June 3. The exhibit, presented … Continue reading

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June 24, 1958

  t left, a nine-room home in an all-white neighborhood is heavily vandalized after being sold to an African American doctor and his family. The Times says vandals caused $15,000 ($109,315.53 USD 2007) damage to the newly redecorated home at … Continue reading

Posted in #courts, Countdown to Watts, Film, Front Pages, Hollywood, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

June 9, 1958

bove, yes, such things really happened. Anybody who thinks the past was a "kinder, simpler time" needs to revisit their history lessons … At left, an interesting figure is back in the news: The late Robert S. "Rattlesnake" James, the … Continue reading

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May 29, 1938

Above, what Los Angeles was reading in 1938–and a shoutout to the Zombie Reading Program over at This Book Is for You…. "When there’s no more room in closed stacks, the out-of-print will rise up and walk the earth." At … Continue reading

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A miracle

Oct. 5, 1957 Louisiana The story of Alton Clifton Poret presents unusually frustrating challenges for the diligent researcher. Identified in a 1954 Times story as "a former Los Angeles Negro," Poret and Edgar Labat were sentenced to die in Louisiana’s … Continue reading

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Paul V. Coates–Confidential File

Sept. 18, 1957 There are times when justice gets in its own way. By trying to hustle along a little too fast, it trips over its own ethical skirts. And a living example of what can happen when it does … Continue reading

Posted in #courts, Caryl Chessman, Columnists, Homicide, Paul Coates | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘I Hate Cops!’

  Aug. 2, 1957 Los Angeles It was St. Patrick’s Day, 1957, and a few customers got rowdy in a bar at Pico Boulevard and Figueroa Street. Police Officer Leo Wise separated a couple of men who were fighting and … Continue reading

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  July 20, 1957 Riverside A maid at a Riverside hotel found the battered, nude body of 5-year-old Hiedrun "Heidi" Nicholson bent over double and stuffed into a closet. It looked "as if someone had been pounding her with a … Continue reading

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Voices–the Albert Dyer case

  Note: The murders of three little Inglewood girls was one of Los Angeles’ most notorious case of the 1930s. Madeline Everett, 7,  her sister Melba, 9, and their playmate, Jeanette Stephens, 8, were lured to the Baldwin Hills by … Continue reading

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