The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Dead end

 

1957_0624_hed

June 24, 1957
Los Angeles

Police Capt. Walter R. Koenig was out walking his dog in the 5500 block of Green Oak Drive, where it dead ends in the Hollywood Hills, when he found Baby Boy Doe. 

He was 1 to 3 months old, and someone had wrapped him in blankets and put him in a cardboard box. An animal discovered Baby Boy Doe and dragged him out. "Police said the baby's legs are missing and one appears to have been cleanly severed with a sharp instrument," the Mirror said. He had been dead three or four days.

Koenig told investigators he had seen a young couple in the area a week earlier. When he questioned them about what they were doing, the man asked for directions and they left, Koenig said.

Rest in peace, Baby Boy Doe.

Koenig joined the LAPD in 1938, a watershed year in Los Angles politics because it marked the recall of Mayor Frank Shaw and the reform administration of Fletcher Bowron. In 1964, he became the police chief in Torrance. In 1969, shortly before reaching retirement age, Koenig accepted a teaching job at Georgia State University.

In an extremely rare honor for a police officer, the American Civil Liberties Union paid tribute to Koenig with its Courage of Conviction award. "As chief of police, Koenig, while enforcing the law firmly and fairly, always displayed an awareness of the rights of the individual as embodied in the Constitution," the ACLU said.

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