The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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No deal

 

1957_0730_confidential

1957_0730_meade July 30, 1957
Los Angeles

The state prosecutor and the defense had reached an agreement on most points in the conspiracy trial involving Confidential and Whisper magazines.

According to the proposed accord, Confidential and Whisper would:

  1. Abandon their present format, would stop printing smear stories and publicize the change in newspaper ads.
  2.  
  3. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Herbert V. Walker would decide the case based on grand jury transcripts.
  4.  
  5. Charges against Fred and Marjorie Meade (the alleged sources of the magazines' stories) would be dropped because "they are out of business the minute the format of the magazine is changed," according to Chief Assistant Atty. Gen. Clarence Linn.

Defense attorney Arthur J. Crowley agreed to everything except Linn's insistence that guilty verdicts against the corporations--Whisper Inc., Confidential Inc., Hollywood Research Inc. and Publishers Distributing Corp--could not be appealed.

Linn told the judge that the agreement would suppress the magazines and Crowley noted that the deal would avoid a long trial that would threaten the reputations of Hollywood celebrities.

To which Walker said: No. "I don't think a good reason has been given here for the dismissal of the indictments against the individuals."

The Mirror said there was little scandal in the 143-page grand jury transcript, noting that it mostly dealt with testimony by 20 witnesses that publisher Robert Harrison's objective was to print "as much shocking material as he could obtain by wiretaps, by using prostitutes as witnesses or by any other means."

Ronnie Quillan testified:

"Harrison stressed the point that he primarily was just interested in the sexual activities of the stars and celebrities and whether they were homosexuals or weren't, in other words, the most lurid phases of their lives that he could expose."

To be continued.

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