Paul V. Coates--Confidential File
Sept. 27, 1957
Aug. 12, 1957--A 19-year-old youth was stabbed and seriously wounded last night as he fought to say an 11-year-old girl from criminal attack in Hollenbeck Park. The youth, Edward Gandara, and Jesus Rodriguez, 16, routed the molester, who escaped after driving a penknife into Gandara's abdomen. The knife was removed at Lincoln heights Receiving Hospital.
Gandara told police: "He stuck me in the middle but I kept on fighting until he ran away."
It was a few days ago. Eddie was just out of the hospital. He and some of the guys were sitting around and making talk.
"They sure wrote you up nice in the papers," one of the guys told Eddie.
Eddie laughed. "Man," he said, "they sure tell some lies."
"What do you mean?" he was asked.
"I mean," he answered, "like they said I kept fighting after I got stabbed. I know I didn't, man. I know."
"What did you do, then?"
"I ran. I ran all over the place. It hurt and I just kept running back and forth and all over the place.
"I ran out into the street and this car was coming right at me. He didn't even have time to hit the brakes. He climbed the sidewalk and just missed a phone pole and kept right on going."
"He missed you?"
"Yeah," said Eddie. "He missed me. And then the cops came and started asking me a mess of questions and I kept telling them, 'Look, I got a knife sticking in my stomach, get me an ambulance, man.' "
Eddie stopped, only to be prodded again by the question:
"How long before the ambulance came?"
He shrugged. "Half-hour, maybe. Two guys was holding me, and I kept telling them if it didn't come soon I'd pull the knife out myself."
The rest of the group laughed.
Then, without emotion, he added:
"One of the blades had a hook on it. A can opener, like.
"It wouldn't," he concluded, "pull out."
There was a mass grimace, like everybody felt it.
"Finally," Eddie said, "the ambulance came. Man, it was a long time. And all the time the cops kept saying 'What did he look like?' 'What was he wearing?' "
"Cops," somebody mumbled.
And the subject changed to them--bad cops, good cops, any cops. But after a few minutes it was back to the knife in Eddie's stomach.
"Did they pull it out when the ambulance got there?"
Eddie shook his head. "They helped me into the back and some guy got in with me. I said to him: 'Aren't you going to give me something? It hurts bad, man. Aren't you going to pull that knife out?'
"So he pulls out a pad of paper instead. 'What's your name?' he asks me. I say 'What?' and he says 'Your name and address.'
"So I pull out my wallet and I throw it. Hard. I catch him a beauty right in the eye.
"By the time we reach the hospital," he continued, "the guy's got a big bruise and a nurse asks him what happened."
It was a funny situation and everybody laughed.
Then Eddie told about the hospital, how he couldn't remember what happened the first week, how some of the nurses were pretty fine but how they were always waking you up.
"They wake you up to give you sleeping pills," a friend put in.
"How about the bill?"
"Pretty big," said Eddie, "but I want to thank you guys for the blood."
It took 11 pints to keep Eddie alive. The guys gave eight of them.
"So finally," Eddie continued, "when I got out I went over to Lincoln Heights to get my wallet back--that I threw at the guy.
"I told the girl who I was and she said she remembered about it. She went and got it and came back.
"So then she asks me... " Eddie started to laugh.
"OK," said somebody. "What did she ask you?"
"She asked me," answered Eddie, "have I got any identification."