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Architectural ramblings

October 3, 2007 |  7:40 am

Every day, I visit a friend who is recovering from cancer surgery at Glendale Memorial Hospital, so I took a short detour and visited the boyhood home of Caryl Chessman, the "Red Light Bandit."


Photograph by Larry Harnisch / Los Angeles Times
3280 Larga Ave., Atwater Village, Calif.

Photograph by  Bob Jakobsen / Los Angeles Times

Caryl Chessman, left, with Detective E.M. "Al" Goossen, Jan. 23, 1948. At the time, Chessman was living at the home on Larga and had been arrested 6th Street and Shatto Place after a high-speed chase. He was convicted on eight counts of robbery, four counts of kidnapping, two morals charges, one count of attempted robbery, one count of attempted rape and auto theft. He was sentenced to the gas chamber on two counts of kidnapping and was executed in 1960.

Goossen worked many prominent cases of the 1940s and '50s, including the gang slaying of Tony Brancato and Tony Trombino and the murder of Gladys Kern, a real estate agent who was killed while showing a home in Los Feliz. He worked as a private investigator in the San Fernando Valley after retiring from the LAPD.

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