The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Fatal rage

Oct. 6, 1957
Los Angeles

1957_1006_dadJoe and Ruby had four young children, but were treating them so badly that a warrant was issued on charges of neglect.

Juvenile Officers Roy Keene and Connie Kennedy went to the home at 1328 Concord St. Joe fought with Keene, who had managed to get one handcuff fastened. Joe swung the loose handcuff as a weapon, beating Keene in the face.

With John, 6, Steve, 5, Robert, 3, and Judy, 3 months, nearby, Officer Keene drew his pistol and shot Joe in the stomach.

In the meantime, officers had stopped Ruby at Temple and Figueroa on another matter and as she was being questioned, she heard the shooting reported over the police radio.

Transported to the Hollenbeck station, Ruby was told that Joe Verdin, 26, had died at General Hospital. She was arrested on the child neglect warrant and the children were turned over to the authorities.

Unfortunately, The Times didn't pursue this story, so we don't know what happened. According to the Social Security Death Index, a woman named Ruby Verdin died in 2006 in Salt Lake City at the age of 83. We can only hope for the best.

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