Trick or Treat murder
Nov. 13-14, 1957
Although The Times was too squeamish to even allude to homosexuality in the Trick or Treat murder of Peter Fabiano, the Mirror was a bit more brave.
It's fairly evident that the Mirror expected people to read between the lines and figure out this story:
"Strange and unpredictable passions were probably responsible for the trick or treat murder of a Sun Valley beauty shop owner on Halloween, police said today.
"This cryptic comment was all that came from Valley Detective Sgts. Pat Kealy and Charles Stewart after they booked a 40-year-old woman freelance photographer on suspicion of murder."
The Mirror helpfully provides a few more facts about Rabel: She was a Lithuanian immigrant, had a police record for burglary and violating liquor laws, and she had been divorced for a year.
Let the record show that the word "lesbian" appeared only once in a Times news story in 1957 and that was in a direct quote from a prosecution brief against L. Ewing Scott, referring to his fabricated excuses for his wife's disappearance.
ProQuest shows that the word "lesbian" also appeared twice in classified ads, but I suspect these are "false positives" that sometimes confuse the software's search engine.
Stay tuned and I'll go over the ads to see if I can find out what's up.
But why should I have all the fun? Click below to see two pages of Times classified ads that ProQuest says contain the word "lesbian."