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Matt Weinstock, March 21, 1960

March 21, 2010 |  4:12 pm

March 21, Comics

Pulling a Chessman?

Matt Weinstock     The letter, neatly written in pencil, is from a man named Arthur.

    "I am in the City Jail on a phony beef," it begins.  "About 2:30 a.m. March 1 I was forced into a car by four men.  One had a knife in my back.  I was taken for a ride, beaten, robbed and thrown out of the car.  After which they worked me over by trampling me on the sidewalk."

    The letter continues, "Soon afterward, while staggering around in a daze, a patrol car came upon the scene.  I tried to tell them my story but they would not let me explain.  I told them that the men on the car had my billfold but they refused to investigate by search.  Apparently the men in the car convinced them that they had never seen me before, that I was possibly out of my mind.  Of course, the majority overruled."


    IT GOES ON, "The outcome was my appearance in court at which I was sentenced to 90 days.  Because the judge refused to listen to my story I feel you should know the facts about my case.  It was not only a frame but I was denied the right to at least explain my plight."


 March 21, 1960, Abby
    The letter gives the judge's name, the badge numbers of the officers and his booking number.

    What Arthur writes could be true.  It could be a bum beef.  But it's Arthur's words against the evidence against him and the evidence is bad.

    Arthur, now around 60, first got into trouble in 1930 in New York and New Jersey.  His record shows that he was detained that year for investigation of an unstated offense.  Subsequently he was arrested for grand larceny, three times for taking a car without permission, drunk rolling, escape, intoxication and vagrancy.  Since 1950 he has had 17 drunk arrests here.

    A court attache put it this way:  "We get fellows like him all the time.  They go a certain route all their lives and when they get up in years and can't make it any more they beef."

    It was called to his attention that Arthur must have felt he had been unjustly treated or he wouldn't have written.

    "Oh, sure, he's sincere all right," was the response.  "These fellows who have spent a lot of time in jail get smart.  They're professional 'sinceres.'  He's pulling a Chessman. I'm afraid we're going to have the effects of the Chessman affair with us for a long time."


to know where we are today, tradingstampwise?  A woman in Reseda writes, "I had a dream in which I was in a hospital having  a baby.  This was not a happy dream because I already have four young children.  However, the dream had a happy ending.  The hospital gave Blue Chip stamps."


    ONLY IN Hollywood --
A hypochondriac at a radio station is concerned over his sneeze pattern.  In the past he always sneezed in odd number spasms -- 1, 3, 5 -- with a  record of 13.  When he stopped at an even number there was always one more achoo to make his odd number.

    Two weeks ago the pattern changed to evens -- 2, 4, 6 -- with a record of 8.  No extra spasms as before.  The change has him bugged or, perhaps more precisely, bacteriaed.


many people tell it, this is a city of change in which people and structures are constantly being uprooted and very little is permanent.  Let Ben Hoffman tell about a neighbor, Miss Emily Nagy, a nurse.  She has lived in the same house at 1342 N Occidental Blvd. for 30 years.  There are more than 200 steps up to it.  She drives a 1921 Model T Ford and every night, having no garage, she dutifully puts it to bed -- a blanket over the hood held by two bricks.


He's so old-fashioned he
    thinks payola
Is a coin operated Victrola.


Roddy McElree, 13, placed notices at the homes of non-subscribers on his paper route in Santa Monica stating, "Have paper, will peddle." . . . A place on Laurel Canyon Blvd. near Magnolia Blvd. has a sign, "We wash foreign cars with foreign water" . . . Thought for today by Sylvia Tate: "Spring in the hills is really for the birds."