The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: Crime and courts

The Daily Mirror Is Moving




 
 
  Feb. 27, 1931, Bekins  

I’m moving to LADailyMirror.com



Henry Fuhrmann, one of the assistant managing editors at The Times, likes to say: “Always take the high road. The view is nicer up there.”

Henry is my friend, as well as my supervisor, and he and Mark McGonigle, my boss, have been strong supporters of the Daily Mirror, even when the decision was made at a higher level to shut it down. (And don’t worry; I’m still working as a copy editor on the Metro desk.)

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Mayor Accuses LAPD of Spying on Political Supporters





  June 9, 1961, Comics  

  image  

June 9, 1961: Mayor-elect Sam Yorty comes out swinging, with charges that the LAPD was spying on his supporters, and he takes a little shot against The Times. Police Chief William H. Parker quickly disputed Yorty's allegations, saying they were "patently false." 

The relationship between the mayor of Los Angeles and the police chief is one of the most essential – and conflicted – in local  government (think of Chief Daryl F. Gates and Mayor Tom Bradley, who didn’t even speak to each other).  And I cannot recall a honeymoon that was shorter than the one between Yorty and Parker.

ps. That ticking time bomb you hear is the Watts riots, set to explode in August  1965.

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'Hunchback Killer' Arrested, June 8, 1941




 
 
 
image 
 

  June 8, 1941, Hunchback Killer  

 

June 8, 1941: For some time, I have been coming across stories about Alfred Horace Wells in going through the 1941 clips -- “hunchback killer” is not a nickname that’s easy to forget. But I haven’t done anything on him until now because the story is strange and complicated. Here’s a hint: It was so lurid that during Wells’ trial, the courtroom was cleared of minors because it involved what The Times demurely described as “an unnatural relationship.” It’s not quite in Ma Duncan territory, but what is?


Jimmie Fidler says: If you are posted on Hollywood doings, you know that every studio is now staging an intense, high-pressure production drive.... Why all this rush? ... It looks to me as if the studios are concentrating production now with the intention of shutting down for three or four months next fall.
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Police Chief on His Way Out




 
 
  June 6, 1941, Hohmann  

  June 6, 1941, Comics  

June 6, 1941: Police Chief Arthur Hohmann and Deputy Chief C.B. “Jack” Horrall are about to trade jobs. 

Horrall will remain chief through World War II and into the postwar period, finally retiring during the Brenda Allen scandal – as did Assistant Chief Joe Reed. It should be emphasized that Horrall was chief during an especially difficult time in Los Angeles history. The LAPD lost hundreds of men to the armed forces and had to relax its hiring standards to get enough replacements. Afterward, the “war emergency” officers had to make way when the LAPD’s regular police returned to duty. Some WE officers (their serial numbers included the letters WE to indicate their special status) remained with the LAPD but many others lost their jobs.

At the same time, remember that under Chief James Davis, Horrall headed the Police Department’s “bum blockade” of 1936, in which LAPD officers were sworn into local departments to prevent Okies and other transients from coming into California during the Depression.  Horrall later headed the vice squad.


After all these years, 9 out of 10 Hollywoodites still pass Harold Lloyd without recognizing him, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Burbank Man Invents Death Ray!





  June 4, 1941, Death Ray  

  June 4, 1941, Comics  


June 4, 1941: I’ll admit I’m a sucker for stories about death rays. Evidently The Times’ editors were too since they put this item on Page 1. Promoter Kurt Van Zuyle credited L.E. Riley of Burbank as the inventor. It was a fake (surprise!) but before being caught, Van Zuyle got $10,000 from a government agent who was investigating the scheme.

There’s a picture of the infernal device on the jump! 

Jimmie Fidler says: Wotziz about Patti McCarty being very foolish because of frustrated love for Glenn Ford?

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From the Stacks – 'Facts You Should Know About California'





  Facts You Should Know About California  

Since March, when I examined Louis Adamic’s “The Truth About Los Angeles,” I have been hunting the other pamphlets he wrote for E. Haldeman-Julius. A box of a dozen musty tracts arrived Friday, courtesy of EBay, and I immediately dug into No. 752, “Facts You Should Know About California,” written about 1927-28. 

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Jim Murray, June 1, 1961




 
 
  June 1, 1961, Sky Diving  


  June 1, 1961, Jim Murray  


June 1, 1961: Among those celebrating the convictions of Blinky Palermo and Frankie Carbo is a Boyle Heights prizefight manager named Harry Shall. Harry gave the government a chance to throw the book at Blinky Palermo a long time ago, nearly 10 years, when he haled him into Federal Court for stealing a fighter from him but Harry made the mistake of lumping CBS, Pabst beer, the IBC and others in his suit and Harry was lucky to escape in his underwear when their battery of lawyers got through with him.

Notice the ad for a program on skydiving. Fibber, this is for you!
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Yorty Elected Mayor!



 

 
 
  June 1, 1961, Times Cover  

  June 1, 1961, Comics  


June 1, 1961: Sam Yorty defeats Norris Poulson in the mayor’s race. Poulson says one reason for his loss was the Memorial Day riot in Griffith Park in which a mob of African Americans attacked a small group of LAPD officers. The riot broke out when the operator of the merry-go-round tried to eject a teenager who had gotten on without paying, The Times said. Two men were eventually convicted in the incident.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 31, 1941





  May 31, 1941, Arthur Hohmann's Son Dies  

  May 31, 1941, Comics  

May 31, 1941 – Arthur Hohmann, the LAPD’s reform police chief, will step down in June, citing the deaths of his son and his mother. He was replaced by Clemence C.B. “Jack” Horrall, who served as chief during World War II and retired in 1949 during the Brenda Allen scandal.

Lee Shippey says: It is strange how masterminds disagree as to whether the president's speech last Tuesday means war. So I think I should clear up the matter for my readers.

The speech does not necessarily mean war. All it means is that we must fight or the Nazis must surrender. I'm not joking. I do not think it impossible that the Nazis will surrender.


Also on the jump:  The Times opposes gasoline conservation, Daylight Saving Time and other measures as the country moves toward  wartime stringency measures. Typically, The Times says that the real way to prepare for war is to forbid strikes by unions!

And yes, The Times’ editorial page featured a Bible quote every day for many years.

HOLLYWOOD AFTER DARK: Carole Lombard grinning apologetically at the Hollywood and Vine traffic cop as her car rolls too far into the intersection, Jimmie Fidler says.

Also From The Times’ Editorial Page:

Don’t Recall Mayor Frank Shaw, 1938
Don’t Change Immigration Quotas for Jewish Refugees Fleeing Hitler, 1938
We Don’t Need a Federal Anti-Lynching Law, 1938
U.S. Shouldn’t Recognize Red China, 1959
Times Endorses Nixon, 1960

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Jimmie Fidler, May 26, 1941




 
 
  May 26, 1941, Japan Army Seizes U.S. Property  

  May 26, 1941, Jimmie Fidler  

May 26, 1941: PITTSBURGH, May 25 (AP) -- A man's leg was found along the Ohio River at suburban Moon Township tonight and detectives seeking the remainder of the body said it was probably "another murder" by the long-sought "Mad Butcher" of Cleveland, O."

We turn out a masterpiece titled "Grapes of Wrath" and convince our Latin neighbors that rural North America has gone to hell in high gear. We produce "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" to prove our political corruption, "Citizen Kane" to demonstrate the vices in our capitalistic system, "The Devil and Miss Jones" to make it plain that we're a bunch of downtrodden wage slaves and "Tobacco Road" to put across our cultural standards,  Jimmie Fidler says.
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Bullet of Mystery – Part 5




July 11, 1901, Lionel Comport lionel_comport_nd_crop


In case you just tuned in, I’m posting a small case study of research I did with Caroline Comport on her grandfather Lionel Comport for her master’s thesis. Researching Los Angeles is a treasure hunt, and every time I dig into the resources I find something new.


Bullet of Mystery – Part 1
Bullet of Mystery – Part 2
Bullet of Mystery – Part 3
Bullet of Mystery – Part 4
 
In Part 1, I summarized the case of Lionel Comport, a milkman who was shot in the back while making his rounds in 1901. In Part 2, we looked at some of the resources for online newspapers, and in Part 3, we examined sites that have property records on the corner where the shooting occurred. In Part 4, we delved into the Sanborn maps of the neighborhood. In my final post in the series, I’ll talk about one of the happy discoveries of research. There are, of course, many more places to look. This is a merely a sample.

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Bullet of Mystery – Part 4




July 11, 1901, Lionel Comport lionel_comport_nd_crop


In case you just tuned in, I’m posting a small case study of research I did with Caroline Comport on her grandfather Lionel Comport for her master’s thesis. Researching Los Angeles is a treasure hunt, and every time I dig into the resources I find something new.


Bullet of Mystery – Part 1
Bullet of Mystery – Part 2
Bullet of Mystery – Part 3
 
In Part 2, we looked at some of the resources for online newspapers ,and in Part 3 we examined sites that have property records on the corner where Lionel Comport was shot in 1901. This time we’ll look at Sanborn maps of the neighborhood.  

Continue reading »
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