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Suicide on Crenshaw

June 10, 2007 |  7:00 am



1957_0610_norris June 10, 1957
Los Angeles

Elsa Klumbis O'Neil saw no hope. The 37-year-old woman wanted a divorce from her husband, Mark, who was due back in a few days from a voyage with the merchant marine. But since she wasn't a U.S. citizen, she was afraid of being deported to Lithuania.

Officer T.R. Norris (at right in 1948, with a robbery suspect) arrived at O'Neil's apartment, 1821 S. Crenshaw Blvd., after landlord Eugene Smith reported a disturbance. Norris had been called to the apartment once before for the same reason and after talking to O'Neil, he went out to the hallway to speak with Smith while Smith's wife kept an eye on O'Neil to keep her from killing herself.

Seeing her chance, O'Neil ran to the bathroom, locked the door and jumped from the second-story window. She was pronounced dead at Georgia Street Receiving Hospital.

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