Interview with a Murderess

Interview with a Murderess

Aurellia Scheck, a 19-year-old laundry girl, loved Ernest Stackpole, a handsome, well-off young man, ten years her senior, who had come to Los Angeles from out east and rented a room in her mother’s boarding house. Together, she and Ernest plotted to murder Aurellia’s...
“Officer Chokes Horse”

“Officer Chokes Horse”

 The Angelus hotel, 1905Photo credit: USC Libraries Special CollectionsHearing shouts of alarm from down the block, the office workers, tourists and shoppers in the lunch-hour crowd thronging the corner of Fourth and South Spring streets one cold afternoon in...
The Panicking Patrolman

The Panicking Patrolman

 In June 1907, a drunk woman was arrested for shooting her sweetheart during a fight in a rooming house. It should have been a straightforward case, but things are rarely simple in SRO land, and the unravelling of loose threads soon ended the career of a young...

A Peddler Plundered

Street peddler Tony Adams patrolled the corner of Fifth and South Main streets, selling candy from a tray that he secured to his body with a broad leather strap across his back, which freed his hands and made it easier for him to wrap purchases and make change, thus...
Bad Man on Crocker Street

Bad Man on Crocker Street

Officer Gifford, on night patrol on Crocker street, heard a call for help and saw three men chasing another man down the block away from him. As he set off after them, Gifford saw the man in the lead leap up the steps at the entrance to the emergency hospital, just as...