Monday, April 04, 2005

April 4, 1947
Los Angeles

On March 19, after his third grade classes at Allesandro School, 9-year-old Murl Duncan Cooke, Jr. failed to return to the home he shared at 2910 Gilroy Avenue with brother Newton, 10, and their widowed mother Pearl.

Since then, the boy has been sleeping rough, eating whatever people gave him. Juvenile Officers W.B. Smith and J.W. Scheck finally spotted the kid huddling in a liquor store doorway near where Beverly meets Vermont last night, and brought him into Georgia Street juvenile division for a big slice of banana cream pie and a warm cot.

Why was little Murl alone on the street? The next morning, he told officers, "I ran away once before. I didn't go home till after 8 o'clock and I got a whippin' for it. That's why I didn't want to go home this time." He was returned to his mother's care.

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