July 29, 1947
Home on leave from Alaska for his grandmother’s funeral, 22-year-old technician 5th grade Richard DeSpain quaffed a lot of bay rum and got into an altercation with some Negro youths, whom he said robbed him. Determined to settle the score, he returned to his mother’s home at 323 E. 109th Street and retrieved his Japanese pistol.
The boy’s mother is Reverend Emma DeSpain, one-time follower of Aimee Semple McPherson and until recently minister at the now-closed Victory Chapel, 10700 Avalon Blvd. Reverend Emma was hosting a luncheon for several nice Christian ladies, but left her guests to plead with the boy to be more peaceable. In the course of their struggle, the gun, clutched in Richard’s pocket, fired, shattering mama’s thighbone.
Richard ran off, but soon returned to face the consequences. Cops are turning him over to military authorities, since his emergency leave expired two weeks ago, and the good Reverend says her injury is a small thing if it means her hard-drinking boy will start to live right. Here’s hoping!
Suggested reading: Sister Aimee: The Life of Aimee Semple McPherson