August 3, 1947
Remember Eugene H. White, the 31-year-old engineer who apparently vanished out of his blood-splattered car over the Valentine’s Day weekend, only to show up two weeks later in Seattle-town with an eight page manifesto blaming his troubles on a civilian version of combat fatigue? Well, Geno’s in the news again today.
Seems city inspectors complained that the addition he was putting on the White manse at 22304 Providencia St. sported a ceiling that was five inches too low—fine if he was building for snakes, not so good for a growing family. So Eugene, unemployed since the Seattle incident and harried from housebuilding while wife Elizabeth and the kids summered with family in Ann Arbor, did what any frustrated home builder would do: he set the house on fire.
As it burned he became remorseful and tried to stop the licking flames with his handy hose, but by then it was too late, and neither Eugene nor the combined hoses of four Reseda and Canoga Park fire companies could save the six-room structure. Arson officers arrested Eugene as he watched it burn.
Down at the Van Nuys Jail, he told reporters that the house had been a jinx all along. We’ll see if his wife agrees when she returns from Michigan.