Monday, October 03, 2005

Lucky Lady!

October 3, 1947
Los Angeles

After waiting six years to begin her trial on charges of killing husband Major George A. Tucker, battilion commander at Ft. MacArthur, Mrs. Marie Tucker, now 45, is going home for good.

Accused of stabbing the Major in their home at 1423 13th Street, San Pedro on July 1, 1941, Mrs. Tucker's trial was to commence on December 8, 1941. The attack on Pearl Harbor intervened, and the many military witnesses to the case were scattered across the globe. Lawyers Jerry Giesler and Frank P. Doherty recently moved to dismiss the indictment, as witnesses remain at their distant posts. Assistant D.A. John Barnes didn't fight them, so Superior Judge Thomas L. Ambrose set Mrs. Tucker, who has been out on bail, permanently free.

When arrested, Mrs. Tucker said that her husband's wound, from which he died after 10 days, was an accident. It seems he'd been making a ham sandwich after a wild party, and somehow the butcher knife pierced his spleen, stomach and heart. The knife ended up in the back of a utility drawer. Although the stabbing happened on civilian property, no one called the police, and Major Tucker was flown by bomber up to San Francisco for two rounds of emergency surgery, while fellow officers hustled around collecting evidence from the scene.

These kinds of things happen when you cook drunk, so be careful out there!


Larry said...


Reddest face in town yesterday belonged to Charles Bennett, writer of screen mysteries in which the brilliant detective always catches the crook.

Seems that he had a few friends in for a card game Wednesday night and sometime during the session a burglar crawled through the window of a bedroom next to the den where the five-card entertainment was going on and stole his wife’s purse containing $300 cash and a pair of earrings.

What’s more, the dog barked at the burglar but the Bennetts paid no heed to his warning.

+ + +

This was, as some astute film students may have noticed, Alfred Hitchcock’s collaborator on a string of famous films, including “The 39 Steps,” “Foreign Correspondent” and the remake of “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” He also wrote “King Solomon’s Mines” and worked on the cult favorite TV show “The Wild, Wild West.” When he died at the age of 95 in 1995, Hollywood lost its oldest working screenwriter.

Bennett’s home in Coldwater Canyon (the exact address is a bit hard to determine) was a gathering place for other émigrés, including Hitchcock, Errol Flynn, Laurence Olivier and C. Aubrey Smith. The late Times obituary writer Burt Folkart described Bennett’s home as “a museum-like setting in his rustic Coldwater Canyon home. Surrounding him were the pictures, posters and memorabilia of the stars and writers who had sat at his bar, talking of films, Great Britain and the changing of the Hollywood guard from immigrants to icons.”

And Bennett seems to have had a touch of Hitchcock in his personal life. When a fire destroyed his garage in 1945, he lost the script for a novel titled “The Burning City.”

Larry said...

It's also worth noting that weekday editions of The Times have increased to 30 pages, up from 20 or 22 earlier in the year, mostly because of all those display ads from the department stores. The sales staff must have been very happy with whoever was handling the J.W. Robinson, Bullock's and I. Magnin accounts. It certainly is a treat to see all those well-drawn fashion illustrations, which provided such a stylish element to newspaper pages.