Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Suicide Pact

December 21, 1947

Wiley and Zelda Mills, both 65, took sleeping pills in their apartment at 1753 1/2 N. Berendo St. after preparing their wills and writing apologetic notes. Zelda's to their son Francis in Berkeley read " We are sorry to have to do this now. But it is the only thing left. Dad and I talked it out and there would be no use of my trying to go on alone. We love you very much. Mother."

The couple's son-in-law Cambern Cottrell, 1025 S. Westmoreland Ave., alerted police when he was unable to get the Mills on the phone or to answer their door. When officers L.T. Napier and J.H. Stein entered the apartment, they found Wiley dead and Zelda unconscious. She is in critical condition in General Hospital.

The couple was apparently despondent over financial problems and the death of Cambern's wife, their daughter Marjorie, from pneumonia four years ago.


Larry said...


1. 33 CHILDREN’S SONGS. Sung by Frank Luther, on two unbreakable 10” records. $2.36

2. NURSERY RHYMES. Sung by Frank Luther, on two unbreakable 10” records. $2.36

3. SLEEP, BABY, SLEEP and other songs. Sung by Frank Luther, on two unbreakable 10” records. $2.36

4. BOZO AT THE CIRCUS. 2 records, and beautifully colored picture book. $2.84

5. BOZO AND HIS ROCKET SHIP. 2 records in colorful, illustrated story book. $2.84

6. TUBBY THE TUBA, who wanted to play a solo. Told by Victor Jory. 2 records, album. $2.36

7. PAN THE PIPER. Narrated by Paul Wing, two 12” unbreakable records in illustrated album. $4.73

8. OLIVER TWIST AND FAGIN, Narrated by Basil Rathbone. Three 12” records in album. $4.60

9. WHIZZER, THE TALKING AIRPLANE. Singing and talking sound by Sonovax. Two 10” unbreakable records. $3.13

10. MIKE, THE TOUGH LITTLE TUGBOAT, narrated by Vernon Crane. Two 10” records. $2.25

11. UNCLE DON’S PLAYLAND. Nursery rhymes and stories. 3 records in album. $2.68

12. LADY IN BLUE. Songs, games and dances, on 2 unbreakable records in album. $2.89

13. LITTLE BLACK SAMBO. Told by Paul Wing with sound effects and music. Two 10” unbreakable records, album. $3.15

14. THE GREAT GILDERSLEEVE, Vol. 1. Puss in Boots, etc. 4 records in album. $3.94

15. CINDERELLA, as told by Edna Best. Three 10” records. $3.15

Christmas at the May Co., of course

Bonus factoid: The Jewish “defense army” Haganah was reported to have made a major attack—the largest since the U.N. partition decision—against Arabs in Lydda and Bet Nabala, where troops of the Trans-Jordan Arab Legion are camped.

Quote of the day: “For a redhead who worked her way through law school as a floorwalker in a department store and by washing dishes, that’s not bad!”
The Times, on Municipal Judge Mildred L. Lillie, whose 1971 nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court by Richard Nixon predated Justice Sandra Day O’Connor by 10 years. When a 12-member bar panel rated Lillie, who had 24 years on the bench, “unqualified” because the men feared a woman would be “too emotional” for the Supreme Court, Nixon withdrew her name in favor of William Rehnquist.

Larry said...

Listen to Victor Jory read “Tubby the Tuba”

Listen to "Uncle Don's Playland"

Listen to "The Great Gildersleeve"

Links to mp3 files of 78 rpm children’s records at

Larry said...

While you're it, listen to "Grumpy Shark."