Monday, January 23, 2006

Florence--change the locks!

January 23, 1947

Theodore K. Oakvid, now 64, was young and spry in November 1928, when he murdered his 12-year-old daughter Sophia with a hammer, then slashed his own throat in a failed suicide attempt. The victim was found by her brother Algird in her bedroom at 7026 Flora Avenue when he went to wake her up.

When revived, Oakvid explained that he had feared for the child's sanity, and had killed her because she would have been unable to navigate the rough waters of adulthood. But Algird told police that his father had first tried to kill Sophy when she was an infant, and over the years and his many comings and goings in the family had constantly harped on the inferiority of girl children.

Alienists declared Oakvid insane and shipped him off to Mendocino and Patton State Hospitals, from which he now re-emerges, having, it is said, been cured. He told reporters that it had been 14 years since he'd seen his wife or son, and that he reckoned he'd head out to San Berdoo to look up some relatives, among them Florence Powell.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Four held for Trial in
‘Hibiscus’ Slaying

After a weeklong preliminary hearing, four of five youths arrested in the Lincoln Park “hibiscus” murder case were today held to answer to Superior Court by Municipal Judge Arthur Guerin.

Freed after the hearing was Ephrem “Baby Face” Olivas, 18, who was named by the four others as the slayer of Naomi Tullis Cook, 52, whose beaten body was found under a clump of hibiscus bushes in the park near the men’s restroom.

Held without bail were Gilbert “Maestro” Martinez, 17; Leandro “Wero” Lujan, 15; Benjamin “Jesse James” Valenzuela, 16; and Vincent “Bill” Arias, 18.

Defense attorneys charged that confessions were obtained through brutality, which was denied. Olivas was turned free when the court ruled that confessions by accomplices, not supported by corroborative evidence, could not be introduced. Mrs. Cook was killed by a heavy blow with a bolt.

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Here’s another of L.A.’s famous floral murders, apparently ignored by The Times and run as a sidebar to the Dahlia case in the Examiner. The nicknames add an interesting bit of color and the obvious implication that these teenagers are thugs. The Examiner had absolutely no qualms about reporting the names of juveniles accused of a crime. I imagine “Wero” is actually “Huero,” a slang term for a light-skinned individual. The Cook murder was never solved.

Bonus factoid: Otto Klemperer gets a rave review in The Times for conducting a Bach concert at Philharmonic Auditorium. Later in the year, Klemperer will go club crawling to hear jazz on Central Avenue and bad things will happen.

Quote of the day: “D.W. Griffith quietly celebrated his 72nd birthday at home with his wife.”
Hedda Hopper