Saturday, January 21, 2006

Loose Lips Sink Ships

January 21, 1947
San Pedro

When Jay Dee Chitwood fell in front of a truck near 203rd Street and Western Avenue in August 1944, the coroner thought he had a simple accidental death on his table. But look closer. Cause of death: punctured lung? Hardly a typical injury for someone hit by a car.

Only nobody did look closer until today, when officers picked up Mrs. Helen Chitwood, who had been yapping to a gentleman friend about how she'd stabbed her husband twice and watched him fall into the street, and the dopey cops never noticed the knife wounds. Detectives dropped by Helen's pad at 888 1/2 Hamilton Way to ask if that's how it happened. Sure, she told them, we had a fight and it happened just like that.

Mrs. Chitwood is cooling her heels in the San Pedro Jail, and the coroner has got some 'splaining to do.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Marley Griggs and his sidekick Oliver Gebhart had the perfect alibi for the burglary of a market on Western Avenue—they were already in custody 60 miles away.

The men were model prisoners at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Road Camp No. 5, where Griggs was serving time for forgery and Gebhart was sentenced for burglary of a safe.

After the nightly bed check, cabdriver Paul P. Payton picked them up, helped them with the burglary and got them back to camp before the 5 a.m. roll call.

The scheme seemed perfect until the men outsmarted themselves. Officials noticed a sudden increase in empty bottles of expensive whiskey around the camp and traced the tax stamps to the burglarized market. The men were arrested after Gebhart’s single fingerprint was found on an empty bottle.


The Times and the Examiner reported this story, but The Times’ scan is illegible. Luckily for crime fans, the Examiner’s version is pristine.

Bonus factoid: Assemblyman Glenn Anderson (D-Hawthorne), noting that the state’s divorce rate is surging, introduces a bill to restore a three-day waiting period before couples can receive a marriage license.

Quote of the day “Nnnnnyah. You’re not so tough.”
Edward Raiden, testifying on his remark to George Raft that led to a beating.

www.lmharnisch.com