Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Madwoman of South Gate

January 18, 1947
South Gate

Two years ago, when she was 20, Mrs. Elaine Chatt Shedden gave birth to her second son, Robert, and suffered a nervous breakdown. She was voluntarily committed to Camarillo State Hospital, and spent three months there. Her marriage fell apart, and Mr. Shedden moved to Chicago. Elaine and the children settled in with her parents at 9230 Virginia Ave. and for a while things weren't so bad.

Then they were. Mrs. Mabel Vanessa Winters Terwilliger, 46, lurched out into her yard, a knife wound in her back. Daughter Elaine came after her, and plunged the blade into Mabel's side. The older woman was D.O.A. on arrival at Maywood Hospital.

Elaine, weirdly calm as only the mad can be, had changed out of her bloody dress and sandals and was scrubbing her hands when Capt. T.R. Chase and Sgt. Joe Heymans arrived. Sure, she stabbed her mother. The woman had nagged her about doing the dishes, and was plotting with her brother Robert Winters to have her involuntarily committed to a state institution. "I just couldn't stand it," said Elaine.

The children witnessed the incident, and neighbors, hearing screams as Elaine chased her dying mother out of the house and 40 feet onto the drive, called police.


Larry said...

163 Crimes in 24 Hrs. Here;
86 of Them Thefts

In the last 24 hours, 163 crimes were committed in Los Angeles. They were:
86 thefts
42 burglaries
10 robberies
7 assaults with deadly weapon
3 morals cases
15 automobiles stolen

+ + +

The Los Angeles Examiner’s “crime box” was an enduring front page feature of the 1940s. Although its origins are unclear, the crime box floated throughout the paper before finally establishing itself on Page 1. Unfortunately, the Examiner—although it was the better paper—has yet to be added to Proquest and remains accessible only on microfilm. It can be found at the Los Angeles Public Library, central branch, and is well worth the trip.

Pickle Packers
Puzzled Picking
Name for Pickle

CHICAGO, Jan. 17—(INS) Perplexed pickle packers puzzled today over naming an unpickled cucumber that looks and tastes like a pickle.

Inasmuch as the cuke can be marketed within 24 hours after processing, instead of undergoing the long brine bath, among the names considered for the pickle that isn’t was “quickle.”

Quote of the day: “Bubbles and Al”
Message scrawled on the windows of six Santa Barbara jewelry stores by Mamie “Bubbles” Maglio, who said she was testing her diamond engagement ring to see if it was real.

Larry said...

I would recommend that anyone interested in Camarillo read "They Call Them Camisoles," a first-person account by Wilma Carnes Wilson. The camisoles in question refer to the straitjackets used there. Wilson was a former silent film actress who was institutionalized for alcoholism and was working as a waitress in Hermosa Beach when she was murdered in 1943.

Rather than pay the absurd prices being asked for this book ($500) see if you can find a copy in your local library. If I had a printing press stashed in my garage one of the first books I would republish is "Camisoles."