Wednesday, February 15, 2006

You Never Know

February 15, 1947
San Fernando

Leila Nichols, 18, had dated 22-year-old William Hunter once prior to their interaction this evening. Hunter, who spent 3 1/2 years in a Japanese prison camp, accosted the girl as she crossed a vacant lot after midnight, en route to her home, bashing her in the head with a lead pipe. The assault was interrupted when Nichols' brother-in-law John T. Rust drove by and heard her screams. Hunter ran home to his mother and said, "I just killed a girl with a pipe; I don't know what prompted me to do it." Mom turned him in.

Leila Nichols is recovering in San Fernando Hospital, while Hunter has been charged on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He has refused to say anything but his name, rank and serial number. The girl lives at 11327 Tamarack Street, her assailant at 15431 Romer Street.

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