Walter Collins’ home

In Thursday’s column, I noted that Walter Collins lived in the Mt. Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles. A reader writes to correct that by noting that Walter and Christine Collins actually lived in Lincoln Heights.

Here’s the note:

A slight correction on the “Changeling” story. Walter Collins was not from Mt. Washington, he was from Lincoln Heights and lived at 217 N. Ave 23. He was abducted two blocks away. The neighborhood where he lived was razed to make way for the transit village at the Ave 26/Lincoln Heights Gold Line Stop.

Old L.A. Times and other media often mistook L.A. neighborhoods. The borders of where Mt. Washington is, where Highland Park is, etc is far more distinct now. It wasn’t always the case.

I’ve created a map that shows some of the locations from the story:

View Larger Map

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A rally for Marsy’s Law

Jan Williams, whose son and grandsons were killed last August at their home in Rowland Heights, will be participating in a rally supporting Marcy’s Law, described as a bill of rights for victims of violent crimes. The press conference will take place outside the condo where Neal, Devon and Ian were slain. Here’s the top of the press release:

As children prepare to go house to house “trick or treating” on Halloween Friday, a Los Angeles man will be traveling across Los Angeles and Orange County from murder scene to murder scene. He will not be gathering candy, but stories of murder. The man is a local criminal prosecutor who worked with Broadcom billionaire Henry Nicholas to give victims rights by co-writing Prop 9, the “Victims Bill of Rights”. The prosecutor, a local Deputy District Attorney, “Marsy’s Law” in memory of Nicholas’s murdered sister, is on the November 4, 2008 ballot.

Press Conferences/ “Yes on Prop. 9” Tour of Murder Scenes (Oct. 29, 30, 31)
Over the three day period there will be a series of press conferences featuring the prosecutor who wrote Marsy’s law and the victims stories that inspired the changes in the law. Family members of murdered victims will tell not only the story of the murder, but the story of how they were re-victimized by the criminal justice system. The pilgrimage will begin on Wednesday October 29, 2008 in Malibu at the scene of 20 year old Marsy’s brutal shotgun murder and end in Orange County, with victims right leaders who inspired the writing of Prop 9.

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Wineville part III: The Hickman case (and some notes on reporting)


Photo at right comes from the archives of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner at the Los Angeles City Library. Here’s the caption:

Gordon Stewart Northcott the opposing batteries of attorneys, his four guards and some of the witnesses at his trial in Riverside for the murder of the Winslow brothers. Seated at the counsel table are, left to right, Deputy District Attorney Earle Redwine; Loyal C. Kelley, associate prosecution counsel; A. H. DeTremaudan, defense attorney; J. McKinley Cameron, defense attorney; David Sokol, defense attorney; Northcott; Norbert Savay, chief defense attorney. The four guards standing at right are, left to right, Deputy Sheriffs T. J. Burn, Ben deCrevecoeur, Carl Raeburn and Tex Boyles. In the background are witnesses and spectators.

Among those things we struggle with in reporting crimes stories are names — and correct spellings.

When Manling Williams was arrested in 2007 on suspicion of killing her husband and two young boys, several spellings of her name appeared on the Internet and in various publications: Man-ling. Man Ling, Manling. Originally we went with Man-ling, but in recent stories we’ve switched to Manling, which is how court papers refer to her.

A similar problem presented itself this summer with Christopher Chichester/Clark Rockefeller/Christian Gerhartsreiter.

Reporters in the 1920s faced similar articles. In Tuesday’s blog entry, I transcribed an article referring to Gordon Stewart Northcott as Gordon Stuart Northcott. Years ago it wouldn’t have been a problem, with the Internet and specilized search tools.. you get the picture.

Anyway in the months before Northcott came to national prominence for is role in the kidnapping and killing of four young boys, Los Angeles was gripped by the story of Edward Hickman. 

Continue reading “Wineville part III: The Hickman case (and some notes on reporting)” »

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Wanted in connection with Alhambra body dump

This comes from a Sheriff’s Department bulletin issued this afternoon:

On October 21, 2008 (Tuesday) at 1400 hours, Victim Luciano Brash was shot at a home in Alhambra. His body was then dropped off at the Pacific Orthopedic Medical Center, 707 S. Garfield Avenue, Alhambra. The suspects should be considered ARMED AND DANGEROUS. Investigators are seeking the public’s assistance, and asking anyone with information to contact Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.

Here’s the photos:


Sheriff’s detectives identify this man as Scott Young Kim. A 37-year-old male Asian. He is wanted in connection with the Brash homicide. It’s believed he was the shooter.





18560-brashwanted2-thumb-100x134.jpgSheriff’s detectives identify this man as Samuel Patrick Groft, a 28-year-old male white. He is also wanted in connection with the Brash homicide. he is believed to be one of two men seen in a videotape dropping Brash’s body on the floor of an Alhambra medical clinic.





Here’s a  videotape of two men dumping Brash’s body in the reception area of an Alhambra medical clinic. There is also an alleged connection between the men and the Korean Mafia, officials said.

Here’s a Wikipedia entry on the Korean mob and gangsters known as kkangpae.





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AMW joins the hunt for “Grim Sleeper”

America’s Most Wanted will devote part of its show Saturday to the tale of the Grim Sleeper. The LA Weekly outlined the story several weeks ago. Here’s a link to the show’s Web site. This from the AMW press release:


AMW host John Walsh and special guest LAPD Chief William Bratton will share the latest developments in the case of “The Grim Sleeper,” a serial killer who earned his nickname after committing at least 11 violent murders in the 1980s, only to resurface and strike again 13 years later.
Walsh will also take viewers to the mean streets populated by the city’s homeless, and ask them to help solve the brutal and senseless murder of John McGraham. McGraham was a fixture on the streets of L.A.’s Koreatown neighborhood, a man who’d been given a raw deal by life but was making the best of it. The community considered him to be one of their own, and protected him as best they could. In October 2008, someone doused the helpless man with gasoline and set him ablaze, leaving him to die in the streets.


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Wineville murders part II; the pursuit of Gordon Stuart Northcott

This comes from an old newspaper article. It was published on Sept. 16, 1928:

Gordon Stuart Northcott, alleged to have murdered four boys on the chicken ranch of his father Cyrus Northcott, near Wineville, and his mother, Louise Northcott, today are confronted with a first degree murder charge and Canadian police and detectives are close on their trail in Vancouver.

The Murder complaint was issued from the office of District Attorney Albert Ford this morning, with Jim Quinn, district attorney investigator as the complaining witness.


Quinn believes the state has sufficient evidence to convict both Gordon Stuart Northcott and his mother of first degree murder.

He says the statement made by Sanford Clark to the Los Angeles operators, and the statement alleged to have been made by Gordon Stuart Northcott to his father Cyrus Northcott, are sufficient upon which to base a murder charge.

The physical evidence in the hands of Riverside county officers strengthens the case, Quinn statesm and proves that a human life has been taken. This evidence includes a toenail, two  


Continue reading “Wineville murders part II; the pursuit of Gordon Stuart Northcott” »

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Teacher exonerated

This from Bethania Palma:

AZUSA — A judge Tuesday dropped lewd conduct charges against a local substitute teacher, calling the accusations “implausible,” officials said.
Virgil Cleon Harper, 66, of Azusa, faced nine counts of committing lewds with a child, stemming from allegations when he substituted for the fourth grade teacher at W.R. Powell Elementary School in Azus March 21.
A jury deliberated for three days before failing to reach a decision Monday. Seven jurors believed Harper was guilty while five believed he was not.

The District Attorney’s office will not refile the case officials said.

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Arrest made in videotaped body dump

Authorities announced an arrest in connection with a body dump at an Alhambra clinic. The dead man shown in the video below may have been connected to the Korean mafia, authorities said. Here’s Nate McIntire’s story:

Suspects have been identified in the slaying of a man whose body was dropped off at an Alhambra medical facility last week, authorities said.

The body of Luciano Teadoro Brash, 31, was brought by two men to the Pacific Orthopaedic & Medical Center on South Garfield Avenue last Tuesday. The incident was caught on tape by security cameras.

Brash was pronounced dead at the scene, and coroners determined his cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Scott Kim, 37, whom detectives believe was the shooter. Arrest warrants have also been issued for Samuel Groft and Sam Lock Sui, the two men who allegedly carried Brash’s body into the medical facility, according to Sheriff’s Sgt. Alec MacArthur. Sui has been arrested and remains in custody, detectives said.

MacArthur said the suspects were “possibly in the Korean Mob.” Brash may also be linked to the Korean mafia, according to Sheriff’s Lt. Patrick Nelson.

“It appears that the victim himself may have had some connection with that,” he said.

Brash has a criminal record and spent time in prison for felony robbery in the late 1990s, according to investigators.

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