WHITTIER – Octomom Nadya Suleman became unhinged with fear last year when she thought she’d lost one of her children, telling an emergency dispatcher, “Oh God, I’m going to kill myself,” according to a recording of her 911 call released Wednesday by police.
Suleman made the call Oct. 27 after her 5-year-old son went missing from the front yard, only to find him a few minutes later after he returned from a walk.
Suleman’s repeated threats of suicide prompting a chiding from the dispatcher, who could hear children’s voices in the background. “Don’t say that in front of your other child, OK?” the dispatcher tells Suleman. “Keep yourself under control for your other child; he doesn’t need to hear that.”
Suleman, an unemployed single mother, has come under scrutiny since giving birth to octuplets Jan. 26 when she already had six other children, ages 2 to 7. Talks show hosts, celebrities and others have weighed in on the topic, with some questioning her ability to look after 14 children.
After his 1929 conviction for killing young boys on his Wineville Chicken Ranch, Gordon Northcott was put to death within months, as Wikipedia notes:
On February 8, 1929, a 27-day trial before Judge George R. Freeman in Riverside County, California, ended. Gordon Northcott was convicted of the murders of an unidentified Mexican boy and brothers Lewis and Nelson Winslow (aged 12 and 10, respectively). The brothers had been reported missing from Pomona on May 16, 1928. However, it was believed Northcott may have had as many as 20 victims. The jury heard that he kidnapped, molested, tortured, killed, and dismembered these and other boys throughout 1928. On February 13, 1929, Judge Freeman sentenced Northcott to be hanged. The sentence was carried out on October 2, 1930.
While death sentences are still handed out in California, the average time from conviction to execution is about 16 years. Thus today’s Crime Scene poll, Do you think Northcott would be executed for similar crimes today?
With so much interest in the DVD release of Clint Eastwood’s movie The Changling, perhaps those of you who have seen the film have some thoughts on the fate of Walter Collins.
It’s an open question. Was he killed by Gordon Northcott at the Wineville Chicken Ranch as Northcott and his mother claimed? Or did Young Walter somehow escape the farm and go on to lead a productive life, justifying Christine Collins’ hope that her son would return home some day?
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:
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.
HAVE STRONG CASE
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