I'm looking forward to joining the Studio for Southern California History's Walking Tour of Angelus Rosedale Cemetery coming up on Sunday, February 11th (10-11:30 a.m.) which will be conducted by my pals Steve Goldstein and Joe Walker.
A grave there that's of particular interest to me holds the remains of Mrs. Mable Monohan, who was brutally murdered in her home here in Burbank back in 1953.
Photo by Steve Goldstein, BeneathLosAngeles.com
Below is a photo I took of the house earlier this month. It's located at 1718 Parkside Ave., just a few blocks away from the Walt Disney Studios, between Riverside Dr. and Alameda Ave. P.S., the house is currently for sale.
See more of my photos here.
The frail, 64-year-old widow's body was discovered in the ransacked home after her gardener called police when she didn't answer the door and, finding it unlocked, walked in on the gruesome crime scene. Mrs. Monohan died from the result of asphyxiation due to strangulation and a cranial hemorrhage caused by a blunt force blow to the left side of her head.
A year-and-a-half later, after a media circus murder trial at the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice, three small time criminals - Barbara Graham, Emmett Perkins and Jack Santo - were convicted for Mable's murder (a robbery gone askew) after another accomplice, John True, traded his testimony against them for immunity. A fifth alleged accomplice, Baxter Shorter, went missing and, assumed dead, has never been found.
All three were sentenced to death at the San Quentin gas chamber, and were executed on June 3, 1955.
Movie buffs are sure to be familiar with this case. Party-girl Graham was immortalized in the arguably white-washed character study classic 1958 film, I Want to Live! - portrayed by Susan Hayward, a role which earned Hayward a Best Actress Academy Award.
Veteran writer Clark Howard chronicled the same story from a more objective and detailed angle for CrimeLibrary.com in 2003. That story no longer appears on the website, but I did find the text on Internet Archive. Download it here for some fascinating reading. Graham insisted she was innocent and the truth about her participation that fateful night on Parkside Ave. is still debated among criminal history enthusiasts.
An additional resource for those interested in this case is the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection (use search term "Barbara Graham") which includes 172 news photos from the original trial coverage.