As you know, I post “Daily Deaths” on my Facebook/Twitter and Instagram feeds (@GourmetGhosts), but today seemed to deserve a blog post of its own, as it was a particularly deadly day in the City of Angels…
Sep 3, 1910 – there was the second accident in two days at the Alexandria Hotel in downtown L.A., which was having an annex built.
Iron worker Martin Burkwitz slipped from a girder and fell three floors, suffering many broken bones – though it’s unknown if he died of his injuries. The day before, worker Louis Jeffries had been crushed by a girder, and as his body was removed a riot broke out among the surrounding crowd.
Sep 3, 1919 – Dr. BF Church, 55, jumps to his death from the 10th floor of the Brockman Building in downtown L.A. Apparently suffering from illness and “mental issues”, Church evaded the grasp of a nurse before making his fatal leap.
Sep 3, 1931 – Al F. Maltby, 75, is close to death after being taken to hospital from the Cecil Hotel. It appears he might become the fourth victim of denatured alcohol (known as methylated spirits; ethanol with chemicals added to make it undrinkable). It seems the poisonings were a result of desperate binge drinking, but it’s not clear. The three victims all lived on East 5th Street.
Sep 3, 1932 – funeral arrangements were announced for Fred Baylies, 52, who had died of a heart attack in his room at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.
Sep 3, 1934 – the most astonishing and bizarre death of heartthrob singer Russ Colombo
at his home alongside the mountaintop Yamashiro, a Japanese-inspired palace in the Hollywood Hills.
Colombo, who was once engaged to Carole Lombard, was showing his friend Lansing Brown an ancient gun. Brown was handling the gun and lit a cigarette; a chip from the match landed in the trigger chamber and shot Colombo right through the eye.
Debated has raged over whether it really was a freak accident, but either way it was the end for Colombo.
Astonishingly though, the family never told his mother. She was in poor health and near-blind, so for the following years until she died, everyone around her faked letters, phonecalls and postcards, all for the “merciful fraud” of showing her that Russ was still alive, just always touring or in foreign climes. Amazing!
Sep 3, 1976 – An elderly woman in her 70s was founded murdered, her apartment ransacked, in downtown L.A. Police were worried a serial killer was on the loose, as just a few months before another elderly woman had been killed in her room at the Stillwell Hotel. Were the murders connected?