Bi-monthly Newsletter No. 15 January/February 2006


Tookie, Meet the Fox Or,
“You can nominate a ham sandwich for the Nobel Prize”

By: Glynn Martin

After a lengthy hiatus, California has recently moved forward with the execution of two condemned men. One created a significant hullabaloo, the other didn’t. Stanley “Tookie” Williams’ much publicized campaign for clemency included claims of social contribution such as the publishing of children’s books, and his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Downplayed was his role in the furtherance of a true societal plague, the crips. So, it was up to our own Chief of Police to properly point out that lunch could receive a Nobel nomination. Cudos to the Chief for adding some desperately needed perspective to the case. Although Williams may have been the most recent Angeleno to be executed for murder, in fact, multiple murders, he certainly wasn’t the only one. Williams now shares his fate with one from long ago. To Stanley Williams, “Tookie” stands William Edward Hickman’s, “The Fox.” Many years have past since the Fox kidnapped a twelve year-old little girl from Mt. Vernon Junior High School shortly before Christmas of 1927. Ransom notes signed by the Fox were forwarded to the family demanding fifteen hundred dollars in twenty dollar gold certificates to secure Marian Parker’s release. Ultimately the ransom was paid, and collected by the Fox. Before the demands were met, Marian was murdered and dismembered. Body parts were strewn in Elysian Park and the little girl’s torso was pushed out of the Fox’s crime car a block from her soon-to-be distraught father. Since it was five years before the much more publicized Lindbergh kidnapping, the case of the Fox garnered nationwide publicity, including a nationwide manhunt. After the Fox was identified through a fingerprint make, the chief’s office published and distributed thousands of “Special” Daily Police Bulletins containing a copious amount
of information about Hickman. In descriptive tones, the bulletin stated, “Spoke in a low tone of voice, no accent, using correct English, apparently well educated. Was not excited and nerves very steady.” Hickman’s flight from Los Angeles was accomplished in a carjacked green

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1927 Hudson. Following the murder and ransom pickup, Hickman found himself in flight, and standing at the corner of Hollywood and Western. At this street corner Hickman pointed his revolver at the Hudson driver and commandeered the vehicle for his flight to the northwest. Ransom money was tracked north to Seattle, then back to the Portland area. In the meantime a fingerprint from one of the ransom notes revealed the true identity of the Fox. On a highway in rural eastern Oregon, authorities caught up with the Fox. The felony car pullover of the day looked more like a Fear Factor stunt than an established tactical approach. From the moving police car, one of the officers

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What’s Happening at Old Number 11

By: Glynn Martin, Executive Director

As 2006 is now well underway, we realize that much of the year is planned out for us already. We are looking forward to another year of great promise and hopefully great accomplishment. As with any year some of last year is moving forward with us. For instance the sale of our book, Images of America the Los Angeles Police Department will continue to be available for sale. Besides being featured here at the museum, it should be coming to the television screens of valley residents in the near future. Thanks to a generous invitation from the Memorial Foundation’s Executive Director, Alan Atkins, we were able to share the spotlight on a Comcast public access program known as Voices of Los Angeles. So, look for us on the air in the coming weeks. Our first significant event for 2006 arrives in early February. Through the diligent work of Director Tom Hays, we have secured the theater at Hollywood’s Raleigh Studios for a private screening. In keeping with our role as a historical society, the screening will feature some vintage police-related shorts and the 1948 film, He Walked by Night. It is believed that Jack Webb’s role in this movie was his inspiration for the creation of Dragnet. Refreshments and hors d’ oeuvres are also on tap for this fun event. Many thanks to Raleigh
and Richard Nelson for their support. Some other carryovers are related to museum development, specifically two exhibits. The third floor commissioners’ gallery is awaiting some final approvals and should be headed into the final stages of completion in short order. Some unique material relating to the executive management has been collected for display on the entire third level. Also in the collection and development stage is our SLA exhibit. It seems that as the development process continues we continue to acquire more interesting case material suitable for display. We have had some great help from the office of District Attorney Steve Cooley, the staff at the armory and firearms analysis. Detective Adrian Soler continues to support our firearms display efforts. Look for both of these displays to be completed this year. Even though it is still early in the year, we are already planning for a much more significant event, the Thirteenth annual Jack Webb Awards. Last year’s event was very well received and highly praised, so we are back at the Sheraton Universal on the ninth of September to recognize other great supporters of the Department and law enforcement. We hope to see you there. Our wonderful facility is also off to a quick start as a film location. Early January brought 2 January/February 2006

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Old Number 11

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a production company here to use our exterior as an east coast apartment building. For a few hours, the front façade was complete with sod and a number of bushes and shrubs. The look was effective and quite appealing. Many were amazed at how rapidly our imposing and fortress-like station quickly became a warm and welcoming apartment house. Now even with all of these projects underway, we are working towards another event for the early summer. Since the Department’s inventory of motorcycles is switching out to Harley- Davidson, we thought it appropriate to commemorate the transition. Since the 1920s we have had an on-again,off-again romance with these motorcycles. Speaking archivally, we have definitely been the benefactors. Our Harley photographic holdings are extensive. We have a number of tremendous and unique photos dating back to the twenties. So, we are in the planning phases for an event that allows us to salute this

 

Tookie, Meet the Fox

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moved onto the running board. As the police car came along side Hickman’s carjacked green Hudson, the daring officer moved to Hickman’s driver side running board. As Hickman reached for his gun, the officer forced the Hudson off the road, and he and his partner effected the capture of the Fox. Hickman was taken to Pendleton Oregon where two suicide attempts were reported, along with lynching attempts. An outraged nation assigned great importance to this case, as did the Los Angeles law enforcement community. Chief of Police James Davis, elected District Attorney Asa Keyes along with Chief of Detectives H.H. Cline and his assistant D.W. Longuevan went to Oregon to escort Hickman back to Los Angeles. The train ride yielded a six page confession, witnessed by these high

piece of our history and likewise display our wares. Tim Rolsen, West Traffic Division motors, and the proud owner of a 1969 Harley police bike stopped in to help out with the preliminaries. Stay tuned, this should be an interesting venture. Even though the collection of Harley material is impressive, it is but a small segment of a work in progress, our photo archive. The condition of our photographic holdings improved greatly last year due to the efforts of Tracey Schuster of the Getty Research Institute. Tracey’s work helped us to progress to a phase where we can undertake some digitization and make the collection more accessible. This looks to be another busy and interesting year at the historical society. As our plans move along, we hope you will take time to plan your visit to the museum. We look forward to seeing you. Ranking officers

as well as retired Chief of Police George Home. But even after providing his handwritten acknowledgment, Hickman claimed to be innocent. His trial featured what is believed to be the first use of the plea of “not guilty by reason of insanity” in this county. Thankfully the defense failed and Hickman was off to San Quentin more than fifty years before Tookie. This was not a case, however, where Hickman anxiously awaited Tookie’s arrival. So swift was justice in the Hickman case that there was no nomination for a peace prize. Hanging came less than a year following the kidnapping and murder. No Nobel to display here, no ham sandwich either. We will have to make due with the interesting artifacts from the case on exhibit, including Hickman’s confession.