Murders, Mysteries, and Misdemeanors in Southern California

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Southern California can be called a sunny place for shady people. Its criminal history is as rich and varied as anywhere. Old West outlaws, serial killers, gangsters and thieves have all robbed, raided, killed and died south of Sacramento. Home to the movie business, Los Angeles has long been a place of bright lights and dark deeds. Major Raymond Lisenba, California’s last man to hang, committed murder-by-rattlesnake. Fueled by a half-pint of illegal whiskey, Dallas Egan danced his way to the gallows. “Yacht Bandit” Lloyd Sampsell cruised California’s coast like a latter-day buccaneer, only visiting dry land for another robbery. Joaquin Murieta terrorized the goldfields and Southern California, entering Californian history and folklore in the process. Billy Cook entered popular culture (and San Quentin’s gas chamber), inspiring The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” and classic film The Hitcher. James “Rabbit” Kendrick’s execution inspired friend and fellow-convict Merle Haggard to go straight. Haggard immortalized Kendrick with country classic “Sing Me Back Home.” Some are well-remembered, others long forgotten, but all have their own place in California’s chronicles of crime.
ISBN: 9781634993241
Format: Paperback
Publisher: America Through Time
State: California
Series: America Through Time
Images: 32
Pages: 160
Dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 6.15 (h)
ROBERT WALSH has spent many years studying crime and criminals, particularly the more obscure cases. Robert grew up on Dartmoor, the site of England’s most notorious prison. Dartmoor’s infamous inmates like “Acid Bath Murderer” John George Haigh inspired his interest in the subject. His print work has appeared in Real Crime Magazine and Crime Magazine and has been cited in books, academic texts and articles. His online credits include Narratively, Crime Traveller, New Internationalist and his own website Robert was an also expert consultant to BBC Radio Four series “Punt, P.I” for its episode on the Baker Street Bank Robbery.
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