West Seattle All Time Crimes 1932 (part two)
Editor's note: The West Seattle Herald has been covering news here for nearly a century. Robinson Newspapers (which publishes the West Seattle Herald) have a massive news archive of Herald coverage dating back to 1928. What follows are crime reports and public safety issues from 1932. Although reporters’ names were not included with stories at that time, their original words remain intact. As more historical crime reports are compiled there will be more installments of West Seattle All Time Crimes.
January 21, 1932
From Rupert L. Hamilton, editor of the Herald
Have you suffered this most embarrassing moment? – Riding down California Ave some rainy night, cussing other motorists who acted like they were blind, only to discover finally that you had your headlights turned off? It is a common sight every evening, indicative of the general carelessness of West Side motorists.
It has appeared to the Herald editor that Seattle motorists are driving more recklessly for the past months than they ever have in history. Arterials are being ignored so widely that a person driving on such a thoroughfare is in danger at every intersection. Dangerous speeding thru blind intersections is extremely common. Inn fact, almost every regulation designed to make highways safe is being so generally ignored that driving now seems to follow the rule: “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” The number of deaths resulting from motor accidents shows the results. Personally, we have not seen a traffic officer patrolling our main arterials for many months. We wonder if the practice has been abandoned.
February 18, 1932
Charges Frauds in Registration
Edwards’ manager uncovers irregularities in lower end
Wholesale fraud at the registration books of the city was exposed by Frank Edwards, mayoralty candidate, this week.
Edwards has taken the matter up with prosecutor Robert M. Burgunder, who is now investigating the charges, which are of sensational significance.
More than 1,000 illegal registrations from “Below the slot” were uncovered following an intensive check-up of “skid-road” precincts. It was shown that “floaters” itinerant workers, vagrants, underworld characters and women of easy virtue had registered.
1. Under fictitious names.
2. From vacant houses
3. From empty lots.
4. From business houses and restaurants.
5. From “flop-joints”
6. From fake house numbers.
7. From houses of ill fame.
“This attempt to steal the election by a candidate who represents the criminal, vice and underworld element, comes as a direct challenge to the honest voters of Seattle,” Hamilton Higday, Edwards’ campaign manager, said today.
Higday pointed out an instance where 28 men had registered from 318 Second Ave. South. This address, a one-time restaurant, has been vacant for years. It is flanked by an empty lot.
Seven men are known to have registered from a one-night “flop-joint” on Sixth Ave South. A dozen more registered from a Japanese restaurant at 716 Sixth Ave. So. Many other men gave as their addresses houses of ill fame. Numerous women of the underworld registered under assumed names, also from these places, some of which are closed but not vacant, he charged.
“A vote for Edwards will be a vote against the underworld and vagrant element which is endeavoring to put into office one its staunchest supporters,” arousedly declares Mr. Higday.
May 12, 1932
Mother Saves Baby Attacked By Dogs
Two-year old Jo Anne Brotherton was rescued from a savage attack by two dogs last Friday afternoon by her mother, Mrs. J.F. Brotherton, who fought off the animals and lifted the child to safety high above her head. Both were painfully bitten and clawed, according to reports from police.
Mrs. Brotherton was walking toward her home, 6314 47th Ave S.W. holding Jo Anne by the hand when the two dogs rushed from a yard, barking loudly, and sprang at the little girl, Mrs. Brotherton told police. They struck the child with such force that she was jerked from her mother’s hand and knocked to the sidewalk. Mrs. Brotherton managed to pull the child away from the dogs and raise her above her head. She screamed for help as the animals began leaping and clawing at her in their efforts to reach the terrified baby. The owner of the dogs then appeared and called them away.
Police instructed city pound officials to investigate the attack and impound the dogs if they were unsafe to be at large.
June 23, 1932
Resident Sore at Kiddies in Street
Once again! Can’t something be done to impress “fool” parents to keep their children off the street, and not make a baseball diamond of the intersection?
Not a day passes in my driving around West Seattle but I have to come almost to a stop; and then be bombarded with insults and worse by some young “cherub” who resents my intrusion. Would that fond mama could listen in, and see the danger to life and limb that her child is exposed to thru her negligence.
I visited a lady last week who lives on the corner of a well-traveled street, and no fewer than sixteen of all ages, from toddlers up, were batting the ball and rushing madly over lawns, (not their own) and shrubbery after the ball, likewise filling the air with their awful din. She informed me that they all lived closer to her, and all had ample play space on their home lots for play, but a street intersection forms an ideal baseball diamond, and therefore she has to suffer nightly. Speaking to the parents gets you nowhere, and merely gets you labeled an old grouch, so there you are – what can be done?
I suggested having a police car make nightly rounds, checking up on the rowdies, and conducting an educational campaign. This undoubtedly would save accidents and deaths and life-long sorrow for some parent, who as sure as I write this is going to go thru the terrible suffering of such an experience before summer is over if this dangerous practice is not stopped.
Yours truly, A.C. Anderson
If you happened to miss part one of 1932 All Time Crimes, the link is here.