There were houses close enough nearby that anyone inside would hear the shots . A .45 is a big gun . But , after all , it was midnight and most people would have been fast asleep .
The cop’s friend still sitting in the car survived the shooting spree with only a few minor cuts from police-car glass suddenly shattered and scattered by the bullets . The shooter probably emptied the weapon , but his shots were wild . He was panicked , no doubt , crazed . The cop’s friend , the house painter , staggered or ran down the street to a business to call the cops . According to a current Arcadia police officer , the painter called a Pasadena station because Arcadia had no radio facility . That explanation sounds a little fishy to me . Maybe I’m missing something . Didn’t the Arcadia Police have a phone at the station ? I suspect that the truth might have been that the little Arcadia station was shut down , no one on duty , no one there . There were only four , or maybe six Arcadia policemen in 1927 . As it was , the murdered officer was also the assistant fire chief . This was not Chicago . This was not L.A.
The boys drove east instead of back toward Los Angeles . Maybe they thought enough ahead to realize that they could be caught at the Colorado Street bridge , the “suicide bridge” of local fame , the beautiful bridge across the deep arroyo that , evidently , made a spectacular place to jump to one’s death , if that’s what one decided to do . You could fly free for a few seconds, drop through a few hundred feet of air before you hit the low brush and the hard canyon floor .
The boys would know that any road back home to downtown L.A. would be a little difficult to find if they wanted to avoid the Suicide Bridge .The bridge , therefore , would be a good place for a police roadblock . Did they think that far ahead and drive east instead of directly back toward home ? Is that why the painter called the Pasadena police ? The Colorado Bridge is in Pasadena .
Frank Miller , the shooter , said at trial , according to the papers : ” When I saw he had a gun I was scared “, about the cop . What ? A self-defense plea ? He was caught , though . His friends turned on him to save themselves . Miller plead guilty . They all plead guilty .
I came across one report that said the owner of the barbecue joint witnessed the murder . I have yet to find the barbecue joint , if there was one . I’ll try the court archives again , request this time witness depositions . There’s always a chance ; it’s worth a try .
Down in the courthouse bowels , they will give me a weird look . A 1927 case ? they’ll ask . I’ll say 1927 and let them wonder .
2 responses to “witnesses”
Good luck in sleuthing out the rest of this story.
Thanks , Dan . It’s fun .