The Door Busters of Olive Street

Location: 230 South Olive Street

Bounced from Della Davis’ rooming house for excessive drinking, William Thomas Brown (plasterer, 36) vowed to "get" her. On January 16, 1917 around noon, he broke down her apartment door. Inside, Della waited with her trusty revolver, and as William entered, she shot him three times. When Motorcycle Officer Luth came to enquire, he found Della reloading. William, meanwhile, had run down Olive Street in search of a doctor. Taken to the receiving hospital, non-fatal bullets were removed from his right breast and shoulder, and a grazed chin was cleaned. They brought Della down to the operating room, and William promptly identified his assailant. She didn’t deny it, stating "I have no regrets for shooting him. I feared him and when he broke into my room I felt I had a perfect right to defend myself. I hope he does not die, but I can’t see that I did anything wrong." She was released on her own recognizance after a stop at the Central Police Station, and we hear no more of the matter

Something about this address bred door busters. Late on November 11, 1919, resident Frank Murch was popped trying to force entry into his lady friend Ida E. Wilson’s flat at Fifth and Flower. After a day’s society, she’d simply had enough of his company. Frank was loud, obnoxious, and less skilled at the craft than William, so instead of a bouquet of bullets—though Ida did take one crack through the door with her little .22–he merely received a disturbing the peace arrest.

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Author: Kim Cooper

Kim Cooper is the creator of 1947project, the crime-a-day time travel blog that spawned Esotouric’s popular crime bus tours, including The Real Black Dahlia. She is the author of The Kept Girl, the acclaimed historical mystery starring the young Raymond Chandler and the real-life Philip Marlowe, and of The Raymond Chandler Map of Los Angeles. With husband Richard Schave, Kim curates the Salons and forensic science seminars of LAVA- The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. When the third generation Angeleno isn’t combing old newspapers for forgotten scandals, she is a passionate advocate for historic preservation of signage, vernacular architecture and writer’s homes. Kim was for many years the editrix of Scram, a journal of unpopular culture. Her books include Fall in Love For Life, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Lost in the Grooves and an oral history of Neutral Milk Hotel.

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