Mrs. Kent’s Complaint


Location: 330 South Flower Street
Date: January 26, 1907

Baby stealing? That, and spousal cruelty, are the charges leveled against labor organizer Edward W. Kent, arrested while in the act of packing to flee Los Angeles. His wife, residing at this address, says she has been confined to her bed for months, and a week ago Kent gave their son to a Mrs. F. Borgel, who came to Mrs. Kent’s bed and tore the babe from her arms. It was at this point that the mother filed charges. She claims that her husband, a member of the Musicians Union and one-time candidate for San Francisco Supervisor, had become unkind to her around the time she learned that his reputation in their former home, Chicago, was less than pristine. He had hit her, pulled her hair and ears, made fiendish faces and screamed that he hoped she would die until she checked into a sanitarium on Hill Street. It was at which point her son was taken. An investigation is being opened, and when Mrs. Kent is well enough to appear in court, charges may be pursued against her husband at her discretion.

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.