Mrs. Allen Slain By Ex-Beau

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Location: 255 South Bunker Hill Avenue
Date: August 13, 1933

The newlyweds kept a modest apartment here at the Alta Vista. Oh, it may have been something of a step down in the world for bride Harriet Fencel Easton Allen, 25, who had attended USC and UCLA and studied art for two years in Europe, and whose father John was former superintendent of the L.A. Athletic Club and manager of the Jonathan Club, but then again, it was convenient to husband Robert Allen’s cafe at 257 South Olive.

Early this morning, Harriet woke to a knock on the door, and she answered without waking Robert, but soon she was screaming and running back toward the bedroom, "Bob, Bob, wake up! It’s Bruce!"

Yes, it was T. Bruce Moore, 42-year-old drug clerk, longtime friend of Bob’s and rival for Harriet’s affections, and he had a gun in his hand. Just a few days ago he’d gone into the cafe and said that if Bob didn’t make Harriet happy, he’d kill him, but he’d apparently reconsidered, because it was pajama-clad Harriet whose brains he blew out. She fell at her husband’s feet as he woke in confusion, then saw her assailant shoot himself in the head. Moore lingered for a few hours at Georgia Street Receiving Hospital before dying.

In the killer’s pockets were year-old seaside photos of himself with the dead woman, and on the back of one he’d penciled a last will and testament leaving his insurance, furniture and some land in Arizona, total value $2255 to his sister Elsie Bitner. But this will would be challenged in court when Mrs. Carol E. Moore came forward claiming to be Moore’s widow, as their divorce decree had not been entered at the time of his death.

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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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