Murderous Intent? Long Beach, CA: 1880’s-1920. Published 2009: 2009-Murderous intent

ABOUT THE BOOK: This book is sure to be savored by those interested in Southern California history. Concentrating on a span of years covering the 1880’s to 1920, Ms. Burnett has uncovered fascinating true stories of death and murder.


  • The bandit Sylvestro Morales who robbed and murdered his way through the Southland in 1889 and his capture at the Rancho Los Alamitos.

  • Violence and death among the Basque and Mexican sheepherders and sugar beet workers of Southern California.

  • Long Beach City Trustees hung in effigy and how their attempt to get rid of a local saloon in 1896 brought about the death of the city.

  • How the murder of a Long Beach policeman in 1912 led to additional tragedy and sorrow but also brought about the adoption of modern criminal investigation.

  • The kidnapping and torture of a Long Beach youth in 1916 by notorious, insane murderer Harry Thaw, whose killing of famed architect Stanford White made headlines around the world.

Talking about Murderous Intent at Bay Shore Library.


  • The towns of Long Beach and Los Alamitos.

  • The Pacific Electric “Red Car” and jitney transport systems.

  • The Long Beach Municipal Band and Long Beach Police Department.


  • Lew-is the Light who believed he had a special delivery service to God.

  • “Whistling” Davis who refused to bury his dead daughter.

  • Cantankerous “Old Man” Ranous, killed and buried in a pile of manure.

  • W.L. Jennings, killed by a cat.

  • The spirits of murder victims who refused to rest.

  • Pete Labourdette, a notorious Los Alamitos saloon keeper, and the murders he worked to cover up.

These are but a few examples from a book you won’t want to put down until the very end.

Book available for purchase at the Historical Society of Long Beach 4260 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, CA. or at local bookstores.

You may also order Claudine Burnett books online from, Barnes & Noble and



Also available at Barnes & Noble bookstores