Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wineville Chicken Murders

A collection of everything i could find on the net about this gruesome child molestation and dismemberment murders and the family that created them.

(In response to a queery about how to view some of the larger items, please RIGHT CLICK ON THEM and choose "VIEW IMAGE". They will open in a new window and show the complete item or article. Many of them were originally of either such poor quality (newspaper reports) that minimizing them to fit the blog would have made them unreadable. The photos were already downsized from sites i found them on, and they just would not go any smaller:)

SOME of the images are ingrained to be opened just by directly clicking on them-- try both ways to see what works best for you and your browser.
The editor
.)




http://www.usacitiesonline.com/camiralom
ahistory.htm
Mira Loma History
Riverside County, California

Index
Wineville Chicken Murders
SEARCH KEY TO THE CITY or anywhere on the web




Wineville Chicken Murders
by John Kurz of the Rubidoux Historical Society
Written 5 October 1988

For twenty-five years, I have heard the story of brutal murders of children in the Wineville District and that it was so notorious that in 1931, the name of the town, Wineville, was changed to Mira Loma, which means "view of the hills." The date of the murders was about 15 May, 1928.

Excerpts of the news accounts:
Riverside Press, Saturday, September 15, 1928, "Evidence of gruesome murders uncovered in Wineville district."

"Boy detained at Los Angeles detention home tells officers almost unbelievable story of crimes committed by rancher, Stewart Northcott." Sanford Clark, 15, tells this account of his uncle, Gordon Stewart Northcott, 21 years old:

Clark said he was kidnapped from Saskachewan, Canada, two years ago and brought to the Northcott ranch, held prisoner and was abused and beaten. He told a story of vicious degeneracy and brutality, and that his uncle was a degenerate of the worst type. Clark told of where to find two graves, one of Walter Collins and the other, Lewis Winslow, 12 and Nelson Winslow, 10, of Pomona, fifty yards from the chicken house on the Northcott ranch.

The chicken ranch was five miles south east of Wineville (now Mira Loma), off of Etiwanda Blvd. (on Wineville Ave in Riverdale area). Investigators found an axe and bones, hair, and fingers in lime were found. Cyrus George Northcott, 62, father of Gordon Northcott, recently brought a load of lime to the Northcott Poultry ranch, Riverside County Sheriff Clem Sweeters investigated.

September 17, "father admits son admitted murders to him." Bodies were said to have been "cut into pieces and thrown promiscuously over the ranch." It was also said that Gordon Stewart Northcott cut off the head of a Mexican boy at El Monte and carried the head to the "murder farm." The body was found several weeks ago in Puente, in a burlap bag. The bodies were never found, but graves soaked with blood, bones and fingers were found.

This story ran from Sept 15 to October 1930 in the Riverside Daily Press and the Corona Daily Independent and other newspapers nationwide.

Gordon Northcott fled to Canada as did his mother, Louisa Northcott, and his sister, Winnefred Clark, mother of Sanford Clark, who told police of the terrible murders. There was a time when Northcott's sister wzas missing and the authorities thought he had killed her also.

September 20, 1928, Northcott was arrested at Okanagan Landing near Vernon, British Columbia,. He dinied all charges. His mother was arrested at Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

From the "murder room" at the Wineville Ranch was a fly-leaf paper from a book, which a letter from the Winslow boys had written a letter to their parents saying they were ok. Later, it was learned this book was one loaned from the Pomona Library, as a book loaned to the Winslow boys. A whistle and boy scout badges were found at the ranch, also belonging to the Winslow boys. In a verbal confession of Northcott admitted murdering the Mexican boy. He later denied the charge.

In December 1928, Louisa Northcott admitted the murder of Walter Collins and was sentenced to life in prison. She was sent to San Quentin.

Gordon Northcott fired his lawyers and took over his own defense. On In February, 1929, after the trial of 27 days, Northcott was found guilty of killing Lewis Winslow, 12, and his brother, Nelson Winslow, 10, and an unidentified Mexican boy. February, 1929, Judge Freeman sentenced Northcott to be hanged. The sentence was carried out 2 October 1930.

Return to top

*******
New Kidnaping Clew Furnished in Hunt for Missing Collins Boy
GLENDALE MAN HELPS POLICE
Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Date: Apr 4, 1928
Start Page: a2
Pages: 1
Text Word Count: 1052
Abstract (Document Summary)

Partial identification of the lifeless body of a small boy seen in the rear of an automobile in Glendale Sunday night as that of Walter Collins, 10 years of age, who has been mysteriously missing from his home at 217 North Avenue 23 since March 10, last, yesterday spurred...

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.


**********
http://www.crimezzz.net/serialkillers/N/NORTHCOTT_gordon_stewart.php
Canadian born in 1908, Northcott would later claim that his father sodomized him at age ten. The old man finished his life in a lunatic asylum, and one of Northcott's paternal uncles died years later, in San Quentin, while serving a life term for murder. A homosexual sadist in the mold of Dean Corll and John Gacy, by age 21, Northcott was living on a poultry ranch near Riverside, California, sharing quarters with his mother and a 15-year-old nephew, Sanford Clark. For years, Northcott mixed business with pleasure in Riverside, abducting boys and hiding them out on his ranch, renting his victims to wealthy Southern California pedophiles. When he tired of the boys, they were shot or brained with an ax, their flesh dissolved with quick lime and their bones transported to the desert for disposal. Only one was ever found - a headless, teenage Mexican, discovered near La Puente during February 1928 - but homicide detectives identified three other victims. Walter Collins disappeared from home on March 10, 1928, and Northcott's mother was convicted of his death, but evidence suggests that she was acting under orders from her son. Twelve-year-old Lewis Winslow and his brother Nelson, 10, vanished from Pomona on May 16, 1928, and Northcott was later condemned for their murders, despite the absence of bodies. Gordon might have gone on raping and killing indefinitely, but in the summer of 1928, he visited the district attorney's office, complaining about a neighbor's "profane and violent" behavior. The outbursts reportedly upset his nephew, who was "training for the priesthood" by tending chickens at age 15. Under investigation, the neighbor recalled seeing Gordon beat Clark on occasion, and he urged detectives to "find out what goes on" at Northcott's ranch. Immigration officials struck first, taking Clark into custody on a complaint from his Canadian parents, and the boy regaled authorities with tales of murder, pointing out newly-excavated "grave sites" on the ranch. Detectives dug up blood-soaked earth, unearthing human ankle bones and fingers on September 17. They also found a bloodstained ax and hatchet on the premises, that Clark said had been used on human prey, as well as chickens. Northcott fled to Canada, but he was captured there and extradited back to Riverside. His mother claimed responsibility for slaying Walter Collins, but Clark fingered Gordon as the actual killer. Convicted on three counts of murder, including the Winslow brothers and the anonymous Mexican, Northcott was sentenced to death. Spared by her sex, his mother received a life sentence in the Collins case. Marking time at San Quentin, Northcott alternated between protestations of innocence and detailed confessions to the murder of "18 or 19, maybe 20" victims. A pathological liar who cherished the spotlight, he several times offered to point out remains of more victims, always reneging at the last moment. (Northcott also named several of his wealthy "customers" at the ranch, but their identities were never published.) Warden Duffy recalled his conversations with Northcott as "a lurid account of mass murder, sodomy, oral copulation, and torture so vivid it made my flesh creep." Northcott mounted the gallows on October 2, 1930, finally quailing in the face of death. Before the trap was sprung, he screamed, "A prayer! Please, say a prayer for me!" His mother subsequently died in prison, of old age.
****************
New Kidnaping Clew Furnished in Hunt for Missing Collins Boy
GLENDALE MAN HELPS POLICE
Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Date: Apr 4, 1928
Start Page: a2
Pages: 1
Text Word Count: 1052
Abstract (Document Summary)

Partial identification of the lifeless body of a small boy seen in the rear of an automobile in Glendale Sunday night as that of Walter Collins, 10 years of age, who has been mysteriously missing from his home at 217 North Avenue 23 since March 10, last, yesterday spurred...


ENIGMA BOY IDENTIFIED
Youth Impersonating Walter Collins Now Declared to be Arthur Hutchins, Jr., of lowa
Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Date: Sep 21, 1928
Start Page: a1
Pages: 2
Text Word Count: 1169
Abstract (Document Summary)

For the next few days at least police believe the identity of the boy, who was returned here from Illinois some weeks ago as the missing Walter Collins, has been settled.


************
NORTHCOTT PUT IN DOOMED ROW
Slayer Becomes No. 46,597 at San Quentin Meeting With "Mother" May be Arranged Later Youth "Wisecracks" About Forthcoming Hanging
Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Date: Feb 13, 1929
Start Page: 3
Pages: 1
Text Word Count: 814
Abstract (Document Summary)

Gordon Stewart Northcott is a prisoner tonight within the same walls which inclose Sarah Louisa Northcott, the woman who avows she confessed a murder to shield him, only to have him repudiate her maternity. They are only a few hundred feet apart but they have...



Poetic Justice

Category: 1920s, 1930s
There was a bit of poetic justice in how Gordon Stewart Northcott died on the gallows at San Quentin in 1930. It was certainly not the end he would have chosen, but it was the one that best fit his true persona.
A swaggering, pompous ass with delusions of grandeur and an over-inflated ego, the 24-year-old Canadian immigrant had been convicted of the torture-murders of three young boys on his Riverside, California, farm.
Gordon Stewart NorthcottLike many killers, Northcott used the criminal justice process as a chance to relive his crimes and enjoyed being the center of attention during his 15 minutes of fame. He considered himself smarter than most people and was not shy with the press.
“The whole case is simply that of a dissatisfied husband seeking divorce grounds, a movie publicity-mad girl from whose mind all of these ideas came, and a lazy, stupid boy half cracked from reading too many wild west stories,” was how he dismissed his accusers.
When Northcott realized that he would not be the star of his capital murder trial, he fired his attorneys so that he could take center stage to defend himself.
“I told him that he might hang himself,” his attorney told the press after he was fired. “‘Well, it will be worth it. My name will become known all over the world,’” the man said Northcott replied.
Serving as his own attorney, he led one of his surviving victims through a blow-by-blow account of one murder and questioned whether the boy knew the difference between a groan and a death rattle.
“You made me put some mud over his head to stop the noise,” testified Sanford Clark, Northcott’s nephew and foil.

“What kind of noise?” Northcott asked the 16-year-old.
“A groaning noise,” was the response.
“I wonder if you know the difference between a groaning and a gasping noise,” Northcott countered. “What kind of noise was it?”
“It was an awful noise.”
At trial, he repeatedly referred to a large blow-up photograph of the headless remains of one of his victims, forcing courtroom observers to acknowledge his gruesome handiwork.
Northcott laughed as he led investigators on wild goose chases for the graves of his victims and shrugged when the suggestion was made that there were many more undiscovered victims of his cruelty.
The killer called his own father to the stand simply to belittle and badger the man who, by his own admission, could not control his son. Then, just for fun, he convinced his mother — who confessed to participating in at least one of Northcott’s murders — to perjure herself by claiming that she was not his mother but his grandmother. Her daughter, living in British Columbia, strongly denied that this was the case.
Northcott might have avoided detection if not for a visit from an 18-year-old cousin, Jessie Clark, who came from Kamloops, British Columbia, to visit her younger brother Sanford who was working for Northcott on his Southern California chicken ranch.
There she found Sanford living in decrepit conditions on the farm occupied by Northcott, his mother, Sarah Louisa, and his father, Cyrus.
Sanford told Jessie stories of abuse at the hands of Northcott, who was overindulged by his mother and feared by his father. Part of the abuse consisted of helping Northcott dispose of the bodies of boys he killed.

Jessie returned to Canada and told authorities about her brother’s plight, and they contacted Riverside County investigators, who took Sanford Clark into protective custody. That gave Northcott and his mother time to flee north. They escaped over the border and eluded capture for two months.
While the Canadians were looking for the mother and son fugitives, Riverside authorities were excavating the farm based on information provided by Sanford and Cyrus.
Sanford claimed Northcott killed three young boys and a Mexican teenager, and buried their remains in graves about three feet deep. Sifting through the dirt, investigators found a few bones that still contained flesh and hair. They also located a “toenail believed from the foot of a 10-year-old boy,” according to contemporary media reports. It appeared that the bodies had been moved before Northcott fled north, for no complete skeletons were found.
“I knew of the killings but never saw them,” Cyrus told police. “My wife would go to any extreme, not excepting murder, to please her son.”
Sanford told police that Northcott’s first victim was 9-year-old Walter Collins, who had been kidnapped in April 1928. After Walter was dead, Nelson and Louis Winslow were kidnapped, held captive, and then slain. He said Northcott killed the boys with an axe as his mother helped. Under threat of death, Sanford was forced to help dispose of their remains.
The last victim was the Mexican youth, whose decapitated corpse was found dumped along side a rural Riverside County road. His head was never found.
When Northcott was arrested in Canada, he denied his identity, but positive identification was a simple matter. Durin his trip back to Southern California, a bit of the old “third degree” helped secure a confession that Northcott was not successful in repudiating.

Shortly before Northcott and his mother were to stand trial, Sarah Louisa pleaded guilty to one count of murder in return for a promise by the state not to seek the death penalty. When Northcott learned of his mother’s deal, he threw a temper tantrum, jail guards told the press.
The trial was a perfunctory affair except for Northcott’s grandstanding and he was convicted of three counts of murder for the deaths of the Winslow boys and the unidentified Mexican youth. He was slated to stand trial later for Walter Collins’s murder.
Northcott squeezed every bit of notoriety out of his crimes as he could. He remained confident that the conviction would be overturned on appeal, and when that failed, he hinted that he could lead authorities to the final graves of his victims. The searches proved fruitless.
“Well, I just had to send you on another wild goose chase before I was through,” Northcott said to police, a smirk on his face.
On the day before he was to be hanged, Northcott agreed to see the mother of Walter Collins, who wanted to know if he killed her little boy. Northcott kept Christine Collins waiting for several hours before he denied murdering Walter.
In the end, Northcott’s bravado failed him. On October 2, 1930, he was led to the gibbet, whimpering and blindfolded because he said he could not stand to view the gallows. He collapsed as he was taken from the death cell and had to be supported by two guards.
His final words as the black hood and noose were put over his head were “don’t, don’t.”
The last bit of poetic justice came right before the executioner pulled the trap lever. Northcott’s legs gave way and he began to collapse just as the trap sprang. His collapse took the slack out of the rope, and as a result his fall was too short to snap his neck.
It took him 11 minutes to strangle to death.
http://markgribben.com/?p=345
*****************
[Wineville+Chicken+Murders.jpg]
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027483.jpg

The Boy Who Vanished–and His Impostor

The annals of child kidnapping are replete with heartbreaking tragedies, but probably none have been quite as bizarre as the crime that first mesmerized, then convulsed, Los Angeles more than 70 years ago.

By the time it was over, it would involve not only an apparent abduction, but also impersonation, police coercion, false imprisonment, psychiatric abuse and–this being Los Angeles–a court fight that stretched on for more than a decade. It was a story with victims and villains, but what it never had was a resolution.

On a sunny afternoon in March 1928, 9-year-old Walter Collins disappeared after his mother, Christine, a telephone operator, gave him a dime to spend on admission to the theater near their Mt. Washington area home.

Angelenos rallied behind the grieving mother and her missing boy while the police dragged Lincoln Park lake and launched a national campaign to find Walter.

His apparent kidnapping struck a chord in a city still traumatized by a vicious crime only three months earlier. In that case, 12-year-old Marion Parker was kidnapped for ransom by a psychopath named William “the Fox” Hickman, who shoved her dismembered body from his car just before being captured.

Countless tips on Walter’s location led to dead-ends. He was allegedly spotted as far north as San Francisco and Oakland. One reported sighting was at a Glendale gas station in the back seat of a car, wrapped in newspaper with only his head showing. The station owner described the driver as a “foreign-looking man, probably an Italian,” accompanied by a woman.

The boy’s father, Walter J.S. Collins, who was serving time in prison for robbery, believed that former inmates out for revenge against him may have kidnapped his son, though there were no witnesses and no proof that that had occurred.

Police continued their search until August, when a boy claiming to be Walter turned himself in to Illinois authorities. Christine Collins paid $70 in travel expenses so the boy could return to Los Angeles.

When he arrived, however, Collins said that although he resembled Walter, the boy was not her son.

You Are … a Fool’

However, the Los Angeles Police Department–under terrific pressure to declare the case happily closed–refused to believe that the boy wasn’t Walter, whatever the mother said.

Emotionally drained, Collins caved in to the cops’ suggestion that she try the boy out,” and took him into her home.

But after three weeks of attempting to reconcile herself to the convenient fiction, Collins returned him to the police.

Armed with proof in the form of her son’s dental records and a troop of friends who agreed that the boy wasn’t Walter, Collins still failed to convince LAPD Capt. J.J. Jones, who investigated the kidnapping, that the boy was an impostor.

What are you trying to do, make fools out of us all? Or are you trying to shirk your duty as a mother and have the state provide for your son? You are the most cruel-hearted woman I’ve ever known. You are a . . . fool!” Jones allegedly told Collins.

Resolved to bend her to his will–and the department’s convenience–Jones had the distraught mother committed to Los Angeles County General Hospital’s psychiatric ward for evaluation.

While she spent five days in the hospital, Jones extracted the truth from the faux Walter.

The boy from Illinois confessed that he actually was 12-year-old Arthur Hutchins of Iowa. After his mother died, he had gone to live an isolated new life with his cold fish of a father and a malicious stepmother, he said. He ran away, hitchhiking around the country and working odd jobs.

While stopped at an Illinois roadside cafe, Arthur said, he listened to a diner tell him how much he resembled the kidnapped boy from Los Angeles, whose picture had appeared in newspapers nationwide. Arthur quickly seized on an opportunity to see Hollywood, turned himself in to authorities and carried out the charade by assuming the identity of the missing boy.

For Collins, however, there was more heartache and trouble to come.

Released from the hospital, she filed a false-imprisonment complaint against the city, Police Chief James Davis and Jones.

With the heat on the department, Jones, who also was being pressured to help solve a grisly murder mystery, insisted that Walter had been one of the victims of Gordon Stewart Northcott and his mother, who had recently been charged with beheading a youth, one of 11 children they sexually assaulted and murdered in Riverside County.

But Collins refused to believe it, especially because her son’s body was never found on the Northcotts’ chicken ranch in Wineville, now Mira Loma.

More than 1,000 outraged Angelenos packed the council chambers in the newly opened City Hall to hear Davis and Jones testify in their defense against Collins’ allegations before the city’s health and welfare committee. The crowd was in an uproar. Broken microphones prohibited them from clearly hearing all of the witnesses. Bystanders kept yelling, Louder! Louder!” as the family dentist testified that the real Walter had several fillings and the boy claiming to be Walter had never seen a dentist in his life.

In addition, Collins told her story to the Police Commission, which refused to discipline Jones, and a grand jury before finally going to court.

In the meantime, the complaint against the city and police chief was dismissed and Jones was suspended. But that didn’t stop Collins from going after him.

A Lifelong Search

More than two years and two trials later, a judge awarded her $10,800. She said she planned to use the money to continue looking for her son. But Jones never paid up.

He was reinstated in the LAPD, but claimed to be constantly broke. Nevertheless, Collins remained a constant thorn in his side, summoning him back to court every few years to explain his failure to pay and to have more interest tacked onto something she would never see.

Continuing her search and never giving up hope, Collins became the first woman in more than three decades to receive permission to visit a serial killer on the eve of his execution at San Quentin. In October 1930, Northcott sent her a telegram saying he had lied when he denied that Walter was among his victims. He promised to tell the truth, if she came in person to hear. But upon her arrival, he balked.

I don’t want to see you,” he said when she confronted him. “I don’t know anything about it. I’m innocent.”

Five years after Northcott’s execution, one of the other boys he was accused of killing was found alive and well.

This tiny bit of news gave Collins the hope she needed to go on searching for the rest of her life. If, somehow, Walter is alive today, he is 80 years old.
http://articles.latimes.com/2004/oct/31/local/me-then31

During the 1920s, Boys Became the Prey of a Brutal Killer

When a convicted rapist was recently charged with murdering 10 L.A. women, some longtime residents were reminded of a grisly case from the 1920s.

On Feb. 2, 1928, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies found a burlap bag containing a headless body in a La Puente ditch. A male teenager had been shot through the heart with a .22-caliber rifle.

In the next few months, three more boys vanished: Walter Collins, 9, of Mount Washington disappeared in March on his way to the movies; two Pomona brothers, Nelson and Louis Winslow, 10 and 12, went missing in May while walking home from a model yacht club meeting.

In September, federal immigration authorities received a call from a Canadian woman. She said her nephew had kidnapped her son and was holding him at a Riverside County chicken ranch.

When investigators arrived at the ranch in Wineville – now known as Mira Loma – they found Stanford Wesley Clark, 15, and his sister Jessie (who had alerted her mother to the situation). But the accused kidnapper, Gordon Stewart Northcott, and Northcott’s mother, Sarah Louise, had fled.

Stanford Clark told authorities that Northcott had kidnapped little boys and, after molesting them, killed them with an ax, poured quicklime over their remains and disposed of them on the ranch. As for the body in La Puente, he said Northcott had killed a young Mexican ranch hand, dumped the body there, brought the head back to the ranch and smashed the skull.

At the ranch house, authorities also found a Pomona Public Library book checked out to one of the Winslow brothers, clothing identified as theirs and a note one of them had written to their parents. Don’t worry, the note said, “we are fine.”

Clark eventually admitted to participating in the murder of one of the Winslow brothers, saying Gordon Northcott had forced him.

Gordon and Sarah Louise Northcott were captured in Canada and held without bond. While they awaited extradition, Clark led investigators on a hunt from the Riverside farm to the Northcott family home in Boyle Heights and to a cabin Gordon Northcott rented in Saugus. Officers found traces of human blood and bloodstained axes with strands of human hair.

But the most appalling discovery was beneath the chicken coop: graves filled with bones, quicklime, bits of blood-soaked mattress and a .22-caliber rifle and bullets of the type used to kill the Mexican teenager.

In December 1928, three months after his arrest, Northcott was taken to the chicken ranch in handcuffs. Police reported that he initially said nine boys had been killed there, but admitted killing only five. In a written confession that day, he owned up to just one, believed to be the Mexican ranch hand: “I killed Alvin Gothea on the ranch on Feb. 2, 1928. No self-defense. Gordon Stewart Northcott will plead guilty to the above charge in Riverside County tomorrow.”

Northcott’s mother, who said she would “do anything” to protect her son, confessed to killing Walter Collins with an ax. She was sentenced to life in prison.

Northcott was charged with killing Walter, along with the Winslow brothers and the Mexican youth. His trial began in January 1929 amid heavy security. Women were excluded from the jury because the judge believed the crimes were too heinous for the fairer sex to be exposed to. (They were admitted as spectators, however.)

Retired Superior Court and appellate court judge John Gabbert, now 95, was then a student at Riverside City College. “I waited around the courthouse a long time to get a seat,” he said in a recent interview. Northcott “was a very self-possessed guy, not overawed by the trial at all. During breaks, he kidded around with the prosecutors. He was as much at home in the courtroom as any attorney but didn’t know what he was doing [legally]. He was a conniving, smart guy, in a limited way.”

Northcott toyed with investigators, sending them on wild goose chases for bodies with hand-drawn maps that never led to anything. He fired three attorneys in succession, took over his own defense, growled obscenities at the prosecutor, Deputy D.A. Earl Redwine, and even put himself and the prosecutor on the stand. Playing attorney and witness at the same time, he asked himself questions and answered them.

Redwine portrayed Northcott as a pathological liar and a sadistic degenerate – fearless, defiant, foulmouthed and full of bravado. Northcott’s conduct underscored Redwine’s case.

At one point, smiling benignly at the jury, Northcott accused the sheriff of plotting to kill him and of stealing his legal papers. He alleged that his family members were “liars” coerced into testifying against him. Moreover, he said, the judge wasn’t giving him a “square deal.”

At times he hinted that there were more than four victims.

Northcott had his mother brought from Tehachapi State Prison to testify on his behalf. Her startling testimony was that her husband, Cyruss George Northcott, had had intercourse with their daughter, Winifred, who gave birth to Gordon Stewart Northcott.

Winifred married and had more children, including Stanford Wesley Clark.

Northcott’s father testified that his son had bragged of killing many boys and that he had seen evidence of the carnage before much of it was destroyed with lye and fire. He even testified that he had bought the lye.

When Redwine asked the haggard, gray-haired Sarah Louise Northcott how many husbands she’d had, she couldn’t remember. Nor could she recall the names of her five children. She shrieked at the prosecutor, “The next time I get married, it won’t be to a man like you.”

After a 27-day trial and two hours’ deliberation, jurors convicted Northcott of three slayings – all but young Walter Collins. Northcott was sentenced to death.

The teenager who first revealed the killings, Clark, was sentenced to the Whittier State School for Boys for his role in one murder. After his release, he returned to Canada.

On Oct. 2, 1930, the date fixed for Northcott’s execution, he began screaming and trembling. His hands shook as San Quentin guards strapped his hands together. “Will it hurt?” he asked.

He requested a blindfold so he wouldn’t have to see the gallows. He had to be dragged up 13 stairs to the noose, pleading with guards, Please – don’t make me walk so fast.”

Just before the trap was sprung, Northcott hollered, “A prayer – please, say a prayer for me.”

Prison Warden Clinton T. Duffy later wrote that Northcott told him he’d killed “18 or 19, maybe 20” young men and boys. Duffy wrote a book about the death sentences he’d carried out, “88 Men and 2 Women.”

After Northcott’s execution, in his cell Duffy found a crudely drawn map of the ranch, which had acquired the newspaper nickname murder farm.” In one margin, Northcott had written, “I am not guilty,” but he had drawn coffin-shaped boxes and written, “If you will look here you will find what you want.”

Duffy mailed the map to Riverside investigators, but they found nothing. Apparently the map was Northcott’s last hoax.

But six weeks after Northcott was hanged, a Hesperia trapper found the remains of a youth in the desert near the ranch. The body was male, from 12 to 15 years old, and was believed to be another Northcott victim. It was never identified.

The macabre case exhausted Wineville, which had had its fill of bad publicity. Weary townsfolk changed its name to Mira Loma.

http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics16/00027507.jpg
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027444.jpg
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027430.jpg
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027436.jpghttp://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027456.jpghttp://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027496.jpghttp://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027479.jpghttp://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027454.jpg
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027431.jpg

http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027452.jpg

http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027473.jpg It is reported that Gordon was raised as a girl, not allowed to wear boys' clothes.
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027474.jpg


http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027475.jpg
http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics16/00027549.jpghttp://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027440.jpg

A dramatically ironic foreshadowing of Northcott's fate came when officers searching his Los Angeles home found a rope tied in a noose with a hangman's knot. Police Commissioner W. G. Thorpe is shown examining it. The house is located at 1239 Brittania Street, Boyle Heights.

http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics16/00027513.jpghttp://jpg3.lapl.org/pics16/00027524.jpghttp://jpg3.lapl.org/pics16/00027527.jpghttp://jpg3.lapl.org/pics16/00027539.jpgHe died on the gallows at San Quentin Prison on October 2, 1930, for the murder of Lewie and Nelson Winslow and an unidentified boy.http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027438.jpghttp://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027439.jpg

http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027486.jpg Blood stains were found on the porch of the home of Northcott's father, Cyrus G. Northcott, at 1239 Brittania Street, Los Angeles. A blood-stained axe was found in the cellar. http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027432.jpg



James_davis_1926_crop Police Chief James Davis, 1926.

Sorry about the HUGE paper reproductions== it's the only way to read them.



http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1928_1204_northcott_RO.jpg



http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1928_1204_northcott.jpg


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1928_1208_northcott.jpg



http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0101_northcott.jpg



http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0101_northcott_RO.jpg


The Police Chief's Retirement (note the story of the missing boy bottom at left of article)


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1938_1117_cover.jpg


Residences of Christine Collins

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/11/08/christine_collins.jpg


Dick Morris, a regular Daily Mirror reader, is a skilled researcher and passed along some material on Christine I. Collins. It fills in a few details of her life but still leaves many other questions. Except for her two earliest known addresses, which were in Venice, Christine lived within a fairly restricted part of Lincoln Heights, east of downtown Los Angeles.

Dick found her in the 1920 census, living with her husband, Conrad J., a streetcar motorman, and 1-year-old Walter at 1110 2nd Ave., Venice.

Locating this address is problematic with Google maps, which defaults to Santa Monica. And my oldest map, a 1946 Thomas Bros. Guide, is no help. Second Avenue was close to the streetcar tracks, so that location makes sense if Conrad was a motorman.

Christine was born about 1891 in California, according to census records, and married when she was about 25. Christine was a first-generation American; her father was born in Ireland and her mother was born in England.

Voter registration for 1920 shows Christine and Conrad living at 112 Thornton Place, Venice.

In an updated e-mail, Dick points out a Sept. 24, 1928, United Press story in the San Mateo Times saying that Christine gave a 10th birthday party for her missing son, Walter, on Sept. 23. We can infer that he was born Sept. 23, 1918.

Dick didn't find any birth record, but I'm not surprised. In searching The Times for C.J. Collins, I found an early listing of someone by that name visiting from Salt Lake City. (In the late 19th and early 20th century, newspapers published the names of people who were visiting Los Angeles and gave the names of the hotels where they were staying.) Of course, it's unclear if this is the right C.J. Collins.

According to census records, Christine's husband, Conrad, was born in Nebraska about 1890 and his parents were born in Iowa. He appears only in the 1920 census, Dick says.

He also says he didn't find a death record on Walter, but I somewhat expected that. Because the victims' remains weren't found, they weren't formally declared dead until sometime later.

In 1928, the time period of "Changeling," Christine was living at 219 N. Ave. 23, and working as a supervisor at the phone company.

The 1930 census lists her as a roomer in the home of James C. Barton, 2614 N. Griffin Ave., still working for the phone company. (The 1929 city directory lists a James C. Barton as a chauffeur living at 1802 E. Vernon, but it's unclear if this is the same man.)

Update: Dick clarifies this is James C. Borton, who was a salesman at a furniture store. The Times published a paid obituary on a man named James C. Borton on May 1, 1938, but he's not necessarily the same person.

In 1934, she was living at 2121 Workman St., a multi-family home built in 1907.
In 1936, she was living at 152 N. Ave. 24 and listed as a housewife.
In 1938, she was living at 551 S. Lorena.
From 1942 to 1944, she was living at 2451 Daly St.
In 1946, she was living at 2603 Griffin Ave. Clarifies earlier error.
From 1948 to 1950, she was living at 2919 N. Broadway, Apt. D.
From 1952 to 1954, she was living at 2330 Johnston St., Apt. D

There is nothing to be found of her after 1954, Dick writes.

And thanks from the Daily Mirror!


( http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/changeling/index.html)

Christine Collins
Residences of Christine Collins
112 Thornton Place
Conrad and Christine Collins, 1920, voter registration
Conrad and Christine Collins, 1920, voter registration
219 N. Avenue 23
Christine Collins, 1928
Christine Collins, 1928
2614 N. Griffin Ave.
Christine Collins, 1930. Voter registration
Christine Collins, 1930. Voter registration
2121 Workman St.
Christine Collins, 1934. Voter registration
Christine Collins, 1934. Voter registration
152 S. Avenue 24
Christine Collins, 1936. Voter registration. Note, voter registration says 152 NORTH Avenue 24, which doesn't exist on any map I can find.
Christine Collins, 1936. Voter registration. Note, voter registration says 152 NORTH Avenue 24, which doesn't exist on any map I can find.
551 S. Lorena
Christine Collins, 1938, Voter registration.
Christine Collins, 1938, Voter registration.
2451 Daly St.
Christine Collins, 1944. Voter registration.
Christine Collins, 1944. Voter registration.
2260 Griffin Avenue
Christine Collins, 1946. Voter registration says 22603 Griffin, which doesn't exist. I'm assuming it was 2260, No. 3, or a similar error.
Christine Collins, 1946. Voter registration says 22603 Griffin, which doesn't exist. I'm assuming it was 2260, No. 3, or a similar error.
2919 N. Broadway
Christine Collins, 1948. Voter registration.
Christine Collins, 1948. Voter registration.
2330 Johnston St.
Christine Collins, 1952-1954. Voter registration. This




Gordon_northcott_1928_1205_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

Gordon Northcott ignores his attorneys and argues with the judge, Dec. 5, 1928.

Exoneration of the PD
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1928_1017_cover.jpg
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1928_1017_collins.jpg

Sept. 13, 1930: Collins wins $10,800 in damages against Capt J.J. Jones.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/11/05/1930_0913_collins.jpg

What became of Christine Collins? No one knows. She lived at 217 N. Avenue 23 when Walter was killed by Gordon Northcott in 1928.

The Jury in the case of the Murders
Gordon_northcott_1929_0113_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

Prosecutors asked for an all-male jury, saying that the evidence would be too gruesome for any woman.

Sept. 14, 1930, left: Christine Collins plans to use the damages assessed against Capt. J.J. Jones to find out what happened to her son Walter
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/11/05/1930_0914_collins.jpg
Oct. 1, 1930, above: Shortly before Gordon Northcott was executed, Collins met with him one more time. She spoke with him for an hour, never asking directly if he killed her son. He finished the interview by saying:

"I only have two days to live, Mrs. Collins, and I am telling you the truth. I know nothing about your boy."
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1930_1001_cover.jpg

Oct. 1, 1930: Northcott makes obscene goodbyes to death row inmates on his way to the execution cell.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1930_1001_collins.jpg

Jan. 29, 1941: The last time we hear of Christine Collins. The Times did not publish her address.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/11/05/1941_0129_collins.jpg
According to the 1936 city directory, a woman named Christine Collins lived at 584 E. Avenue 28, but no one by that name appears in the later online directories. I was also unable to find her in my 1941 city directory and 1946 Los Angeles phone book. The 1940-1997 California death records list 16 women named Christine Collins. A search in the Social Security Death Index produces 60 women by that name.


Gordon_northcott_nd_16_crop
Gordon Northcott: "Youth Convicted as Boy-Butcher."
Gordon_northcott_1928_1203_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

"I killed Alvin Gothea on the ranch..."
Gordon Northcott is convicted and sentenced to death. There were appeals but he was hanged at San Quentin.

Several people have asked what became of Christine Collins, the mother of victim Walter Collins. The answer is vague. I'll try to tie up the loose ends as best I can in the next few days.

The Times stories are available via ProQuest. Those with a Los Angeles Public Library card may access them here. Otherwise you may get them from The Times archives.
When all else failed, momma became hysterical in court:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0203_cover.jpg

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0203_runover.jpg
Court Clerk O.A. Lowentrout with a .22 rifle introduced as evidence.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/11/04/gordon_northcott_1929_0111_crop.jpg
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0207_page.jpg

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0208_cover.jpg
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/11/04/1929_0208_runover.jpg

Gordon_northcott_1929_0128_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

Gordon Northcott, right, questions Rex Welch, analytical expert, about bloodstains on a bucket introduced as evidence in a photograph published Jan. 28, 1929.
Gordon_northcott_nd_20_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

From left, prosecutor Earl (sometimes spelled Earle) Redwine, Loyal Kelley, A.H. de Tremaudan (sometimes spelled Tremandon), J. McKinley Cameron, David Sokol, Gordon Northcott and Norbert Savay.
1928_1201_cover
Trial planned for Riverside.
Another installment of the Gordon Northcott saga. As I noted previously, The Times published far more stories than I can possibly post here. These are selected highlights. The Times stories are available via ProQuest. Those with a Los Angeles Public Library card may access them here. Otherwise you may get them from The Times archives.

Spoiler alert: The actual Gordon Northcott story takes a surprise turn when the defendant, acting as his own attorney, questions Louisa Northcott.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1928_1201_cover.jpg


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1928_1201_runover.jpg

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0102_northcott.jpg
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0103_cover.jpg


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0103_runover.jpg

Gordon_northcott_1928_1213_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

Gordon Northcott, left, and Louisa Northcott in court, Dec. 13, 1928.

Gruesome evidence:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0111_page.jpg

Fires Lawyers
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0117_northcott.jpg

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0122_page.jpg

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0201_cover.jpg

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0201_runover.jpg


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1929_0202_page.jpg

Gordon_northcott_nd_18_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

In going through the photographs from the Gordon Northcott case, I'm struck by how different Northcott looks from one image to another. Sometimes he appears thoughtful, even bookish. In others, he looks quite demonic. In the undated picture above, probably taken at San Quentin, he seems sensitive and reflective.
Gordon_northcott_1928_0928_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

At Kamloops, B.C., Sgt. Fraser of the British Columbia Provincial Police, left, escorts Gordon Northcott to Vancouver after Northcott was captured in Vernon, B.C.. The Times published this photo Sept. 23, 1928.
Gordon_northcott_nd_15_crop
Los Angeles Times file photos

Here, he looks like a young writer.
Gordon_northcott_1929_0101_crop

And here, he looks demonic.
Gordon_northcott_nd_14_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

C.F. Rayburn, left, and Jack Brown in the drawing room of the Southern Pacific's Owl train as they escort Gordon Northcott to San Quentin, where he was hanged.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1930_1030_northcott_hanged.jpg
Death comes:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/files/1930_1030_northcott_hanged_02.jpg



Gordon_northcott_nd_03_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

The Northcott ranch. Notice the stop sign used as a precursor to crime scene tape.
Gordon_northcott_nd_10_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

Detectives find a gun and an ax in the Northcott home in Los Angeles, but cannot link them to the killings.
Gordon_northcott_1928_1130_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

Gordon Northcott
Gordon_northcott_1928_0919_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

Sanford Clark showing Deputies Sepulveda, Mendoza and Ybarra the direction taken from Mint Canyon cabin by Gordon Northcott when the latter told Clark, according to his story, that he was going to visit a mine where Northcott says he aided a miner slay his partner.
Gordon_northcott_1929_0126_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

Gordon Stewart Northcott points with a pencil to a chicken house at his ranch where the state contends one of his alleged boy victims was slain. Undersheriff Rayburn, left, and Deputy Brown, right, keep him closely guarded as the trial jury inspects the ranch.
Gordon_northcott_nd_02_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

Sheriff Clem Sweeters, left, and Deputy Bob Bailey, foreground, watch a trusty dig for bodies on the Northcott ranch.

Gordon_northcott_nd_12_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

Investigators dig in the desert in a search for Northcott's victims.
Gordon_northcott_nd_08_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

Deputy J.R. Quinn and Sheriff Clem Sweeters with items recovered at the ranch.



Louisa_northcott_booking
Los Angeles Times file photo

Louisa Northcott, the mother of Gordon Northcott, isn't portrayed in "Changeling," but played a key role in the actual case. Above, she's booked in jail.
Louisa_northcott_court
Los Angeles Times file photo

Louisa Northcott with one of her attorneys (she was represented by Norbert Savay, A.H. De Tremaudan and J. McKinley Cameron).
Louisa_northcott_train
Los Angeles Times file photo

Deputy P.H. Peterson and his wife escort Louisa Northcott to San Quentin for her role in the killings.

Louisa_northcott_1928_crop
Los Angeles Times file photo

Louisa Northcott, December 1928. She was paroled in 1940.

*****
Riverside County 'chicken coop murders' inspire Clint Eastwood movie, new book

http://www.pe.com/movies/stories/PE_News_Local_S_chicken31.38a6836.html

09:59 PM PDT on Thursday, October 30, 2008

By SANDRA STOKLEY
The Press-Enterprise

It was a crime so monstrous, it led a Riverside County community to change its name.

In 1928, Gordon Stewart Northcott kidnapped several boys, keeping them as sex slaves on his parents' chicken farm in a community known then as Wineville.

When he was done with them, Northcott butchered the boys with an axe and buried the bodies in chicken coops.

His trial at Riverside's historic courthouse drew national coverage. Northcott was hanged for his crimes at San Quentin.

Eighty years later, a new film and book -- written independently of each other -- revisit the infamous case that simultaneously fascinated and repulsed the nation and came to be known as the "chicken coop murders."

"Changeling," directed by Clint Eastwood, opens nationwide today. It stars Angelina Jolie as single mother Christine Collins, whose 9-year-old son Walter Collins was one of Northcott's victims.

The book, "Nothing Is Strange With You," by James Jeffrey Paul, uses historical records, newspaper reports and the 3,000-page transcript of Northcott's trial to painstakingly document the case.



Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library
Gordon Stewart Northcott, left, shackled to a police officer, watches Riverside County sheriff’s Deputy Ben de Crevecoueur dig for bodies on the Northcott family chicken farm in 1928 in what is now called Mira Loma. No bodies were ever found.


Blood-Soaked Axes

In 1926, Northcott kidnapped his 14-year-old nephew Sanford Clark from his home in Saskatchewan, Canada, and brought him to the 3-acre spread in Wineville in northwest Riverside County, so named because of the grape vineyards that dotted the landscape.

Northcott beat his nephew mercilessly and sexually assaulted him on a regular basis. Criminal investigators believed Northcott molested as many as 20 boys before he began a killing spree while forcing Clark to participate in the murders.

In addition to Walter Collins, other murder victims were an unidentified Mexican teenager who was beheaded, and Pomona brothers Lewis and Nelson Winslow, 12 and 10 respectively, who disappeared on May 16, 1928.

****


Silvia Flores/The Press-Enterprise
Riverside historian Steve Lech, a consultant on “Changeling,” was able to locate the still-standing home where Northcott lived when he committed the “chicken coop murders.”





'Changeling'

"Changeling" is set against the backdrop of the Northcott murders but concentrates on the case of victim Walter Collins and his mother, Christine Collins.

J. Michael Straczynski, 54, a journalist-turned-screenwriter, said in a telephone interview from his Encino home that he was tipped off to Christine Collins' story by a Los Angeles City Hall source.


Story continues below



Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library
A picture of the Northcott chicken ranch in Wineville in 1928 includes notes by investigators probing the “chicken coop murders,” in which several young boys were kidnapped and held as sex slaves by Gordon Stewart Northcott, then butchered. Searches of the property turned up bones and other items linked to the victims, but no bodies. The farm house at left is still standing.

Walter vanished March 10, 1928. Months later, when Los Angeles Police Department investigators attempted to return a boy impersonating Walter to Christine Collins, she protested that he was not her son.

The movie takes it name from European folklore that told of fairy children being put in the place of human children.

Under pressure from the LAPD, Collins takes the boy home but returns him three weeks later with definitive proof such as dental records that the boy is not hers.

LAPD officials, more interested in a feel-good ending to the story than the truth, denounce Collins, first as an unfit mother seeking to shirk her duties and then as mentally unbalanced.

She is finally consigned to the mental ward of the county hospital.

Straczynski said he was attracted to the story because of the "raw, naked courage" Collins showed in taking on corrupt police officials.

"She was a single mother in 1928," Straczynski said. "For this mother to stand up to the Police Department took a lot of moxie. It really impressed me."

Straczynski said that while researching Collins' story, he stumbled across the Northcott case.

"It was a real eye-opener to find this other huge story," he said. "It was the biggest serial crime in Los Angeles history to that time."

Although Northcott was ultimately convicted of three murders, Straczynski said that based on his reading of Clark's testimony, he believes Northcott may have killed as many as 20 boys.

In fact, while on Death Row, Northcott estimated he had killed "maybe 20" boys, but later retracted that statement.

"He was a truly evil man, someone who was deeply disturbed," Straczynski said.




Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library
A photo of Walter Collins includes descriptive notes from his mother, Christine Collins. Walter’s 1928 disappearance and police efforts to convince his mother that the boy they returned to her was her son are the subject of “Changeling.” Northcott’s mother, Louise, was eventually convicted of murdering Walter.

Nothing is Strange'

Author James Jeffrey Paul, a lifelong true crime aficionado, said he began researching his book in 1989 after finding references to the Northcott case in crime histories.

"Then I realized what a bizarre and underreported case it was," Paul said in a telephone interview from his North Carolina home. "No one had written about it. So I decided to take it on."

In interviews, Paul takes great care to distance "Nothing Is Strange With You" from "Changeling." The book and movie were developed and written independently of each other, he said. The book was published last month.

Paul said he saw Northcott's story as a "real tragedy of human emotions."

Northcott was a pampered and overindulged child. His mother was the ultimate enabler, suggesting to her son that he use an axe to kill his victims because a gun made too much noise.

At one point, Louise Northcott confessed to all four murders, a ploy authorities dismissed as a doomed attempt to save her beloved son. In the end, she was convicted of Walter Collins' murder and would spend close to a dozen years in prison.


Silvia Flores/The Press-Enterprise
Riverside Historical Society President Steve Lech holds a photo of Gordon Stewart Northcott, who kidnapped, sexually abused and murdered boys in the 1920s. Lech was a consultant on the new film “Changeling,” which is against the backdrop of Northcott’s crimes but focuses on one victim and his mother.

"I think it was a case of a mother trying to protect her child carried to an extreme degree," Paul said. "It was just a case of being abnormally attached and protective of him."

Paul said that after studying the transcripts of the trial, in which Northcott acted as his own attorney, and reading Northcott's letters, he came away with the impression of an accomplished and intelligent person.

"It seems a shame that a person of such promise was so perverted and intoxicated with the idea of choosing children to satisfy his wants," Paul said.

Still Standing

Steve Lech, president of the Riverside Historical Society, has done a significant amount of research into the Northcott case and served as a consultant on the Eastwood film.

Using property records and historic photos, Lech has been able to locate the Northcott home, which still stands on Wineville Avenue in Mira Loma.

Lech said a "Changeling" production crew visited the site with him in 2007. In interviews, Eastwood said he had visited the home but did not talk to anyone there.

Last week Lech visited the property and for the first time met Noemi Alvarado, whose father, Ramon Benavides, bought the property about 20 years ago.

Alvarado, 24, said her father had heard someone had committed suicide on the property, but knew nothing about the "chicken coop murders."

Alvarado said she didn't learn about the connection until a friend called earlier this month after reading an article about the murder in a local magazine and recognized the house in historical photos.

"It's just mind-boggling," Alvarado said.

Phillip and Betty Sanchez own the half-acre property next door, which was part of the original Northcott chicken ranch.


Noemi Alvarado, 24, of Mira Loma, says it’s “mind-boggling” that the house she grew up in on Wineville Avenue was the site of such monstrous crimes. She and her father only found out about the property’s history because of publicity about the new movie based on the case.

Betty Sanchez said she learned of her property's connection to the case about five years ago when the elderly friend of a neighbor said it was the site of what he called the "Wineville murders."

That may explain "incidents" that have occurred through the years, Betty Sanchez said, including tapping on a curio cabinet and the sound of someone trying the deadbolt lock on the front door.

"About a month ago we heard someone trying to unlock the door," she said.

Also about a month ago, her daughter saw the image of a young, slender man sitting on the couch. There have been other sightings of the same young man through the years.

Despite that, Betty Sanchez said she has no desire to move.

"We've been here 20 years," she said.

Alvarado said that as the mother of a 4-year-old boy, she can't help but think about the terror Northcott's young victims felt while imprisoned in chicken coops on the property.

"I look at my son and I can't imagine anything like that happening to him," she said. "They were just little kids. It's all so sad."

Reach Sandra Stokley at 951-368-9647 or sstokley@PE.com


*****

Sanford Clark was never tried, but was sentenced to five years at the Whittier State School (later renamed the Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility). His sentence was later commuted to 23 months. After his release, he was deported back to his native Canada. Clark's son, Jerry Clark, credits Clark's sisters June and Jessie, associate prosecution counsel Loyal C. Kelley, and the Whittier State School for helping save Sanford from Northcott. Sanford's older sister, Jessie, became suspicious of the letters Sanford was forced to send home from Northcott's ranch that assured the family he was well. She went to the ranch and stayed several days. However, she became terrified of Northcott, left and told authorities her brother was in the country illegally.[26]

Clark served in World War II, and then worked for 28 years for the Canadian postal service. He married, and he and his wife, June, adopted and raised two sons. They were married for 55 years and were involved in many different organizations. Clark died in 1991.


The Wineville chicken coop murders that took place at 6330 Wineville Ave, Mira Loma, were horrific and should serve as a reminder of the evil that still lurks in society today. Those type of criminals, once convicted, should be sentenced to death with no appeal process.


***

The Postal authorities established the Stalder post office in 1896, changed the name to Wineville in 1908, moved it about a mile but still called the Wineville post office in 1909, and changed the name to the Mira Loma post office in 1930.

*********

There is also a rumor that the children were held captive at this chicken ranch, so that wealthy pedophiles could come and partake in their perverted desires without being exposed. This was available to them for a price of course.
A list of who these sexually dysfunctional guests were, was reportedly provided to police investigators at the time, but never disclosed.
It would be interesting to know if the people named on the list are still hidden somewhere in the records. I suppose this list could have been another lie and the rumor was never substantiated, but it would still be interesting to read the names of those who were included on this list.

*****

Arthur J. Hutchins, Jr.

In 1933 Arthur J. Hutchins, Jr. wrote about how and why he fooled the police. Hutchins' biological mother died when he was 9 years old and he had been living with his stepmother, Violet Hutchins. He said that he had pretended to be Walter Collins to get as far away as possible from her. After living on the road for a month he arrived in DeKalb. When police brought him in, they began to ask him questions about Walter Collins. Originally, Hutchins stated that he did not know about Walter, but changed his story when he saw the potential of getting to California.

After Arthur Hutchins became an adult, he sold concessions at carnivals and eventually made it back to California as a horse trainer and jockey. He died of a blood clot in 1954, leaving behind a wife and young daughter, Carol. According to Carol Hutchins, "My dad was full of adventure. In my mind, he could do no wrong." [25]

****

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/10/26/1928_0406_pix.jpg

Police Capt. Jones and LAPD officers search the lake in Lincoln Park for the body of Walter Collins, Los Angeles Times, April 6, 1928.


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/10/26/1928_0819_photo.jpg

The boy claiming to be Walter Collins poses with Christine Collins, Aug. 18, 1928

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/10/26/1928_0315_collins.jpg

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/2008/10/changeling-stor.html

___________________

http://markgribben.com/?p=345

Poetic Justice

Category: 1920s, 1930s

There was a bit of poetic justice in how Gordon Stewart Northcott died on the gallows at San Quentin in 1930. It was certainly not the end he would have chosen, but it was the one that best fit his true persona.
A swaggering, pompous ass with delusions of grandeur and an over-inflated ego, the 24-year-old Canadian immigrant had been convicted of the torture-murders of three young boys on his Riverside, California, farm.
Gordon Stewart NorthcottLike many killers, Northcott used the criminal justice process as a chance to relive his crimes and enjoyed being the center of attention during his 15 minutes of fame. He considered himself smarter than most people and was not shy with the press.
“The whole case is simply that of a dissatisfied husband seeking divorce grounds, a movie publicity-mad girl from whose mind all of these ideas came, and a lazy, stupid boy half cracked from reading too many wild west stories,” was how he dismissed his accusers.
When Northcott realized that he would not be the star of his capital murder trial, he fired his attorneys so that he could take center stage to defend himself.
“I told him that he might hang himself,” his attorney told the press after he was fired. “‘Well, it will be worth it. My name will become known all over the world,’” the man said Northcott replied.
Serving as his own attorney, he led one of his surviving victims through a blow-by-blow account of one murder and questioned whether the boy knew the difference between a groan and a death rattle.
“You made me put some mud over his head to stop the noise,” testified Sanford Clark, Northcott’s nephew and foil.
“What kind of noise?” Northcott asked the 16-year-old.
“A groaning noise,” was the response.
“I wonder if you know the difference between a groaning and a gasping noise,” Northcott countered. “What kind of noise was it?”
“It was an awful noise.”
At trial, he repeatedly referred to a large blow-up photograph of the headless remains of one of his victims, forcing courtroom observers to acknowledge his gruesome handiwork.
Northcott laughed as he led investigators on wild goose chases for the graves of his victims and shrugged when the suggestion was made that there were many more undiscovered victims of his cruelty.
The killer called his own father to the stand simply to belittle and badger the man who, by his own admission, could not control his son. Then, just for fun, he convinced his mother — who confessed to participating in at least one of Northcott’s murders — to perjure herself by claiming that she was not his mother but his grandmother. Her daughter, living in British Columbia, strongly denied that this was the case.
Northcott might have avoided detection if not for a visit from an 18-year-old cousin, Jessie Clark, who came from Kamloops, British Columbia, to visit her younger brother Sanford who was working for Northcott on his Southern California chicken ranch.
There she found Sanford living in decrepit conditions on the farm occupied by Northcott, his mother, Sarah Louisa, and his father, Cyrus.
Sanford told Jessie stories of abuse at the hands of Northcott, who was overindulged by his mother and feared by his father. Part of the abuse consisted of helping Northcott dispose of the bodies of boys he killed.
Jessie returned to Canada and told authorities about her brother’s plight, and they contacted Riverside County investigators, who took Sanford Clark into protective custody. That gave Northcott and his mother time to flee north. They escaped over the border and eluded capture for two months.
While the Canadians were looking for the mother and son fugitives, Riverside authorities were excavating the farm based on information provided by Sanford and Cyrus.
Sanford claimed Northcott killed three young boys and a Mexican teenager, and buried their remains in graves about three feet deep. Sifting through the dirt, investigators found a few bones that still contained flesh and hair. They also located a “toenail believed from the foot of a 10-year-old boy,” according to contemporary media reports. It appeared that the bodies had been moved before Northcott fled north, for no complete skeletons were found.
“I knew of the killings but never saw them,” Cyrus told police. “My wife would go to any extreme, not excepting murder, to please her son.”
Sanford told police that Northcott’s first victim was 9-year-old Walter Collins, who had been kidnapped in April 1928. After Walter was dead, Nelson and Louis Winslow were kidnapped, held captive, and then slain. He said Northcott killed the boys with an axe as his mother helped. Under threat of death, Sanford was forced to help dispose of their remains.
The last victim was the Mexican youth, whose decapitated corpse was found dumped along side a rural Riverside County road. His head was never found.
When Northcott was arrested in Canada, he denied his identity, but positive identification was a simple matter. Durin his trip back to Southern California, a bit of the old “third degree” helped secure a confession that Northcott was not successful in repudiating.
Shortly before Northcott and his mother were to stand trial, Sarah Louisa pleaded guilty to one count of murder in return for a promise by the state not to seek the death penalty. When Northcott learned of his mother’s deal, he threw a temper tantrum, jail guards told the press.
The trial was a perfunctory affair except for Northcott’s grandstanding and he was convicted of three counts of murder for the deaths of the Winslow boys and the unidentified Mexican youth. He was slated to stand trial later for Walter Collins’s murder.
Northcott squeezed every bit of notoriety out of his crimes as he could. He remained confident that the conviction would be overturned on appeal, and when that failed, he hinted that he could lead authorities to the final graves of his victims. The searches proved fruitless.
“Well, I just had to send you on another wild goose chase before I was through,” Northcott said to police, a smirk on his face.
On the day before he was to be hanged, Northcott agreed to see the mother of Walter Collins, who wanted to know if he killed her little boy. Northcott kept Christine Collins waiting for several hours before he denied murdering Walter.
In the end, Northcott’s bravado failed him. On October 2, 1930, he was led to the gibbet, whimpering and blindfolded because he said he could not stand to view the gallows. He collapsed as he was taken from the death cell and had to be supported by two guards.
His final words as the black hood and noose were put over his head were “don’t, don’t.”
The last bit of poetic justice came right before the executioner pulled the trap lever. Northcott’s legs gave way and he began to collapse just as the trap sprang. His collapse took the slack out of the rope, and as a result his fall was too short to snap his neck.
It took him 11 minutes to strangle to death._

_____________


http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics15/00027483.jpg


There is a GREAT ABC news story with new footage of the home, and the new homes built where the chicken coops once stood:

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/inland_empire&id=6480307



Bob Banfield


MIRA LOMA, Calif. (KABC) -- Angelina Jolie's new film "Changeling," centers around her son who goes missing. But, the true story behind the mystery has connections in the Inland Empire, where the town of Mira Loma is now buzzing over the 80-year-old case.

In "Changeling," Angelina Jolie plays a Los Angeles woman whose son goes missing in 1928. The boy police find and return to her turns out not to be her son at all.

While the movie focuses on corruption and mistakes made by police, the story's core has roots in the Inland Empire. The thought is her son was actually murdered at a ranch in Wineville, at the home of serial killer and pedophile Gordon Northcott.

Northcott's house still stands in present-day Mira Loma. That thought sends chills up resident Glenda Leyva's spine because she lives in that very house.


"It was kind of scary at first to find out that an evil person like that lived in this house -- in my own house like that. I'm stepping, walking in the same halls and places that he walked and did all those terrible things," said Leyva.

No one knows how many boys Northcott abused and murdered in the house Leyva now calls home.

Investigators say Northcott killed his victims with an ax in the chicken coops in back of the house. The coops are all gone. Today, it is the place where Noemi Alvarado's home stands.

"I have a boy, and those were boys too. It's unsettling," said Alvarado.

Historian Steve Lech had a hard time finding the Northcott home since the neighborhood has filled in. Despite how infamous the "Chicken Coop Murders" were back in the 1920s, hardly anyone remembers the story today. Some say that may be intentional.

"This broke nationwide, and this brought a lot of negative attention to the area. And so the citizens changed the name of Wineville to Mira Loma," said Lech.

Residents in Mira Loma did such a good job forgetting about Wineville that they didn't know about the specifics to the murders until the movie came out. In fact, driving around, the only sign that there ever was a Wineville is a street sign.

While the story is a big part of Mira Loma's history, it's not a topic many want to revisit.

When asked if she was going to watch "Changeling" Glenda Leyva said, "My husband wants to, but I don't think so, it's just, I'm trying to forget."

Forgetting may be easier said than done. The Chicken Coop Murders are the talk of the town all over again.

Here are stills from the video with an overlay between one of the original shots of the murder home and how it is today:








Other web site with information (quality or accuracy may vary, as with here) include:
http://markgribben.com/?p=345

7 comments:

tlc007 said...

A very informative site. Thank you for the amazing coverage. A sad story and terrible tragedy. May all the boys rest in heaven. The killers already know where they are heading...

T.L.Comeau

Kenny said...

Cool site. Very informative.

Jan said...

Thx Now i have see the movie ,the changeling . 2440 Geel Belgium

sammet said...

Thanks a lot for this amazing blog, it's very informative and I am amazed looking at all the photos. However a lot of the text isn't full, as well as the images sometimes only show half of them (that goes for all the newspaper reports). Any idea how to solve this problem? I'd like to read the full articles. :)

DD Poultry said...

Chicken has become a staple in many Canadian diets and remains our No.1 meat choice of Wholesale Meat Suppliers.

DD Poultry at ddpoultry.com

vabna islam said...


This is such an interesting blog. You are very knowledgeable about this subject. Please check out my site.
Utah tax attorney

Nikita Arora said...

HI All……My Self Nikita Escorts Providing Services of Escorts in Delhi, Delhi Call Girls and Escorts in Gurgaon With Full of Safety.