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Author Joan Renner

  • Joan Renner

    Joan Renner is a writer, lecturer, and social historian with an expert knowledge of Los Angeles-based murders, corruption, and scandals. She blogs about local crime at her Web site, [Deranged L.A. Crimes][1].

 

Did L.A.’s Top Crime Reporter of the 1930s and ‘40s Crack the Black Dahlia Case?

Agness “Aggie” Underwood may have taken the killer’s identity to her grave Read more...

Gone Girl: The 1953 Disappearance of Stella Darlene Nolan

On June 20, 1953, Ilene Nolan reported the disappearance—and possible abduction—of her eight-year-old daughter, Stella Darlene, in a Daily Bulletin Read more...

Mother-in-Law Knows Murder: The Tragic Death of Olga Kupczyk

Mrs. Elizabeth Ann “Ma” Duncan was a doting, hands-on mother. Maybe a little too hands-on, if the rumors that swirled around her were true. Read more...

How Murderess Clara Phillips Became “Tiger Girl”

Love gone wrong turned a former chorus girl and film extra into a cold blooded killer. Read more...

A Story Fit for Film: Did Actress Madge Meredith Kidnap Her Manager?

Marjorie Massow was an Iowa City girl but she didn’t want to be one all of her life. She had big dreams, so she moved to Hollywood to make them come true. Read more...

The Life and Lies of L.A. Man Killer Louise Peete

By the time she was in her late 30s, Louise Peete had left a trail of shattered lives in her wake from Boston, Massachusetts, to Waco, Texas. Read more...

Thugs with Spoons: The Courtroom Assault of Sergeant Ned Lovretovich

On May 12, 1958, in Department 42 of the Hall of Justice, two punks from East L.A. were on trial for a murder committed during the course of a robbery. Read more...

She Went Out for Gas and Was Left for Dead: The Unsolved Story of Diane Sparks

It was Sunday, March 10, 1946, and Barbara Hensley, 11, Mary Young, 8, and a small terrier named Bozo walked to a spot near their homes for a picnic in Van Nuys. Read more...

Revenge of the Celebrity Secretary: The Career-Ending Extortion of Screen Star Clara Bow

Clara Bow had appeared in about 40 films by the time she made Wings and It in 1927. Read more...

They Did It for Money: The Mob-Style Murder of Burbank Widow Mabel Monahan

If Mabel Monohan’s former son-in-law, Tutor Scherer, hadn’t been a Las Vegas gambler, the 64-year-old widow would never have been murdered. Read more...

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