George Contreras

Though primarily remembered as a deputy sheriff, George Contreras (in white hat, above, center) began his law enforcement career in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office during the administration of DA Thomas Woolwine. Continue reading

June Taylor

 

Friend of Albert Marco…Mystery Witness. Those two phrases were always found whenever June Taylor’s name appeared in the papers. Since Lee Francis was covered at length, it’s only fitting that the other prominent Charles Crawford madam needs her own post.

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Lee Francis

“You’re a cog in the organized traffic when you’re running a house, a spoke in the wheel of the underworld.” 

-Call House Madam

Lee Francis was the madam of multiple brothels in Los Angeles under Charles Crawford and his successors. Almost all that is known about her, or believed that is known about her, is information that came from Francis herself and is not reliable. The following is based on my own original research.

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How the Housing Crisis Brought Down the Gambling Ships

Gambling ships began operating off the Southern California coast regularly in the late 1920s. Local, county, state, and federal authorities tried various means to get them shut down, even dredging up 18th century piracy laws, without any real lasting effect. Earl Warren, as California A.G., successfully raided and closed the last four ships in 1939 and World War II put a damper on any new such ventures starting up. But there was still no state or federal statute outlawing them. Everyone may have thought the era of gambling ships had passed. Everyone except Tony Cornero.
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