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William F. Gettle, kidnapping victim, standing with four unidentified persons, Los Angeles, 1934
Date Created and/or Issued
[circa May 17, 1934]
Publication Information
Los Angeles Times
Contributing Institution
UCLA, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library
Los Angeles Times Photographic Archives
Rights Information
Access to this collection is generously supported by Arcadia funds.
Photograph of William F. Gettle (wearing dark glasses), standing with four unnamed persons behind a door labeled "Private." Gettle was the victim of a kidnap for ransom plot, and spent several days with his abductors before the plan was thwarted by police. The photograph may have been taken at the Los Angeles Courthouse, where Gettle appeared before a Federal grand jury to testify against his captors.
William F. Gettle, Beverly Hills millionaire, was kidnapped from the grounds of his Arcadia ranch home during a housewarming party on the eve of May 9th. The kidnapping attracted a great deal of attention in the community, with Mrs. Gettle even addressing the kidnappers through the pages of the Los Angeles Times. The kidnappers demanded a $60,000 ransom for the return of Gettle, which Mrs. Gettle agreed to pay. However, before the ransom was paid, two detectives of the LAPD, Chester Burris and H.P. Gearhardt, broke the case after installing a dictaphone in the home of a bank robbery suspect. Information from the dictaphone led them to a La Crescenta home where Gettle was held. He was returned, unharmed, to his family on the eve of May 14th.
Text from negative sleeve: Gettle, William F., Kidnap Case
Possibly related to Los Angeles Times article, "Gettle Kidnapers Aboard Train Bound for San Quentin: Kidnappers Off for Prison to Start on Life Terms," 17 May 1934: A1.
b&w nitrate negative
Gettle, William F., 1887-1941
Los Angeles Times Photographic Collection

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