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Cora B. Withington fund
Alternative Title
Los Angeles Herald Examiner Photo Collection
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at http://tessa.lapl.org/OrderingUse.html for additional information.
In August of 1933, 19-year-old Burmah White, a hairdresser and former Santa Ana High School student, and her husband of less than one week, twenty-eight year old Thomas White, an ex-con, spent their honeymoon on a crime spree. The couple perpetrated ten stick-ups, seven in a single evening; but the worst of their crimes was the shooting of a popular elementary school teacher, Cora Withington, and a former publisher, Crombie Allen, who was teaching her how to drive his new car. They were stopped at a light when a car driven by a young blonde woman pulled up alongside them, and a man brandishing a gun jumped out of the vehicle. The bandit pointed his weapon at Withington's head and said, "Shell out, sweetheart..." Just as Withington and Allen were handing over their valuables there was a gunshot - and it tore through Miss Withington's left eye, came out near the right eye and ripped a hole in Allen's neck. Despite his injury, Allen memorized the license plate number of the bandit's car. Both victims survived their wounds, but Allen was permanently blinded. White's lack of remorse and abrasive demeanor were great fodder for the press, but earned the young widow a guilty conviction on eleven felony counts, and she was sentenced to a term of from 30 years to life. She began serving her time at San Quentin, but was ultimately transferred to the Women's Prison at Tehachapi where, in 1935, Aggie Underwood interviewed her and a few of the other inmates for a multi-part series on women in prison. Underwood noted that her attitude had completely changed and White even wrote an open letter to young women entitled "Crime Never Pays." White was denied parole a few times before she was discharged on December 1, 1941. She'd served less than eight years for her part in the 1933 crime spree. Upon her release, White vanished from public view.
Photograph caption dated October 26, 1933 reads, "Police officers who trapped and killed Thomas White, 'rattlesnake' bandit, today presented $50 to the fund being raised for Cora Withington, school teacher who was blinded by a bullet from the bandit's gun. The money represented a reward received by the officers for trapping White and his bride, Burmah White. This photo shows the presentation of the check to Mrs. Hal Ashley, chairman of the fund. Left to right, the officers are Detective Lieutenants H. R. Maxwell, A. J. Bergerson, B. G. Anderson and W. C. Burris."
1 photographic print :b&w ;21 x 26 cm.
Photographic prints
Herald Examiner Collection
HE box 4818
Police--California--Los Angeles
Fund raising--California--Los Angeles
Women--California--Los Angeles
Checks--California--Los Angeles
Men--California--Los Angeles
Group portraits
Portrait photographs
Los Angeles Evening Herald and Express photographs
Herald-Examiner Collection photographs
Time Period

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