Only Yesterday


Amy Crook and Drew Morlett, 2015 In 1931, two years into the Great Depression, Frederick Lewis Allen published his history of the 1920s, “Only Yesterday” covering the period from the end of WWI until the market crash, in October 1929, that plunged the world into poverty. The American economy would not revive until war and destruction obliterated…

The Sun Came Up Slowly Above Sepulveda.


Under dark, glassy, reflective, translucent, stormy, gray, inky blue clouds Van Nuys awoke today. The hot sun and its aggression were held back. And the light came up slowly. The workers sat in their cars along Victory waiting for the red light to turn green. Humidity, and the hint of rain, the blessed promise of…

In a Grieving Mood


The first anniversary of her death will be on September 1st. In the year since my mother died, I have experienced days of grief that just came over me, an intense sadness: unshakeable, persistent and gripping. And then, inexplicably, the darkness leaves and I’m set back into temporary equilibrium. I no longer cry easily and…

June 24, 1960: Murder at 13944 Valerio St. Van Nuys, CA


Crime scene photos courtesy of the USC Digital Archives. Even in 1960, people in Van Nuys were getting gunned down and killed. As originally reported in the Los Angeles Examiner, on June 24, 1960 police discovered murder victim Shaik Dastagir, 49, dead in front of his home at 13944 Valerio St. Shaik Dastagir was the…

The Barbara Jean Jepsen Murder: January 31, 1956.


On January 31, 1956, Barbara Jean Jepsen, an 18-year-old married woman, was found stabbed to death by her husband Joe Earl Jepsen inside their unit at 15050 Victory in Van Nuys. The murder of the young woman shocked the city. Photos of the crime scene exteriors are kept in the USC Digital Archives and offer a glimpse…

Death Ends Police Chase: August 24, 1959.


From the LAPL files: "Robert Lee Daily, aka John M. Savage, aka George R. Gibb, was being sought in connection with over 60 burglaries in the Hollywood and Beverly Hills areas. He was shot dead by Investigator James McGrath when Daily tried to flee from McGrath in Encino. Detectives carry body of Robert Lee Daily,…