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Caryl Whittier CHESSMAN




From left, William Taylor, Caryl Chessman, Robert Tollack, Andrew Rutledge and Donald Abbott, Feb. 7, 1941.

"[William] Taylor and I were in Road Camp No. 7 in Las Flores Canyon," Chessman said. "Auto stealing. You pick up ideas there. We did. And here we are."

Gordon Klee, who was later eliminated as a suspect, said: "The rest of us were in Camp No. 1 in Soldedad Canyon. Same rap. I've known Chessman all my life. We went to school together. So when we got out last autumn, we just naturally drifted together."

Before they were arrested, the gang stole cars and robbed service stations and liquor stores across Los Angeles. Several gang members, sitting in a stolen car in Flintridge, got the drop on a pair of sheriff's deputies who stopped to question them, and stole their patrol car.

A Times reporter asked why they committed the robberies.

"Lucrative," Chessman said

(Los Angeles Times photo)



David H. Knowles, left, and Caryl W. Chessman

(Photograph by Bob Jakobsen Los Angeles Times)



Caryl Chessman, left, with Detective E.M. "Al" Goossen, Jan. 23, 1948. At the time, Chessman was living at the home on Larga and had been arrested 6th Dtreet and Shatto Place after a high-speed chase. He was convicted on eight counts of robbery, four counts of kidnapping, two morals charges, one count of attempted robbery, one count of attempted rape and auto theft. He was sentenced to the gas chamber on two counts of kidnapping and was executed in 1960.

Goossen worked many prominent cases of the 1940s and '50s, including the gang slaying of Tony Brancato and Tony Trombino and the murder of Gladys Kern, a real estate agent who was killed while showing a home in Los Feliz. He worked as a private investigator in the San Fernando Valley after retiring from the LAPD.

(Photograph by Bob Jakobsen / Los Angeles Times)



Deputy Atty. Gen. William Bennett, left, watches as San Quentin Warden Fred Dickson displays the manuscript of Caryl Chessman's "The Kid Was a Killer," which was seized on the belief that it was "prison labor." Chessman is flanked by attorneys A.L. Wirin, left, of the American Civil Liberties Union, and Paul N. Posner.  The man in the background leaning on a counter is Dist. Atty. William R. McKesson.

(Photograph by Dan McCormack / Los Angeles Times)



Chessman finally received the manuscript, a novel about a boxer, in December 1957,
from Lt. L.T. O'Brien of San Quentin. It was published in 1960.

(Photograph by Bruce H. Cox / Los Angeles Times)



Caryl Chessman and attorney Rosalie Asher.
Note the heavy retouching in which the entire background was painted over.

(Photograph by Jack Gaunt / Los Angeles Times)



Caryl Chessman



Caryl Chessman



Caryl Chessman



Caryl Chessman



Caryl Chessman



Caryl Chessman



Caryl Chessman



Caryl Chessman



Caryl Chessman



Caryl Chessman



American criminal and author Caryl Chessman (1921 - 1960) points to a list of his crimes, 1950s.
(Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)



December 8, 1955

Caryl Chessman, condemned to death more than seven years ago, enters
the Post Office building in San Francisco, for a final appeal.



Caryl Chessman



Convict and Author Caryl Chessman in Court

Original caption: 1/29/60-San Francisco, California- Convict-author Caryl Chessman is shown here 1/29 as he arrives at Federal Court accompanied by unindentified guard (R). Federal District Judge Louis E. Goodman turned down Chessman's request for petition of Habeas Corpus. Chessman is scheduled to die in gas chamber at San Quentin Prison 2/19.





Caryl Chessman conversing before his execution



Actor Marlon Brando (center) joins with and speaks to demonstrators against capital punishment outside the gates of San Quentin prison. Hundreds of persons, including a contingent of students who had walked from San Francisco, joined in the protest against the execution of convict-author Caryl Chessman. Chessman was executed in the gas chamber May 2nd.



The Gas Chamber at San Quentin

The sealed door of the gas chamber at San Quentin prison in California. Caryl Chessman was put to death here in May 1960.















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