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Entries Tagged as 'Police Reporter'

The Police Reporter - Pgm 7

June 25th, 2010 · Comments

The murder spree continues this week on the rare uncirculated 1930s syndicated true crime series, "The Police Reporter".

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Program 7 of the series concerns the 1915 murder of Professor Rudolf Faulk (sp?) in Vienna where a microscope becomes useful in solving the crime.  The show was digitized from an original shellac Radio Release, Ltd transcription, pressed by Allied Recording in Hollywood, matrix number A-1070.

Anyone run into newspaper articles or other information on the real story for this one?

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Tags: Police Reporter

The Police Reporter - Pgm 6

June 18th, 2010 · Comments

Now, back to our quarter hour of early radio murder and mayhem with "The Police Reporter".

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Program 6 in the series concerns a 1910 murder case in Canada's Northwest Territories that centers on a hole in a fur cap and a skull in a stove.  The show is announced as the sixth program in the series in the show closing.  By the way - notice the odd sound effect machine being used for the sound of the car in the show?

The show was transferred from original shellac Radio Release, Ltd transcription, pressed by Allied Recording in Hollywood, matrix number A-1079.

Next week - a murder solved by a microscope!

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Tags: Police Reporter

The Police Reporter - Pgm 5

June 13th, 2010 · Comments

Our run through the ultra-rare 1930s syndicated true crime anthology, "The Police Reporter", continues with program 5.

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In 1911, a Cumberland, Maryland newlywed couple, Charles Twig and Gracie Elosse, appears to have committed suicide with cyanide.  But did they?  You can see information on the real case in two articles from the NY Times archive, here and here.

The show was transferred from an original shellac Radio Release, Ltd transcription pressed by Allied Recording in Hollywood, matrix number A-1076.  On this particular show, there's an odd low frequency hum in the first three or four minutes of the show.

Next week:  A  stove stove containing a skull provides the clue to a murder in Canada's Northwest Territories....

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Tags: Police Reporter

Thanks and more on Police Reporter

June 13th, 2010 · Comments

A big "thank you" goes out to some very generous folks who donated to the blog this week - Charles in the UK, Barbara, and an anonymous donor.

Hope you continue enjoying the programs!

More info keeps popping up on "The Police Reporter".  Dee from Digital Deli logged the series from the Los Angeles Times.  The show started on February 10, 1936 at 8:15 pm and ran five days a week through March 2nd - only 18 episodes.

Tags: updates · Police Reporter

The Police Reporter - Pgm 4

June 4th, 2010 · Comments

Now back to our 1930s true crime series, "Police Reporter".  We're running through all 26 episodes over the next few months.

Daniel Reidstra sent me an email last week noting that Jay Hickerson's "Guide to All Circulating Radio Shows" lists "Police Reporter" and saying that the program ran five days a week between January 2, 1935 and February 5, 1936 with 26 episodes.

Jay, if you're out there - what's the source of your info on this one?

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In program 4, an elderly woman in Paris shows kindness to a young man who is down on his luck.  But, she's robbed and killed.  The show notes that the crime occurred "seventeen years ago".  I haven't been able to dig up any info on the real case.  Anyone else have better luck on this one?

The show was transferred from an original shellac Radio Release, Ltd transcription, pressed by Allied Recording in Hollywood, matrix number A-1075.

update, June 7, 2010

A sharp-eyed reader of the blog spotted three articles about the Roger Voron case.  Two are syndicated excerpts of a true crime book and another is a review of the book itself.

Syracuse, NY Herald - March 8, 1931 (pdf) Lubbock, tx Avalanche Journal - May 3, 1931 (pdf) Winnpeg Free Press - Feb 7, 1931 (pdf)

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Tags: Police Reporter

Police Reporter - Pgm 3

May 27th, 2010 · Comments

Note:  This program contains language and racial stereotyping themes that may be offensive to some listeners.

Now, the third program in the previously lost and uncirculated early 1930s syndicated series, "The Police Reporter" that we'll be running through over the next few months.

The true crime case in program 3 is the so-called "Georgia Slave Murders" that occurred in 1921 in Atlanta.  A man keeps and abuses Black men as slaves in a compound and kills all them when word gets out to the police.  This disturbing case was the subject of a 1999 book, "Lay This Body Down: The 1921 Murders of Eleven Plantation Slaves" by Gregory A. Freeman.  You can also read a summary of the real case on this forum post.

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The show was transferred from an original Radio Release, Ltd. shellac transcription pressed by Allied Recording in Hollywood, matrix number A-1081.

Next week:  a case of murder from Paris.

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Tags: African-Americans · racial issues · Police Reporter

Police Reporter - Pgm 2

May 21st, 2010 · Comments

This week, the second episode in the previously lost/uncirculated 1930s syndicated series, "The Police Reporter".  We'll be running through all 26 episodes in the series over the next few months.

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Program 2 deals with a gruesome series of murders that occurred in Duseldorf, Germany in 1929 by the "Vampire Killer".  It's the true story of Peter Kürten, the basis for Fritz Lang's classic film "M".

Feel free to add in the comments any info you find out about the series; it's not well documented and I only found a bit about it through some Google Books and online newspaper archive searches.

Programs 13 and 26 in the series include a cast list for the series, so I'm assuming that the programs were recorded in two series of sessions.  The cast list in program 13 includes Noreen Gammill, C. Whitney Sheeley, Hugh Lester, Sid Bracey and Jack Lewis.  The cast list in program 26 is similar, adding Elzabeth Russell and Blaire Davies and omitting Sid Bracey.

Both Gammill and Lewis have several credits at Goldin, primarily for 1930s shows that originated in Hollywood.

The show was transferred from original shellac Radio Release, Ltd transcription, pressed by Allied Recording in Hollywood, matrix number A-1069.  If you're wondering how I know who pressed the discs in the series, it's because one of the discs was pressed out of sequence and is one-sided - the back has an Allied Recording dead side design.

Next week:  The true story of the shocking 1921 case of the so-called "Georgia Slave Murders"...

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Tags: Police Reporter

Some thanks and notes on Police Reporter

May 21st, 2010 · Comments

A tip of the hat goes out to Dave in Michigan for his generous donation to the blog this week and to Michael Utz who sent some interesting transcriptions my way for the collection.  I'm working on the discs over the next week or so and they should turn up on the blog soon.

I didn't get notifications about the different comments from the blog until today, so I missed several of the comments, particularly about "Police Reporter".

Bob noted that the December 1933 reference to "Police Reporter" in the New York Times radio program grid for WEAF probably refers to that night's episode of "The First Nighter", which was called "Police Reporter".  So, that would make the February and March 1936 listings in the LA Times for KGPJ the earliest possible references to the show so far in newspapers.  It's hard to tell when the show was recorded and first broadcast until more info turns up.  Some of the discs in my set have dates from 1935, so, for now, I'm calling that as the earliest date the show was syndicated, but I suspect it might be earlier.

Dr. OTR notes the similarities of the show to "Calling All Cars", which started up in 1933 and was produced in Hollywood.  Radio Release, Limited, which produced "Police Reporter" was also headquartered in Hollywood, so perhaps there was some overlap with writers or actors on the two series.

Dr. OTR also wonders how I find these discs.  Well, this set turned up on ebay.  Sometimes I find discs there and, in some cases, I have collectors or individuals that have run into discs in estates contact me after finding my blog.  But, if you've got an old relative that used to work in radio, I'd be happy to rummage around your attic to see what might turn up. :)

Tags: updates · Police Reporter

The Police Reporter - Pgm 1

May 13th, 2010 · Comments

I'm pleased to be starting up a brand-new "previously lost" series on the blog - it's so obscure that I haven't found out much about it, but I hope you can dig a bit and post what you find about the show in the comments as we go through the complete run of 26 episodes over the next six months.

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Based on true crime stories, "The Police Reporter" was a fifteen minute dramatic series syndicated by Radio Release Limited.  The earliest listing I found for it was in the December 10, 1933 issue of the "New York Times" where it showed up on WEAF's program grid on Friday, December 15, 1933 at 10:00 pm.  There are also several listings in the "Los Angeles Times" in February and March 1936 for a fifteen minute "Police Reporter" program on KGPJ at 8:00 pm.  Some of the discs in my set have penciled-in dates from 1935 on the labels.

The company that produced the series, Radio Release Limited is listed in the 1934 edition of "The Writer's Market", noting that they're "looking for anything with commercial value and will consider good scripts carefully.  Pays good rates".  The company is also listed in the 1935 edition of "Broadcasting: Yearbook-Marketbook Issue" on page 122.

Google Books turned up a reference to Radio Release Limited in a trade publication, "Printer's Ink", in Volume 167, page 70, with some type of article about the company being sold.  I don't have access to the publication at Duke - does anyone else have access to see more of what this is about?

"The Police Reporter" is a quarter hour drama that might remind you a bit of "Front Page Drama" in its sensationalism and melodrama.  What makes the series unique is that all the stories featured are true.  "Gangbusters", the pioneering "true crime" series of the period, premiered in July 1935 on NBC as "G-Men" according to Wikipedia.  So, "The Police Reporter" pre-dates the more famous network show by a couple of years - if not the first, it could be one of the earliest true crime shows on the air.

Program 1 of the series is about a man who has been missing for four days.  A neighbor calls the police, thinking something may be wrong.  It's the Lincoln murder case, which occurred in Aurora, Illinois in 1923.  The program includes an announcement that this is the first program of the series.

The series uses real names, dates and locations, so it's easy to track down information on the real cases dramatized on many of the programs.  You can see a summary of the "real" murder story in this week's show on a website devoted to true crime stories and check out a detailed May 13, 2007 newspaper article from the Aurora Beacon News about the murder.

Our program was transferred from original shellac Radio Release, Ltd transcription, pressed by Allied Recording in Hollywood, matrix number A-1068.

We're running through all 26 episodes in the series over the next few months - all the shows are previously lost, unheard since their original airing in 1933-34.

Next week:  the case of the "Vampire of Dusseldorf".

My deepest thanks to an anonymous donor that provided the funding to purchase this set for my collection.

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Tags: drama · Police Reporter