STORY 1: FALLEN MARSHAL WILLIAM WARREN, 1870
A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF ALL THE LAPD’S LINE-OF-DUTY DEATHS. NARRATIVES ARE SUPPLEMENTED BY HISTORICAL NOTES FROM REBECCA ESCOBAR, CREATOR OF THE MEMORIAL, “WINDOWS OF THE BEGOTTEN BLUE.”
This collection of fictional storytelling is inspired by true events. You will read, in chronological order, a short tale about every single LAPD officer killed in the line-of-duty. Many of the scenes, dialogue and character portrayals were creatively designed in order to best represent the known historical facts of the time. In some cases, we were able to include factual first-hand accounts from people who knew these officers best.
CHAPTER 3: BILLY
The kettle was red hot on the underbelly as Juanita poured. Steam ascended from The Marshal’s cup.
“Gracias, Juanita” he said with a gringo accent.
“De nada, corazón.” Juanita smiled endearingly at The Marshal. She placed the kettle on top of the burning furnace then took a long gaze out of the window.
“What is it, love?”
Juanita looked over her shoulder. She held her words.
“I fancy you know I will be leaving again.”
Juanita took a deep breath. She turned around with enough courage to speak. “You make enough money with the dog catching and tax collecting. There is no need do dirty work for these Chinese pimps. It’s dangerous out there, sabes? Muy peligroso!”
The Marshal responds, “This is a long way form Michigan, Juanita. The law has yet to be established. And while I agree that it is very violent out there, we have to enforce the laws for everyone living here. Even the Chinese.”
“Si. Si. Yo entiendo. I understand.” A long silence followed. The Marshal slurped the hot contents of his cup. Juanita continued, “I heard it was Sing Yu.”
The Marshal lifted his chin as he looked at his wife. He waited for more as he wondered what else she was privy to.
“People talk. I only listen.” Juanita turned towards the same window she committed to moments before then continued her subtle plea. “They say she ran off with a lover. I’m sure her life will be better than that of a whore. The Chinese are taking over my land. They do what they want. They even have the police chasing their prostitutes across the country for them. Oh, they have it coming. Ni modo, we all know she did not steal from her pimp. I know it and so do you.” The Marshal remained quiet. “Our daughters are growing. They deserve to grow up with a father.”
“I understand, love.” The Marshal placed his cup down and walked over to Juanita. He embraced her from behind as they both now looked out of the same window. He continued, “10-years ago when Justice Trafford was the marshal, he took me into his home and made me his deputy marshal. He is a Justice now and I respect his bounties.”
Juanita turns to face The Marshal. She stares deep into his eyes. “You work very hard for us and I thank you for that. Just remember, corazón: You cannot save the world.”
The Marshal looks over at his 3 young daughters. The eldest of the three grabbed a hold of The Marshal’s badge and was trying to pin it onto her blouse. He smiled and knelt down to be eye to eye with her. The Marshal helped her place the badge, albeit much too heavy for her thin clothing. “Papa. I wanna be like you when I grow up.”
“Well, Ida Rose. You’re gonna have to fit in these here shoes if you wanna be a marshal!” He playfully placed her tiny feet into his boots. Ida’s sisters giggled and laughed as the spectacle continued. “Here is Marshal Ida Rose Warren. First lady lawman!” The sounds of child laughter filled the room while The Marshal pranced his eldest daughter around the house in his oversized boots.
The Marshal knew that police work was not ever going to be a job for a lady. But what he could not have known is that his little lady-lawman would eventually become grandmother to Eugene Biscailuz. Biscailuz would become a legend of law enforcement and known for catching child kidnappers, murderers and taking down gambling empires. Eventually, 59 years later to be exact, Biscailuz would reorganize the State Motor Patrol into what is today’s California Highway Patrol (CHP) before becoming the Los Angeles Sheriff and eventually an influential member of congress.
But of course, he could not have known that at the time.
After the horseplay with his daughters, The Marshal grabbed his coat and six-shooter. “Ill be back in a few days, love. Word has it that the China-Woman was last seen in Ventura but headed to San Diego. Not far at all. The bounty reward money will give us food for a month. Of course after I give Deputy Dye his fair sha-“
“I don’t like him, “ interrupted Juanita. “He’s no bueno.”
The Marshal chuckled. “He has a temper, that’s for sure. But he’s a good tracker. He helped the authorities from El Monte catch a horse thief all the way to Salt Lake City, Utah. I can use his help.”
Juanita nodded. She trusted The Marshal completely.
He continued, “Once I catch her I’ll be going straight to Justice Trafford’s court. So I will not return without money in my hand.”
Juanita walks to the dresser and opens it. She removed a single shot Derringer. “The Los Angeles Rangers will not be there to have your back. They are all dealing with the angry Chinese. Keep this in your front pocket. For a quick-draw. Like you taught me.”
The Marshal takes the Derringer and places it in his front coat pocket. “Te amo, Juanita.”
“I love you too, corazón.”
The Marshal kisses all three daughters squarely on the forehead from youngest to oldest. When he gets to Ida he takes his badge from her shirt. “When I get back, Ida Rose, I’ll show you how to quick-draw. Just like I taught your madre.”
Ida Rose smiled big.
Ida Rose never smiled bigger in her life.