Independent from Long Beach, California on December 23, 1977 · Page 18
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 18

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Friday, December 23, 1977
Page 18
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Nobody heard strangling victim's screams ty Dennis McDougal Staff Writer t There are more thr.n 50 rcsi- lents of the Villa Sorrento apart- nents at 16229 Woodruff Ave. in 5ellf}ower,' but if any of them icard Pamela Mary Sperry, 21, icreaming for her life Wednesday won! sheriff's investigators have ,'et to hear from them. When her sister, Cindy, and another roommate arrived at Apt. J5 at 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, they found the 1974 Richard Gahr High School graduate dead -- strangled with what investigators believe to have been a cloth or scarf. She was naked from the waist down, according to investigators, and had her hands still tied behind [her back. When she was attacked ;eight hours before, she apparently ad her ankles lashed together, too. sheriff's h o m i c i d e investigation spokesman Lt. Robert O'Sullivan said. Her ankles w e r e bruised, probably from cords found near the bed on which her roommates discovered her. The first thought that struck Pamela's neighbors was that the Hillside Strangler had l e f t his Hollywood-Glendale territory and claimed his 12th victim in Bellflower. Shirley Rowley, who lives in the apartment downstairs from the Sperry apartment, begged hus- ' band, Harry, to "put a big lock on that front door so that he (the Hills i d e Strangler) d o n ' t c o m e in here." At least three other women who live in the building also thought immediately of the Hillside Strangler. O'Sullivan all but discounts the theory that that killer, has come to Bellflower, even though investigators had no suspects by late Thursday. "There are similarities to the Hillside Strangler, but there are far more dissimilarities," he said. There had been no forced entry at the apartment and no evidence of a struggle. Pending a coroner's autopsy and release of the body to Bellflower Mortuary today, investigators were assuming t h a t the stout, dark-haired young woman was the victim of rape. Rowley was painting in his apartment at the time investigators believe Pamela died -- about 11:30 "a.m. Wednesday. He heard nothing unusual. Just the extra-loud radio music he had come to expect from his upstairs neighbors since the Rowleys moved in six months ago. "There was a lot of noise up there in the morning, but that's normal. It got real loud about noon. Around 1 or 2 p.m., it got quiet," he said. The three women had shared the $200-a-month t w o - b e d r o o m apartment for several months, according to Villa Sorrento manager Darlene Simmons. She has spoken to several of the tenants since the coroner's deputy took Pamela's body away Wednesday nighl. and (he consensus was that nobody heard a scream or saw anything out of the ordinary. "These apartments have walls so thin you can hear everything that goes on next door. I talked to the woman who lives in Apt. 34, right next door, and she didn't hear a thing all day long that was unusual." she said One resident of a nearby apartment did sec something unusual. At about 3:30 p.m., the neighbor saw a Caucasian man with dark hair, clad in a white T-shirt and dark trousers, appearing to leave the Sperry apartment. O'Sullivan said the story would be checked by investigators. Pamela's uncle, Don Sperry, was answering the phone at her parents' -- C l y d e and S h a r o n Sperry's -- Beach Street home in Cerritos Thursday. The family, he said, is talking to nobody. Funeral services h a v e tentatively been scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday at Bellflower Mortuary, with visitation set for 11. a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. (Turn to Page B-5, Col. 2) 13 file for L.B. elected posts on first day iv Robert Gore Staff Writer A small crowd of hopefuls filed ^candidacy p a p e r s Thursday at '/Long Beach City H a l l for the March 21 municipal primary elec- tjtmn ! City Clerk Elaine Hamilton re"ported that 13 candidates handed in ' their initial paperwork by the end ' of the first day of filing, which closes Jan. 12. Mrs. Hamilton said on the first dtj of filing for the last city election Jan. 7, 1975, 30 people took out tjieir papers. She said the holidays probably had held down this election s filings All nine council seats are to be filled in this election. Thereafter, as the result of a recent city charter change, all terms will be foi four years, replacing the previous three-year standard. Candidates in the five odd-numbered districts (1, 3, 5, 7 and 9} will be running for four-year terms Candidates in the four even-numbered districts will be running foi two-year terms. C i t y auditor, a t t o r n e y a n d prosecutor seats also will be filled in this election. Five incumbents were among those filing their nomination papers Thursday: Mayor Thomas Clark, 5479 Abbey field St., Fourth District; Councilman Wes Carroll, 1028 Marshall Place, Eighth District; Councilwoman Renee Simon, 545 Orlena Ave., Third District; Councilwoman Eunice Sato, 2895 Easy Ave., Seventh District; and City Auditor Robert Fronke, 116 Paloma Ave. Fronke chose a candid ballot designation: appointed city auditor. Although he was selected by the City Council to replace his retired predecessor in July 1976, Fronke did not have to use the description appointed. City Prosecutor Robert Parkin, 259 Argonne Ave., the first candidate to take out papers, filed for the office of city attorney. R o b e r t Recknagel, assistant c i t y prosecutor, 312A R e d o m l o Ave., filed to take Parkin's slot as chief prosecutor. Other council candidates filing Thursday were: Jabulani Lukman Haskim, college student, 1226 Del Rey Court. First District; Elmo B. J a q u e s , r e t i r e d aerospace e m - ployee, 470 E. Louise St., Ninth District; Ernest L. Wiley, writer- manager, 1772 Orizaba Ave., apartment 4, Sixth District; Jesse Loving, retired elevator operator, 2401 Spaulding St., Sixth District; Jer- ald Tikkanen, real estate salesman. 2344 E. Poppy St., Ninth District; a n d K e l t o n R e e s e , community development leader, 3230 Baltic Ave., Seventh District. The coming council elections will be the first to have balloting by district only for both the primary election and the final runoff race between the two top primary finishers May 9. B e f o r e a charter change approved by voters at the last municipal election, the primary voting was confined to the district, hut v o t e r s citywide selected council members in the runoff. Auditor, prosecutor and attorney remain as citywide elections. Holiday magic First place in the Long Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce's decoration contest was won by Mr. and Mrs. Bill Burgess, 2236 Albury Ave., in the outdoor novelty category, above. Other winners announced Thursday are Mrs. Grace Hazelton, 4845 Sunfield Ave., in the outdoor religious display category, and Mrs. Joan Pankopf, 267 Nieto Ave., in the category for indoor tree decorations. -Staff Photo by TOM SHAW IHuntington Beach holds record City starts late, grows fast By Bob Sanders ' Staff Writer Rsu Growing pains are terrible things, and the fastest If growing city in the United States has had them and still ft suffers from them. Huntington Beach, the sixth-oldest city in Orange County, got a late start in the population department but in recent years has been making up for all the lost time. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Huntington Beach was the fastest growing city in the United States during the 1960s and is now the fastest growing city of over 100,000 population in the country. The transformation from being a "little beach town" of 11,492 persons in 1960 to a booming city of 157,000 in 1977 hasn't been easy. ACCORDING TO its planning department, which the city didn't even have until 1961, the boom isn't over. The prediction is that the city will grow in population to 197,200 by 1980, 239,900 by 1990 and 275,100 by the year 2000. Beyond that, no one's predicting. Although rapid growth has happened to almost all of the 28 cities in Orange County, Huntington Beach's phenomenal growth has resulted in ever-increasing levels of city government. All departments have expanded as the city grew, sometimes getting ahead of it. "It's a matter of providing services," says Planning Director Edward D. Selich. "Sometimes increasing the population is so expensive in terms of services that proportional increases in personnel won't do. "So then either the cost increases or the services have to be cut down." Partially because of the oil operations that dominated the northwestern portion of Huntington Beach and prevented other development, and partially because the western part of the county just didn't grow like the central part, Huntington Beach remained "the small beach town that produced oil" until the early 1960s. But, because of great foresight on the part of the city fathers, Huntington Beach annexed large portions of its surrounding territory, so that by 1960, with its 23.5 square miles, it was one of the largest cities in the county in area, while remaining one of the smallest in population. So, when the '60s came and went, Huntington Beach was ripe for growth in population. To the surprise of no one, particularly Selich, with the population growth came bureaucratic growth. The amount of money the city spends each year went from $4.11 million in 1964 to $53.20 million in 1977. The number .of full-time city employees jumped from 136 in 1964 to 917 this year. (Turn to Page B-5, Col. 3) Scrooge lives for this evicted L.B. family Your contribution can help them By Helen Guthrie Smith Staff Writer Mrs. F. is wondering today if the spirit of Scrooge lives. S h e a n d h e r 1 7 - y e a r - o l d daughter were evicted from their Long B e a c h apartment Thursday, and they can't get in to get eyeglasses, a hearing aid, their clothing or their food. Because of the holidays, Mrs. F. says the public service agencies that normally could come to her rescue told her they can't do anything to help her get access to her belongings. Some temporary emergency aid is being provided, but Mrs. F. is counting on Operation Christmas to give her and her daughter a bit of Christmas through a food basket. Operation C h r i s t m a s has promised to help them and hun- dreds of other needy Long Beach residents, but is nearly $1,000 away from its goal of $15,000. If you can help the charity make its goal, and help it provide Christmas dinners and toys for m a n y p e o p l e who otherwise would have none, send your tax deductible contributions to I.P-T Operation Christmas, P.O. Box 420, Long Beach. Calif. 90801. Donations of food or new toys may be taken to the Operation Christmas Clearing House at 455 E. Spring St. Used clothing or used toys can be donated to neighborhood centers or the Salvation Army at 1370 Alamitos Ave. Operation Christmas is sponsored by the Independent, Press- Telegram and administered by the Salvation Army. PAMELA SPERRY INDEPENDENT ' FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 1977 SECTION B--Page B-l Scouts aid 'Operation Safe Lane' BY Cilia Brown ; Staff Writer The streets of downtown Long Beach are safer this week -- for everybody but muggers and purse- snatchers, that is. A group of explorer scouts has , been patrolling Fourth Street since Monday w i t h walkie-talkies a n d watchful eyes. Long Beach police say publicity about "Operation Safe Lane" has made the project overwhelmingly sucessful, with no downtown purse- snatching or mugging incidents reported this week -- until Thursday afternoon. Scout Brad Christenscn, 17, was on patrol at 1:30 p.m. when he spotted a purse-snatcher attacking, an elderly woman in a side alley off Fourth Street between Linden and Elm avenues. Christensen's yells frightened the assailant, who fled on foot. Christensen ran after the man, while radioing his location to a police patrol car. Eventually, t h e ' scout lost sight of the suspect, but joined the police officer in a search by car of the area. Four minutes later, Officer AJ Covarubias and Christensen located the suspect nearby. Covarubias said Joaquin Salezedo Martinez, 33, w a s arrested a n d booked f o r strong-armed robbery. In the meantime, the victim of t h e a s s a u l t h a d disappeared, Covarubias said. The case cannot he taken to court unless she comes forward to testify, he said. Covarubias, who is coordinating the "Safe Lane" program for the police department, said a team of 10 scouts have volunteered to patrol Fourth Street between Magnolia and Atlantic Avenues between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day this week. The scouts, ranging in age from 15-20, are all members of a special law-enforcement explorer s c o u t cadet program at Long Beach Post 295. "Operation Safe Lane" will end at 2 p.m. Saturday. Most get two Mondays off Most government offices, banks and schools will be closed on the n e x t t w o M o n d a y s t o observe Christmas and New Year's Day. The two holidays are both on Sundays, but many employees in government and business get the following Mondays off from work. City, county, state and federal offices will be closed. There will be regular trash pickups on both Mondays in Long Beach but not in Lakewood. Classes resume Jan. 3 in most school districts, including the Long Beach Unified district and Long Beach City College. Classes at. Long Beach State University resume Jan. 23. People Talk F. G. Anderson LELAND SMITH, 60, and Dean Buol, 53, couldn't go home for Christmas. They're patients in the spinal cord injury service at the Long Beach Veterans Administration Hospital. But Christmas and home could come winging to them, air fare and all expenses paid by the employees at the General Telephone offices at 6220 E. Spring St. : And that's the story behind the arrival here Thursday from the state of Washington of Smith's sister, Mrs. Leola Gray, and Buol's wife, Fern. They'll spend a week with their loved ones because a heart line operates all year long at 6220 E. Spring St. General Telephone's business office employees raised $1,500 for the reunion project. The funds derived from bake sales, .ham and turkey raffles, chances on a "booze" basket and white elephant auctions. There was no public solicitation; it was all in-house. Earlier this month, the Gen Tel employees flew in from Montana the wife and daughter of a VA hospital patient. He was scheduled for surgery and preferred to have his family with him at that time rather than Christmas; It's the second year .for the reunion program. In 1975, the employees raised money to buy gifts for patients in the geriatrics w a r d o^ Long Beach General Hospital. Prior to that they had frown a VA Hospital patient home for the holidays. Humanity and a sense of charity provide the incentive, and if you want a particular reason, consider this: Last April, a 24-year-old patient at the VA Hospital died The last sight he had of his family was in Christmas 1976-through the Gen Tel sponsorship program. I think that says it all. SEQUEL: Scrooge's . sister, alias Little Mary Sunshine, has my telephone number--and I wish she'd lose it. I told you about Little Mary Sunshine in my column of Nov. 29. She's the character who called me when I was a patient at Memorial Hospital and and delivered this cheering message: "I hope you croak. You miserable..." As you know/I let my ill-wisher down by recovering and returning to whatever it is I do in this space and in the Ombudsman column. But, alas, Little Mary Sunshine wasn't finished with me. I found that out last Saturday when I answered the telephone at home to hear: "Ain't you dead yet?" Having registered her disgust that I was still above the sod, she hung up, leaving me still clueless as to her identity. All I know about her is that her words are as few as her scruples. I can fault her grammar but not her brevity of expression. To her I say: "Sorry about that, but Merry Christmas, anyway." STREET SCENE: The boy of junior high school age came out of the Arby's at Lakewood Plaza Shopping Center, a wrapped roast beef sandwich in his hand. He repaired to a little round table and proceeded to rewrap it as a Christmas present, complete with red ribbon. The boy then tied the package to the collar of the biggest boxer dog I've ever seen. "Don't open until Christmas," he warned his pet. Want to take bets on that?

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