Los Angeles

Several stories come from Prohibition era Los Angeles. They illustrate the corruption and dangers or Prohibition, and its sometimes fatal results.

  • In 1929, the Vice President of Union Oil, Percival Ingmire, was killed in a car accident. The driver of the vehicle that killed Ingmire was drunk, speeding, and a Los Angeles Prohibition agent.

  • In 1924, an illegal still exploded in Hollywood, severely burning two people. Later police found 500 gallons of liquor in the house.

  • Four years prior to that, the Los Angeles Times ran a story about poisonous liquor. After a man by the last name of Jeffries, a “former world champion heavyweight pugilist,” died of what appeared to be wood alcohol poisoning, police began an exhaustive search for the source of the tainted liquor. Such poisonings were all too frequent during prohibition.


HUNT HERE FOR DEADLY WHISKY, The Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File); Jan 4, 1920; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times (1881 – 1986), pg. I10

Scene of Rum Plant Explosion in Hollywood, Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File); Sep 20, 1924; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times (1881 – 1986), pg. A1

The Truth About the Prohibition Killings, PHILIP KINSLEY, Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963); Dec 1, 1929; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849 – 1986), pg. A5