Crime of 1930: police seize craft beer, dog killer wanted for strychnine poisoning

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This look back at the history of Paso Robles comes from the local newspapers in the collection of the Paso Robles Area Historical Society. News in this column is curated with the help of Company Vice President Nancy Tweedie and Research Director Jan Cannon.

Excerpts from Thursday 23 October 1930, Paso Robles Spotlight:

Dog murder freak wanted after outrage

Three animals close to death as extensive police research is undertaken. Angry citizens. Crazy raw work; pet lovers keeping their favorites

San Luis Obispo County Police were today on the hunt for a ruthless dog killer, believed to be maniac, following a relentless orgy of strychnine poisoning in San Miguel yesterday during of which three valuable dogs were placed near death and a dozen others painfully injured.

The poisoned dogs, for which slight hopes are left, belong to O. Renner and CJ Stanley, associate breeders of Almond trees. The three dogs are valued at almost $ 300.

Outrage is great in San Miguel. The animal lovers, embittered by Renner and Stanley’s mishap, threaten to hurt the poisoner if caught.

Click here to read the full first page of Thursday 23 October 1930 Paso Robles Spotlilght

Come master

Shortly before noon yesterday, two of Renner’s dogs, a thoroughbred, purebred champion, police dog and an enviable pedigree fox terrier, groaned at their master’s feet. Instinct told Renner that his beloved animals had been poisoned. He immediately began administering antidotes. The animals, aware of the benevolent human hands, seemed eager to help Renner cleanse their tortured stomachs of the life-draining poison.

At a late hour, the animals were still living with the outcome of the problematic poisoning.

Upon hearing of the San Miguel event, Paso Robles Police Chief Claude Azbell issued warnings to anyone who owns dogs.

Annual occurrence

“It seems like this is the time of year when ruthless, thoughtless people start dog killing orgies,” Azbell said. “Killing a dog is a crime for which there is no appropriate punishment in this category. Azbell has communicated the warnings to county police departments and close surveillance is being maintained.

The fact that poisoned animals did not eat poisoned squirrel bait was shown when wheat was shown to be the basis of the bait. Squirrel poison in the San Miguel area is negligible as rodents are virtually eradicated there, it has been said.


Tenants flee home when police seize home-brewed beer store

With the sudden disappearance of the tenants of a small greenhouse at the foot of East Twelfth Street, the police were now in possession of two known facts. The first is that the department has custody of 216 bottles of pale amber house beer. The second is that in the disappearance of the tenants of the small greenhouse, the department has effectively strangled a source of relief for the dry gorges of the city.

The small greenhouse was raided last week and the beer confiscated. The tenants could have protested against the seizure on the grounds that it was homemade for home consumption. It seemed, however, that the police knew more about the household consumption part than it was good for the freedom of the tenants. As a result, the tenants decided to get out. Police, making a call on Monday, found that no one had received them. The 216 bottles of pale amber beer in the small greenhouse could fall under the demolition hammer, police said.


Woman reports loss of clothes upon entering her home

Mrs. GE Wiest loses her wardrobe; vandals neglect other expensive items

Mr. and Mrs. Wiest returned home and discovered that their “house looked like that of an Anderson’s fairy tale”.

“Only moderately priced clothing and a bracelet were taken,” said Wiest, who reported the theft to Constable Herman Anderson. (Editor’s note: There is no evidence of a relationship with the aforementioned fairytale Anderson.)

The thieves forgot a valuable bracelet and an “expensive bag of pearls, brought to Mrs Wiest from Europe by her brother”. The vandals “left behind a graphic record of fingerprints of their work.”

The missing clothes were valued by Wiest between $ 175 and $ 200. “Journalists tactfully refrained from asking Ms. Wiest for a detailed list of missing articles. The subject was, she said, shameful.


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Thanks to the Sponsors of Looking Back

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About the Author: Journalist Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a journalist and contributing photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.


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