“Somebody that might have a head injury could do a thing like that.”
– Art Richman
Art Richman was one of the Carpenter Drive-in crowd that knew all the principle characters in that part of the Beth Short story. He was close to Bob Granas, but he also knew George Bacos. Art was a student at Marshall High, but dropped out in his senior year to join the Navy.
He was not a suspect in the murder of Elizabeth Short, but he was a valuable witness to detectives. He told them about Lynn and Margie and the fellows that dated them. Art lived off Sunset Boulevard on Effie Street, near Thomas Starr King Junior High School. He described himself as 6’ 1” tall, about 178 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. After joining up, he was stationed in San Diego. He said he received a medical discharge shortly after enlistment.
Art said, “I went in April 5th I think, 1943, I am pretty sure, I am positive on that. Got out probably around June 3rd. Didn’t want to, but they were pretty sore about it. I didn’t tell them I had hay fever pretty bad. I used to get nose bleeds all the time and couldn’t run with the rest of the guys.”
According to Art, he had two motor vehicle accidents. “I had one on a motorcycle. It wasn’t my fault.” His grandmother, Rose Snyder, said he had another. Art said it was, “riding in a car, pickup truck, from Mount Wilson.” He said, “I had two pretty serious head injuries, one was a car accident, and one was water skiing up in Lake Elsinore.”
Although Art suffered from head injuries, he was able to recall names and dates from the fall of 1946, when Elizabeth Short lived in Hollywood. He said he never met her, but he did know Lynn and Margie. He met Lynn, “I believe up here at a drive-in stand on the corner of Vermont and Sunset.” He said Margie told him “she was working at a dime store.”
Art was a regular at the Pig Stand on Vermont Avenue, just south of Sunset Boulevard. He knew George Bacos, and a friend of his, Chuck Finklestein, who drove a 1947 Cadillac convertible. Art said he was “up there every night.” He said Chuck was “one of George’s best friends -.”
Art and Bob would cruise around Hollywood. When Art met Lynn and Margie on Vermont, he thought of Bob. “Bob is the kind of guy never got a date too much. This Margie seemed awful nice and quiet. So, the next night, might have been the next night, I took both of them up to Bob’s house. I took Lynn home and after, Bob may have taken Margie home.”
Once, he drove them to the Hotel Figueroa where they were staying, shortly before the day they checked out. He said Lynn moved to an” old time movie theater” near Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue, next door to the Studio Delicatessen. Art said she, “sort of worked for her room and board -.”
As time passed, Art said he never saw the girls again. He went into the auto parts business and moved on with his life. He died a few years ago.