Re: RARA-AVIS: Angeleno Cop-Writers

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 28 Sep 2001

On Thu, 27 Sep 2001, JIM DOHERTY wrote:

> The earliest example I've found of a LA area cop who
> broke into fiction.
> He wrote a book of non-fiction memoirs, ME DETECTIVE, and
> also wrote a number of short stories about LA cops,
> both for the pulps and for slicks like COLLIER'S.

The stories I've read from White haven't had police lead characters. There were couple of stories about Avenger-like figure called Black Hawk
(if I remember correctly), which appeared either in Detective Tales or in Dime Detective.

> He
> wrote two full-length cop novels, HARNESS BULL and
> HOMICIDE in the late '30s.

"Harness Bull" was made into a film in 1953, as "Vice Squad". It was directed by Arnold Laven (who later made at least one Matt Helm movie). I think "Harness Bull" was reprinted at that time as "Vice Squad".

> It's been suggested that a real-life case
> that White worked (and wrote about in his
> autobiography) was the inspiration for the
> long-forgotten case Phil Marlowe cites in THE HIGH
> WINDOW, when he's explaining to two LAPD detectives
> why he doesn't trust cops.

This one I didn't know. Interesting!


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