Just the Facts, Ma'am

Thonie Hevron; bringing you the stories behind the badge

The Call Box: Copland Stories

By Ed Meckle, Retired LAPD

lapd callboxThe 1958 TV season gave us a show wherein the narrator intoned, “There are seven million stories in the naked city. This is one.”

I am willing to bet out there in “Copland,” there are at least that many stories just concerning the courts: quirky judges, inept attorneys, naïve victims, witless witnesses and dumb defendants.

 I am going to share some of mine with you.




UNITED KINGDOM – FEBRUARY 20: Municipal Judge Ida Mae Adams, applying a match to a Nazi flag during a trial in which it was testified that a seaman wounded a woman with a pocket knife because she refused to remove the flag from her mantlepiece. Judge Adams is seen burning the flag during the trial at San Pedro, California, US (Photo by Planet News Archive/SSPL/Getty Images)

When I worked vice as a young officer I spent a lot of time in court—two, three, sometimes four times a week. Most of our “morals” cases were heard by Judge Ida Mae Adams. A sweet, tough, no-nonsense widow, she was tall and slender. She wore a pigtails wig, usually askew. She opened every court session with a prayer and woe unto those who did not show proper reverence. She would clasp her hands in prayer put her head down and pray aloud. She would also sneak a peek over the top of her specs. All us vice guys—usually eight or ten of us—all sat together front row right. Believe me, we “prayed up a storm.” She loved us.



This one day she must have seen something she didn’t like. All the guilty pleas were taken first (probably 95 % of the cases). Then she heard short quick trials— “he said, she said,” sort of thing. The “non-believer or non-prayer” defendant decided to test his luck. Five minutes later, he was found guilty. The judge asked his wife’s name and phone number then had the bailiff call her. The bailiff then handed the phone to the judge who told the wife that her husband had just been found guilty in her court of “resorting for the purpose of sexual intercourse with a prostitute.” She then told the wife, “He will be home in three days.”


Isn’t that double jeopardy?

Come back next Wednesday, March 1 for more Copland stories!


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This entry was posted on February 22, 2017 by in The Call Box and tagged , , , , , , .

Cop Talk

For all things about cop culture-the work, the family, the days off.

The purpose of this page is to educate writers of all genres to be accurate in their portrayal of law enforcement professionals. This includes meter maids (I was a "lovely Rita" many years ago), dispatcher, patrol officers, detectives, and administrators.

I have many resources in my 35 year career in California law enforcement. I index and explain common errors that found in all media. Guests will also post about police professionalism today and tomorrow as well as historical articles about the way things used to be, "back in the day".

Examples of police media myths: missing persons cannot be reported by anyone but the family; missing persons reports can't be taken until the subject has been missing 24 hours; all cops eat donuts.

You get my drift.


Thonie Hevron


Just the Facts, Ma'am posts Sundays and Wednesdays. Guest writers Gerry Goldshine, Hal Collier, Melissa Kositzin and sometime Woody Hoke take us through the days and nights of those who protect and serve. Extra postings will include California 'Officer Down' notices or something special. I will update progress of my current literary project as they develop. --Thonie Hevron

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