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Around Town: Books and murder on her mind

June 02, 2012|By Anita S. Brenner

Transcripts of another famous La Cañada murder have been released. In 1935, a La Cañada barber named Raymond Lisenba purchased a life insurance policy on his third or fourth wife, a manicurist named Mary. A few months later, Mary was dead, bitten by two diamondback rattlesnakes named Lethal and Lightning, both purchased by her husband. He was convicted of murder. On May 1, 1942, “Rattlesnake James” Lisenba was the last man to be hanged in California, and now, thanks to Amazon and the United States Supreme Court, we can purchase “The United States Supreme Court Transcripts of Record - Lisenba v. People of State of California” for $97.08 and “Lisenba v. People of State of California U.S. Supreme Court Transcript of Record with Supporting Pleadings” for $25.83.

For nights when murder is not one's cup of tea, one can revisit Michael Cunningham's “The Hours.” The novel has nothing to do with La Cañada history, but is guaranteed redemption for local school boosters still distraught over this year's local press coverage. Cunningham is an LCHS grad.

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The nights are short and the days are long. Thankfully, there's more to read, right here in La Cañada Flintridge.

ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. Email her at anitasusan.brenner@yahoo.com and follow her on Twitter @anitabrenner.

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