Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

July 20, 1949: Mickey Cohen, right, and Harry Cooper leave the Continentale Cafe on Santa Monica Boulevard. An hour later, the two were shot outside Sherry's Restaurant, on Sunset Boulevard. This photo was published on Page 1 of the July 21,1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Clay Willcockson / Los Angeles Times

July 20, 1949: Edward "Neddie" Herbert, one of Michey Cohen's associates, after getting shot outside of Sherry's restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. He has a towel in his mouth to ease the pain. Herbert died a week later from his wounds. This photo was published in the July 21, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bill Murphy / Los Angeles Times

July 20, 1949: Mickey Cohen receives emergency treatment at Hollywood Receiving Hospital for a shoulder wound. This photo was published in the July 21, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Clay Willcockson / Los Angeles Times

July 20, 1949: Miss Dee David getting treatment after being shot outside Sherry's restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. David, Mickey Cohen and two others were shot. This photo was published in the July 21, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Clay Willcockson / Los Angeles Times

July 20, 1949: Mickey Cohen's car outside Sherry's on Sunset Boulevard after the shooting. An arrow points to bullet holes in the window. This photo was published in the July 21, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Clay Willcockson / Los Angeles Times

July 20, 1949: Police Sgt. G.W. Murphy, center, and Highway Patrolmen P.E. Hammond, left, and W.A. Hopkins study shotguns used to shoot Mickey Cohen and three others. They had been tossed into gutter by gunmen as they fled in a car. This photo was published in the July 21, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

July 20, 1949: Spectators look at a bullet hole in the front door of Sherry's Restaurant after the shooting of MIckey Cohen and three others. This photo was published in the July 21, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

July 20, 1949: This is what the gunmen saw as they fired at Mickey Cohen's party across the street in front of the restaurant. The car in the right foreground took part of the blast, with slugs ripping the fender.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Clay Willcockson / Los Angeles Times

July 20, 1949: Men hide behind bushes during a reenactment of the ambush on Mickey Cohen and others in front of Sherry's Restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. This photo was published in the July 21, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

An illustration by Times artist Charles Owens shows the ambush of Mickey Cohen and others outside Sherry's Restaurant on Sunset Boulevard on July 20, 1949. This illustration was published in the July 21, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Charles Owens/LA Times / ProQuest

July 21, 1949: Mickey Cohen visits Dee David at Queen of Angels Hospital. They were shot, along with two others, outside Sherry's Restaurant on the Sunset Strip. This photo was published in the July 22, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Clay Willcockson / Los Angeles Times

July 21, 1949: Mickey Cohen in the hospital after being shot. This photo was published in the July 22, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

July 20, 1949: From his hospital bed, Mickey Cohen tells officers what happened during the shooting. From left, John K. Law, at telephone; Sgts. Charles Williams and K.H. Knowles; and Deputy Guy Walker. This photo was published in the July 21, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LA Times file photo / Los Angeles Times

July 20, 1949: Frank Niccoli, seated, and Eli Lubin with Mickey Cohen at the hospital after Cohen was shot. The Times described the two visitors as Cohen henchmen. This photo was published in the July 22, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Sharkey / Los Angeles Times

July 22, 1949: Det. Garner Brown, left, and Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz check the crime scene at Sherry's. This photo was published in the July 23, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ray Graham / Los Angeles Times

Aug. 3, 1949: At the Hall of Justice, Johnny Stompanato, left, accompanies Mickey Cohen to the inquest in the shooting. This photo was published in the Aug. 4, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

Oct. 19, 1950: A portrait of Los Angeles Mirror columnist Florabel Muir at work a year after the Mickey Cohen shooting. Muir was struck in backside, resulting in a bruise. Portions of the background of this print were painted by a Mirror artist.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Mirror

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Mickey Cohen wounded

At 3:55 a.m. on July 20, 1949, Mickey Cohen and several companions were shot outside Sherry’s Restaurant on Sunset Boulevard.

The next morning, the Los Angeles Times reported:

Law enforcement agencies rallied against a bold upsurge of gangsterism in Los Angeles yesterday following the shotgun wounding of Mobster Mickey Cohen and three other persons in the Sunset Strip.

While a man hunt spread for the gunmen who blasted at the local underworld kingpin, an aroused citizenry demanded protection against the rising tide of crime typified by the gangland assassination attempt…..

Cohen and his companions were shot outside Sherry’s Restaurant, 9039 Sunset Blvd., at 3:55 a.m. Also wounded in the fusillade of slugs were:

Harry Cooper, 39, special agent for Howser (California state Atty. Gen. Frederick Howser) assigned to guard Cohen a week ago. The former California highway patrolman received a slug in the liver and was reported in a serious condition.

Edward (Neddie) Herbert, 35, a Cohen henchman who escaped 11 shots from a gangland .45-caliber pistol last June 22. He was wounded in the kidney and spleen and was reported critical and in severe shock….

Mrs. Dee David, also known as Dee Davis, 26-year-old doctor’s assistant and acquaintance of Cohen. She received three slugs in the spine and was described in “very critical” condition with severe shock.

Cohen, who succeed to the No. 1 underworld spot locally on the death of Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel, was the least injured of the four. His right shoulder was torn by a slug, but no bones were fractured.

Herbert died from his injuries a week later. Los Angeles Mirror columnist Florabel Muir, also present with Cohen, was slightly injured after being hit in the backside during the shooting.

This was the second of three attempts on Cohen’s life. In the first, on Aug. 18, 1948, gunmen armed with shotguns killed Harry (Hooky) Rothman, a Cohen associate, at Cohen’s haberdashery on Sunset. Cohen was unhurt.

In 1950 – covered in a previous From the Archive post – Mickey Cohen’s home was bombed. Again, Cohen survived.

After avoiding jail for years, Cohen was convicted of tax evasion in 1951 and again in 1961. Cohen died at the  age of 62 on July 26, 1976.

After the 1949 shooting, The Times went all out in its coverage. Two pages were devoted to photos – many included in the above photo gallery.

For more, check out this seven-part series by former Times writer Paul Lieberman: The Gangster Squad.

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