1936 Murder-Suicide on Lexington Ave

Murder Suicide

Newsflash from the Past: Murder-Suicide on Lexington Ave

Ill War Veteran Beats and Stabs Mate to Death and Kills Self

Los Angeles Times – March 21, 1936 – Although Cole Randle, 42-year-old World War veteran, before the death of his wife and himself early yesterday, wrote, “We love each other too much to be separated and we will go together,” it was apparent, according to police, that his wife, Marian, knew nothing of his fatal thoughts.

In the shambles of the Randle Apartment at 4829 Lexington-avenue officers found the body of the wife.

Lexington Ave
4829 Lexington Avenue. The building dates back to 1926.

She had been beaten about the head with a flatiron and stabbed with a pen knife, according to police. The condition of the body indicated that she died several hours before Randle slashed his wrists and then leaped from the third-story roof of the apartment building.

Randle was found a few seconds after his body struck the sidewalk. He was still alive when discovered by Merrill Westlake, milkman, but died before medical aid could reach him.

Randle, Detective Lieutenant Kofford learned, had been extremely sick and out of employment for the last two years. His papers showed he was a first lieutenant in the One Hunderd and Twenty-eighth Field Artillery, A.E.F., and drew a pension from the government….


Randle’s mother told the Times that her son was gassed in World War I and never recovered.

According to other newspaper sources, the Los Angeles police first thought it was a double suicide. After all, the entire suicide letter read:

“We love each other too much to be separated, and we go together – Cole and Marian.

“P.S. The dearest and most wonderful wife God ever gave a man, and I won’t leave her to face the world alone.”

Police also found the blood-stained flatiron next to a hunting knife, and Mrs. Randle’s slashed and beaten corpse in bed. Police quickly determined that Randle had killed her while she slept.

Ancestry records reveal that Randle was 53 years old at the time of death, and that he had married Marian sometime after 1930. Marian Randle was 36-years-old.



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