Jerome Perry

Dublin Core


Jerome Perry


Jerome Perry was born on April 29, 1911 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His parents were Daniel L. and Alexandria Perry.

Jerome and his parents moved often. When Jerome was one year old, they left Oklahoma City, headed for Vinita, Oklahoma. Three years later, they went west to Demons, New Mexico. In 1916, the family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, only to journey further west to San Diego, California in 1920. Soon after, they reached Los Angeles.

Despite the family’s numerous moves, Daniel and Alexandria supported young Jerome by establishing a laundry business in Phoenix. Jerome also completed ten years of school. He was a “homelike boy.” In his adolescence, Jerome balanced school, and later work as a cook, with the care of his mother, who suffered from illness or old age.

Despite his responsibilities to his mother, Jerome found trouble in Los Angeles when authorities charged the seventeen year-old with grand larceny of an automobile. The judge sentenced him to thirteen months in Ione, California at the Preston School of Industry, a reform school for juvenile offenders. Three months after returning home, Los Angeles authorities suspected him of grand theft auto. Although given to a probation officer, Jerome soon violated probation. In December of the same year, he faced another charge of grand theft of an automobile. Once again, he was granted probation. Jerome’s freedom behind the wheel would come to a halt one year later.

On December 18th, 1929, at only eighteen years old, Jerome Perry, and co-conspirator, Frank W. Harris, stole a Graham-Paige automobile. When the police approached the pair, they fled in the vehicle. Pursued by the police for nearly a mile, the pair wrecked the car at 5th Street and Normandie Avenue in Los Angeles. While LAPD arrested Harris on site, they did not locate Jerome until two days after the crash at his home in the Central Avenue District, where he lived with his parents and his young brother and sister.

The parole board fixed Jerome’s sentence for four years at the California State Prison at San Quentin. During his term, he proved to be a hard worker, laboring in the general mess, the jute mill, the garden, and then the quarry. Jerome was released on parole in August 1931. Seven months later, however, he found himself back in prison, this time at the California State Prison at Folsom for violating parole.

In October 1933, he returned to Folsom State Prison to serve five years to life for robbery in the first degree. Jerome Perry would never return home to Los Angeles; he died on May 17, 1935. He was only twenty-four years old.


Magdalyn Schmall


Magdalyn Schmall

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