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1853 Los Angeles Gangs

Novelized history of lawless L.A. gangs of 1853 and the Rangers who battled them. Rebel Mexican leader with twice the troops as the LAPD decides to overthrow California's Government. Problem. He underestimates ONE police volunteer. In Horace Bell's viewpoint, L.A. beckoned with love and police work. Also, he could study for the Bar. Violence brought his rapid retribution. For Paulette Bovierre, with a lost love in France, Horace Bell had a promising future. She was pure strength in adversity. In Don Tomas Sanchez's viewpoint, L.A. offered political power as he fought to keep the status quo. The Americans had already grabbed too many Mexican ranches. For Dona Jacinto Talamantes, her love at first sight starts a triangle between Horace and Paulette. Love lived forever. In Roy Bean's heart, L.A. was a place to have fun "whorin'" and to be a ranger. Yes, sin permeated everywhere. Humor existed for their survival. For Juan Flores' viewpoint, first he must kill the Chinese, then all the Americans. His gang would revolt against the new order. Now all must face the largest struggle ever seen in Los Angeles. Character counted when one ranger challenged 100 miscreants.

A Hard Shell Word Factory Release

Steven W. Knight

    Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, I enjoyed working as a policeman, a sheriff, and a marshal. Vivid memories remain i.e.: Charles Manson and his gang; S.L.A. gang with Patty Hearst; and the Black Panthers gang. Then a few infamous souls who decided to work alone: The Hillside Strangler; Richard Ramirez a.k.a. the Night Stalker; and the five to ten daily murder preliminary hearings in the L.A. Criminal Courts Building. I’ll never forget driving my first black and white to the L.A. academy with the radio blaring: "murder now; robbery now; burglary now; murder now!" Then and there I knew L.A. was truly exciting indeed! Twenty years later my immediate family had accumulated 100 years as Los Angeles peace officers. My father, Raymond J. Knight Jr., and my uncle, Robert F. Knight (our neighbor), were Los Angeles policemen. My grandfather, Raymond J. Knight, joined the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office in 1929 after service with the Huntington Park Police Department. I had just retired as a Los Angeles County deputy marshal. Back in 1974, I was allowed unlimited admission into the private A.B. Perkins Historical California Scholar Library at the main L.A. County Depository in Valencia, CA. My 1974 real estate license led me to an interest in the old California ranchos. The ranchos boiundaries are still outlined on the county maps. I soon found a lifelong passion for California’s historical past. I managed to earn a Masters Degree in Business Management from the University of Redlands, and taught Police Science Classes at Long Beach City College. I wrote The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Badge History. My picture, when I was younger is in Centurion’s Shield - The History of the Los Angeles Police Department as contributing author. My memberships included the L.A. Footprinters, a club my grandfather helped to found with Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz. I have also authored an internet book called Badge Hallmarks for Police Collectors. I worked nights and weekends as a Pari-Mutuel Machine Supervisor for almost 20 years. An outstanding people mixture frequented Hollywood Park, Santa Anita, Los Alamitos, the fairs, and Del Mar race tracts. In police work or at the track I was able to meet Fred Astaire, Andy Devine, John Wayne, Buddy Epson, Elizabeth Montgomery, and many other celebrities. My favorite was John Wayne, "The Duke." My wife, Elizabeth, who is my best friend and editor, and I live in sunny San Diego County. We have a small court reporting business there. The sons are grown and gone. Currently I am engrossed in a sequel novel. The working title is, 1857 Los Angeles. I respectively hope and pray that you enjoyed 1853 Los Angeles Gangs.

Coming Soon...


100,000 MINERS flooded into California from 1848 to 1849. Separate races, diverse languages, different religious and moral beliefs were all represented. Each individual wanted to strike it rich and return home. Most were lucky enough to barely cover their food expenses. After they left the Northern mining areas, they made Los Angeles a popular stopping place. Many stayed in Southern California for the climate; many tried to get wealth illegally.

By 1851 San Francisco possessed vigilantes, 6,000 who hanged anybody they did not like. Los Angeles, being much smaller in population, chose to commission 100 men from their judges, attorneys, merchants, and ex-Texas Rangers, to be their Volunteer Mounted Police Force. These police volunteers changed their name to the Los Angeles Rangers in 1853.

This story is about them, those brave men who protected the small pueblo de Los Angeles and its 1600 citizens. The day after they were appointed, July 13, 1851, they each took an oath of vigilance. They were then licensed to kill, a power they had to use from time to time.