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Welcome to Stuff You Missed in History Class A production of I Heart Radio. Hello and welcome to the podcast, I'm Holly Fry, and I'm Tracy Wilson. So if you have spent time in Los Angeles or if you even read about the city or heard about it in passing, you have probably heard of Griffith Park. That is a huge space. It's 4500 acres, incredibly large for a municipal park in a city. For comparison, Central Park in Manhattan is eight hundred forty two point six acres.
And more than 3000 of those acres were donated all at once for the founding of the park by a single man named Griffith, Jay Griffith. That name in and of itself makes me feel a little. There you have it. There is a huge statue of Griffith at the park's entrance. And while his name today is associated with the park and the observatory, during his time, he was associated with some other things real estate, social climbing and a scandal that occupied columns and columns of newspapers around the country heads up.
This episode is going to talk quite a bit, particularly in the back half, about a pretty horrifying instance of domestic violence and the court cases associated with it, as well as the act itself. So just know that that's in this episode. Griffith Jenkins Griffith was born on January 4th, 1850 in South Wales. And we don't really know a lot about his early years. We do know that the Griffith family was very poor. They had a subsistence farm.
And Griffith's father also took mining work to make ends meet when he was still just a teenager. Griffith, who was the oldest child in the family, traveled to the United States with his uncle. In 1865, Griffith attended school in Pennsylvania and after his education was complete, he started working as a reporter.
In the 1970s, Griffiths traveled to the West Coast, making his way to San Francisco, California, to report on the mining industry there. Through his work covering mining interests, he started to be seen as really an expert on the subject, and this led to additional income. As he started working as a consultant, he offered his knowledge of the industry as a whole, as well as specific information about various operations to heads of different companies. He also started his own mining ventures, making decisions based on his wealth of knowledge, which turned to actual wealth pretty quickly as these operations were successful.
Yeah, there's actually a lot of variation in the stories of how he made his money. Some will suggest that he made it all consulting, but really he didn't make as much as he claimed. Others say he had these side mining things going on. But basically, by the time he moved to Los Angeles in 1882, he did have a pretty significant nest egg with him that he had amassed. And he used that money to establish a reputation as a powerful businessman because he primarily used that money to invest in land in the city.
At the end of 1882, Griffith purchased Rancho Los Angeles. And yes, we know that Angelenos say Lospalos. He bought this from a man named Thomas Bell. The land had been owned by a woman named Maria Ignacio Phillies', who had inherited the ranch after her husband died. She later remarried, taking the last name, Verdugo. And at that point, Spain was still in control of the region, having seized the land from indigenous Gabrial. You know, Tonga peoples, the Phillies' family eventually lost control of the property and it changed hands several times before this purchase when Griffith acquired it.
And by the time Griffith purchased Rancho Los Feliz, it had a reputation as a curse to property.
But he did not seem to mind the large tract of land that he bought that made up the Rancho property included what they now call Los Feliz, Silverlake and this section of the Santa Monica Mountains Griffith, his property acquisition as the beginning of an entirely new venture.
He truly intended to build a ranching business there. He imported livestock, thousands of sheep, 150 cows and 50 horses. He built a railway around this huge property and he also started an ostrich farm.
Yeah, he had a business partner in that ostrich farm. But one of the reasons that he was buying this ranch and setting up infrastructure and kind of developing it as as this little oasis just outside the city was that he was making a lot of money in the land boom and he was actually selling off lots as neighborhoods from the southern portion of the land. So he could claim that he already had like some infrastructure and some business going there. And wouldn't you want to live here now?
The time Griffiths Ranch was outside the Los Angeles city limits, but he definitely inserted himself right into the middle of the city's social scene. People saw him as a climber and an interloper. And he was referred to by a number of unflattering nicknames and descriptions, the tamest of which might be, quote, a Roly-Poly pompous little fellow, but Griffith was intent on becoming a prominent citizen of his new hometown. And one way that he sought to do this was through civic minded acts.
So, for example, he sold the city of Los Angeles water rights along the L.A. River at a very discounted price. And this was a really vital step in the city's developing infrastructure. He probably could have set a price that gouged the municipal budget because they really, really needed access to that water. But through some combination of genuine desire to do good and also hopes that his generosity would be recognized and gave him some clout, Griffith went ahead and sold it at a financial loss.
Griffith also knew the value that a well-made marriage match could have on his reputation. Enter Lewis, Mesmer and his lovely daughters. Mesmer was, quote, a Pioneer resident and one of the best known citizens of Los Angeles. Mesmero, who had been born in France, was an industrious man who had worked as a baker and a miner and ultimately settled in Los Angeles in 1859, when the population was a mere 3500. He started, built and sold a number of businesses in the city and laid some of the first cement sidewalk in L.A. on the edge of one of his properties.
By the time Griffith arrived in L.A., Messmer was a well-established, well respected businessman who had acquired significant wealth. Additionally, Mesmerise two daughters, Lucille and Christina, were named as inheritors of a huge fortune from a family friend who was Andre Briss. Walter, naturally Griffeth went right for the first family of Los Angeles at the time and started a courtship with Christina Mesmer, whose full name was Mary Agnes, Christina Messmer, although she went by either Christina or often Tina.
The two were married on January 27th, 1887, and their wedding was covered in the papers as a, quote, union of two very wealthy Los Angeles families.
But right out of the gate, even before the wedding, there were issues between Griffith and the Messmer family over money. After the invitations had already been mailed out, Griffith insisted that Kristina sign over her rights to her inheritance to him. He initially thought she was inheriting all of his Walter's landholdings and was reportedly really angry when he found out that she was to split that real estate inheritance with her sister, Lucy. That was when he insisted that he gain control of the inheritance and thus put Tina in a really terrible spot.
She didn't want to call off the wedding. And while she acquiesced to his request, her siblings in particular found this whole thing really distasteful. They never really trusted Griffith after that. Griffith and Tina had a son. The year after they married, they named him Bandele. That was their only child in Griffith. Also adopted a number of rather pretentious characteristics during his ascension among the Los Angeles elite. So he started walking with a cane that he did not need, presumably because he thought it made him look distinguished.
He wore very expensive, flamboyant clothes, and he started to refer to himself by the title of colonel, even though he had no military career to speak of. But people accepted it and started calling him Colonel Griffith. Historians have speculated that this was likely Griffith kind of overcompensating for a childhood of poverty, but for a lot of old money Angelenos, they just saw this all as really ridiculous peacocking.
So as the 19th century was drawing to a close, Griffith changed Los Angeles forever with one grand gesture. And we'll talk about how Griffith Park was established after we pause for a quick sponsor break. Did Abraham Lincoln's deep depressions make him a better president to lead the U.S. through civil war?
Is there a genetic explanation for Henry, the eighth lack of a male heir and his growing extreme paranoia through his life? Why did Marilyn Monroe's death by suicide coincide with an upswing in her movie career? I'm Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. And on my podcast personality, I'll be joined by amazing experts to delve into the minds of famous historical figures to understand how both nature and nurture biology and life experience shape their character achievements and struggles. If you want to know what really made exceptional original and genius people tick and take a listen to Season two personality every Monday on the I Heart radio app, on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcast.
I'm looking for a new podcast. You do not want to miss under the influence. I'm your host, Jo Piazza, and I'm taking you into the depths of the mom Internet, a place that preys on some new mothers while also minting millionaires.
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In December 1896, Griffith gifted the city of Los Angeles with quite a Christmas surprise, three thousand fifteen acres of land from Rancho Los Feliz to be used exclusively as a park. That land had not been developed in any way, and Griffith wanted a lot of it to stay that way.
This was an extravagant gift, and Griffith's motivations in making it have been debated over the years. For one, he continued to want to be seen as successful and important, and this gesture certainly went a long way in that regard. Additionally, the donation offered Griffith a way to get out of paying taxes on the land, and the real estate boom was in decline. So selling off the land and parcels was not as lucrative as it once was.
He did, though, also seem to have a fairly genuine interest in civic philanthropy. And he did want Los Angeles to have a park system. We have spoken before on the show about how places like Central Park and the Mall in Washington, D.C., were inspired in part by people wanting to establish those cities as cosmopolitan on a level that would match the cities of Europe and their public spaces. And Griffith, who had traveled a bit by this point, was similarly influenced by the grand public spaces he had visited around the world and on the U.S. East Coast.
And that was part of his desire to donate the park land and Griffith own words. Quote, I consider it my obligation to make Los Angeles a happier, cleaner and finer city. I wish to pay my debt of duty in this way to the community in which I have prospered. And the deed, which transferred ownership to the L.A. City Council, was very specific about the fact that the land was for a park and a park only. That deed is actually part of the the L.A. archives.
They actually have it framed on the wall and it includes the phrase, quote, to be used as a public park for purposes of recreation, health and pleasure, for the use and benefit of the inhabitants of the city of Los Angeles forever. The city council also passed an ordinance that named the park after Griffith shortly after all of this began. So it is legally required to be named Griffith Park. Even though Griffith had given up the land, though, he kept feeling connected to it and retained a sense of ownership over it, even though he legally had no claim to it.
But in his eyes, he believed he did. There was a clause in the deed that he turned over to the city that mentioned specifically that if the city did not maintain the land in a manner that upheld that mission statement, ownership of the land would revert back to the Griffith family. And it's possible that Griffith actually believed this was going to happen. He certainly frequently wrote letters to the city and the park commission stating that he felt things were not being done correctly regarding the acreage he had donated.
He also served on the Parks Committee. So he had a little bit of say in that regard, even if he didn't actually own the property any longer.
Griffith's vision was for the park to include both the aesthetics of the European gardening tradition with manicured and cultivated spaces, as well as the significant retention of the natural space. And that was indeed how the city designed the park. Yeah, if you if you ever visit Griffith Park, it's really sort of marvelous because it is a lot of a lot of space that is in its natural state. And then they had a zoo at one point. There's like famous merry go round we'll talk about in the hour Friday episode.
But yeah, he managed to set this up and it has retained that identity that it was always intended to have per his instructions. So Griffith had at this point kind of accomplished what he set out to do in his bid to become an important part of the Los Angeles community and at least in name he remains so to this day. And if he had lived out the rest of his life peacefully after this, he probably would have a pretty good and tame legacy in history as a slightly eccentric but ultimately benevolent philanthropist who made and married a lot of money and then used it to better his city.
But the next chapter of his life took a very dark turn, just as Griffith seemed to have gotten all that he wanted. He started to drink more heavily, and this started to impact his mental state as he developed a lot of paranoid ideas that started to govern his behavior. In reading through all this and like the parts that were about to get into, like I have thoughts about, like the cause and effect cycle of all of this.
Yes, an event that happened in September of 1983 changed to Griffith's legacy forever. He and Tina went on a summer vacation to Santa Monica. They stayed at the Arcadia Hotel along with their son, Van, who was 15 at the time. And Griffith behaved strangely during the family stay in Santa Monica. He had decided that someone was trying to poison him and he suspected that it can. To actually be the pope, this concern about the pope seems to have been rooted in a very anti Catholic bias that he had and it was manifesting in his paranoia.
He would insist on switching the plates at the table settings during the trip because he believed that they might have poisoned residue on them. It has been estimated that griffeth at this point in his life was drinking roughly two quarts of whiskey each day. That is 64 ounces, just a little less than two leaders. So that was also governing some of this very strange behavior.
Griffith's paranoia led to a horrific series of events on September 3rd. And one version of this story, Tina was sitting at a desk in their hotel room writing out postcards to friends and family when Griffith entered the room. But then later testimony indicated that she was actually packing for their return home. Regardless, though, of exactly what Mrs. Griffith was doing, the portion of the story that's corroborated and consistent is that Mr. Griffith carried a revolver and a prayer book, which was Christina's prayer book into the room with him.
And Griffith was a Protestant. But in his desire to move up in society, he had married a Catholic. Tina was very devout. So in his mind, Griffith started to link his wife to his paranoid delusions about the pope and had started to believe on some level that she was conspiring with the head of the Catholic Church against her husband. So Griffith handed Tina the prayer book, told her to swear by it, that she would answer his questions truthfully, instructed her to get on her knees and then started interrogating her.
He had written his questions down ahead of this conversation. So he was reading them from a card that he had prepared, kind of like a script was a menu card from the hotel, and he had written the questions on the back of it. And while this questioning was going on, he was also pointing his gun at her.
He asked her if she had been involved in the death of Andre Brize Walter. That was the family friend who left Christina and her sister their fortune saying, quote, Did you ever know of Brize Walter being poisoned in your house? Tina answered, No. Brize Walter had died of blood poisoning, which he had gotten due to an infected foot injury. And that was something that Christina reminded her husband of in this moment. Next, Griffeth asked his wife if she was poisoning him by asking, quote, Have you been implicated with or do you know of anyone having given me poison?
Tina, who called Griffith Poppa, replied, quote, Why, Poppa, you know, I have never harmed a hair on your head.
His third question was whether Tina was a faithful wife, and she stated that she had never been untrue.
Griffith had an additional question on his card, but he didn't ask it. He shot Tina after asking the third, he shot her in the face. The bullet hit the outer edge of her left, eye shattering the bone of her eye socket. And it was reported that upon impact with the bone, the bullet fragment it and a piece of it pierced her eye. So her left eye was destroyed, but the bullet didn't penetrate into the brain cavity. The rest of the bullet fragments passed under the skin of her temple and lodged under her scalp.
Surprisingly, Christina Griffith survived this brutal attack. She lost that eye and had some facial disfigurement, but had been fast enough in just kind of reflexively jerking her head to one side that she thought Griffiths aim. So he did not hit her square in the forehead. And after asking her husband why he shot her, she next jumped out of the window onto the extended roof of the veranda below. And there are some versions of the story that indicate that the owners of the hotel saw her and pulled her into their rooms.
But the version that the owners actually gave the press was that she crawled into an open window herself. So keep in mind that Tina at this point had just been shot in the face. She couldn't see she was bleeding a great deal. She also broke her shoulder as she jumped out the window. So it was incredibly lucky that she was able to get to safety at all. Meanwhile, her husband was still in the hotel. He had called the hotel staff that there was an accident.
And as a doctor was being called, he phoned Christina's sister to tell her that her sister had been accidentally shot. Mrs. Griffith was treated at the Arcadia Hotel by a doctor Crawford that was called by hotel management. She stayed there the rest of the night. She was given an opiate to help her sleep. And then as soon as possible, the following morning, she was moved to a hospital in Los Angeles. She was still unconscious at that point.
The headline that ran on September 5th in the L.A. Times that detailed this incident was, quote, bullet in the head of Mrs. G.J. Griffitts. She declares that her husband shot her result may be fatal. Christina Griffith account was included in this article reported as having been told to her sister in a moment of consciousness who then relate it to the paper, according to that account, when Griffith entered the room, he said, quote, Get your prayer book and kneel down and cover your eyes.
I'm going to shoot you and I'm going to kill you. This version didn't include the information that came to light later on involving Griffith's aggressive questioning of his wife because Christina had not been conscious long enough to give a more thorough account when she was in the hospital.
Christina Griffith went into surgery so that the bullet fragments could be dislodged from her head. Her surgeon, Dr. Emelle Moore, told the paper that while the situation was very serious, he believed that the patient would recover. So this write-up stated, quote, She either jumped or fell from the window of the room and dropped onto the roof of a porch on the level of the floor below. So at this point, Griffith was claiming that this whole thing was an accident and there was this whole idea that maybe his wife had just fallen.
His account was that she had been packing a trunk when a revolver that was either inside of it or that she had been holding for some reason had accidentally discharged. And he said that they had not been quarrelling at all. In an interview with a reporter, Griffiths said that he and his wife never quarreled. The reporter, to his credit, did ask some very pointed questions about why Mrs. Griffith would have had one of Mr. Griffith's revolvers in her trunk, how she would have accidentally made her way out of a window that was actually in a gable way, that was away from the main part of the room where their belongings were and whether Griffith was intoxicated at the time of the incident.
Griffith kind of shrugged off the hard questions. I will say the reporter at the end of that says, like, do you say this is wholly untrue? And he's like, oh, yeah, holy. So Griffeth kind of shrugs off the hard questions and then claimed that, in fact, he had been sober for several weeks. But the Mesbah family was adamant that this was not an accident. Tinas brother gave a quote to the press that said, quote, Mrs.
Griffith did not shoot herself. The shooting was not an accident. In our opinion. We are sure there was no attempt at suicide as yet.
We make no accusations, but we believe that the shot was not accidental, nor was it fired with suicidal intent.
That statement was given to a reporter, but before the article actually went to press, the Messmer family contacted the paper again and they asked to have the following statement added. And it's kind of if you look at that newspaper, it's kind of in its own callout box to the side of the article. And that statement is, quote, That would be the consensus of opinion of this meeting. That judgment be suspended until Mrs. Griffith is able to make a statement, but that a full explanation be demanded for Mr.
Griffith and that a full investigation be made. The family at this point believe that a conflict stemming from religious differences was at the heart of this whole matter, as well as Griffith's drinking to excess. At this point, Christina was still hospitalized and unconscious. And while her doctor thought that she would recover, nobody was certain whether she actually would. The Arcadia's landlords the rights also made a statement that they believe that this was an accident. And while the status of the Griffith's teenage son, Bandele, during this incident had been a matter of confusion, initially, people were like, where was Vendel?
And nobody knew it was eventually discovered that he had, in fact, been outside when it happened. Initially, when asked if his son had been in the room during the shooting, Griffith said he did not know and that he was, quote, averse to asking the boy.
Griffith had agreed to be taken into custody, still claiming that it was all an accident. But at the last minute, he slipped away and went for a drink. This was actually several drinks. He moved from one bar to another and a sheriff's deputy trailed him on a ten mile bar crawl before he was able to catch up with Griffith and make the arrest.
And coming up, we're going to talk about how the legal ramifications of this assault played out. But before we get into that, let's all take a break and we'll hear from one of the sponsors that keeps stuff you missed in history going.
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My dream is to grow my fro out and walk around naked. The latest trends, plus a few things we guarantee will make you smile. Don't miss our first episode on February 1st and be sure to listen and subscribe at Apple podcast on the radio app or wherever you listen to podcast. This entire incident and case was huge news, and for the next several months leading up to the trial, newspapers across the country reported every development in the case. This included the fact that Griffith's legal representation had offered Christina 35000 dollars as a divorce settlement, which she would only get if she refused to testify in court against her husband.
This was also a move that was intended to get legal blocks on Griffith's properties removed so he could sell them if he wished. That included the property that Christina had inherited in the Bridgewater fortune. She did not take this offer, and as initial hearings had approached, Griffith's defense slowly shifted away from the story that the shooting was an accident and instead claimed alcoholic insanity.
There were several preliminary hearings and the actual trial took place in February of 1994. When Christina Griffith testified she wore a black veil that covered her whole face. The newspaper report of her testimony stated that, quote, The lawyers made Mrs. Griffith get down from the witness stand and show her sightless eye socket to each of the jurors, in turn, holding up her veil and dark glasses while each of the 12 looked her scars and deformities critically over. It was not dramatic at all, but pitiful.
And one of the most painful incidents that ever happened in Judge Smith's court, Christina's time on the stand was unsurprisingly quite emotional. She told the court, quote, He told me to take my prayerbook and get down on my knees, that he had some questions to ask me. I begged him to please put the pistol away. I begged him to put it away. I saw that I was in the hands of a desperate man. So I asked him if I might have time to pray.
He said I might. So I knelt and raised my eyes and prayed. She describes the questioning and what happens next. And at the end of her account, she stated, My only thought was to get out, dead or alive. That was a statement that Griffith's attorney asked to have stricken from the record.
Griffith Griffith was charged with attempted murder. His attorney, Earl Rogers, tried to discredit Christina and a number of ways and use her testimony that Griffith had threatened to kill her on several occasions, as well as the account of paranoia to bolster his client's insanity defense. Former California Governor Henry T. Gage was Christina's attorney, and he had Rogers, as well as the other attorneys present, were so prone to arguing with one another that one reporter claimed the judge, quote, would be on the point of adjourning for the afternoon to let them fight it out.
Yeah, that was a very there's a lot of bickering going on. And Christina had given testimony in several hearings leading up to the trial. At that point, they were always consistent. And she had said in all of them that she believed the real reason that Griffith wanted to kill her was because she had threatened to leave him due to his drinking and that he knew that if that happened, all of his secrets would become public. The fact that he had this drinking problem was definitely something he had been hiding.
She had told the proprietor of the hotel when the shooting happened that Griffith must be crazy. And she also spoke of how he had been paranoid about poisoning for years and years. And she had kind of just humored him when he did things like wanting to switch plates with her. And his defense seized on all of that as evidence that their defense, their insanity plea was sound. And to some degree, that approach worked. Griffith was found guilty not of attempted murder, but of the lesser crime of assault with a deadly weapon.
He was sentenced to two years in prison and a five thousand dollar fine and was incarcerated at San Quentin. And while this was believed by a lot of people to be a miscarriage of justice, Mrs. Griffith's divorce filing had a better outcome. The judge granted the request immediately, and the whole thing was handled allegedly within five minutes, some say four and a half. So on November 5th, 1994, he was already incarcerated. At this time, when they had this hearing, the San Francisco Examiner ran the story of the proceedings around the divorce after stating during testimony that she had been shot by her husband after he had instructed her to get on her knees and was allowed to pray, the judge interrupted and asked if this was deliberate, and she replied, quote, It was deliberate.
He made me get down on my knees. I asked to pray, and then the judge asked, quote, He then fired. Christina Griffith answered, Yes, sir. And Judge Allen's next words were decree granted.
As part of the settlement, it was determined that Christina would retain custody of their son, Bandele, and that Griffith would pay for the boy's education. Christina was also awarded sixty five thousand dollars. After the divorce was settled, she receded from the public eye and lived out the rest of her life with her sister, Lucy Whipple's family, until her death in nineteen forty eight at the age of 84.
When Griffith finished his two year sentence, he was sober, repentant and really eager to rehabilitate his image. So after several years, he once again turned to grand gestures in an effort to re-establish himself is the Los Angeles philanthropist.
In 1912, Griffith offered the city of Los Angeles a hundred thousand dollars to be put toward building an observatory on Griffith Park, which is known today is not Hollywood.
But while the city council had been willing to take a huge gift of land from the man that a lot of people at the time believed to be a society poser, they were not so keen on taking a huge sum of money from him having been convicted of this felony, even if he had served his sentence. I mean, the nature of the crime also, I think would be a deterrent 100 hundred percent.
And keep in mind, like, these are very high. Level powerful, wealthy families in the area, so it's a little bit tricky because the Mesmer family, of course, was very, very powerful and wealthy. But Griffith also kind of in some ways, you know, had had the city a little bit over a barrel, like he had those water rights that he had essentially given them. It was all a little bit weird, but so they kind of put him off is like, well, think about it.
And then in a similar move the following year, 1913, Griffith offered the city 50000 dollars. This was to be put towards building a Greek theatre in Griffith Park. And once again, there wasn't exactly a no, but there wasn't any real movement to accept the offer. They kind of like went to operation slow down with it. Griffith was undoubtedly hurt by this refusal to accept his gifts, but he still had a vision for these two projects. And of course, today there are a Greek theatre and the Griffith Observatory, they were built, but that did not happen until later.
In 1919, Griffith died after a prolonged illness which was reported as liver trouble.
His image was still tarnished in the minds of many of the city's residents, although the obituary that ran in the L.A. Times did not mention the assault or his conviction or any of that, it instead recounted his philanthropic works, kind of left it at that.
Upon his death, it was revealed that Griffith had set up a trust to ensure that his observatory and the Greek theatre project did move forward and the city did use the funds from that trust to carry out construction on both of them. The Greek theatre was completed in 1930 and the Griffith Observatory was finished in 1935. And now people know his name, which is probably what he wanted in the first place.
Yeah. Dun dun dun.
Do you have some listener mail to take us out? I do. It's about me being a dumbhead. In our Jean-Baptiste Dinni episode is from our listener, Kate, who writes, Dear Holly and Tracey, first off, I want to say I absolutely love your podcast.
It is fascinating and well researched. And I know you both work hard to uplift marginalised stories. That said, I think you made a major misstep with today's episode on Jean-Baptiste Dinni and the blood transfusion race. I understand why you chose to include a warning about animal experimentation at the beginning. However, the fact that you included this warning and made no mention of the fact that a human being was abducted and forced to undergo a medical experiment against his will came across as incredibly classist and frankly, shockingly devoid of empathy.
I don't know you personally, but I think I've listened to enough of your work to know this was not your intention. I know you mentioned having discussions about how graphic to get with various topics other than animals. But I think you need to consider not just what you are saying in these warnings, but what you are saying with these warnings, this warning you put on the episode, prioritise the welfare of animals over that of a man experiencing homelessness. You basically said we expect the harm done to these animals to be more disturbing than the kidnapping, assault and eventual murder of Antoine Mouret.
Maurois, I'm sorry.
I do not believe you actually feel that way, but that is how it came across. As I said, I adore your podcast. I'm sorry. This is what it took to get me to write in. I've thought about it multiple times for much happier reasons, but never got around to it. Thank you for the work you do. I will say this is not a completely valid criticism. I will say I think part of it for me is that any time there is an early stage medical development story, I kind of assume humans are going to be horrible to each other.
Hmm. Which is part of why I that didn't even occur to me. So it's a really good point. I will just as a correction. He was not homeless, though he was believed to be. He had a home. He just didn't tend to go to it. Not that that makes any difference, but it's just for clarity, because I don't want more wild story to become confused.
Yeah, I mean, it's it's always tricky. And I know the other thing I will say is that we get mixed reactions any time we issue any kind of warning in the episode. Yeah, there are lots of times when people say, why did you warn us that ruins the story and it's stupid and people should just know that history is full of horrors. And other people who say, I really wish you had told me this was going to happen.
Yeah, a lot of times what I'm trying to make that call it, it's a lot of times when it seems like something that would not be expected in the course of the episode, like if the title of the episode is the such and such massacre, I'm probably not going to issue a warning about there being a lot of violence in the episode. But if it's a story about a breed of flowers and there's some kind of like horrific murder and I'm probably going to say something about the murder at the beginning, those are made up examples.
Right. And I mean, I it's one of those things that I thought about even with today's episode. Right. I knew I wanted to include that domestic violence warning because it is a horrifying thing that happened. Yeah. And not something you necessarily expect with. The man for whom Griffith Park is named, right?
If you don't know his back story, but I didn't include, for example, his alcoholism is like an addiction morning. Right.
Or the fact that the the violence was specifically gun violence. Right. Because that can be right.
I mean, that's the thing. It it it gets to be a tricky dance. And I don't always do it right clearly, because there are so many things. That could potentially be troubling to any number of people, and sometimes it's hard to predict.
And also it's probably just there's part of me that's a jaded and callous cynic who's like, of course, humans treat each other terribly, which I try not to let drive the bus, but sometimes it blinds me a bit.
I did also want to mention, though, that we got an email also from our listener, Rebecca, who really, really wanted us since we had been talking about blood transfusion, to mention to our listeners the importance of donating blood. If you can donate blood, it does a whole lot of good. She says each blood donation can save up to three lives. If that isn't enough to make you think about it, if it's something you can do.
I know it's a little tricky during pandemics, so, yeah, they're the city where I live has been really good about telling people when there's a blood drive and how they can sign up because they're being really careful about how many people can be inside the space and all that kind of thing. So I think it can be a little trickier to find a slot to to do it for that reason. But there's lots of information available in any particular city about where to do it, how to do it.
Yeah, I think you could probably do a blood donation in your whatever your municipality, your location is, and you will find a wealth of resources.
And I encourage people to do it. It is, as Rebecca said, it's an incredible gift that you're giving and worthwhile, particularly at a time when a lot in the world is going wrong.
If you can help something go right, that will probably make you feel better. So if you would like to write to us, you can do so at History podcast at my heart, radio dotcom. You can also find us on social media, at least in history, if you'd like to subscribe to the show if you haven't already. Well, that sounds grand. You can do that on the I Heart radio app and Apple podcast or wherever it is you listen.
Stuff you missed in history class is the production of I Heart Radio for more podcasts for My Heart radio visit by her radio app Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. News with a new perspective, news with a black perspective, the black information network is the first all news on. Network. And by the black community. Get the podcast and get the biggest news and business stories delivered to you every morning, subscribe to the Black Information Network daily and wake up with the latest from the Black Information Network.
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