The murder inspired the 1958 movie, "I Want to Live!" in which Susan
Hayward won a best actress Oscar for her portrayal of Graham.
In the late 40s and early 50s, gangster Mickey Cohen ran several
illegal gambling halls in Burbank, including one out of an old farm on
In May 1948, Strickland and his partner, Sandy McDonald, received
instructions from then-Police Chief Elmer Adams to check out the farm and
raid it if they found evidence of gambling.
Strickland said they coerced a lookout to bring them to the entrance
-- a door with a large peephole.
"We heard a lot of movement," Strickland said. "Inside, there were
about 50 people and gambling paraphernalia."
After more raids and further investigation, Chief Adams and several
city politicians were forced to resign when they were linked to the
Cohen was never prosecuted in Burbank.
On April 22, 1968, 22-year-old Cheryl Perveler was gunned down as she
parked her convertible in the carport of her Grismer Avenue apartment.
Paul Perveler, a former Los Angeles Police officer, was convicted of
shooting his bride of seven weeks for her $25,000 double indemnity
Perveler and his girlfriend, Kristiana Cromwell, were also convicted
of killing Cromwell's husband, a department store stock clerk whose badly
burned body was found in the couple's home in 1966. The motive once again
was insurance money.
Though the evidence against Perveler and Cromwell was mostly
circumstantial, the prosecution -- led by Vincent Bugliosi who later
prosecuted the Manson Family -- prevailed. Bugliosi accused the Perveler
and Cromwell of acting out the plot of the 1944 movie "Double Indemnity."
Cromwell was sentenced to life in prison and paroled in 1979. Perveler
was sentenced to death for his wife's murder and the attempted murder of
his ex-wife, Lela Halverson.
In 1972, the state banned the death penalty and Perveler remains in
An NBC-TV movie based on Bugliosi's book about the murders, "Till
Death Us Do Part," aired in 1992.