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Norman Jacoby, 89; Crime Reporter for L.A. Papers, Wire Service

From Times Wire Services

Norman “Jake” Jacoby, 89, a legendary Los Angeles police reporter whose name graces the newsroom at Parker Center, headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department, died Friday at his home in Vista of natural causes.

Jacoby, a respected reporter from 1935 through his retirement in 1991, covered local crime for the now-defunct Los Angeles Examiner and Los Angeles Herald-Express and spent most of his career reporting for City News Service. He wrote about such sensational cases as the still-unsolved 1947 slaying of Elizabeth Short, known as the Black Dahlia, and the Hillside Strangler and Skid Row Slasher serial killings of the 1970s.

His most satisfying story, he often told colleagues, occurred in 1985 after he saw news reports of a 5-year-old girl living with a 58-year-old man who was arrested for molesting her in Anchorage. Remembering an earlier Los Angeles incident, Jacoby helped police prove she was a child kidnapped four years earlier from a park in Venice.

Jacoby was born in Canada and moved to L.A. with his family at age 7. He earned a junior college degree and worked on the military newspaper Stars and Stripes while serving in the Army during World War II.

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