Editor's Note: the Almanac includes the following as legend and folklore - not history. Although some elements of the story may indeed be historical fact, we offer these stories, along with other stories in Mysterious L.A., as a part of the cultural fabric of Los Angeles County.
Yet another legend from the neighborhoods of Los Angeles is that of the Dog Woman of Watts. During 1961, as the story goes, a strange dog-like creature with a woman’s face was seen over several hours during a summer afternoon by a number of people in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, centering on East 103rd and Grape Streets. According to a referenced, undated Los Angeles Herald newspaper story quoted in the book L.A. Exposed,* a Los Angeles Police lieutenant named L.D. Rottier was quoted:
“At first I thought it was a crank call, but for the next three hours similar calls kept coming in from that general area. I guess a lot of people saw this thing and they all described it as running on all fours and covered hair…But it wasn’t dog, or any other known animal, at least according to the reports.”
The Los Angeles Almanac was unable to independently corroborate this account, although we do not claim to invalidate it. The story is retold by blogger Kevin Wikse who writes of interviewing a reported eyewitness of the creature in 1961. Wikse further suggests that the creature may have been the result of secretive government experimentations being conducted in South Los Angeles.
*L.A. Exposed, by Paul Young, 2002, published by Macmillan.