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Article: Ambush on Mangrove "An Overdue Honor"

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Minutes after midnight on Oct. 6, 1934, garage mechanic Kenneth Ray Davis pulled to the side of Mangrove Avenue and positioned his tow truck to haul away a vehicle that had crashed into a fence surrounding an almond orchard across the road from the Chico Cemetery. He’d been summoned by California Highway Patrolman William R. McDaniel to clear the wreck left by Nick Turchinetz—a local jeweler and ex-convict known to authorities for his predilection for hard drink and penchant for violence.

 

As Davis set about hooking the vehicle to his truck, his work illuminated by a hand-held flashlight and the emergency beacon mounted on Officer McDaniel’s patrol motorcycle, the sound of gunfire erupted from within the dark orchard. The first bullet—fired by Turchinetz, who’d left the accident scene to fetch a rifle from his nearby home and returned to ambush the pair—struck Davis, with a subsequent shot hitting McDaniel.

 

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READ MORE: About the First Recorded Tow Truck Operator Killed in the Line of Duty.

 

NOTE: The Towing & Recovery Industry owes Randall Resch a debt of gratitude for the detailed research. Kenneth Ray Davis will not be forgotten and we have Mr. Resch to thank for his diligence and time to bring us this tragic story that nearly went unheard.

 

Written by Ken Smith and researched by Randall Resch. This Article was published on 09.06.18

 

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