From the Archives Long Beach banker kills himself in 1914 soon after he was arrested in an undercover sting targeting gay men
John Lamb, a prominent Long Beach banker and Episcopal Church officer, killed himself soon after he was arrested in an undercover sting operation in 1914 that targeted gay men in the city. Lamb was among 31 men, alleged members of two private clubs in Long Beach, who were arrested and accused of “social vagrancy.” Lamb said in a letter to his sister that he was mortified to read his name in the newspaper after the arrest. After Lamb fatally ingested cyanide, Long Beach city officials temporarily banned the sale of toxic substances, fearful that others would follow suit.
Sources: Los Angeles Times, Nov. 15, 1914