Thursday, December 29, 2005

Why Barbara Seranella Can Kick My Ass Any Day Of The Week

Tod Goldberg mentions a spot of good news. Barbara Seranella, author of the Munch Mancini series (Read them. There's a reason she gets glowing reviews), had a rough year. Liver transplants, coma, playing chess with Death. That sort of thing.

She still somehow managed to get a book out.

An Unacceptable Death was released yesterday. Number eight in the series. Eight. While in a coma.

She and her new liver will be touring some of the finer book establishments in January. Be there. Buy lots of her books.

And no, I didn't lie. I'm still not going to talk about the guy who got stabbed Christmas Eve in Long Beach. I told you, already, it's depressing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Holiday Hiatus

Okay, I had plans, grand plans if you can call them that, to document in gruesome and snarky detail the various criminal goings on in our fair town this holiday season. So I searched high and low. Mostly low. Found the beatings, the shootings, the random snatch and grabs. Illustrations all of man's inhumanity to man. And ya know what?

It was depressing.

So, in the spirit of Los Angeles' chief export, delusion, I decree nothing until the first of the year, whereupon I'll probably go on about assorted jackasses who shot themselves firing their Tec-9's into the air.

So, no shootings, stabbings, muggings, gambling, prostitutes, cocaine, drive-bys, heroin, corruption, graft, grift, explosions, robberies, vice, forgery, executions, serial killers, skip tracers, bail jumpers, grand thefts, gang bangers, high speed chases or mugshots.

Unless they're really funny.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Because Toys For Tots Was Taken

Compton, CA

This last weekend marked a milestone for Compton. Two new murders brought them up to a whopping 70 homicides this year, a 56% spike over last year's count of 39. Way to go, Compton! Woohoo!

For some reason, Compton isn't keen on the name "Deadliest City In America". Go figure.

So they've started a new program called, wait for it, Gifts For Guns, where the city is handing out hundred dollar gift certificates to Circuit City and Toys R Us for every gun brought in.

At last count that was two hundred and twenty.

No questions asked.

Turning in a murder weapon: $100.00
Walking away scot-free: Priceless

Call me when they've got a body exchange. Angeles Crest is getting a little full these days.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I Think It's Safe To Assume He Didn't Run

Gregory Lynn Cross, 49, is the primary suspect in nine Southland bank robberies from Rolling Hills, where they have too goddamn much money, anyway, up to Pico Rivera, where I didn't even know they had banks.

What bugs me is that he's been dubbed "The Overweight Bandit". Now this just goes to show how far we've let political correctness go to our heads in this country. God forbid we call him fat. Don't want to hurt his feelings, after all.

And get this. He walks in, hands them a note, takes the cash and walks out. The fuck? What happend to guns? What happened to alarms? It's not like the guards could fucking miss.

One witness said he smelled dirty, like a transient, he said.

Well, shit, no wonder he got away with it. Fat, homeless guys walk into my bank all the time. Gotta check on their mutual funds and 3 year CDs, after all.

What's next? Midgets? 'Tards? Oh, no, she's The Short of Stature Bandit. He's The Differently Abled Bandit.

Christ, if I'd known it was that easy, I'd have chunked on an extra hundred pounds, and stuttered my way to Rio by now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Lighter News Amid The Threat Of Riots

So, after twenty-six years and something like ten denied appeals, Tookie bites it with a shot of Pentothal, Pavulon, and Potassium Chloride and we here in the City Of The Broken Angels are supposed to freak out over the threat of a little rioting.


So, to help take the edge off:

Redlands, CA

"These are not the brightest people," said Carl Baker, Redlands PD spokesman, of a pair of car thieves who left fingerprints and a disposable camera full of photos in the car. Inside shots, outside shots, closeups.

You can't pay for this kind of entertainment.

San Diego, CA

Luis Higareda, former Border Patrol agent, was sentenced to 5 years for helping smuggle 750 pounds of marijuana across the Mexican border. In his patrol vehicle.

I wonder how he explained that one? "It's, uh... evidence?"

As a side note, I think this might be the first time I've heard a judge reference Star Wars.

Los Angeles, CA

On the flip side, we have Vernon Eugene Siegel Jr., a Florida fisherman who was sentenced to four months of home confinement for smuggling fifty illegal immigrants into Los Angeles Harbor.

Let's see, fifty malnourished illegals at a hundred fifty pounds a pop gets you four months of home confinement, when ten times less weight in pot gets you fifteen times more jail.

Well, I'm sure there's a good reason for that.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Say Good Night, Tookie

Well, it's official.

Governor Schwarzenegger has refused to grant clemency to Stan "Tookie" Williams.

"The facts do not justify overturning the jury's verdict or the decisions of the courts in this case," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

A jury convicted Williams of four murders in 1981 for shooting a 26-year-old 7-Eleven store night clerk, a hotel owner and his wife and daughter, during two robberies. He was sentenced to death by a jury. Williams denies committing the crimes and has said the evidence used to convict him was faulty.

He departs San Quentin tomorrow shortly after midnight.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Author Events This Weekend

Mysteries To Die For

Saturday, December 10, 1:00 p.m.
Lono Waiwaiole signs Wiley's Refrain

I have no idea how his writing is, but as a fellow Hawaiian I have to say, "Buy da book, brau. 'S'ono." There. I have fulfilled my ancestral obligation.

Sunday, December 11, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Holiday Party

Okay, I just have to say that mystery related parties scare the crap out of me. The mystery community is full of really nice, friendly people. Who, on some level, are all murderers. Hit a Sisters In Crime meeting some time and you'll see what I mean.

Anyway, Lee Goldberg and Lee Lanford will be there doing their thang. Stop by, have a cookie, and pay no attention to that strange odor coming from your eggnog.


Book'em Mysteries

Saturday, December 10, 2:00 PM
Joanne Fluke signs the paperback edition of Sugar Cookie Murder

See? See what I mean? Mystery writers and food. It's a whole goddamn sub-genre. Probably has recipes in the back. And a cat. They always have cats.

Sunday, December 11, 2:00 PM
Lee Goldberg signs The Man With The Iron-on Badge

That Lee guy really gets around, doesn't he? The Man With The Iron-on Badge has been getting some good reviews. If you read it and you like it, let me know. Or don't.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Used To Be All You'd Get Was The Clap

Los Angeles, CA

Hooker Turf War. Sounds like one of those Showtime After Dark movies my parents never caught me watching.

Twenty six year old Dion Wells was found shot in his car in a parking lot near 47th and Figueroa yesterday at 1:45pm.

"It's possible that one pimp decided to eliminate a competitor," Los Angeles police Sgt. John Goode said, cautioning that the information was "very preliminary."

Hence the Hooker Turf War headline.

Ya know, I keep flashing to that scene in West Side Story where the Sharks and the Jets are doing that post-modern dance knife fight thing and some poor schmoe ends up dead. All very Romeo-and-Juliet-ish.

I'd like to think that maybe there was more going on here. Maybe this was a guy trying to get out, go straight and make a better life for himself. You know, like that Fifty Cent guy.

Nah, I'm not buying it either.

Dahlia Days At 1947 Project

As of today, there are 37 days left until the 58th anniversary of the discovery of Elizabeth Short's body in a vacant lot near 39th and Norton. She was found mutilated, cut in half and generally in a bad way.

To celebrate this fact, 1947 Project will be hosting a bus tour going from noir-ish scene to noir-ish scene, traveling the back roads of L.A.'s crime ridden past.

I'm tempted, not that I like busses, but I have to wonder how many other sick fucks like me there are out there. From what I gather, quite a few.

Friday, December 02, 2005

When I Say Whoa, I Mean Whoa

Los Angeles, CA

Elvin Gilbert, a Sacramento man euphemistically referred to as a "Bail Recovery Agent" (Bounty Hunter) is currently sitting at St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood recovering from an unfortunate event (Multiple Gunshot Wounds). He was seen, dressed all in black, holding an instrument (Gun) to the head of another man (Bail Jumper) with whom he was having a heated exchange (Come Back Or I Shoot You). After being asked kindly (Not Being Beaten) by the police to drop said instrument, he refused.

So they shot him.

Elvin, whatever were you thinking?

Yeah, I get it. Just doing your job. Okay, but when you're in South L.A. and the cops are talking to you, you're best bet is to say, "Yes, sir," grab your ankles, and hope they use some lube.

And then they go ahead and arrest your skip for you. That's gotta suck.