Monday, January 30, 2006

Boys Are Stupid Example #1812 - Don't Piss Off The Stripper

Los Angeles, CA

Ya know why crime doesn't pay? 'Cause criminals think with their dicks.

$7.5 million in counterfeit bills have floated into the system from Mexico, carried across by the same mules with swallowed condoms of heroin in their stomachs. And the whole thing falls apart because one guy wants a 3 hour lap dance.

If you asolutely have to use counterfeit bills to tip a stripper, don't use the ones you've soaked in vinegar to throw off the border dogs. Dancers are not known for their generosity of spirit. Especially when you fuck with their bottom line.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

It Was Kind Of A Rhetorical Question

Little while ago, I was wondering who the hell names bank robbers. Apparently, somebody at The Daily News was paying attention.

Bill Rehder, a retired FBI agent, named all of hte bank robbers in Los Angeles from 1981 to 1999. The Large Marge Bandit, the Chevy Chase Bandit, The Kangaroo Bandit. Now there's a legacy.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Author Events This Weekend

Mysteries To Die For

Saturday, January 28, 10:00 a.m.

Linda Farstein signs Death Dance

It's got death, and theatre, and... stuff.

Saturday, January 28, 1:00 p.m.

Barbara Seranella signs yet another copy of An Unacceptable Death

I think I've said all I need to say about this. Go. Enjoy. Buy a book.


The Mystery Bookstore

Saturday, January 28, 1:00 p.m.

All Linda All The Time - Linda Farstein signs again, just somewhere else

There's this thing about authors, especially traveling ones. See, they don't have the luxury of just wandering by and hitting one signing in one area and then moseying on down the street and hitting another in a week. They have to hit 'em hard and fast, like a mugger with a baseball bat.

So, I'm betting Linda's going to be kind of frazzled with the running cross town from Thousand Oaks to Westwood. So be a dear and buy a book. I'm sure she'll appreciate it. Like I said, it's got theatre. That's with an "re" not an "er", which makes it special. Really.

Speaking Of Cemetery Love

Canyon Lake, CA

Stephanie Creech of Canyon Lake in Riverside County was kidnapped Thursday by her ex-boyfriend Richard Gurzi.

What the hell is it with ex's? I mean, sure, who hasn't been distraught over love gone wrong? But, Jesus, let it go. She broke up with you. Burning down her house and kidnapping her at knife point doesn't exactly cement your position as the man of her dreams.

Ladies, please, buy guns. If he comes at you with a knife put a bullet in his head. Better to explain it to the cops than spend an evening locked in a trunk and dumped dead off a roadside in Angeles Crest.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Year For Every Million

Lomita, CA

James Michael Jerra, an accountant in Lomita, has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for fraud, after filing for a $3 million dollar tax return using a non-existant company, Jandel Corp.

The returns falsely claimed Jandel paid nearly $1 billion in wages and compensation to Jerra, and about $3.9 million of that was withheld as income taxes, according to the IRS. The jury also heard evidence that the scheme involved offsetting the reported wages with a false gambling loss of $7 million.

I'm sorry, maybe it's because I don't play with the big boys, but who the hell loses seven million dollars gambling? Yeah, nobody's gonna see through that one.

But If They Do This, Ellroy Won't Have Any More Plotlines

Over at LAVoice, Erik Larssen reports on the possibility that the L.A. County Civil Service Commission will seal Internal Affairs records from the public view.

He's got some choice case excerpts over there. Apparently they're all from public records. Man, I know what's next on my reading list.

I Can Only Say I Hope He Hurt Real Bad

Darrel Nelson, alleged killer of Mary Dasaro, kicked Friday, after spending two days in critical condition for self inflicted second and third degree burns. The news seems a little slow on this one. Guess I've gotten too used to the internet.

I know, that in the grand scheme of the universe, everyone's a victim. I'm sure he was troubled, I'm sure he was sick. I just wish that he could have avoided taking someone else with him.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A Sure Sign The Housing Market's Going Flat

Thousand Oaks, CA

And you thought Suburbia was dull.

She was a tall blond mom with a license to sell real estate. He was her distinguished ex-husband with the words "Equal Justice" affixed to his Canoga Park paralegal business, family yacht and the license plate of his Jaguar.

But behind their suburban facade, prosecutors allege, the duo ran a Web-based prostitution ring that operated in their upscale homes in Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills and their yacht in Marina del Rey.

Yeah, baby.

They advertised Weiss as "Brieanne: The Ultimate Courtesan" on Craigslist and her own website, contracting out three other women in the business. A steal at only $350.00 an hour.

Joe, a neighbor across the street says, "People used to come to his home all the time, but I figured (they) were part of his business."

Oh, but they are, Joe. They are.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Smart Money's On Arson

Los Angeles, CA

I loves me Koreatown. Bars on windows and hookers on street corners. Head up to Taylors and see what it looks like when the Rat Pack goes geriartric. Great steaks, but Jesus people, Sinatra's dead already.

Sure, it's not 5th and San Pedro, but it's pretty ratty just the same.

And now it's just a little bit rattier.

Wonder who forgot to pay their protection this month.

One More Argument For Owning Guns

Los Angeles (Westchester), CA

This is fucked up. Mary K. Dasaro, an elementary school teacher, was fatally stabbed in her home by her ex-boyfriend, Darren Nelson, who then drove down to the beach and lit himself on fire.

Police pulled him out of his burning car down in Playa Del Rey. Sadly, he's alive with 3rd degree burns over much of his body. I'm not going to go into a rant here, but I will say that it's things like this that make me wish California used something a little more painful than lethal injection.

Like a woodchipper.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

What, No Beating?

Los Angeles (Watts), CA

A 14 year old girl was pulled through the window of her parents' SUV last night after driving around in circles and finally being stopped by a spike strip. Not exactly a high speed chase.

What's renmarkable about this isn't what happened, but what didn't. They didn't beat the crap out of her, cuff her and/or shoot her. The dawn of a kinder, gentler LAPD. That or they knew a news crew was watching and didn't want another Devin Brown on their hands.

Yeah, I know. Slow news day.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes And Other Vermin

Paul Guyot's holding a short story contest over at his blog. The rules are simple. It's got to feature an armored car and children's clothing. You'll have to read the entry to see why.

So why am I mentioning this? Well, because yours truly has an entry. He's not posting names to cut down on favoritism, so I won't mention which one is mine.

So read them all. Then vote for your top 3. Trust me. It aint gonna be easy. There's some damn fine fiction there.

Another Addition To My "This Is Really Fucking Cool" List

Newsarama has the first issue of Warren Ellis' and Ben Templesmith's new series Fell.

It's Like Sleeping Through Christmas

Blogger's been down for me for a couple of days. Apparently there was a bug that affected some accounts and yours truly's was one of them.

And so I missed posting on Black Dahlia Day.

I had it all planned out. I had timelines and graphs, charts and suspects. Theories, photos. The whole shebang. Why, even at the end of it I name the killer in four part harmony in front of an audience of millions.

But I missed the day, so you'll just have to take my word for it. Trust me. It was fuckin' brilliant.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Author Events This Weekend

Mysteries To Die For

Saturday, January 14, 1:00 p.m.

Dana Stabenow signs her latest novel Blindfold Game.

From PW:

Known for two successful Alaskan mystery series (featuring Kate Shugak and Liam Campbell respectively), Edgar-winner Stabenow (Fire and Ice) has crafted a taut, credible thriller that should win her a much larger audience. Opposing resourceful, ruthless and well-funded terrorists ready to bring unimaginable devastation to American shores are a husband-and-wife team: Hugh Rincon, a Langley-based CIA honcho, and Sara Lange, the executive officer aboard the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Sojourner Truth, which patrols the Maritime Boundary Line in the northern Pacific Ocean. Globe-hopping action moves from Thailand to Hong Kong, Korea and Russia, culminating in a naval showdown off the Alaskan coast. The author's depictions of the Alaskan environment, its seas, storms and cold, have never been more vivid, while the sea and air operations she recounts are both heroic and enthralling. Stabenow has established herself as a fine mystery writer, but she may have found her true metier with this excellent thriller.

Terrorists. The CIA. "Globe-hopping action..." I think I had a G.I. Joe with that. I just slogged through a Jack Reacher novel that was predictable, tedious and not very fun. This sounds better, though right now I'm more inclined to pull out my dog-eared "Maltese Falcon" for a bit.

Saturday, January 14, 2:30 p.m.

John Lamb signs Echoes Of The Lost Order.

From the site:

When Stephen MacKinnon left his career as a homicide detective in San Diego to become the Chief of Police of Talmine, a small and peaceful town in tidewater Virginia, he hoped he was leaving the stressful life of murder investigation behind. But then an unidentified dead woman dressed in a Confederate uniform is found at a Civil War reenactment battle held in the town’s park. Aided by his wife, Victoria, a former SDPD crime analyst, MacKinnon begins an investigation that soon puts his job and then their lives in danger. An entrancing debut!

Huh. Civil War re-enactors, ya say? Well, it worked for Elmore Leonard in Tishomingo Blues, so why the hell not?


The Mystery Bookstore

Saturday, January 14, 4:00 p.m.

That Stabenow really gets around, huh? She's signing Blindfold Game. Obviously.

Just as a heads up, there's a children's book signing for "Hugville" a few hours before at 1:00. If you've got kids, and really dig things like The Octopus Hug (I thought it was a wrestling move. Shows you what I know), then by all means drop by. If, however, you're child-unfriendly, like I am, then consider this a warning.

Glad I Don't Live In Long Beach, Anymore

Long Beach, CA

Well, yeah. I mean, who doesn't?

But aside from all the really nasty memories, I woke up to this news this morning:

The Long Beach Police Department is missing more than a fourth of its shotguns and an unknown number of revolvers, officials said Thursday.

For those of you playing along at home, you should know that Long Beach isn't far from, say, Compton, a town so lovingly placed in my heart. You know, that place that had an 85% jump in murders last year? Same town that had a no questions asked gun exchange (bring an Uzi walk with a new iPod!) and collected something like two hundred and twenty weapons.

Where, oh where, could some of those guns have gone? It boggles the imagination.

Sleep tight, Long Beach. The city's finest is on the job. Oh, and you might want to invest in a double layer of sheetrock for the house. Just sayin'.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

That's 8,470 In Dog Years

Torrance, CA

David Lee Robinson, the Dreadlocks Bandit (where do they come up with these names?), 54, was sentenced to 1,210 years and 22 life sentences for 26 bank robberies throughout 2004.

Let's try that spelled out. One thousand, two hundred and ten years. By then Christ will have come and gone twice over. I've never really understood the reasoning behind this kind of sentencing. What, in forty years they dip his corpse in lucite and hang it on the prison walls?

Here's the part that gets me.

Taylor did agree to recommend that Robinson be housed at a facility where his drug addiction and depression could be treated.

He's depressed. Huh. Imagine that.

The Dahlia's A-Coming!

Three days from now marks the 59th anniversary of the discovery of Elizabeth Short's severed and mutilated body at 39th and Norton, and the beginning of one of the nation's most notorious murder cases. To celebrate, if that's the right word, this addition to the collective unconscious, 1947 Project has been marking the days.

I mentioned this a while back, but as the date grows closer I figure it's a good time to remind people.

First, there's the Crime Bus on the 15th. Not your average graveyard tour, these guys will take you to some of the lesser known and just as fascinating dead zones this town has to offer. Looks like there might still be some tickets left. Be forewarned, it's a 5 hour jaunt through L.A. traffic. I'd go, but that's pretty much my commute on a Friday night.

Then there's this bit of high drama. The L.A. Press Club is planning an event tonight for author Donald H. Wolfe to promote his new book, The Black Dahlia Files: The Enduring Legacy of the Murder that Transfixed Los Angeles. Obviously trying to grab headlines with the date and the fact that DePalma's movie of Ellroy's novel is hitting Sundance this month.

According to some, the book's bullshit, and possibly plagiarized. I haven't read it, but Larry Harnisch, who has written extensively about the Black Dahlia, gives some pretty good points for both.

So go ride the Crime Bus and celebrate Dahlia Day! Because severed, mutilated bodies only come by once a year. Or something.

Two Big Things

First off, we have a new kid on the block. Bryon Quertermous brings us the heir apparent to Plots With Guns. Demolition Magazine pulls in some of the old crew with some great new fiction.

Second, amid cries of "About freakin' time!" a new issue of Thrilling Detective Magazine hits the aether. Kevin Burton Smith has finally gotten off his duff and put together a fine piece of work, as always, with stories by Sarah Weinman and Mike MacLean. Good stuff, as always. Let's hope he gets another one up soon.

Check 'em out. You'll like 'em. Trust me.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Author Events This Weekend

The Mystery Bookstore

Saturday, January 7, 1:00 p.m.

Barbara Seranella signs An Unacceptable Death

As I said a couple of days ago, Barbara Seranella is one serious ass kicker. Two liver transplants and a coma last year couldn't keep her from getting her book out. Go get a signed copy this weekend. Or wait a little bit and catch her at one of her other signings.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Brand New Year, Brand New Book

Okay, I admit, that's a shitty headline. But I'm blaming all those Jaeger/Tequila/Irish Car-Bomb/Jell-O Shots I downed on New Year's Eve. Through a funnel. Easier than taking personal responsibility, let me tell ya.

Anyway, Lee Goldberg's new book, Mr. Monk Goes To The Firehouse, came out yesterday. And it seems to be getting some good press.

Yeah, Monk isn't exactly your run of the mill noir sort of character, but Lee wrote The Man With The Iron On Badge, which definitely qualifies. Hey, it's "creepily obsessed with sex" so it gets front and center on this site.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Not To Pick On Compton, But...

And the winner is... Compton! With an 85% increase in homicides for 2005! The final tally was 72, comapred to 39 the year before. Congratulations, Compton. This is why everyone drives over your city rather than through it.

Oh, and Chief Bratton? Harsh, man. Very harsh.

Now This Oughtta Be Interesting

Kevin Burton Smith, founder of Thrilling Detective Magazine, has started a blog.

I met Kevin once at a signing at Mysteries To Die For not long ago. He went on at fascinating length about how Canada used to be the bank robbery capitol of the world. And here's me thinking that they were just all about the back bacon.

A sign, perhaps, that the next issue of Thrilling Detective is not far off? Here's hoping.

Monday, January 02, 2006

This Is What I Get For Playing The Odds

For the last 7 years at least one person has been hit on New Year's Eve by a stray bullet fired in the air. The minute I actually put money down on this sort of thing, though, nobody gets so much as a scratch.

But hey, I called Southeast and 77th Street. Boyle Heights surprised me, though it probably shouldn't have. But damn, only 6 asshats caught. I was really hoping for a solid 10.

Well, there's always next year.