Monday, July 31, 2006

Yes, Virginia, I Can Be Bought

JM Burns will be discussing and signing his new novel, Deadline: Stiff at the Pasadena Central Library next Friday, August 11th at 4:30pm.

He asked me very nicely if I might tell you all about it. So consider yourself told.

From Amazon:

Freshly returned from military police duty in Iraq, young David Endicott stumbles into his first case by rescuing a corpse from an eccentric billionaire’s guesthouse. With eyebrows raised, Baulden Grey asks Endicott to discover three things in seven frenetic days: Who the man was; how he gained entry to the heavily protected grounds; and what he wanted once inside.

It all sounded so simple, so deliciously straightforward, and it might have been, except for the powdered wings of a rare Chinese butterfly. For the Golden Yellow possesses a secret powerful enough to change the face of gang crime in Southern California. And beyond …

Based on little-known facts about the U.S. Human Betterment Foundation that fueled the German Nazi Party’s racial cleansing movement, Deadline: Stiff weaves an historic past into a frightening future wherein the lay lines of change posit a credible, terrifying reality.

Look out, Darwin, this deadline gives "survival of the fittest" an entirely new meaning for David Endicott – and a world in which violence is a curable disease.

Well, I'm intrigued. Dead gangsters, DNA experiments gone wrong. How can you go wong with that? Sounds like a fun time.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Not Only Did He Like Them Cute, He Liked Them Young

Looks like another victim of William Richard Bradford may have been identified.  The family of a 14-year-old girl found raped and strangled in 1979 have come forward after recognizing her picture in the mass of photographs released by the LA Sheriff's Department earlier this week.

That brings to three the number of new homicides that Sheriff's detectives believe are victims of Bradford.  If they're right, that brings the number of his victims to eight.

The article goes into some pretty graphic detail, and I really don't see the need to repeat it here.  Suffice to say that this man is a monster, and I don't think anyone's going to be sorry to see him die.  I just don't think that he can die soon enough or painful enough. 

And for the record, yes, I'm a big fan of the death penalty.  I just think it takes too long.  I don't think it would be too extreme with this guy to do what he did to his victims.  Failing that, kneecapping the sonofabitch with a 12-gauge and then feeding his intestines to coyotes while he's still using them would be a close second.

Have fun in hell, Bradford.  Hope you get there soon.

Friday, July 28, 2006

But Did They Sing "You've Lost That Loving Feeling"?

Reseda, CA

Two masked men, one of them armed, knocked over the Owl Cafe, a karaoke bar in Reseda last night.
Three customers were in the establishment at the time of the robbery, but none of them stayed to be interviewed by police...

Yeah, that's not really surprising.

If you've just spent your entire evening belting out badly synced Barry Manilow tunes through a haze of alcohol and cigarettes and bursting into tears every time "Mandy" comes up, all to get over your latest break-up to that screeching harpy who shattered your heart and tried to put a knife in your gut just because you slept with her two roommates and that dancer from the Jet Strip (you know, the one down on Imperial?), right before running you over when she tried to steal your car and ended up dragging you three blocks with your fingers stuck in the bumper (even if it was only five miles an hour, but still. Pavement chafes.), finally ending the relationship with a tire iron upside your head, well you wouldn't want to end up in a police report, either, right?

Now that I would know what that's like, of course.

Death Beats Sex

Los Angeles, CA

This is probably something that only I care about, but I'm a narcissist, so that's okay.

Yesterday was the largest number of hits I've had on this blog for one day. What were people looking for? William Richard Bradford, the Los Angeles serial killer who may be responsible for the murder of potentially dozens of women throughout the Seventies and Eighties.

Before that, the largest number of searches was for Brieanne, The Ultimate Courtesan. Seems some of her ex-customers might not have been aware that she's no longer in business.

I find this interesting for a couple of reasons. First, that it takes something particularly large and heinous to jolt the public away from a middle-aged prostitution ring, and second, that it took the majority of the mainstream media over a day to beat me in the Google rankings on this story.

I'm not sure which of these two things bothers me more.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled vice and murder.

The Canadians Are Coming! The Canadians Are Coming!

All Across The Great White North

I didn't even know they were breathing hard.

The latest issue of Spinetingler Magazine is up and it's full of nothing Canada. Canadian authors, Canadian settings, Canadian interviews.

I'm beginning to think Canada's been getting a bad rap. Must be all the French (sorry, Sandra). Spinetingler is always well done and very clearly a labor of love for all those who pull together to make it happen. A fantastic magazine and a fantastic issue.

Go read it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

If It Looks Like A Serial Killer, And Smells Like A Serial Killer...

Los Angeles, CA

Looks like we're already getting some hits on the missing women linked to William Richard Bradford. David Markland over at Blogging.LA has a good rundown on the progress so far.

They've identified one of the women in the photos as Donnalee Campbell Duhamel who was found in Malibu with her head cut off in 1978.

What strikes me about those photos is how generically Seventies and Eighties they are. The feathered hair, the Pat Benatar makeup. They could be just about any Farrah Fawcett wannabe who posed for a cheesecake shot back then.

I think they'll identify maybe half a dozen, if that. After twenty-five years things start to get a little murky.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

No, David, It's Not Ed Meese

Los Angeles, CA

Well, it looks like the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department has released the name of the man suspected of raping or killing 50 women between 1975 to 1984. William Richard Bradford.

Bradford was convicted in 1987 for the first degree murder of Shari Miller, 21, and Tracey Campbell.
Prosecutors said he lured them into accompanying him with promises to help their modeling careers. Miller’s body was found in a West Los Angeles parking lot in July 1984, while Campbell's decomposed body was found in August 1984 at a campsite 28 miles east of Lancaster. In the penalty phase of his trial, Bradford asked the jury to sentence him to death. “Think of how many you don’t even know about,” he told jurors.

And that appears to be the question.

He is suspected of posing as a fashion photographer, enticing women he met at bars in the Los Angeles area, photographing them, then later killing them and dumping their bodies in the desert. The question is, where in the desert and how many did he kill?

Right now there are 54 women (warning: PDF) whose whereabouts are unknown, each of whom was photographed by Bradford. They might be dead. They might not. Nobody knows.

So if you recognize any of the pictures contact Sergeants R. Taylor or A. Castro at the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department at (800) 618-6707 or (323) 890-5500. Their e-mail addresses are rltaylor@lasd.org and ascastro@lasd.org.

Now Here's A News Conference I Can't Wait For

Los Angeles, CA

CBS has announced that a news conference will be held later today in Los Angeles about the possibility that a resident of the States penal system might be responsible for the disappearances of 50 women in the Los Angeles area between 1975 and 1984.

Though CBS isn't mentioning a name, the suspect was found guilty of killing two women in the 1980's, and photographs of some of the unaccounted for women have been found in his personal belongings.

More details later, apparently. I have to wonder if there are any connections between these killings and the ones of prostitutes that have recently been linked together in the Inglewood and South L.A. area. The MO doesnt't seem to match, but there's not a lot of information to go on here.

So, whatta ya think, one serial killer or two? Personally, I'm betting four or five. We just don't know about them, yet.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Griffith Park - When You Just Can't Get To Angeles Crest

Los Angeles, CA

The decomposed corpse of a woman was found in a ravine in Griffith Park when passers-by reported a foul odor to Park Rangers.
...body was found wrapped in a tarp in Griffith Park is being investigated as a possible homicide...

Homicide? It was the tarp that tipped them off, wasn't it?

Griffith Park has had an interesting history. In 1863, cheated out of her family's lands, Donna Petranilla, the 17-year-old niece of the original owner, Don Antonio Feliz placed a curse on the new owner, Don Antonio Coronel, which is said to have extended to the man who bequeathed the park to the City in 1896, Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, when he shot his wife in Santa Monica in 1903.

The place has seen its share of strife, from brush fires to murders. In 1933 100 people died in a fire that created one of the largest pro-union demonstrations in the city at that time.

In more recent time it's become a favorite dumping ground for corpses.

Personally, I don't think it's as good as some places in the Santa Monica Mountains, where there are more coyotes and cougars, or the Angeles Crest forest, which is so damn big that with a little imagination no one's ever going to find the fruits of your misdeeds.

What it lacks in permanence, though, it makes up for in convenience. It's easily accessible, close to many parts of Los Angeles, has many exits and fire roads, and is poorly patrolled. You could easily drive through at two in the morning and drop off a couple bodies and it might take days to find them.

Enough time to hightail it out of town, at least.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Breaking In The New Guy

The latest issue of Demolition Magazine is up and my story, Breaking In The New Guy is in it, alongside some fantastic fiction by Gerald So, Paul Guyot, Stephen D. Rogers, Todd Robinson, Steven Torres, Justin Porter, and Jeff Shelby.

Enjoy.

Friday, July 21, 2006

And All To The Tune of The Sabre Dance

Lancaster, CA

The desert communities north-east of Los Angeles are rife with problems. Years ago a bunch of parolees were dumped in the area, the thinking being that this would get them away from their criminal associates in the city and give them a fresh start in life. It didn't work.

The upside to this, however, is that we now have many more opportunities for comedy.
Kenneth Coley, 39, of Rosamond, and Devin Williams, 26, of Lancaster, allegedly tried to burglarize a house in the 1100 block of East Avenue K just after midnight, Sgt. Greg Minster of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Lancaster Station said.

Coley allegedly rang the doorbell several times and kicked in the front door when no one answered, Minster said.

And that's pretty much where things went wrong.

Armed homeowner, inconveniently placed Sheriff's Deputy, getaway driver who leaves the bagman at the scene. It's like a home invasion written by the Coen Brothers. I keep picturing Steve Buscemi and William H. Macy running from the cops.

Whatta ya think? I could turn that into a script.

Insult To Injury

Jefferson Park, CA

There are places in the body where a bullet will kill you instantly, maim you, or cause a lifetime of unendurable pain.

And then there are those places that are just embarrassing.

Three men were "standing around" the Jefferson Park area when they heard gunfire and realized that they'd been shot.

In the ass.

Police seem to believe that the men know who shot them, but aren't saying. Well, duh. Would you like to give somebody credit for popping you in the glutes? I thought not.

Book Events This Weekend

Book 'Em Mysteries

Pasadena, CA

Book 'Em is having its annual overstock sale all weekend. Go to Pasadena and buy books.

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The Mystery Bookstore

Westwood, CA

Busy weekend for Bobby and Friends down there near UCLA. Four events going on Saturday, July 22nd.

At 4:00, Keith Raffel signs Dot.Dead. Murder in Silicon Valley. Desperate CEO's anyone?

At 5:00, brothers Bruce and Troy Cook sign their novels, Phillipine Fever and 47 Rules For Highly Effective Bank Robbers, respectively. Both sound interesting, but 47 Rules seems a little more up my alley.

And at 6:00 Scott Frost signs Never Fear, the sequel to Run The Risk, which introduced Pasadena Homicide Detective Alex Delillo.

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Mysteries To Die For

Thousand Oaks, CA

At 1:00 on Saturday, July 22nd, Keith Raffel signs his novel Dot.Dead

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Follow-Up: Murders In Garden Grove

Houston, TX

Back at the end of May a Vietnamese family was murdered in Garden Grove. Phuong Hung Le, 30, his wife, Trish Dawn Lam, 25, and Lam's 6-year-old son, Tommy were found tortured and murdered in their home. Lam's and Le's 1 year old daughter was spared, but had been beaten and almost died of dehydration. She was stuck in the house over the Memorial Day weekend with the corpses.

Well, now the police have got their guy.
Quang Van Quan, 35, was arrested Wednesday in Houston, police Lt. Mike Handfield said Friday. Quan is considered a primary suspect in the slayings, Handfield said, although investigators were searching for at least one other person. He was booked for investigation of murder.

Turns out Quan and Le met in prison while they were both doing stints for robbery.
Quan was doing 14 years for a home invasion robbery in which he broke into a Los Angeles home, bound and threatened a man, then stole his money...

Well, if it worked once.

There was a lot of speculation on the motive, including the possibility that it might have been related to a porn business that used to operate in that neighborhood. As it turns out, like most murders, it was a lot more banal.
"The motive was robbery. We think this suspect was after a large amount of money that he was owed from a recent debt," Handfield said. He declined to elaborate.

I'm sure he'll be doing a lot of elaborating in court.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Free And Clear

Fresno, CA

Looks like the serial killings dating back to 1985 still don't have a name attached. Roger Hausman, prime suspect by dint of the fact that someone said so, has been cleared by DNA evidence.

I don't think anyone held any real hope that this was the guy. For one, the man's a moron. Sure, that doesn't necessarily mean he's not guilty, but it takes a certain amount of planning and this guy's not exactly what you'd call a forward thinker. Add to that the fact that he's a slack-jawed, pasty white guy and I just don't see how anyone could possibly have taken this seriously. I mean, come on. The guys calls himself Super Honky.

David Markland has an excellent writeup over at Blogging.LA, including a fantastic map he put together of the locations and dates of the victims.

Thank god people like him are around, huh? Makes my life easier, that's for sure.

"Those Are Not Good Odds"

Los Angeles, CA

There's an article today in the LA Times about the troubled South Bureau division, the centerpiece for the 1965 and 1991 Riots, and more recently the Susie Pena and Devin Brown shootings.

It's an interesting snapshot of a place so far down the hole, it's hard to see the sky. The place has been a mess for decades, and continues to be.

South Los Angeles has one of the highest concentrations of weapons in the city. Over 2,000 guns were confiscated last year, alone. The LAPD is well on its way to matching that record this year.

Though the homicide rate has been dropping, it's still three times as high as the citywide average. The LAPD simply does not have enough officers to effectively police the entire city, much less the 57 square miles of South Los Angeles. For a residential population of 700,000 there are only 1,460 officers.

As LAPD assistant chief Earl Paysinger puts it, "Those are not good odds."

Add to that the community distrust engendered by decades of the paramilitary style of law enforcement the LAPD is known for, and it's not surprising that this area is a hotspot.

On a positive note, though, it looks as though things are starting to get better. The emphasis has been shifting from a troop mentality to a community relationship model. The LAPD seems to have finally started realizing that they can't operate without the coopoeration of the people it's sworn to protect.

Hopefully, they'll do a good enough job to avoid another riot.

Guns Don't Kill People, Cars Do

El Monte, CA

Who says you need a gun to ruin someone's day?
Aldo Huerta, 19, of El Monte, is accused of running over the man at Iris Lane and Medina Court, said El Monte police Detective Gabriel Santana.

A witness said it appeared that Huerta drove the compact car into the man intentionally.

They're charging him with attempted murder. Attempted murder is always a tough one, because you have to prove intent. Maybe he just intended to scare him? Piss him off? Break his legs off at the knees?

I think that unless he's already got a record he won't be doing much jailtime. Especially seeing as how this is in Los Angeles County, where the inmates regularly get early release due to overcrowding.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

That Was Pouring Like An Avalanche Coming Down The Mountain

Everywhere and Nowhere

MySpace is big. Really big. Like Douglas Adams' description of space, the mind boggles in trying to comprehend its enormity. There are a lot of people on MySpace. Adults, teens, young children.

And sometimes they die.

MyDeathSpace.Com is a place for the obituaries of MySpace users with links to their profiles. From what I've seen they all appear to be in their late teens and early twenties. Murder, suicide, car accidents.

Now I'm not in any position to judge how morbid something is. Not that I won't, I'm just not really equipped to. Missing a few mental filters that most people seem to have.

So I'm loving this site. It's tragic, it's sad, and it's a fascinating look at lives snuffed out too early and a glimpse at the impact they made, if only on a virtual level.

Hat tip to Anne Frasier for pointing this one out.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sounds Like It Hurt. Twice.

Murrietta, CA

What goes in must come out.

Michael Sorenson, 45 and Daniel Rodriguez, 34 were stopped by police for a traffic violation Monday night. Turns out Mr. Rodriguez was driving with a suspended license and "showed signs of drug use". Upon searching the car police found a glass pipe and both men were arrested.

Later, at the Southwest Detention Center, 10 grams of meth were found on, sorry, in Mr. Sorensen during a body cavity search.

I'll leave the actual scene to your imaginations.

And He Got The Gun How, Exactly?

Anaheim, CA

35-year-old LAPD officer Enrique Chavez was shot in the back yesterday while idling at a stop light near his Anaheim home.

The shooter was his 3-year-old son.

Somehow, th boy got hold of Chavez's service weapon while sitting in the back seat and shot his dad, a 10-year veteran of the LAPD. He is currently in critical condition at UCI Medical Center in Orange.

The disturbing thing about this story isn't so much that the child got hold of the weapon, but that this is the third incident of an officer being shot by a relative ni the last week and a half.
On Monday, Pasadena police said Officer Karen White, contrary to initial reports, did not attempt suicide in Compton last month when she was shot in the face but was wounded when she tried to wrestle her gun from her suicidal 18-year-old son.

White, a 10-year department veteran, spoke to investigators about the incident for the first time Friday. The same day, her son admitted the accidental shooting last month and turned himself in to sheriff's investigators in Compton.

Ouch. He's gonna pay for that one. Talk about guilt.

On July 2, LAPD Officer Ronald Cade was shot and wounded off duty with his service weapon by Yolanda Cade, his wife of two weeks. She had seen a text message on his phone that he had sent to someone else, according to the district attorney's office.

Ronald Cade is the subject of in internal affairs investigation in connection with the shooting. His wife has been charged with three counts of attempted murder.

Guess the honeymoon's over.

All this just goes to show that if you're going to leave a loaded weapon lying around where your family can find it, don't give them an excuse to use it. Got that, Officer Cade?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Reward For A Doctor's Killer

Lancaster, CA

UPDATE - Yesterday, I mentioned the killing of Dr. Esfandiar Kadivar, at his ranch in Lancaster.

Well, now there's a $10,000.00 reward for any information leading to the capture of his killer(s).

If you know anything, call the Los Angeles Sheriff's Detectives at 323-890-5500 and collect your $10K.

Because "Cops" Just Didn't Capture The Glory of Taking Down White Trash

Los Angeles, CA

In case you were wondering if everybody is making a reality show these days, the answer is yes.

Sheriff Lee Baca has decided to create, not just one, but two reality shows detailing the day to day lives of the stalwart Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Dear christ.
With the working title of "The Assignment," Studio City-based 44 Blue Productions Inc. intends to film the daily activities of the department's personnel, including those working in the jails, detective bureau, specialized divisions and on patrol.

Great, so we get to follow a bailiff around as he tries to reason with an idiot crack addict in the Men's Central Jail. Yeah, baby. There's compelling television.
Los Angeles-based Scott Sternberg Productions Inc. would follow selected cadets through their training under the tentative title of "The Academy."

See, rooting for a guy to get through police training is something I could normally get behind. This shit is grueling. I couldn't have done it when I was 19. But the whole thing breaks down for me when I remember that these guys will be getting paid bupkes when they actually hit the streets. These are the men and women who have to patrol places like Compton, for chissakes.

The LASD gave permission to use its name and badges for a television show once, something called "10-8" that didn't do so well.
"They were doing a lot of locker room-type of harassment of new employees and creating scenarios that were more Hollywood-ish and sensational rather than just the daily work we really do."

Hmm. Maybe because the daily stuff is, I dunno, dull?

Well, if it's one thing we do well here in L.A. it's blur the lines between reality and fiction.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Unfair and Inappropriate

Arcadia, CA

The Taboo Gentleman's Club (like there's a gentleman within a hundred yards of the place) is suing the city of Arcadia for what they claim is "unfair and inappropriate" behavior on the part of police.

Apparently, the cops were investigating code compliance, making sure that the strip club is in keeping with local ordinances. Dancers need to be licensed before they can work, and they get licensed by showing up at the club and filling out an aplication. According to the suit, the cops prevented the dancers from applying, then later shut down the club and arrested one of the owners and a dancer for license violations.

Taboo is a chain club. In case they sound familiar, it's because the city of Anaheim lost a 2 BILLION dollar suit with them in 2004. Considering the hits that cities have taken with adult oriented businesses lately (the City of Los Angeles lately rescinded an ordnance requiring dancers to maintain a 6 foot distance from their clientele due to a surprisingly loud community outcry), I think Arcadia's going to have a bit of a tussle on their hands.

Another Example That Guns And Kids Don't Mix

Anaheim, CA

Giancarlos S. Serafin, 17, was found dead in his home from a gunshot wound originally believed to be self inflicted.

Until they couldn't find the gun.

He was discovered by his father around 5:30am when he returned from being out the evening before. The rest of the family was out on vacation, and no one was known to be in the house besides Giancarlos.

He had no criminal record, and apparently spent all his time either studying or playing soccer. My money's on a buddy screwing around with a gun and accidentally shooting him, rather than this being a murder for cash, or gang rivalry. But then, I'm a soft touch.

If you happen to know where Giancarlo was on Friday night, or who might have been with him, call the

Anyone who saw Giancarlos Serafin over the weekend is asked to call police at (714) 765-1968

So Often The Wrong People

Lancaster, CA

On July 8th, 64-year-old retired plastic surgeon Esfandiar Kadivar was found shot to death at his ranch in Lancaster. He was feeding his livestock at the time. His ranch is about 200 acres, in the middle of the desert. He bought it because it reminded him of the home he left in Iran. Before he retired, he was the Antelope Valley Hospital ER's resident plastic surgeon and patched up quite a few people. Since then, he's been living in Beverly Hills with his wife, and, though he has ranch hands to run it, he would periodically drive up to look in on things, feed animals and pick fruit.

Though I never met Dr. Kandivar, I know some of the people who he's worked with and patched up. They have had nothing but kind words for him, his abilities as a doctor, his qualities as a friend. Dr. Kandivar was a kind and generous man and his patients adored him.

So who's the fucker who shot him?

It's highly doubtful that this was random. It happened on his ranch in the middle of the desert. Somebody had to drive out there, know he would be at the pen. It had to have been someone who was already there waiting, or it had to have been a person that didn't ding his alarm bells when they drove up. Whether Dr. Kandivar was the intended target, only the shooter knows for certain.

Right now the LASD is baffled as to the motive, and don't have any suspects, yet.

Dr. Kandivar will be sorely missed.

If you have any information, call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department at 323-890-5500.

Friday, July 07, 2006

I Think This Qualifies As A Flight Risk

Los Angeles, CA

Back on New Years Day of 2004, in Maryville Tennessee, someone killed Vickie Irene Correll Hill, 32. The prime suspect, Stanley Blair Hill, 40, was charged with first degree murder.

Apparently, he was released on his own recognizance (I like that word - it sounds so official), because he failed to show up for his December 2005 hearing. Last Monday, he was picked up by LAPD during a routine traffic stop.

I don't know how Tennessee works, and from what I've heard I'm not sure I want to know (no offense, JT). What I don't get is why they released a first degree murder suspect in the first place.
Stanley Hill originally told authorities in a 911 call on Dec. 31, 2003, that his wife committed suicide. He allegedly said she hanged herself and that when he lifted her from a noose, her head hit the floor.

Autopsy results showed the evidence was not consistent with suicide and Hill changed his story. He then allegedly confessed he killed his wife because she wanted to die and re-enacted the events that led to her death with authorities present at their Maryville home.

Right. So they've got a confession, they've got autopsy results indicating foul play, they've got the suspect in custody.
According to court records, Hill's parents secured a $100,000 bond to free him from jail by using their Jefferson County home as security. He then disappeared on Nov. 20.

A hundred thousand bucks? That's' it? He planned her murder, showed the cops how he did it, and they release for a pissy 100K? I guess things really are more expensive in Los Angeles. Out here that'd run you at least three mil.

Oh, wait. This explains everything. Blount County is fucking cheap.
Berrong is searching for the most cost-efficient method of returning Hill to Blount County. He has explored the possibility of transferring him by the U.S. Marshals Service at a cost of $1,300 or by the private company Transcor for $3,000, the press release said.

I suppose it's a good thing. I mean, at least in Tennessee you know where you stand. 1st Degree Murder = $100,000.00.

I wonder what fraud costs you out there. Why? Oh, no reason.

Now, let's not be statist here. Far be it for me to not be fair and balanced. The LAPD only charged him with possession of an unlawful weapon. And this is how they found him:
Hill gave authorities a Tennessee driver's license with his correct name, which allowed officers to confirm he was a wanted fugitive. Officers also found false identification cards on Hill from Louisiana and Georgia that pictured Hill, but had different names and dates of birth.

Hill was accompanied by a 17-year-old juvenile who was reportedly a runaway from Naples, Fla. She was taken to a Los Angeles juvenile facility.

``A Smith and Wesson .38-caliber handgun and .38-caliber ammunition, a police baton, brass knuckles, a book -- `How to Change Your Identity and Erase Bad Credit,' along with a recipe for making dynamite and napalm,'' were found in Hill's vehicle according to the press release.

Okay, besides the S&W that could describe my trunk. Well, that and the 17-year-old runaway. I haven't had one of those in my car in years.

Wow. He's a winner. I can see why they're not in a hurry to get him back. Sounds like his mere presence would drop a state's IQ a notch or two. Good luck, Mr. Hill. Now get the fuck out of my town.

One More For DNA

San Bernardino, CA

Paul Zamora, A 59-year-old registered sex offender, was picked up Wednesday for the sexual assault and stabbing death of 33-year-old Susan Marie White, on I-15.

She was killed in 1987.

DNA was submitted years ago, but it wasn't until Zamora was incarcerated on unrelated charges that they got a sample from him, which later led to a hit almost twenty years later. He was picked up in March on suspicion, but investigators let him go figuring they didn't have enough to make it stick.

I don't know what new evidence has come to light, but they picked him up again this week. Have fun in prison, Paulie. I'm sure you'll be able to reconnect with some old friends.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Leave For A Few Days And Y'All Have Yourselves A Massacre

Los Angeles, CA

Last Friday, on 49th street in South Los Angeles, two gunmen stepped out of a car and opened up with assault rifles, point blank, on their targets. Not really an uncommon thing in south L.A.

What's puzzling about this one is that they killed an adult, Larry Marcial, 22, and two children, his nephew David Marcial, 10; a neighbor, Luis Cervantes, 17. A third child, David's brother, Sergio Marcial Jr., 12, was wounded.

Nobody's quite sure why.

There don't appear to be any gang connections. It looks as though it was an execution style killing. To send a message? Possibly. But to who? And why? And what is it?

Wrong place, wrong time? Did the killers fat-finger the address into MapQuest?

One theory, that Chief Bratton was quick to dismiss, is that it's race related. The killers were African-American, the targets were Latino. But even then, it doesn't make sense. Why that family? Why that street?

The city has put out a $105,000.00 reward for this one and Chief Bratton has dubbed this The 49th Street Massacre. I'm not surprised. Great way to piss everybody off in this town is if you start shooting children. And the details make it even worse.

They found 37 shell casings on the ground. The killers continued firing after the children were down on the ground. It's pretty clear they were children. Unless you're looking for dwarves it's tough to mistake a 10 year old for an adult.

The police have few leads. One actually, and that's only potential; security cameras from a convenience store across the street.

The autopsy is complete, but the LAPD have put a security lockdown on the findings. That means there's some pretty fucking gruesome shit in this one. And if you've ever seen what just one .30 bullet will do to a person from range, just imagine what this one's like. You could rip a man in half with an AK. I doubt there was much left of these bodies to examine.

So if you know anything, call the LAPD at 213-485-2129, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855). If outrage isn't a motivator, maybe $150,000 will be.

Where The Wild Things Are - The June Numbers Are In!

Los Angeles, CA

It's the beginning of the month (sort of) and that means the LAPD's crime statistics are out.

It's a sad thing when the place with the highest number of homicides, rapes, robberies and assaults is showing a downward trend. Yes, folks, 77th Street (warning: PDF) gets it again. Even with an average 15% drop in crime they're still running the highest totals.

An honorable mention to the Hollywood Division (warning: PDF), for biggest percentage increase. They've had a 500% jump in rapes. Of course, they had one the month before and they've gone up to 6. The 77th Street and South East divisions still kick their ass standing still.

Remember boys and girls, this is just the LAPD. We haven't even started cracking the County nut.

It's A Sad Day When You Can't Even Trust The Hookers

Montclair, CA

Jose Luis Romero is probably going to think twice the next time he tries to get his pipes cleaned. Partly because he has no cash left.

Now, I'm happy to say that I don't know the going rate for a back-alley blowjob, but $20.00 seems a bit low to me. So when he negotiated with a woman on a street corner for it, maybe that should have been his first clue.

She directed him to a dark parking lot. Once there, a van pulled up and a man jumped out with an automatic claiming to be an undercover cop. The woman then claimed to also be an undercover officer, punched Romero three times in the face and took his car keys, ID, bank card, and $30 in cash.

They then left in the van.

So my question for you is, does Romero have balls for going to the police with this, or is he just an idiot? Personally, I lean toward the second.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What Happens At Thrillerfest Stays At... No, Wait

Middle Of The Fucking Desert, AZ

Christ. What a weekend.

Spent it at Thrillerfest in Phoenix hanging out with writers who have a vested interest in all things criminal. Hey, where else do you get to sit in on a virtual autopsy and discuss the finer points of knife fighting and bar brawls? Had a fantastic time and met more people than I can possibly remember. Mostly due to the alcohol.

I'm gonna take a cue from Sarah Weinman (who I finally got a chance to meet and she is even cooler in person than she is online, and that's saying something) here and do this bullet-style, because trying to parse this thing into a blog post is like trying to shove a fat man through an airplane window. My memory's fuzzy on what I had for lunch, don't ask me what the hell I did at 2am. Besides, the cops already have the surveillance tapes.

  • If one more person says to me, "But it's a dry heat," I'm shoving a 2x4 up their ass.
  • "It's an honor just to be nominated."
  • Everybody at this thing was cool. Well, there was that one guy, but we won't talk about him. Yeah, I mean you, mullet boy.
  • The Killer Year crowd is goddamn amazing. Every single last one of them. The t-shirts and hats were great. Buy their novels. For all your friends. Strangers, too. Repeatedly.
  • You still owe me a drink, Toni.
  • "Hey, I'm a fuckin' nominee!"
  • chilfs.com
  • Arizona has drive through liquor stores, which would never work in Los Angeles. How would they get robbed? The guy inside just has to close the little window and wait it out. The black market economy would collapse in a weekend.
  • Sorority girls at national conferences are scarier than clowns at an Oklahoma carnie. No, really.
  • I have things to say about Rhoades and Terrenoire, but an investigation is pending, and I really can't go into details before the deposition. Suffice to say that a weekend spent with these two is like Mayberry: CSI. I hope to god I can do it again soon.
  • "Can I have an A-men?!"
  • If MJ Rose asks you if you want a screaming orgasm... well, handle yourself better than I did.
  • Pat Mullan is one of the nicest Irishmen I've ever met. The fact that I didn't wake up in a gutter with a shiv in my back is testament to how cool a man he is.
  • When I drink, I get VERY LOUD.
  • Kimberly Stem is a cool Texan. I say this because at some point she might wander over here and if she sees that I haven't mentioned her she will threaten me with bodily injury. I take her threats seriously. Texas women scare me.
  • Paul Guyot has one of the loudest Hawaiian shirts I think I've ever seen on a white boy, and is one of the coolest and most enthusiastic people I've ever met.
  • I learned how to pronounce John Leos... Laoscr... Loesc- That John guy with the funky name. I just can't spell it.
  • Elizabeth Krecker has one of the coolest book ideas I've heard in a long time. She will go far because she is incredibly nice and deserves nice things.
  • I think I finally figured out how to pronounce Mindy Tarquini's last name. I'm still having trouble with Angie's however.
  • The Arizona Biltmore is freakin' huge, outrageously expensive and worth every penny.

So, in all, it was a good time.