Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Criminal Tip 56,823: Faking Your Death Only Works In The Movies

Santa Ana, CA

Back in 2002, Daniel James Farinholt was charged with child molestation charges, admitting that he had been molesting a teenager for three years. Instead of going to all that annoying trouble of trial, sentencing and prison, only to die lonely and unloved, except by a 250 pound Samoan cross-dresser named Big Wahine, he figured he'd forego all that and fake his own death.

He rented a boat, poured blood all over it (Which begs the questions, whose was it, was it human, and what the fuck was he thinking?), and tried to make it look as though he'd drowned.

Anyway, nobody bought it. He got picked up after somebody saw his face on America's Most Wanted. He's been sentenced to 10 years in prison. I hear Big Wahine's waitin' for ya, buddy.

This Is What They Mean By "Throw Away The Key"

Pasadena, CA

Mark Ehlers, 42, was sentenced Monday to 100 years to life for molesting an 11-year-old boy back in 2004. He got tagged on forcible lewd act upon a child, attempted child molestation and false imprisonment. The false imprisonment comes from having tied the kid up before he, you know.

Something tells me he's going to get to that "life" part before he gets to that "100 years" part.

Inside A Dog It's Too Dark To Shoot

Bassett, CA

Proof that care should be taken when towns are named.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute

Los Angeles, CA

I am a whore. I have just signed up for Google's AdSense, which you might be able to see above. I have done this for two reasons.

One, I could use the cash. All those non-fat, no-foam lattes at the Malibu Starbucks where Britney keeps dropping her baby aren't payin' for themselves, dontchaknow.

Two, I'm fascinated to see what sort of ads they stick up there. I predict a lot of cutlery. Maybe funeral supplies, or law enforcement equipment. Bulletproof vests are in this year.

According to Google, until they review and approve (what a tremendously frightening thought) this site there are just going to be public service announcements for helping out with Katrina victims or tips on avoiding the clap, or something.

God, I hope I get funeral supplies.

Again With The Stabbing

Irvine, CA

Two women were found stabbed to death at 8 Tioga Place in Irvine this morning at 2:30.

Police were sent to the house and found a man in the backyard, leading to a 90-minute stand-off that ended when they popped him with rubber bullets.

They found the two women inside as well as two children who hadn't been harmed.

No word yet on identities or motives.

Redfoot Indian Heap Big Magic

Cabazon, CA

An unnamed Riverside County sheriff's deputy, as his team was readying to raid a house on the Morongo Indian reservation, shot himself in the foot. With his AR-15. I have to wonder how much of his foot he has left.

This is what happens when the Man tries to put our Native American brethren down.
The raid was scrapped, and the suspect was not apprehended
Yeah, gunfire's kind of a tip-off.

In Hindsight, Bangkok Would Have Been Cheaper

Laguna Beach, CA

Isn't the internet wonderful? Where the anonymity can make you be whoever you want, Superman, Wonder Woman, or a 12 year-old-girl. The first of 13 men arrested in an internet sting to catch men looking to hook up with minors appeared before a judge today.

Ryan Arnell Mount, 30, of North Hollywood, was arraigned Tuesday for attempted lewd acts on a child under the age of 14 and misdemeanor possession of a methamphetamine pipe.
Mount began engaging in Internet chats with someone he thought was a 12-year-old girl, and went to a Laguna Beach home at 1:30 a.m. with condoms and lubricant with the belief the girl's parents were out of town. He was met by law enforcement officials.
Talk about awkward.

He's looking at 18 months to 4 years, and the evidence is weiging pretty much against all the guys who got snagged.
In February, a citizen group called Perverted-justice.com helped gather the Internet chats from the 13 accused sexual predators, Schroeder said.

All the men allegedly engaged in chats for hours and sometime days, detailing graphic, explicit acts including oral sex, masturbation and intercourse, Schroeder said.
Days? Okay, I get that they're probably unemployed, but wouldn't it occur to them that maybe the 12-year-old on the other end of that chat might need to do something besides talk about wanking for three days straight?

A Picture, A Name, And A Charge

Los Angeles, CA

Last week, Fire Captain David DelToro was picked up in connection to the body of a nude woman who had been found dragged a quarter mile down the road.

Now the body has a name, Jenifer Flores, 42.

DelToro has finally been charged, that's him up there in case you hadn't noticed, with first degree murder and is out on a million dollars bail. His arraignment is September 7th. We'll see if he shows up.

Flores' connection to DelToro is still a little hazy but they apparently knew each other.

The autopsy is on a security hold at the moment, so we still don't the cause of death, (Trans: Was she was alive during her three block jaunt down the street?)

I find this statement interesting:
Blood was allegedly found in Del Toro's Toyota Tundra truck parked at his house, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Not "on" his truck, but "in" his truck. Prepositions are important, ya know.

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Good Reason To Own An Incontient Dog

Santa Ana, CA

Orange County law enforcement is trying something new, using the DNA of pets to help catch criminals.

Most labs aren't accredited to test animals, but the OC has found one, the Serological Research Institute in Richmond, California.
Hairs from a cat named on a bloody jacket to help linked a man to the murder of his estranged wife in Canada. And urine sprayed on a truck tire by an Iowa farm dog helped identify the man who tried to rape his owner.
This doesn't solve the backlog in DNA testing that's plagued law enforcement across the nation, of course, but it is a positive step. More tools in the forensics arsenal is always a good thing.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Hazards Of Stripper Security

Santa Fe Springs, CA

Whittier police responded to a shooting at Spicy's, a strip club in Santa Fe Springs, after a man shot one of the bouncers three times in the chest with what witnesses say was a 9mm. Seems the shooter knew the man in question, as he asked for him by name before running into the club and popping him around 3am this morning.

Did the bouncer diss this guy in the middle of a lapdance? Catch him trying to do something less than legal in the Champagne Room? Forget to give him his cut?

The shooter is described as Latino, 5 feet 9, weighing about 170 pounds and wearing a gray, hooded sweatshipt. Yeah, that really narrows it down.

The thing I'm dying to know, is why do they feel the need to serve lunch and dinner at this place? I'm sorry, but I just can't wrap my mind around boobs in the face while trying to eat chicken wings. And a burger and a pole dance? Not so much.

Manhunt! For Guy Who Stole Cigarettes

La Quinta

A man robbed a Riverside county Circle K at gunpoint Friday morning asking for nothing more than 3 packs of cigarettes.

I suppose this is a good use of police resources. I mean, he had a gun. But really, how dangerous could he be? he smokes Kools for chrissakes.

Old School Meet New School

Los Angeles, CA

Back in May, Helen Golay and Olga Rutterschmidt, both in heir seventies, were arrested for collecting over $2 million in life insurance money on two homeless men they took out policies on and then running them down in the street.

Problem was that the police didn't have any evidence. The best they could do was hold them on the lesser charge of insurance fraud.

DNA has come to the rescue, though, matching biological material from one of the victims on the undercarriage of a car owned by the two women.

It doesn't prove who drove the car, of course, but it does create a link between them and the death of one of the men. In Magic 8-Ball Speak that means "Signs Point To Yes". The Magic 8-Ball sees more prison in their futures.

An Important Lesson In Gun Control

Los Angeles, CA
Officers over those years shot themselves or one another nearly as often as they were shot by suspects.

So says an article over at the L.A. Times today. Seems that over the last twenty years there have been over 350 accidental discharges by LAPD officers, wounding 161 officers and more than two dozen suspects and bystanders.
Ninety officers were shot by suspects, compared to 68 officers who either shot themselves or were shot by other officers. (In three cases it was unknown whether the officer was wounded by a suspect's gun or by friendly fire.)
I wonder if the British have the same problem with accidental clubbings.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Enough With The Stabbing, Already

All Over Southern CA

Whole lotta knifework going on these days.

There's last week's triple homicide in Northridge, and this week we've got two others.

Samantha Elizabeth Rothwell, 20, is being held behind the Orange Curtain for the stabbing death of Walter Rivas, 18, at the Hotel Huntington Beach. Apparently they had been partying a lot the last couple of days when Walter did or said something to seriously piss off Ms Rowell. It was all pretty much downhill from there.

And we also have Emilio Cruz Heredia, 40, who is in custody for the stabbing deaths of his girlfriend Carol Bloomfield, 36, and her son, Jonathan, 17.
Police said the family dog was also stabbed while trying to defend the mother and son, but survived.
He stabbed the dog? Oh, the man's gotta fry for that.

Understatement of The Week

Eagle Rock, CA
"There is no doubt, though, that she was a victim of foul play."

And what makes police say that about a 42-year-old nude woman found dead in Eagle Rock?

Probably it was the "quarter-mile trail of blood, tire marks and body tissue that stretched from Loleta to (Fire Captain David Jaime) Del Toro's home in the 5100 block of Vincent Avenue". She was found around 1:30am, about half an hour after neighbors reported hearing screams.

They're not quite sure what happened, yet, beyond the fact that the victim was dragged three blocks by a car. Oh, and that all the evidence points to Del Toro, of course.

Note to criminals: This is not the way to dispose of a body. Just sayin'.

Hat tip to Mack Reed for the heads up.

Monday, August 14, 2006

RICO Suave and The Vineland Boys

Los Angeles, CA

Opening statements are expected to begin this week in a 159-page, 78-count criminal indictment against 49 members of the Vineland Boys street gang, a sophisticated and ruthless group that has been hitting Burbank, Sun Valley, North Hollywood, and Palmdale for years. The counts include murder, money laundering, conspiracy, witness intimidation, dealing in cocaine, crack, methamphetamine and marijuana.

Oh yeah, and racketeering. Fifty-five of the counts are RICO indictments.

It's kind of unusual to bring RICO to bear against a street gang. At first glance they don't fit the mold of a lot of organized crime. And when they started they were the joke of the Valley. But if look a little further these days, they start looking a lot more like the Mafia.

Over the years the Vineland Boys have become increasingly sophisticated, and deadly. Killing police, laundering money through legitimate businesses, even buying and selling homes through shadow owners. I can't even imagine how much money they've got locked away in real estate.

They've even been linked with ex-Burbank city councilwoman Stacey Murphy, who was dating a man who was selling guns to them. Police found cocaine and unregistered weapons in her home. The fact that she was with the city council at the time that a Burbank officer was killed by members of the Vineland Boys and that she knew and regularly hung out with some of the gang members, didn't help her case much. She and her boyfriend plead guilty of a variety of charges in December of last year.

Some of these guys are facing life. Others are facing prison sentences almost as severe. But with all of that, the Vineland Boys aren't going away. The group is hundreds strong, and though the series of arrests that brought these guys in quieted things down a bit, a new generation is re-establishing turf and getting back in the game.

Groups like this are like hydras. Doesn't matter how many of the heads you cut off, another one's always ready to pop up. I'm expecting to see a lot more cases like this in L.A.'s future.

Friday, August 11, 2006

And To Think, This Is The Reduced Sentence

Los Angeles, CA

Back in 1996, Hyon Gu "Eddie" Kang, owner of a Koreatown escort service, went on a rampage of luring women from competing agencies to hotel rooms, then beating, raping and robbing them. All so that he could damage his competitors and fund his own agency.

He was convicted in 1998 on more than 40 counts. His dad posted $2.5 million in bail. The minute Eddie left the hoosegow, he left the country, heading back to South Korea before he was sentence to 271 years in prison.

I cannot imagine more misogynistic behavior. He got tagged for conspiracy, assault, robbery, rape, sodomy, and residential burglary. He targeted the women, not the owners of the businesses, relegating his acts to nothing more than damaging goods. I cannot imagine the kinds of rationalizations a man has to twist his mind into in order to do that.

In 2001 he was extradited to the United States to serve out his sentence.

But today, the court has, in its infinite wisdom, deemed Eddie much less of a danger to society than previously thought and have shaved his sentence down to a paltry 220 years in prison.

How is this better than the death penalty?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Truth In Stereotypes: Surfers Are Dumb

Thousand Oaks, CA

Last Saturday, Zack Howard, a championship surfer, and Robert Krafft, both residents of Malibu attempted to steal a motorcycle.

See if you can spot the flaw in their plan.

1) Pick bright, sunny Saturday afternoon to commit crime.

2) Drive SUV with clearly visible plates to front of Honda dealership

3) One guy wheels bike off dealership floor, the other holds the door open for him

4) Toss bike in back of SUV and drive off

Needless to say, they didn't get the bike. Workers at the store grabbed a wheel of the bike and pulled it out as they were pulling away. They got the license plate and called the county Sheriff.
...the two, in an attempt to avoid getting into trouble, later called the dealership and offered to bring in beer and quesadillas if the owners didn't pursue the case.

The dealership didn't go for it. Go figure.

Thanks for this go to Inkgrrl

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Where The Wild Things Are - July Crime Numbers

Los Angeles, CA

July's results are in. And they ain't pretty.

Homicide makes a 29% jump citywide with 45 to July's 35. Rapes are up too, 1181 to 1082 for a jump of 9% and we round it off with a 5% increase in aggravated assaults of 1261 to 1203.

On a happier note, child/spousal aggravated assaults are down 7%, so that's something. Let's not talk about shootings, though.

The 77th Street Division continues to be the shining jewel in the beleagured South Bureau's crown with a 167% jump in homicides and 40% jump in rapes over last month.

Amazing. For a place that's less than 12 miles square, that is one fucked up piece of property. Year to date they've had 47 homicides, 2% higher than last year's 46. Crime is supposed to be going down, people.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Don't Fuck With The Free Press


Fugitive murderer and rapist, John Wayne Thomson, who made an apearance here yesterday is now safely behind bars, after being taken down by a pair of reporters. Apparently, Rey Bantug and Joe Iskandar of the Victorville Daily Press are moonlighting as crimefighters these days, and tackled him as he was trying to snag another car.

For the record, that takes balls. The man is accused of murdering three people, two in Washington and one here, is a three time convicted rapist and has spent most of his life behind bars or in psychiatric hospitals.

I wonder, did they shit their pants when they realized who they had?

At What Point Will They Blame Dungeons & Dragons?


I'm a little late on this one. David Markland over at Blogging.la alerted me to it on Friday, and I'm just now getting my head out of my ass long enough to throw out a completely ill thought out opinion.

Last week, Brandon Menard was arrested for the stabbing deaths of his mother, father and 16-year-old sister in their Northridge home. He called the police claiming that he found the bodies. Less than a day later he was arrested as the prime suspect.

At this point it hasn't been released as to why they think he did it. I hope it's the physical evidence and not something he said online.

However, Steve Huff did some digging, to the point where it looks like the Times and other papers may have used his research for their stories. Anyway, there are some pretty interesting things said on his MySpace and LiveJournal blogs and short stories that he's written.

Things like him saying he's going to kill his family, hates his parents, and so on. Personally, I don't think that's at all damning. The kid was 20 years old. Everyone has hated their family at that age. It's part of being an adolescent. And god forbid you're an adolescent writer.

From the way it sounds, he was a pretty screwed up kid struggling to figure out what to do in a situation that he saw, rightly or not, as untenable. In other words, normal. Whether he took the next step and actually did the deed is something else, entirely.

As Steve says in one of his comments
IÂ’ve said often that if someone I loved were hurt or went missing, IÂ’d dread cops coming into my house and seeing this big collection of true crime and horror and suspense novels, as that would raise red flags for some people.

But he continues on to make the point that it's the physical evidence that will really stand up in court.

Regardless, I think that his writings will bear some weight in his trial, provided that it gets to that. It's still iffy, from what we've heard out here in the real world, that he's the killer. It will be interesting to see why they brought him in.

So, even if he did it or not, there will be those who will look at this and see the villain as a series of online forums rather than a possibly sociopathic kid who slaughtered his family. Writing about death and killing was the sin. Reading comic books and watching gory horror movies brought him to his evil deeds. It's this kind of thinking that vilifies video games, alcohol, pornography, rather than the personal act of violence itself.

Wait for a bit, and I guarantee that this will get lumped into the same category as Columbine, with the typical knee-jerk cries for greater government oversight of children on-line. Every time something like this happens the fingers are pointed at things that people feel that they can control, rather than looking at the society, family dynamic, mental problems, what have you, that those things are, at worst, a symptom of and usually have no bearing to begin with.

Reminds me of an episode of the X-Files with Peter Boyle playing a psychic. When the killer confronts him and says, "Why do I do these things? Why am I driven to kill these people?" His response is, "Don't you get it, son? It's because you're a homicidal maniac."

Sometimes, killers are just nuts and that's all there is to it.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Curse Of The Unfortunately Named

San Bernardino, CA

Washington state John Wayne Thomson, a convicted multiple rapist, is wanted in connection to the murder of Lori Hamm and James Ehrgott in Washington.

And now he's here.

The 1987 Honda Civic that he stole in Washington has turned up in San Bernardino, and it looks like he's already killed Charles Ray Hedlund, 55, of Lucerne Valley. His body was found near his abandoned pickup near the place where police found the Civic. They say there is evidence linking Thomson to the killing.

Of course, the big question here is, what the hell is it with guys whose middle name is Wayne?

John Wayne Gacy, John Wayne Bobbitt, Elmer Wayne Henley. The list goes on. And on and on and on and on.

Now if your middle name is Wayne, I'm not saying you're going to be a serial killer or a rapist. But stay the fuck away from me, anyway.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

No, No, Really. Keep The Bullet

Los Angeles, CA

Two men were shot in an alley in South L.A. this morning and when the cops showed up, they refused to tell them what happened. Police have no suspect and no motive. Both men, one shot in the arm and the other one in the ass, were taken to the hospital where they will, no doubt, cost the city and the state a certain chunk of change. And the community will still have at least one more psychopath still out there running around with a gun.

I think that if you get shot and you refuse to tell the cops who shot you, the state shouldn't have to pick up the tab. Give the guy a pair of needlenose pliers and a band-aid. Maybe a cheap suture kit and some rubbing alcohol. Hell, maybe just give a lighter and a crash course on wound cauterization.

They don't want to be responsible to the community, why should the community be responsible to them?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Dangerous Beauty

Dangerous Beauty: The Art of The Shiv is a collection of prison shivs from New Jersey’s Rahway Prison, now East Jersey State Penitentiary. Fascinating slideshow and notes on construction ranging from the truly simple:
Iron band from bed slat bent back and around to form handle.

To the intricately complex:
Carriage return from typewriter; U-clamp attached to side; handle wrapped with boxing tape, string, upholstery thread and fragments of dried putty.

By law, prisoners must be provided materials to have an opportunity to prepare their own legal defenses. In the 1980s, typewriters were made available for this purpose: the long, notched "spear" here is the carriage return from a prison-issued typewriter. The handle was wrapped with tape is likely to have been taken from Rahway's boxing facility, where several world-class boxers trained, including Rubin "Hurricane" Carter.

A fascinating look into the kind of improvisation that having no options and nothing to lose can give you.

Via Boing Boing

Paved With Good Intentions

Rodger Jacobs over at 8763 Wonderland has a short story, The Cowboy From La Mancha, that really captures what it's like to live in this crazy town.
My lawyer wants me to plead temporary insanity, saying the grief got to me and all that, but that would just be so dishonest because I wasn’t overcome by grief. I just wanted to give Pop one last good send-off, a literal ride into the sunset. How was I to know that so much mayhem would come of it?

That, folks. That right there is L.A. in a nutshell.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

They Just Don't Make Trunks Like They Used To

Pomona, CA

Two men were kidnapped from a Pomona alleyway in broad daylight yesterday. Apparently they were hanging out and talking in the alley when two guys showed up, maced them, and pulled out pistols. One of them was put into the passenger seat, and the owner of the car other was put into the trunk.

Good thing they make these things with trunk releases these days, huh?

He was able to jump out of the moving vehicle a couple of blocks away. His buddy in the passenger seat, not so much.
The second victim's identity is not known. He goes by the nickname of "El Chateco" and probably resides in the 800 block of Reeves Place.

Wait. He meets his friend in an alley and he doesn't know his name? Or where he lives? Exactly what kind of "friend" was this? The Colombian middle-man, supply and demand type of friend? The grab your ankles for a hundred bucks type of friend?

Something's not quite right here.

Either way, here's the car description in case anyone happens to see it.
...an early '90s dark gray Nissan Sentra with collision damage on the driver's door, a yellow ribbon sticker on the trunk and a small stuffed bear wearing sunglasses inside the rear window.

What, no license plate? Whatever, something tells me this is all going to turn out to be bullshit, later.

In case you see the car, or any of the other several hundred gray, damaged Nissan Sentras on the road, you can call Pomona police at (909) 620-2156.

That Devil Nicotine

Lakewood, CA

Four men broke into an Albertsons in Lakewood last night around 1:20am, while employees were still there and took, not cash, not lottery tickets or even wallets from the store employees. No, they snagged 6,000 to 7,000 dollars worth of cigarettes.
The incident was likely caught on the store's security cameras, which will be made available to authorities in the morning, Armalin said. The men were not wearing masks, so sheriff's investigators may get a good look at their faces, he said.

Now that's feeding the monkey on your back.