Saturday, September 29, 2007

You Just Can't Get Good Help These Days

Highland, CA

Margaret Draper, 47, is in the midst of a bad divorce. And I mean bad. Really bad. Bad enough she tries to hire a killer to take him out. Goes so far as setting up the plot, and paying the guy a boatload of money to do it.

Pity he was a cop.

This country's really going downhill. If you can't trust your locally hired hitmen, who can you trust?

One Of These Days, I Hope To Be On This List

All Over And Everywhere

It's Banned Books Week! Woohoo! So, go ahead and piss off the delicate sensibilities of asshats everywhere and read one of these 10 most challenged books of 2006.
  • "And Tango Makes Three" by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, for homosexuality, anti-family, and unsuited to age group;
  • "Gossip Girls" series by Cecily Von Ziegesar for homosexuality, sexual content, drugs, unsuited to age group, and offensive language;
  • "Alice" series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for sexual content and offensive language;
  • "The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things" by Carolyn Mackler for sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
  • "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison for sexual content, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
  • "Scary Stories" series by Alvin Schwartz for occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group, violence, and insensitivity;
  • "Athletic Shorts" by Chris Crutcher for homosexuality and offensive language.
  • "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky for homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group
  • "Beloved" by Toni Morrison for offensive language, sexual content, and unsuited to age group;
  • "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier for sexual content, offensive language, and violence.
Oooh. Satanism, offensive language, anti-family values and sex. Lots and lots of sex. Big, juicy, steamy piles of SEX.

And, of course, insensitivity. We can't have that now, can we?

Especially with all that fucking going on.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Playtime With Auntie Maria

Los Angeles, CA

Fourteen kilos of cocaine, fifty pounds of marijuana, three loaded handguns, one assault rifle. Oh, yeah, and make sure the daycare license is prominently displayed.

On a tip, police raided a home in Boyle Heights finding all of the above, along with $300,000.00 in cash, charging Maria Castellon, 47, with a whole slew of felony counts. Police believe that the operation has been handling some of the nearby Skid Row drug trade.

As to the daycare center, well, they're still trying to figure that one out.

And The Winners Are...

Anchorage, AL

Congratulations are in order. The Barry Award winners were announced at Bouchercon this year. And some fantastic winners they are.  Well done, people.  Keep it up.

  • Best Novel - The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos
  • Best First Novel - Still Life by Louise Penny
  • Best British Mystery Novel - Priest by Ken Bruen
  • Best Thriller - The Messenger by Daniel Silva
  • Best Paperback Original - The Cleanup by Sean Doolittle
  • Best Short Story - "The Right Call" by Brendan DuBois

Tag! You're It

Minneapolis, MN

Last Wednesday, I posted a story about the murder of Liya Lu, and Isaac Campbell, who was wanted in connection with her death. That post has managed to grab, as of right now, 34 fascinating posts, including details of the discovery of the body before they were released to the local news outlets.

So much for that coroner's security hold.

Anyway, Mr. Campbell had a warrant out for his arrest and was finally picked up yesterday in, of all places, Minneapolis.

Huh. I can think of a lot of places to go to hide from the cops and not one of them is Minneapolis (sorry, Anne). I'm assuming he was on his way to Canada, but still.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Have You Seen This Car?

Inglewood, CA

After responding to a robbery call at an insurance company at 415 West Manchester Boulevard in Inglewood yesterday afternoon, police discovered two bodies inside. Details on the deaths haven't been released, and police say it's unclear how they died.

So far the only lead they've got is a missing blue, four-door BMW 321 with license plate 5SPY435.

If anyone knows anything, drop a dime to the Inglewood PD's Homicide Division at (310) 412-5246.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Thought Boss's Day Was Next Month

Murietta, CA

I think it's a safe bet to say that Charles Tyrone Camper doesn't like his job. How do we know this? Seems he had a "business dispute" with his boss and in the time honored tradition of conflict resolution ended the conversation with multiple stab wounds.

Hell of a business dispute. I think of all the heated exchanges I've seen in an office and none of them are really stab-worthy. Somebody running naked down the hallway with a Ka-Bar screaming about how the vending machine is out of fucking Jujubees again, notwithstanding.

Buy This Book, Dammit

Somewhere In, Fuck, New Jersey?

Dave White's debut novel, When One Man Dies, hits the stores today.

Sarah Weinman, whose brilliance knows no bounds, is holding a Dave White Roast with assorted updates here.

Join in on the fun and go buy his book. Or he'll break into your house at night and waggle bits of himself at you that you'd really rather not see. And leave stains.

Friday, September 21, 2007

What, All At The Same Time?

Los Angeles, CA

Seems a restroom at Whitewater Park in Rancho Mirage has a way of attracting the flashers. Six men were picked up in a sting operation at the restroom after public complaints about men "committing lewd acts".

That's legalese for swinging their johnsons around and yelling, "Yee-haw!" like in the "Farmer And The Cowman" number from Oklahoma.

The real question is not what these men were doing flashing their packages at undercover cops, but why they don't have a reality show. Hey, Johnny Carson used to have Chinese plate spinners on his show. Six guys doing synchronized penis waggling? That's television gold, baby. Television gold.

Some Excellent News

Somewhere In The Great White North

Sandra "Don't Call Her Sandy" Ruttan has just announced that she's gotten a two book deal with Dorchester starting with her novel What Burns Within due out in May of next year.

Congratulations, Sandra.

Sometimes, It's Pretty Clear Who Did It

Arcadia, CA

A couple days ago I mentioned the body of Liya Lu being found in a trashcan. Thanks to Frank Girardot over at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, there's been a lot of chatter over here on it.

I haven't gotten that many comments since I pissed off a bunch of emo teenagers from Palmdale.

Anyway, the police have finally named her boyfriend, Isaac Campbell, as a suspect and he now has a warrant out for his arrest. Pity they don't know where he is.

There were rumours that he had secured counsel, as well as some possible, but uncorroborated details on the discovery of the body, but for the most part all we've got is conjecture. As far as I know the coroner still has a security hold on the body.

I've been wondering why this has gotten so much interest from the local community but bupkes from anywhere else. The bulk of my visitors the last few days have come from Frank's site. The traffic from there has only been topped back in May by people looking for Karishma Dhanak, an Irvine college student who had been found dead and on fire with the body of her father.

And then I ran into this story by Frank on how this is the first homicide in Arcadia since June 2006. It's like one of those "X Many Days Without An Accident" signs you see in machine shope. That is pretty goddamn impressive. Especially for Southern California.

No wonder it's gotten so much local attention, but not much outside.  They don't do much killin' out there, but when they do, hoo-boy, look out.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Fare On That One Was Brutal

Los Angeles, CA

Employees of US Tow called police Tuesday morning because a cab they had impounded on the 13th was leaking something that looked like blood and "emitting a foul odor".

You can see where this is going, right?

Police found the body of a man stuffed in the trunk in an advanced stage of decomp. No ID yet and cause of death is pending an autopsy. The cab doesn't seem to be hooked up with any company and no word yet on if they know who it belongs to.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Boyfriends, Dead Nurses And Trashcans, Oh My

Arcadia, CA

Liya "Jessie" Lu, 31, of San Gabriel went missing last month. Seems she went to visit her boyfriend, Isaac J. Campbell, 32, the one whose apartment she was in the middle of moving out of, and never came back. Her body was found last Saturday stuffed in a trash can in somebody's backyard.

Lu, a Chinese native who moved to the United States 9 years ago, was a nursing student at Pasadena City College, where she met Campbell.

Campbell is wanted "for questioning" by the police. Probably should bring a toothbrush. He'll be staying a while.

Looks like he knows this, too. According to the story, he's already gotten himself a lawyer. Now it's just a matter of time before he either talks to the cops, or bolts and tries to run to Mexico.

I'm hoping for Mexico. We haven't had a good slow speed chase down the 5 since OJ tried it years ago. Nothin' like a flight from justice to bring out the news choppers.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Knew The Juice Was Dangerous, But Damn

Los Angeles, CA

In case you didn't know, OJ Simpson was arrested along with a couple other guys for breaking into a Las Vegas motel room and trying to steal back some sports memorabilia OJ claims was his. And now, in a turn for the weird, the seller of said junk, one 53-year-old Bruce Fromong of Las Vegas, has had a massive heart attack and is currently in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Is it me, or does this just point to an unholy alliance with the Prince of Darkness? Don't cross the Juice, man. If he can't get you with the knife, he'll get you with his cold and deadly touch.

Hey, Pedophiles? Y'all Might Want To Change Your Travel Plans

Los Angeles, CA

Steven Erik Prowler (what an appropriate name), 58, was sentenced to 10 years in Federal lockup yesterday for intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and illicit sexual contact with a minor. In Bangkok.

See, there's this thing called the PROTECT Act of 2003, or "Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today". Bit of a mouthful. Anyway, it strengthens a lot of child abuse laws, like mandatory life in prison for sexual absue of a child if the abuser has a prior conviction of the same thing with someone else. It set up the Amber Alert system, and so on.

The relevant part is "Authorizes fines and/or imprisonment for up to 30 years for U.S. citizens or residents who engage in illicit sexual conduct abroad".

Seems Mr. Prowler took a couple trips to Thailand and, shall we say, contributed to the local economy. He's the third person to be nailed on this in California. Considering how big the disturbingly named "child sex tourism" industry is, that's not even a drop in the bucket.

But it's a start.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Shout Out For Halloween A Little Bit Early

My friend David Markland, he of Metroblogging LA, has put together a new site called, appropriately enough, Creepy LA.

David's got the Halloween bug and Creepy LA is a countdown of sorts to his favorite holiday. Not just all things Halloween in Los Angeles, but all things horror, paranormal, weird (in the occult sense, not the walking down Santa Monica and realizing that girl is really a guy and she desperately needs a shave, even if she does look pretty hot for all that and maybe you should asker her/him out but you need to find out how s/he feels about goats first).

It's new and a little rough in spots, but that should be sorted out in a day or so.

Oh, and he's looking to the Angelenos for stuff on Halloween, ghost stories, weird happenings and such around the Southland.

I Had No Idea My Schlong Was Broken

Because it's a slow news day I bring you the latest from my spam filter.
Repair your schlong at once and forever.

Be a supermacho!

Charge your one-eyed monster for 110% and have a lifetime fiesta with Your girl

This is the one and only remedy which works flawlessly!

Ask me why? Just because it's the Original thing.

My schlong is in need of repair? When were you people going to tell me this? I have to find out from some random Chinese guy selling some sort of herbal Viagra / jalapeƱo barbeque dry rub?

And what exactly is a "supermacho"? I mean, as a noun. I understand it (I think) as an adjective, but if it's a thing, what does it look like? Some shadowy presence of bulked up anger and seething manhood just waiting to be released? It has a mustache, doesn't it? And a sombrero and bandoleers. I picture this hyper-realized Pancho Villa macking on a cigar and cackling in a gutter voice full of broken glass.

I don't know about you, but that seems like an awful lot of pressure to put on a penis.

And if I charge my "one-eyed monster for 110%" won't it, you know, explode? Like those phasers on Star Trek? Somebody would push a button and it would turn into a freaking nuclear grenade, which always made me wonder, why the fuck would you want one of those things on a spaceship? Isn't that dangerous? Random security guard tries to set his gun to frappe and accidentally takes out three decks. "Sorry, didn't know it was loaded." I don't want my one-eyed monster doing that. I mean, who would?

You know, this is L.A. I can think of three people right off the bat.

But wait. "This is the one and only remedy which works flawlessly!" I think that might be the only sentence bordering on grammatically correct. I could do without the exclamation point. One really should be sparing of those. Besides, the excitement is kind of inferred, don't you think?

"But why? Why does this work flawlessly?" I hear you ask, crying to the heavens for understanding. Fear not for I have the answer.


My god. The Original Thing. This is the Thing from which all Things have come from. The Alpha and Omega of Things. The secrets of the universe in this one Thing. This is the Thing that was at the beginning of the universe. The stars and planets, the very vacuum of space, coming forth from this one Thing. This Thing could very well be God.

And some guy wants to use it to fix my unbroken schlong and pump it to 110% until it explodes?

No. Just... just no.

Sure. Points for imagination, but isn't that (and I'm sure I'll regret saying this later) thinking a little small? You could create new species, bend space and time to your will, call new stars and planets, whole universes, into being. You could answer life's unanswerable questions, give meaning to billions across the globe, or throughout the whole of existence.

You know what? Keep that thing away from me. And everybody else for that matter. Seriously. You could hurt somebody.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Criminal Tip #927,823: Pick The Right Getaway Vehicle

Panorama City, CA

Jose Murillo, 18 and David Flores, 19 have been arrested for jacking a couple of cans of Icehouse from a guy at knifepoint and then hightailing it away from the cops on a Razor Scooter.

Yes, one of those.

Now, as getaway vehicles go, Mr. Murillo could have picked something worse. Pack mule, say. A Galapagos tortoise. But none of them would have looked nearly as fucking cool as that flashy chrome finish. That's right. When this guy rolls, he rolls in style.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Anybody Going Downtown Tomorrow?

Los Angeles, CA

David Jaime Deltoro, the fire captain accused of killing a woman and dragging her shredded body down the street and dumping her, gets his first of many days in court.

Case Number BA32029901. September 14th, 2007 at 7:00am. L.A. Superior Court Department 110.

If I read this right (and I probably didn't), he's going to be at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on Temple at 7:00 in the morning, in ourtroom 9-302 presided over by Judge Lance Ito, known for presiding over the OJ Simpson case.

So, if anybody happens to hear anything on this, could you drop me a line? I'm mighty curious to see how this one pans out.

Well, At Least He'll Have More Room

West Covina, CA

Marco Antonio Espinoza was caught trying to break into a house last month through the Santa Method. He only got so far as the flue before getting stuck and having to be extracted by stonemasons and firefighters.

Well, today, he's gotten two years and has to pay $10,000 to the homeowners to fix their chimney.

Of course, to pay it he'll probably have to knock over somebody else's house and get stuck in the dog door which they'll have to take off to free him by which time he'll have had half his face chewed off by a pissed off Rottweiller with halitosis.

So, remember kids, stay in school, don't do drugs and stop tying to shimmy down the goddamn chimney to grab the silverware that ain't yours. It'll only end in embarrassment.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

And I Thought I Wasn't Child Friendly

Bellflower, CA

Okay, I can see how cousins can get angry with each other. I can see it leading to fights. Families do that to each other. But I don't get why one would stab the other to death. Especially since the stabber was 20 years old and the stabbee was 9.

Am I missing something here?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Writing Events This Week

Yeah, aside from stating the obvious in my last post I've been slacking. Well, it's Monday, and I'm more or less back.

The Mystery Bookstore - Westwood, CA

Saturday, September 15th

Randall Hicks signs Baby Crimes at 11:00am

In his second outing, adoption attorney/tennis pro Toby Dillon steps in to help a wealthy couple who adopted their daughter illegally 16 years earlier. Toby's search for the girl's birth mother leads to murder, and the revelation of long-kept secrets.
We need more tennis pro adoption attorneys, I think. That and dead babies. Oh, like you haven't seen me say shit like that before.

Tom Nolan signs The Archer Files at 1:30pm

Ross McDonald biographer Tom Nolan has put together a collection of Lew Archer short stories. First time they've all been in one place at one time.

Charlie Huston signs The Shotgun Rule at 3:00pm

I'll just say it now. Charlie Huston is a god. The man's series with down on his luck Hank Thompson (Caught Stealing, Six Bad Things, A Dangerous Man) is fantastic. But it's his books featuring vampire private Joe Pitt that I can't put down.

His new one, The Shotgun Rule is out now.

In a California suburb in 1983, four teenage boys stumble across a crank lab that belongs to the Arroyo brothers, the town's small-time crime kingpins. The boys see an opportunity and steal some product to sell ? and in doing so, set off a gang war that reaches back into their own families' histories.

Looking forward to this one. And if I can, I'll be at the signing.


Mysteries To Die For - Thousand Oaks, CA

Saturday, September 15th

Same guys, different place. Charlie Huston at noon and Randall Hicks at 2:00pm

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Yeah, Like This Surprises Anybody

None: You could easily get away with murder. You have the cold and calculating logic of a sociopath. For all our sakes, go hug someone.


Hat tip to the inimitable Christa Faust