Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Spring's Come Late This Year

But well worth the wait.

The Spring 2009 issue of Spinetingler is out with stories from Graham Powell, Stephen D. Rogers, Anthony Rainone and others. It's got reviews, interviews and the usual raising of the quality bar.

And check out that cover art. Looks like PWG might have some competition on the cool photo front.

*Hat tip to Patrick S. Bagley.


Criminal Tip #78,983: Don't Fuck With The Dog

Hawthorne, CA

Girl loses dog.  Boy finds dog.  Boy calls girl.  Girl and Boy meet.  Kind of like one of those star-crossed lovers things.  Only with a registered sex offender.

So Pineapple, a cocker/poodle mix, wanders away from home and Alfredo Jaime Dempkey, 27, finds it, grabs a phone number off the collar and gives the owner, a 17-year-old girl, a ring.

And then tells her that she can either give him 70 bucks or have sex with him to get the dog back.  When she balks at that he threatens to torture the dog.

Did I mention that Dempkey's the sex offender here?  In case it wasn't obvious. Did a stint in the pokey for forced oral copulation.  And he's been in violation of his registration status since the end of May.

So the girl agrees to meet him at a local El Pollo Loco.

Dempkey shows up.  Girl shows up.

Hawthorne Police Department shows up.  Everybody's happy.  Except Dempkey.  But screw him.

You don't fuck with the dog.


Monday, June 29, 2009

I Thought They Shot Them When They Crossed The Border

Beverly Hills, CA

Some guy hung himself in a stairwell outside the Beverly Hills City Hall on Sunday.  Bet you're thinking it was somebody famous.  Because, you know, only famous people live in the 90210.

But nobody panic!   Sergeant Kelly Spedden of the Beverly Hills Police Department sets us straight:

"This person is not a celebrity, and we believe he was a local homeless person."

Well thank god for that.  For a second there I was scared the paparazzi were going to explode or something.  There's only so much an asshole with a Nikon can shoot in a day, ya know?

So, just some random homeless guy.  Eh.  We'll get the butler to take him out to the curb later.  Trash pickup's on Tuesday.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

You'd Think He Was The Only Dead Guy Around

Los Angeles, CA

So, yeah. Rant time.

Michael Jackson. Let's see. Decent singer, hell of a dancer, awesome sideshow freak. Suspected pedophile. And he's dead, a fact which I'm sure all of you have been endlessly inundated with by now. How'd he die? Who knows. Personally I don't much care.

Now he died, what, Thursday? And his autopsy was Friday.

This makes me angry.

Back in the distant lands of 2006, the L.A. County Coroner was running a serious backlog. They had bodies double and triple stacked. They've had to contract out to Cedars-Sinai to help out with autopsies and with local morticians to handle the cremations. As far as I know they haven't gotten much better.

They currently have 4,773 unclaimed persons, many of whom are sitting in little boxes in a brick building on Mission Road. They handle the entire load of the murders in the City of Los Angeles, 138 this year, as well as the whole of Los Angeles County, 107 so far from reporting agencies. Plus questionable deaths.

They even do private autopsies. Six thousand bucks a head, in case you're interested. Bring you kids. Fun for the whole family.

In 2005 out of 18,854 reported cases they handled 9,494 of them. Accidents, suicides, homicides and natural causes.

They are, and have been and will be, in a word, busy.

So why does Michael Jackson get an autopsy the next day?

It's not because they don't know what killed him. Lots of those hit the Medical Examiner and those can take days or weeks to get around to. Even if they do, and it's obvious, like a gunshot, it could be a week or more.

It's money, of course. And noise. He's an important guy. More important than the rest of us. As important a pederast as you're ever going to find, certainly. The family wants to know, the media wants to know. Hell, Agnes Lippenschlinger in Bayou Creek, Louisiana standing in line at the Piggly-Wiggly with a National Enquirer in her fat, sweaty hands wants to know.

And chances are, so do you.

This is LA and if there's one thing we do well it's carve up our idols. So you'll have your answer soon enough. Probably sooner than we'll know who killed Danny Quijada, 30, who was gunned down outside his apartment in May.

Or Herbert Turner, 42, shot on 48th and South Ascot. Christopher Herera, 18, dead in Koreatown. Anson Greenwood, Raul Castillo, David Mam, Dannie Farber, Robert Rodwell, Jose Ramos, Ly Tran, Erika Balayan, Courtney Adams, Draysean Earl, Rosa Gallegos, Thomas Wade, Abraham Mkrtchyan, Michael McCullough, or Daniel Chavez.

So fuck you, Michael Jackson. I give a rat's ass how important a pop singer you were.

Like everybody else, get in line.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Now That's A Confidential Informant

Los Angeles, CA

Back in 2007, Luis Angel Garcia, 23 days old, was hit by a stray bullet in MacArthur Park by an 18th Streeter going after one of the street vendors for not paying "rent". Shitstorm ensues. Police, regular citizens and La Eme all want this guy's hide. So his fellow 18th Streeters, how's this for honor among thieves, take him down to Mexico, strangle him, toss his body into a ditch and speed away. Only they forgot to actually, you know, kill him.

And, my aren't paybacks a bitch.

The trigger man, named in court records simple as "unindicted co-conspirator #1" (I'm pretty sure his name is Giovanni Macedo) is in protective custody helping prosecutors build their case. Obviously it's a plea deal. He was charged last year in the baby's killing. The guy's going to go away for a very, very long time.

But in the meantime he's going to make some people squirm. The 114-page indictment charges members of Columbia Lil Cycos, a branch of 18th Street, with racketeering charges involving murder, drug trafficking, money laundering, and kidnapping, among other things. They've also got an attorney they're accusing of acting as an intermediary between La Eme and 18th Street.

Taking these guys down is a lot like eating an elephant; a bite at a time. Undercut the foot soldiers, you can disrupt the power structure. Hopefully, eventually, you can damage the infrastructure enough that it slows them down and makes things better. For a while at least.

Now if we could just make some room in the prisons.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

David Del Toro - 20 Years?

Just got this comment on a post from 2007 on the long and drawn out saga of David Del Toro:
Rumor at the FD: he plead to 2nd degree, sentenced to 20 years. Can someone verify?
For a refresher see here and here.

So, anyone? True? False?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

At Least He's Not A Flight Risk

Ladera Ranch, CA

A few days ago Mark Alan Jarosik, 43, was in jail for attacking his ex-girlfriend and allegedly raping her back in May. Took him a while to post the $100K in bail, but last Saturday night he did.

And boy was that a bad idea.

Jarosik was arrested again Monday morning after he attacked the woman again outside her home, smashing her head into the curb and landing her in the hospital.

Seems he may have tried to break into the house Sunday night, too, but that's still up in the air.

Overall, he's being charged with:
  • Forcible rape and attempted sodomy
  • Attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation
  • Residential burglary
  • Corporal injury of a former cohabitant
  • Dissuading a witness
  • Violating a protective order and sentencing-enhancing allegations of great bodily injury inflicted during domestic violence
  • Committing a new crime while out on bail for a previous crime.
Or, in short, 29 years to life.

Enjoy the prison loaf, Sparky. Something tells me you're going to get a lot of it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Question For The Writers

What do y'all think of multiple points of view. Not reading it, but writing it? Pain in the ass? Too hard to keep everything straight? Easier because you can get more on the page?

Never done it before and I'm playing around with the idea. So far I'm, 60/40 against. I have a hard enough time pulling off a single POV.

Thoughts? Anyone? Bueller?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

People With Discerning Taste

Carl Brookins, who I embarrassingly didn't know anything about before last night, is one of the people responsible for Minnesota Crime Wave, which I also knew nothing about before... 10 minutes ago.

Behold the power of Google.

Anyway, it appears that Mr. Brookins enjoyed Uncage Me.
Twenty-two stories, dark, bleak, unsettling, yet many are affirming in odd ways. You find yourself unaccountably rooting for whoever the central character is, even while you know that the end result may be—is likely to be—mayhem, murder along with painful destruction. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
Affirming. Not a word that would have ever occurred to me.

Especially after reading Guthrie's piece. The things that man does to turnips...

Point is the dude likes it.

And that's enough for me.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Where You Least Expect It

Los Angeles, CA

In 1986, Sherri Rae Rasmussen, a nursing director, was beaten and shot to death in her home. No one was taken into custody and the file sat open until recently when detectives started going back into some cold cases. DNA testing revealed that the killer was a woman, which surprised everyone because the thought at the time was that a couple of unidentified burglars who were operating in the area at the time had killed her.

When that broadened the search, detectives realized that they knew someone who had been in a relationship with Rasmussen's husband at the time. They put a tail on her, got hold of something with her saliva and ran a DNA test.

Which turned out to be a match.

Unfortunately, the suspect is one of their own, Detective Stephanie Ilene Lazarus, 49.

Lazarus was arrested this morning downtown at Parker Center on suspicion of murder. No word on formal charges or, well, anything else, yet.


Writerly Stuff This Weekend

Light weekend. Must be the rain.

Tim Maleeny signs Jump at The Mystery Bookstore on Saturday at 1:00.

San Francisco police officer Sam McGowan hasn't even been retired for a full day when his obnoxious landlord takes a lethal fall from the top of his building. The city wants to call it a suicide, but McGowan knows that can't be true – not least because everyone in the building had a motive.

Jump is a standalone.  A departure from his Cape Weathers series, the latest of which, Greasing The Pinata won the Left at Left Coast Crime this year.

Also, because I'm going to shamelessly plug this thing until Doomsday, he's got a story in Uncage Me coming out in July.  It's a book.  Of short stories.   You know, an anthology.

I really need to work on this whole promotion thing.




Laura Levine signs Killer Cruise at The Mystery Bookstore at 3:00.  I know nothing about this novel beyond the fact that there is a cat on the cover.  And that the main character's name is Jaine.

Jaine Austen.

I will go no further with that train of thought.  But if you're into that sort of thing... well, you probably wouldn't be here reading this, now would you?

However, Ms Levine used to write ad copy and episodes of sitcoms in the 70's. The Jeffersons, The Bob Newhart Show, Three's Company.  She may have created Mister Furley, I don't know.

However, she did create Count Chocula cereal.

Count Chocula, people. Count Fucking Chocula.

How cool is that?  Count Chocula.  Damn.

So go buy her book.

Count Chocula.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Criminal Tip #87,687: The Warning Signs Really Mean It

San Jacinto, CA

Not long ago tweakers could be confident that they had a steady supply of cash from copper. Cable from lampposts, pipes from houses and construction sites. Good money when there's a housing boom and contractors are looking for ways to cut costs. A little questionably procured pipe means fatter margins.

Everyone's happy, except for the people it's stolen from, of course. But who cares about them? The engines of capitalism must grind on.

But as the economy has tanked so has the market for copper. It also isn't as easy to steal from a construction site these days. There aren't as many construction sites to steal it from.

The money dries up. The stupid get desperate. Or the other way around.

And then this happens.

Two men were were found electrocuted late last night out by a blown transformer. Seems they opened it up and started yanking cables, which is, well, a bad idea. They pump through, what, 10,000 KVA? Electricity doesn't like being fucked with.

So remember, if you're ripping off copper, and these days why would you, there are better places to get it. Like ones that won't kill you.

Monday, June 01, 2009

An Ambitious Project

Los Angeles, CA

I'm a fan of the LA Weekly. There's a certain grim absurdity to its pages that has always appealed to me. Breast enlargement and vaginal reconstruction ads sit alongside articles on remembering the Jonestown massacre, the Grim Sleeper and the dying off of L.A.'s newsstands. Escort services thinly disguised as personal ads sit among fiction from some of L.A.'s top talent.

Last week they launched the blog Murder Was The Case, by the very talented Christine Pelisek with the ambitious goal of documenting every homicide in the City of Los Angeles.

To date this year we've had 118.

Unlike the L.A. Times' Homicide Report it looks like they're shooting for real time. Someone gets murdered, they'll post a story as soon as they hear about it.

Ambitious. We get a lot of dead people out here.

Best of luck Ms Pelisek. Lot of potential here. This is one I'll definitely be paying attention to.


Ought To Be A Holiday

It's Hogdoggin' Monday, boys and girls.  What?  You don't know what Hogdoggin' is?   Besides a... uh, sport? where pigs are eaten alive by hunting dogs, Hogdoggin' is a book.

But not just any book. This is Anthony Neil Smith's follow-up to his novel Yellow Medicine.

Former Deputy Billy Lafitte is a no-good, crap-for-brains, despicable and dangerous traitor — Special Agent Franklin Rome is sure of it. So sure, in fact, that he’s willing to investigate outside departmental bounds. Willing to blackmail and bribe his fellow lawmen into helping him. Willing to ferret Lafitte out of whatever snake-hole he’s hidden himself in, and do what the too-lax government wouldn’t let him do back in Yellow Medicine county, just months ago.

And Rome’s plan is working. Squeeze a man’s ex-wife, especially an ex-wife as unstable as Ginny Lafitte, and watch her overprotective man appear from thin air to stand by his family. No matter that Rome’s had to bend a few rules in order to make it happen; Billy’s end will justify Rome’s means.

Of course, Rome didn’t count on Billy riding in to save the day on a turquoise motorcycle — with a beard, fifty extra pounds of muscle, and the weight of a man named Steel God at his back. Nor did he think Billy would go and get himself caught up with paint-huffing, knife-wielding rednecks. And Rome certainly never predicted that a broken-hearted, vengeful woman named Colleen would be just as hot for Lafitte’s blood as he is.

In short, this is the biker grindhouse movie you've been waiting for.

So go buy a copy today.   If you don't, Steel God's gonna be awful unhappy with you.  And you don't want that.