Wednesday, August 26, 2009

There Go Those Consonants

Murrieta, CA

Back in June Ronald Douglas McGowan, 32, had a problem. Seems he got his tongue bit off. So when he went to the ER, the doctors obviously were curious as to how that happened.

Turns out it was bitten off by the woman he was raping at the time.

He was arrested. Imagine that.

So let's hop ahead a couple months and we find Mr. McGowan, one can only hope sans tongue, facing not one, but four rape allegations. Three other women. Twelve felony counts in total. Things like rape, forcible rape, assault with a deadly weapon and assault causing serious bodily injury.

So he attacked one of the women who bit off his tongue. This begs a question.

How?

I mean, it's not like she lunged forward and snagged his tongue with her teeth. She doesn't have Alien jaws or anything. So, what, he was trying to kiss her? The fuck is that about? This his idea of romance?

You stick your tongue into the mouth of a person you're forcibly having sex with and they bite it off. No shit. Really?

So not only a sexual predator, but fucking stupid to boot. He's a winner all around.

Oh, and check this out.

http://llnw.image.cbslocal.com/18/2009/06/07/320x240/ronald_mcgowan_060609.jpg

Is that a beauty shot or what?

Cops must have had a field day with that one. "Say cheese! No, not 'hheesz'. Dude, you're not even trying."

Least he could do is smile.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More Plots, More Guns

It's back. Issue #7.

Another ass-kicker. French art films and hand jobs. Goat testicle transplants. Gang-banger porn. Whores who want to join the circus. Guys dying of cancer hoping somebody will shoot them instead.

Great, hard hitting stories from Tony Amtrak, Tribe, Stephen Graham Jones, Keith Rawson, Erik Lundy, Frank Bill, Scott Phillips, BV Lawson and Jonathan Woods.

Go read. You'll like it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Imagine What He Can Do With A Carry-on

Buena Park, CA

Packing a suitcase takes skill. It's like starting a fire without matches, or cooking a turkey. Me, doesn't matter how much stuff I've got I'm still wedging some last thing into a side pocket. Could take a tip or two from this guy down in Buena Park.

He got a whole woman in one.

A woman was found stuffed in a suitcase in a dumpster in Buena Park on Franklin Street yesterday morning. At first cops thought it was a child because it wasn't a very big suitcase. But no, they figure she's in her twenties.

Body probably got dumped some time the night before. Guy who found her was rummaging through the dumpster for cans and didn't see her there. Found her the next morning when he went back, presumably to dig through more stuff.

Why he was digging twice through a dumpster that's sitting in front of a vacant building is a little confusing, though.

Anyway, looks like the body's in one piece.

It's actually pretty surprising what you can shove a corpse into. Samsonite's are great for that kind of thing. Roomy, hard shell. Stick with the ones with wheels. Your back will thank you later.

If you're going for more than one you really want to use a car. You can get a family of four, their dog and maybe a grandmother into the trunk of a Chrysler. Twelve if they're midgets.

And Cadillacs? They've got the highest Midgets Per Trunk ratio in the nation. You could shove the entire Munchkin cast from the Wizard of Oz into one of those babies and still have room for Toto.

It's all in how you stack 'em.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stuff What I Been Thinkin' About - Lily Burk

Los Angeles, CA

So far this year 94 people between the ages of 10 and 19 have been murdered in Los Angeles. Of those, 11 were girls. Of those 11 girls, five were Hispanic, five were black, and one was white.

Take a guess which one got the bulk of the news coverage.

On July 24th, 17-year-old Lily Burk was kidnapped and murdered in Downtown Los Angeles. Lily was about to be a senior at Oakwood, a private school in North Hollywood. She was from a well to do family. She had a lot going for her.

And she ended up dead, anyway.

The chief suspect, Charlie Samuel, a black man out on parole, was picked up the next day. It's pretty much airtight that he did it. His prints are all over the car. If I recall correctly they have a shot from a traffic camera of him driving the car, but I'm not sure if that's accurate.

Funnily enough he wasn't picked up for her murder, but for drinking beer in public and having a crack pipe on him.

For a variety of reasons, clerical mistakes, lack of his appointed escort, etc. he shouldn't have been where he was to be able to abduct her in the first place. But he was and he did and there's fuck all we can do about it now but mourn.

I haven't talked about it here since it happened. I tend to avoid the big stories. And also because I was still thinking things over, wondering what it is that's been bothering me about this whole thing. Beyond the obvious, of course; someone's dead who shouldn't be.

And that, as it turns out is the crux of it. She shouldn't be dead. This isn't the sort of thing that's supposed to happen to wealthy, teenage, white girls.

Why not? And that's a serious question. What has been ingrained in our minds that this simply does not happen? Her death has shattered not only her family and friends, but countless strangers who look at her story as anything from a cautionary tale to a parent's ultimate nightmare.

At that point it stops being about Lily Burk and starts being about us.

Back in 1997, The Onion did a story with the headline, "Ugly Girl Killed - Nation Unshaken By Not-So-Tragic Death" about how nobody cared that unremarkable 6-year-old Edith Pelphrey was murdered. It was in response to the national hand-wringing over the murder of JonBenet Ramsey.
But who was Edith? What was she going through as she neared the end? In these modern times, do we as Americans even care about such questions? The answer is clear, and it is: no, we do not. But now, after what little tears there were have long fallen, lingering questions about Edith's murder remain, failing to elicit anything beyond indifference from anyone.
If you do a Google search for '"Lily Burk" Los Angeles' you get 43,300 hits. James Ellroy even did a heart wrenching essay on her in Newsweek.

Now do a search for '"Celestina Morando" Los Angeles', a girl who was killed in a murder suicide on March 12, 2009 in East L.A. You get 36 hits.

Celeste Fremon, over at WitnessLA.com points out that part of the reason there is so much coverage probably has something to do with her father and her peers.
Because Greg Burk, Lily Burk’s father, is a writer (He worked for years at the LA Weekly), and because Lily was a student at Oakwood, a school that tends to draw creative types, Lily Burk’s friends (and her parents’ friends and her friends’ parents) tend to be, as a group, very articulate. As a consequence, there are a a lot of people around the web expressing their anguish with painful clarity.
An excellent point. But more than 40,000?

I have seen posts blaming the parents. I honestly don't understand why. They did nothing wrong but trust. In her, in the city, in the simple reality that this sort of thing doesn't happen. I can't judge that. I won't.

We're also beginning to hear the rumblings of politics. I see her name invoked more frequently in online comments as we struggle with what to do with our overcrowded prisons. She will become a rallying point for some. Just as the death of Jamiel Shaw Jr. became a rallying point against illegal immigration and Special Order 40.

After all, if we were tougher on crime, which for some means longer prison sentences, Charlie Samuel would not have been able to hurt her. The problem, sadly, is far more complex than a name on a banner can convey.

Overall, I find myself wondering why do we care about this girl and not another? I'm asking that question more and more often. Why this one and not that one? Who stays, and who gets tossed overboard?

We are drawn to certain tragedies more than others. Not all media covers all news the same way. We care about the things that are like us, that are part of our tribe, whether that be the color of one's skin, or the cash in one's pocket.

We chew it over and over until it becomes nothing more than another rule for survival. "Don't go to that part of town, you'll be shot." "Don't wear high heels and short skirts, you'll get raped." "Don't be a 17-year-old girl in Downtown L.A. It'll get you killed."

Or, like this one, Google hit #279, from the disturbing whitecivilrights.com, "marry a non-White and the parents will be stuck with brown grandchildren, which they will have to financially support".

Yeah, I don't get it, either.

I guess what I'm hoping is that we'll at least pay a little more attention. The big stories aren't the only stories. The pretty, the young, the well off, they're not the only tragedies we should pay attention to.

If only there weren't so many.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Imagine What Shoplifting Will Get You

Sun Valley, CA

So this guy's got three bounty hunters on his ass. Three. This is some serious shit. I mean, what do you have to do to get three bounty hunters after you? Anyway, things, shockingly, go wrong and the bail jumper ends up with a bullet in his leg. His crime?

Misdemeanor DUI.

Now, I'm betting that it's slightly more than that. As a spokesman for ACME Bail Bonds puts it, "the cost of hiring a bounty hunter would probably be more than the bail." We'll find out in the next couple days, I'm sure.

Probably got the wrong house. Talk about awkward. I mean, what's the etiquette there? Apologize? Send flowers? A card?
Know you're sad / Know you're blue / Whatever you do / Please don't sue
At the very least offer to chip in and buy the guy a new kneecap.

On the plus side, this could really cut down on those really heinous crimes, like jaywalking.

Better get those parking tickets paid up. Don't want Leather Charlie and his beanbag shotgun knocking on your door.

A Good Day To Have A Bad Day

Only The Best Bookstores

Sophie Littlefield's debut novel, A Bad Day For Sorry is out in stores now.
Whuppin' ass wasn't so hard, Stella Hardesty thought as she took aim with the little Raven .25 she took off a cheating son-of-a-bitch in Kansas City last month.

What was hard was making sure it stayed whupped.

Especially on a day when it hit a hundred degrees before noon. And you were having hot flashes. And today's quote on your Calendar For Women Who Do Too Much read Find serenity in unexpected places.

"Fuck serenity," Stella said. And she shot the trailer.

Well, I'm impressed. Apparently so is Publisher's Weekly.
"Littlefield's amusing, sassy debut introduces Stella Hardesty, a widow and survivor of domestic violence, who owns a sewing shop in a sleepy Missouri town. On the side, Stella solves problems and metes out justice on behalf of battered women, like Chrissy Shaw, whose abusive bully of an ex-husband, Roy Dean Shaw, Stella keeps tabs on. After Roy Dean absconds with Chrissy's baby, Stella learns he's involved with local mobsters in a stolen auto parts ring. Chrissy sheds her victimhood to team up with Stella and do battle. After girding up their weaponry, the unlikely crime-fighting duo trick their way into the home of Roy Dean's mob boss, who they suspect has Chrissy's son. Stella discovers that no amount of preparation and righteous anger can prevail over pure evil, at least not without loads of trouble. Spunky, unapologetically middle-aged and a tad cantankerous, Stella barges bravely and often unwisely into danger."
So go buy this book. Woman's got people to feed and ammo to buy.

And bullets ain't cheap.