Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nothing Says I Love You Like An Ice Pick To The Head

Yorba Linda, CA

Break ups can be ugly things. But it's all perfectly normal. Part of the process. There are hurt feelings to express, wrongs to address, icepicks to repeatedly stab into your ex's head as he's leaving church.

Elizabeth Cuevas Villanueva, 47, is being held on suspicion of attempted homicide, felony domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon and brandishing a weapon after hiding in the back of her ex-boyfriend's car and, when he started to pull away from the curb, stabbing him several times in the head and shoulders.

Not quite sure why she did it, though I'm going to go out on a limb here and say she's bugfuck crazy.

In other cemetery love news, the body of Jacquelyn Kotarac, 49, was found in her boyfriend's chimney in Bakersfield. Seems he wouldn't let her in. She tried taking a shovel to the back door and when that didn't work she climbed the roof and tried the chimney.

By that time the boyfriend had left the house, presumably unaware of her location, and the body was found three days later when a house-sitter noticed the smell.

So what have we learned here today, boys and girls?

THEY'RE NOT WORTH IT. Okay, maybe a little.

No! Mostly no. Villanueva is looking at some serious time on her hands and Kotarac, well, she's dead. I don't care how mad you are at the guy, climbing down a chimney to get to him is just stupid.

The ice pick stabbing, though, was probably pretty cathartic.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Guess They Can't Call It Fishwrap Anymore

Los Angeles, CA

South of MacArthur park there is a block of apartment buildings and nursing homes. Some of the buildings date from before the 30's. Some of them have secrets.

The remains of two babies were found while workers were clearing out a basement of one of the apartments in the 800 block of Lake Street. Finding dead babies left in odd places is, sadly, not an unusual thing in L.A.

But it is when they're seventy years old. The corpses were found with a couple of tickets to the 1932 Olympic Games and wrapped in copies of the L.A. Times. So that's what newspapers are for.

The LAPD is bringing in a forensic anthropologist to help with the remains. I hope they have the budget to get her crack team of forensic misfit geniuses and a hard-hitting, square-jawed FBI agent who plays by his own rules.

Seventy years. These are the mysteries that'll haunt you. They might get rumors and hints, or strike it lucky and find out that mom is across the street in a convalescent home.

But chances are they'll never know the whole truth and the bodies will go to the morgue and sit their unclaimed and unnamed before being cremated and dumped into a mass numbered grave along with all the other unclaimed bodies.

Man, I am just a ray of fucking sunshine today, aren't I?

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Going Cost of Vengeance

Long Beach, CA

In 2007 Jose Cano was murdered. Gang related. Shocker, I know.

In January of 2008 Jose's older brother, Eric Antonio Benites and a friend, Jason Trejo killed Florentino Ross-Rivera in retaliation and tried to take out five other people.

Today, Benites was sentenced to 255 years and change to life in prison.

Trejo is up for sentencing September 1st.

To add to the tragedy, Rivera wasn't a gang member and wasn't involved in Cano's death. He just knew the guys who did it.

Guilt by proxy, I guess.

The really fucked up thing about this? None of these people were adults.

Jose Cano was 13 and Rivera was 16 when they were murdered. Benites and Trejo were 15 and 14, respectively.

Too young to think straight, but not too young to pull a trigger.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tap A Vein

Check this out.

That there is the summer issue of Needle Magazine. Lots of chewy, noiry goodness inside. Seriously, this thing is loaded with some amazing writers.

It's got stories by Ray Banks, Nolan Knight, John Stickney, Frank Bill, Julie Summerell, Nigel Bird, Sarah Weinman, Allan Leverone, Chris F. Holm, David Cranmer, Mike Sheeter and Me.

Worth every penny, believe me. And when you order your copy plug in the code FREESHIP at checkout. I hear rumors that you get, you know, free shipping with that.

One Drunk Driver And Years of Frustration

Watts, Los Angeles, CA

Forty-five years ago today Lee Minikus of the CHP pulled over one Marquette Frye, 21, for reckless driving. Frye blew the sobriety test and Minikus arrested him. Frye's older brother Ronald was in the car. Minikus told him he couldn't take the car home two blocks away, so Ronald went to go grab their mom. By the time she arrived and started chewing out her son for drinking, quite a crowd had gathered.

That's when things fell apart.

Whether Frye didn't want to be shown up by his mom, look like a pussy in front of his neighbors, was too drunk to care, or, most likely, just couldn't take the bullshit anymore, he started yelling at the cops. Which got his brother and mom into the act and, not soon after, the crowd.

Which by this time had grown from a handful people to about a thousand.

And thus did the Watts Riots begin.

Five days, 3000 National Guardsmen, 34 dead, 1032 wounded and almost 4000 arrests later things went to relative calm.

Forty-five years after that and the place is still a pit.

People want decent jobs, respect, to live without being afraid. They want education, freedom from violence, a system that they can feel works for them and with them, rather than against them.

And if you go into Watts and ask around, listen to the LAPD helicopters overhead, look at the multitudes of liquor stores dotting street corners, you'll see the same frustration, despair and lack of jobs from 45 years ago.

It's important to remember things like this, whether it's Watts, Chicago, Jersey City, Rochester or wherever there's been a race riot. At some point the anger and frustration gets to be too much.

What's more important is that we fix the problems before they happen again.