Suspicious package closes Union Station in LA

Union Station Map

This from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department via press release:

Union Station has been evacuated and closed due to a suspicious package left on the Red Line platform.
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and Metro public information officers are available to speak to media at 530 Ramirez Street (the corner of Ramirez Street and Vignes Street), Los Angeles.

Vivid Entertainment owner says condoms bad for porn biz

An open letter (

VividVideoXXX.pdf)

 from Vivid Entertainment Founder Steven Hirsch takes aim at a proposed Los Angeles County ballot measure that would require porn actors to wear condoms on set. 

In his letter Hirsch says porn actors and actresses are less likely than the general population to contract HIV and other STDs. Here’s a quote:
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“Bottom line: Measure B is a bad idea. Our County officials have no business regulating sexual behavior between consenting adults, intervening into how films are produced, or invading our bedrooms — real or pretend.”

LAPD releases photos of potential Grim Sleeper victims

This comes from the Robbery/Homicide Division of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Officials believe that the suspected Grim Sleeper may be responsible for several murders that have yet to be attributed to suspect Lonnie David Franklin.

On Thursday officials released several images of woman confiscated from Franklin’s South Los Angeles home.

The images are available on the LAPD website at www.lapdonline.org.

LAPD press release on the jump:

Continue reading

18th Street gang member convicted in five homicides

From the DA’s office:

LOS ANGELES – Jurors today convicted a 30-year-old gang member of five murders and other counts, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

William Vasquez, an 18th street gang member, was convicted of the first-degree murders of five victims between 2002 and 2005. Jurors found true special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and that the defendant was an active participant in a criminal street gang.

Vasquez was additionally convicted of one count of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. Gang and gun allegations were found true.

An allegation that the defendant personally used a firearm as to one of the murders was found not true.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler said the penalty phase of the trial will begin Dec. 14. Vasquez faces death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

TV audition ends in death of wife and arrest of husband

“America’s Got Talent” audition, ecstasy, speed, a missing woman and the arrest of a rock musician. This story has some interesting twists:

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Los Angeles police said Tuesday the wife of a man vying for a spot on “America’s Got Talent” was found dead in the stairwell of an upscale hotel where the T.V. show was holding auditions.

Covina native Laura Finley, 48, was discovered about 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning by a guest of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

Police said her death appeared to be accidental, but they are looking into “other possibilities” as a precaution, Los Angeles Police Lt. Paul Vernon said.

The coroner’s office is waiting for the results of toxicology tests before determining Laura Finley’s cause of death, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.

Laura Finley grew up in Covina and married her high school sweet heart, Joe Finley, four years after graduating from Northview High School in 1980, said Laura Finley’s sister, Jill Sutterlin.

“My sister loved her husband more than she loved her children and herself,” Sutterlin said. “She was his number one fan.”

Joe Finley called hotel security and reported his wife missing after he got out of bed Saturday, Vernon said.

The 47-year-old rock musician then attended an audition for the NBC reality T.V. show, Vernon said. Police later notified him about the death of his wife.

Joe Finley was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of drug possession, Vernon said.

During an interview with detectives, Joe Finley said he and his wife had consumed ecstasy before her death, Vernon said.

Rioters attack taco truck after Lakers win NBA Championship

Metblogs has put together a by-the-numbers look at the post-game riot/celebration downtown last night.

Among the stats, the attack of a taco truck. Here’s more:

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Number of rubbish fires: 15

Number of vehicle fires: 3

Number of shopping cart fires: At least 1.

Number of fatalities: 0

Number of people “beaten unconscious”: At least 1. Think it was a Celtics fan, the poor guy.

Number of arrests: 38

Tim Conway Jr to take over KFI night slot

This from the OCR:

Tim Conway Jr. will replace Bryan Suits 7-10 p.m. weeknights on KFI/640 AM starting Monday, Jan. 18, the station announced Friday.

“Bryan came to us and said he wanted to move back home to Seattle where his family lives,” said program director Robin Bertolucci. “Tim is a huge talent and we are very glad to have him on board in a larger capacity.”

Conway, who has been doing weekends since last summer, will continue to do his 4-7 p.m. Saturday program. He had relocated to Oregon, but is moving back to Los Angeles next week, he said.

“I grew up listening to KFI and never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be anything more than a listener. If you compare KFI to baseball, it’s absolutely equivalent to playing for the New York Yankees. Back in the early ’90s, I used to send demo tapes to John & Ken. Recently, John Kobylt revealed that he would give those tapes to his kids so they could record music.”

A new look for the Grim Sleeper

This from LA Weekly writer Christine Pelisek:

The Los Angeles Police Department released today an age-enhanced composite sketch of the Grim Sleeper, a serial killer who has been murdering mostly women in South Los Angeles since 1985.
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Homicide detectives are hoping the release of the sketch drawn by an artist who works with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will trigger the identification of the elusive killer dubbed by the LA Weekly as the Grim Sleeper. 

“They find kids all the time” using sketches, said lead homicide detective Dennis Kilcoyne. “They have had a lot of success with it.” 

The three sketches are slightly different. Kilcoyne said they wanted the public to have choices because they don’t know what the killer has been doing for the last 22 years. He could be employed and married with children or living on the street. They just don’t know. 

FBI names new head of Los Angeles Field Office

This from FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller:

FBI Director, Robert Mueller, has named two veteran agents, Daphne Hearn and Bill Lewis, to serve in the position of Special Agent in Charge (SAC) in the Los Angeles Field Office. Additional information about SAC Lewis and Hearn can be found in the attachments; their photos are also attached.

Background on Los Angeles FBI hierarchy:

The Los Angeles Field Office is headed up by an Assistant Director in Charge, who is chiefly responsible for all operations in the seven counties that comprise the Central District of California. (Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, SLO, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino and Riverside).

The Assistant Director in Los Angeles oversees four individuals who carry the title, “Special Agent in Charge,” who are responsible for the following four branches, in no particular order of importance here, covering all FBI program areas:

  • Criminal Division
  • Counterterrorism Division
  • Counterintelligence & Cyber Division
  • Intelligence Division

SAC Lewis and SAC Hearn will serve as SAC of the Criminal Division and the Intelligence Division, respectively.

Director Mueller also recently appointed Steven Martinez as Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. Mr. Martinez, who most recently was in charge of the FBI in Las Vegas, will replace Salvador Hernandez, who recently retired. Mr. Martinez will report to Los Angeles later this month and I will issue a press release locally at that time to announce his formal arrival.

SAC Hearn and SAC Lewis are expected to arrive Los Angeles within the next several weeks.

Pellicano pleads no contest in threats case involving Times reporter

From the DA’s office:

LOS ANGELES – Imprisoned former private investigator Anthony Pellicano and the man he hired to threaten a former Los Angeles Times reporter in 2002 both pleaded no contest today to making a criminal threat.

Pellicano, 65, and Alexander Proctor, 66, entered their pleas before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William N. Sterling, said Deputy District Attorney Ron Goudy with the Organized Crime Division.

Each defendant, already serving federal prison terms on unrelated convictions, was immediately sentenced to the maximum of three years in prison. The state terms are to be served concurrently with their remaining federal prison sentences. In exchange for their no contest pleas, the conspiracy charge was dismissed against each defendant.

The pair was charged in June 2005 with conspiracy and making a criminal threat against Anita Busch, who was a reporter with the Los Angeles Times. At the time, Busch was working on an article on the relationship between actor Steven Seagal and an alleged Mafia associate.

The felony complaint said Pellicano hired Proctor on or between April 9, 2002 and June 19, 2002, to threaten Busch to “cause her to fear for her life.”