National Day of Remembrance

Today — I took the details from Facebook

Victim Organizations in SoCal
Friday, September 25, 2009
11:00am – 2:00pm
Hall of Adminstratin Building
500 W. Temple St
Los Angeles, CA


Flyer – 

Law Enforcement agencies, politicians, homicide victims and survivors groups have united together to put on this event for Murdered Victims in Southern California.

Our mission is to send a powerful message that we as a Nation, remember our murdered victims, honor their courage and vow to do whatever we can to prevent another murdered victim.

This event is also to remind people that murder impacts each and every one of us, and every community nationwide and that people are murdered every single day in this country.

Our Guest Speakers are The Attorney General Jerry Brown and The Former U.S. Director of Office Of Vicitms of Crime John Gillis.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Crime’s down … just not around here

Call this a round-up of sorts…

Sheriff Lee Baca says crime is down county-wide, except near Industry where homicides are up. 
Here’s a snippet:
Despite the mostly good news, there remain problems in some areas patrolled by the Sheriff’s Department. Most notably in the communities serviced by the Industry Station, violent crime is on the rise.

Moving on… Women have been targeted by robbers in Azusa and Baldwin Park.

Authorities said the same car was used in a robbery of an ice cream vendor in West Valinda and a 16-year-old boy in Rosemead on Monday.

The notorious Avenues gang gets hit again in a federal raid.

Pico Rivera’s fifth homicide is a whodunnit …just like the other four this year.

And, finally DNA catches a man suspected of raping a blind Norwalk woman in May. Here’s how he was caught:

DNA led to the arrest of a suspect in the May 1 rape of an 82-year-old legally blind woman, authorities said Monday.

Antonio Durell Freeman, 31, of Norwalk was booked Friday on suspicion of rape, kidnapping and burglary. He is being held at the sheriff’s Century Station in lieu of $1 million bail. He has a court appearance today at Bellflower Superior Court.

Freeman appeared in the DNA database after Long Beach Police arrested him July 11 on suspicion of spousal assault and took a DNA sample from him, according to Maxwell.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Thursday’s Column (Helter Skelter)

Helter Skelter

She’s coming down fast

Yes she is

Yes she is

coming down fast

Aug. 10, 1969, 3301 Waverly Drive, Los Feliz, Calif. It’s well after midnight. There’s no moon in the sky.

It’s a few short miles from the Monrovia neighborhood she grew up in, but Leslie Van Houten is a long way from home.

Charles Manson, whom Van Houten believes is both Jesus and Satan, has just tied up Rosemary and Leno LaBianca.

Manson believes The Beatles are talking to him. He believes their song depicts an apocalyptic race war between blacks and whites.

He figures that by killing some straights, the war will begin in earnest and when the smoke clears, he’ll reign as some sort of messiah. At least that’s what he tells his followers.

Addled by LSD and an assortment of reds, bennies, dexies, mescaline, hash, opium, PCP, mushrooms and pot, Van Houten buys into the crap Charlie’s been feeding her for months. She wants to please him.

“The more I took it (LSD), the more I couldn’t relate to regular kinds of people,” Van Houten recalled later.

Now, Van Houten stands inside the master bedroom. There’s a pillowcase over Rosemary LaBianca’s head. Leslie ties it taut with an electrical cord. She can’t stand to hear the woman scream.

Van Houten holds Rosemary down, while accomplice Patricia Krenwinkle stabs the woman.

Leslie calls out for help. Leno’s killer, Charles “Tex” Watson enters the bedroom and stabs Rosemary several more times with a bayonet. He hands the weapon to Van Houten and tells her, “Do something.”

Van Houten delivers 16 more stab wounds. Then she steals the now dead woman’s clothes, wipes the crime scene free of fingerprints and leaves the room.

She passes through the living room. There, Rosemary’s husband Leno is already dead. Leno’s head is covered with a pillowcase.

He’s been stabbed with a two-tined carving fork. The word “WAR” has been sliced into his chest. The fork protrudes from his stomach. There’s a knife in his throat.

“DEATH TO PIGS” dripped in blood on one of the walls.

Leslie heads to the kitchen. In Leno’s blood, someone misspells “HEALTER SKELTER” on the refrigerator door.

Van Houten grabs some food from the `fridge and hitches a ride back to the Spahn Ranch in Van Nuys where she meets up with Charlie.

It’s coming down fast.

By December Van Houten and the rest of Manson’s family had been captured.

The county jail was a far cry from Van Houten’s Monrovia roots.

Her mother, Jane, a Monrovia school teacher, once told a court that “Les” was a “feisty” girl. She sang in the church choir, was a Camp Fire Girl, took piano lessons, liked camping, and was happy with school.

At Monrovia High School, Van Houten was sophomore class princess at homecoming. She was a cheerleader.

Early in 1968, Leslie “dropped out of the straight world,” her mother recalled.

After several trials (one of which resulted in the death penalty), retrials, appeals, a brief bit of freedom in 1978, and failed visits to the parole board. Leslie Van Houten remains incarcerated in the state women’s prison in Corona.

The place where Van Houten will likely die is just 32 miles from where she grew up – and a world apart.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Another take on the slaying of Lily Burk

Celeste Fremon over at Witness LA, takes apart local coverage of the Lily Burk homicide, and breaks down the criminal history of suspect Charlie Samuel, a 50-year-old transient charged in the slaying.

Her blog entry doesn’t appear to be a defense of Samuel, but it sure castigates the local media for sensationalizing the suspect’s criminal past.
Others blogging the case include:
The Times put together an interesting story published today headlined “Collision of two LA worlds
Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

LA City Murders down in 2009

According to LA Weekly via LAist:

By LA Weekly’s count of every murder within Los Angeles city limits, we are at 168 as of yesterday when a taxi driver stabbed earlier this month died of his wounds. Compare that to last yearJuly 18th, there were 208 compared to the 162 this year as of that date. That’s a 22.1% decline in murders so far. Add to that, the murder rate has declined over the last few years. The LAPD’s consent decree ended last week, which in theory should let officers be more productive in some aspects, but some oppose the lifting of the decree. The ACLU contends that there are still problems within the department in regards to racial bias.

As for the SGV. There were several shootings over the weekend, none fatal. But Pasadena’s homicide rate seems to be well above last year’s.

Here’s the latest stats from our homicide map:

Homicides by City

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

US Attorney General Holder to visit LA

This from a Department of Justice press release:

Attorney General Holder will hold a press conference at the DEA’s Los Angeles field office to announce Recovery Act funds for the administration’s Southwest border strategy.  The Attorney General will be joined by Timothy J. Landrum, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Office; Ralph W. Partridge, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the San Diego Field Office; and local law enforcement officials.

Holder needs to be asked about federal efforts to infiltrate gangs working the neighborhoods of suburban Los Angeles. We’ll monitor the press conference and address Holder with some local questions that require federal answers.

Any suggestions for what we should ask?

Let me know…

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Toonerville crew arrested in connection with Mongol slaying

LAPD Press Release: 
On October 8, 2008, at 1:55 a.m., Manual Martin was riding his motorcycle on the eastbound 210 Freeway while transitioning to the southbound 2 Freeway in the city of Glendale.  A car pulled up next to him, and within a few seconds, the occupants fired thirteen shots. Martin was shot once in the chest and died within minutes.  Seven additional bullets hit his motorcycle.  The Glendale Police Department investigated the murder and identified the suspects as members of a local street gang.  Their investigation also revealed that the gang was responsible for other crimes.  
This from the Associated Press: 
Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton says officers have arrested 19 members of one of the city’s most violent gangs. 
The arrests Thursday by Los Angeles and suburban Glendale police  were the result of a 10-month investigation of the Toonerville gang.
After a member of the Mongols motorcycle gang was gunned down on Interstate 210 last
October, Glendale police used a wiretap and discovered key evidence that led to the arrests.
Police say four murder suspects, four attempted-murder or assault suspects and 12 drug
suspects were arrested in the early morning raid. Police found 48 guns in one house and 63 guns in all.
Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

MS13 linked to Homies Unidos in federal indictment

This from the AP. I’ll get a copy of the indictment up as soon as I have it:

LOS ANGELES – Federal and local authorities in the Los Angeles area have arrested the executive director of a high-profile anti-gang nonprofit organization as part of an action against the notorious Mara Salvatrucha street gang.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller says Alex Sanchez, who heads Homies Unidos, was arrested at his home in Bellflower early Wednesday on federal racketeering charges. In all, about eight people have been arrested.

The indictment names 24 members of Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, and alleges crimes including several murders, conspiracies to commit murder and narcotics offenses. Several of those named were already in custody.

Homies Unidos works to rescue kids from gangs in Los Angeles and Sanchez’s native El Salvador. A message left at the organization’s offices was not immediately returned

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email