A two mile corridor of South Vermont Ave. has become one of the most dangerous areas in the country, with sixty people killed in the area since 2007. And that stretch borders Westmont, a county that ranks as among L.A.’s most dangerous.
Westmont’s homicide figure is about the same as the combined total in Highland Park, Glendale, Pasadena, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park and Atwater Village, an area with 14 times as many residents and some neighborhoods that have experienced gang problems of their own.
Our newly-revamped Homicide Report will be keeping an eye on Westmont’s continued problems, along with documenting every other killing in L.A. County that may otherwise fall through the cracks.
Reporter Nicole Santa Cruz will continue to speak to families and neighborhoods impacted by tragedy, and our database of those who have fallen since 2007 continues to improve.
Family reunited by an AP photo
Nicholas Simmons vanished from his parents’ home in New York on New Year’s Day, only to be rediscovered by Associated Press photographer Jacquelyn Martin, who was documenting the winter cold in Washington, D.C.
Said Martin of their coincidental meeting:
"It struck me how young he was. I again introduced myself and shook his hand. He said his name was Nick."
She took her photos, filed them to the news wire, but after her work was featured in USA Today, Simmons’ parents realized that their son was in D.C., and the family was soon reunited.
Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press
This year we launched a revamped series of top-notch, longer features online, our so-called “Column One.” Out of the hundreds that have been published, we wanted to pick out some of our favorites before the year’s end.
Longtime cross-dresser Sissy Goodwin of Douglas, Wyo., has been anything but weak as he stands up to bigotry in the Cowboy State…
Elinor Otto picked up a riveting gun in World War II, joining the wave of women taking what had been men’s jobs. These days she’s building the C-17…
Abdul Wali Fadaei is 17 and serving a four-year term at an Afghan rehabilitation center for planning a suicide attack. When he gets out, he’ll “decide about trying again.”…
He [reporter Hector Becerra] finds kindness and camaraderie with Mexican immigrants picking strawberries. But he falls far behind as his back tightens and his muscles burn…
Kashawn Campbell overcame many obstacles to become a straight-A student. But his freshman year at UC Berkeley shook him to the core…
Cockroach farms multiplying in China
Farmers are pinning their future on the often-dreaded insect, which when dried goes for as much as $20 a pound - for use in Asian medicine and in cosmetics…
Photos: Genaro Molina, Al Seib, Bethany Mollenkof, Wang Xuhua / Los Angeles Times, Kamran Jebreli / Associated Press
The manhunt for Christopher Dorner
A series of murders and subsequent manhunt that seized the nation’s attention earlier this year has been a disjointed puzzle - one that we’re aiming to solve with a lengthy report on the Christopher Dorner killings and manhunt.
The story starts the moment Dorner published his lengthy manifesto:
Inside Room 116 of the Hi View Inn & Suites in Manhattan Beach, he stared at his Facebook page and a lifetime’s worth of grudges. It is not clear how long he had labored on the unusual document on the screen.
It was a rambling, free-associating screed in which he asserted firm opinions on politicians, journalists, comedians and television shows. It was a brew of hatreds, a sustained cry of self-pity and self-justification, and a blueprint.
One touch of a button would make it public, once people knew where to look.
Read the first chapter in our five-part look back at the search for Dorner, and its violent conclusion, here.
Artwork by Doug Stevens
Most people who were alive on Friday, Nov. 22, 1963, don’t remember much about Thursday the 21st — the day before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated 50 years ago this week.
Above, you can see the front page of the Los Angeles Times that was delivered to people’s homes on Nov….
A peek into how an inconspicuous day can turn into one with grave historical implications.
test reblogged from latimespast
For years, the official story about Charles Erickson was that he began to have visions, lost memories that suddenly resurfaced in 2003.
That he’d blacked out and killed a Missouri newspaper editor two years earlier.
That he’d done the killing with a friend.
That they were murderers.
Doris Payne — demure, elegant and 83 — is a thief, as prolific and subtly conniving as they come. She doesn’t use muscle and she doesn’t rely on guns.
Instead, between numerous stints behind bars, for 50 years she has leaned on charming misdirection to steal pricey jewelry from unsuspecting merchants all over the globe.
Photo: Courtesy of the documentary “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne”
Read a little more about her in this 2005 profile piece. — Tanya B.
test reblogged from npr
Reporter Joseph Serna took a different approach to reporting on a fateful dare in Koreatown earlier today:
'Twas the nightmare before Christmas, for one man in K-Town.
He got stuck in a chimney Friday, about 30 feet down.
He climbed in the passageway because of a dare.
His only hope of rescue: that L.A firefighters would be there.
For four long, cramped hours, his friends tried to save him.
But as sunrise approached, his chances looked slim.
Firefighters were called; the chimney was just 18 inches wide.
They looked through the top, the bottom — thought of cutting open the side.
In the end, the 20-year-old was freed. He managed to shimmy out.
But there’s vandalism to the chimney that cops are citing him about.
The pals were drinking and daring, Sgt. Raul Pedroza said.
They were doing “silly things,” not using their heads.
Serna recounted the process that led to a bit of journalistic poetry:
I was reading out loud what a possible lead could be, thinking of playing off the idea of a man stuck in a chimney so Christmas coming early, or just the idea of not following through on a dare.
Then Kimi [one of our editors] said what this kid when through was “a nightmare before Christmas.”
When I wrote “It was the nightmare before Christmas,” in my head I reflexively began reciting the Twas the Night Before Christmas poem. So I went with it!
For the full story, making up for its lack of rhyme with solid reporting, head over to L.A. Now.
Our own photography whiz Michael Robinson Chavez is currently on a month-long assignment in Brazil, and what better way to keep the world updated on his travels than Instagram?
In a recent interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s "Fresh Air," Elton John mentions former Times music critic Robert Hilburn’s review of a 1970 concert at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. When a Times editor, Henry Fuhrmann, pointed it out to Hilburn, this was his response.
test reblogged from latimespast