If you ever do that to me again, I’ll throw you off this [bleeping] balcony … You’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.
Chronicling Los Angeles’ “death alley” and beyond

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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.

Examine the new Homicide Report right here, and feel free to reach out with any feedback you may have on how we can improve our efforts.

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.
Read the full story over at Nation Now.
Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

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.

Read the full story over at Nation Now.

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

It was the first time I was in the paper and nobody got shot.
Our favorite Column Ones of the year

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.

He’s tough enough to be a Sissy in Wyoming

Longtime cross-dresser Sissy Goodwin of Douglas, Wyo., has been anything but weak as he stands up to bigotry in the Cowboy State…

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At 93, this Rosie is still riveting

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…

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Young militants ready to die, eager to kill

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.”…

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A day in the strawberry fields seems like forever

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…

South L.A. student finds a different world at Cal

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

Our advertising used to be pretty weird in the 1950s.

Our advertising used to be pretty weird in the 1950s.

theonion:

Today In Print

The Onion ends its print edition exactly the way we hoped it would - with a laugh.

theonion:

Today In Print

The Onion ends its print edition exactly the way we hoped it would - with a laugh.

test reblogged from theonion

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

Before the news broke

latimespast:

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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

Our predecessors, perhaps under the influence of partisanship, or of strong drink, as was common in the profession at the time, called President Lincoln’s words ‘silly remarks,’ deserving ‘a veil of oblivion…’

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.

npr:

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.
via Notorious jewel thief Doris Payne, 83, makes news in Palm Desert - latimes.com
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.

npr:

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.

via Notorious jewel thief Doris Payne, 83, makes news in Palm Desert - latimes.com

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

The nightmare before Christmas in Koreatown

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.

Documenting Brazil’s vitality

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?


You can follow Chavez on his Instagram account, or keep tabs on our own site, if you’re not so Instagram-inclined.

L.A. Times Past: Times critic was early champion of Elton John

latimespast:

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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