LAPD Faces Accusations of Inaction in Silver Lake Cyclist Hit and Run

jen_bleeding.jpgHere’s an incredibly disturbing story from LiveJournal about local cyclist Jen Diamond’s horrifying hit-and-run experience and the LAPD’s apparent slothlike response despite the availability of eye witnesses, a driver description and plate numbers:

There were witnesses beyond the two riders who were with her when she was hit. Men in a Jeep traveling south on Alvarado saw the whole of the incident. They witnessed a white Honda Civic swerve out of its lane and hit Jen from behind at full-speed without slowing. The witness stated that the maneuver appeared intentional, as the Honda was tracking straight before and after the collision.

The impact launched her in to the air and instantly smashed her rear bicycle wheel. Between impact and landing her wrist was snapped in two places. Her knuckles were shredded. Her shoes were knocked off. Her feet were abraded. Debris was lodged in to her grated-open forehead.

The witnesses made a u-turn and gave chase. They recorded the license plate of the Honda and were able to get a look at the driver. The Honda driver escaped at speed. The witnesses returned to the scene and gave a statement to the police that suggested at the very least vehicular assault, possibly attempted murder and incontrovertbily described a serious case of felony hit-and-run.

The crux of the problem is that they’re classifying it as a regular traffic accident and investigating it accordingly. Despite the fact that somebody intentionally ran this woman down with their car. More photos, case numbers and phone numbers over at the source if you want to raise a stink about it with the appropriate people. It’s also a good reminder how important it is to respect everyone you’re sharing the road with. I’ve had people swerve at me, honk at me or gun their engines thinking it was funny to try to scare the guy on the bike. Not only is not funny, it’s not safe or legal and if it goes wrong and you hit me you could be going to jail for a very long time.

From abLA :: Happy Halloween 2006


Ruth666 blogged about the Nevermore exhibition earlier this month – now exhibition and reception images are online. What better way to celebrate halloween this year than an amazing exhibition of photographs taken on the sets of the Roger Corman directed Edgar Allan Poe films starring the fantastic Vincent Price?…continue reading

Image from Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Got a Helio? Get Metblogs!

helio150.jpgWe just made a pretty exciting announcement – You can now read all the Metroblogging sites, including super easily from any Helio mobile device. Of course if you don’t have a Helio then this isn’t *that* exciting for you, but for those of us who do it’s pretty awesome. We’re right off of the main Helio web start page under “Surf Helio” next to The Onion and Maxim. Full announcement is here. Enjoy!

Murder Investigations and Convictions Up Since 1851

I’m really enjoying Google Book’s archive of public domain texts of which every page is searchable using their excellent search engine. I’ve been looking for some good Halloween stuff from a century ago, and I found this interesting tidbit about murders and their investigation from A History of California: The American Period which quotes the Star from 1851:

During the past year no less than thirty-one murders have been committed in the city of Los Angeles and its vicinity and who can name one instance in which a murderer was punished.

The next page gets even better:

Prisoners confined in the city jail were nearly always able to escape with the aid of friends or through connivance of the guard.

Nice, well at least that isn’t usually a problem any more. The book goes on to describe an act of mob justice in which three men were hanged, only to later find out that he was innocent, oops. I will say the current rate of unsolved LA murders is around 50%, so while there has been improvement, we still have a long way to go.

Reading further, it keeps getting better and better. I seems there was a man named Joaquin Murietta, who became some what of a Southern California Robin Hood. a $5,000 bounty was put on his head, literally and he was eventually killed by a band of rangers, under the command of the ironically named Captain Love, near Tejon Pass. They ended up pickling Murietta’s head in alcohol along with one of his chief lietenants “Three Fingered Jack’s” hand. The items were sold at auction and went for $36 and then later sold to a merchant named Natches for display in his store window.

10 Reasons Why I’ll Probably Never Return to Knott’s Halloween Haunt

ratguy.JPG On Friday night, I returned to Knott’s Berry Farm’s Halloween Haunt for the first time since I was a high school junior 10 years ago. My experience then was great, and I was excited about checking out the new mazes, rides, and recurring shows (e.g., the Hanging). Either nothing about my last visit sucked, or I just blocked it out because the whole experience was much scarier, and not in a good way.

I’m sure there are thousands of people who attend Halloween Haunt, love it, and can’t wait to return. I’m not one of those, and here are 10 reasons why (after the jump):
Continue reading 10 Reasons Why I’ll Probably Never Return to Knott’s Halloween Haunt

The Rest Of My Office Is Lame

In my office today, the Internet department has the highest concentration of people in costumes. There are six people dressed up in here – and three people dressed up in the entire rest of the company. Of course, this is because we have a reputation for being crazy Internet people, but still! Where is everyone’s Hallowe’en spirit??

So this leads me to ask – how many of you out there have offices that dressed up for Hallowe’en? Did anyone get encouraged to wear costumes? Did anyone’s office issue policies for costumes – exposed skin limits, size restrictions (Transformers tend to knock stuff over), any sort of guidelines? Are there any offices that made it a policy like Wacky Tie Day, which is to say, you don’t have to express yourself, unless you want to look like you’re not part of the team?

And, most importantly, does anyone have someone in a REALLY cool costume in their office? We’ve got a Cruella de Vil here who has a fantastic costume in her own right, but it becomes exceptionally awesome because she’s also wearing dalmatian-spotted roller skates.

I’m sitting at my desk wearing a Red Riding Hood cape over a tank top and jeans, which is a perfectly acceptable level of dress up. I refrained from wearing my entire costume into the office, because it involves a very short dress. But I’ll put that on at the end of the day, just before I head out to the WeHo Parade. If anyone’s looking for me up there, I’ll be the goth Red Riding Hood (“Little Dead Riding Hood”) wandering around with the Victorian era undertaker. In the meantime, I’ll be working with my hood up for the rest of the day, so I can hide my illicit headphones and listen to the new Cruxshadows album while working.

The Ultimate Los Angeles Trick or Treat Guide! horrors! I may be setting the bar high by calling this “the ultimate” guide to trick or treating in Los Angeles, but the higher the bar, the less chance of decapitation, right?

Here’s a few ideas of where to terrify the kids this evening…

The House at Haunted Hill – 4400 Saltillo Street, Woodland Hills
Since the demise of the Hallowed Haunting Grounds, the House on Haunted Hill is considered by some to be the best frontyard haunt in all of Los Angeles. They eagerly invite trick or treaters to pay a visit, and so far no children have been reported missing after knocking on their door.

The Nightmare on Elm Street House – 1428 N. Genesee, Los Angeles
One, two, Freddy’s coming for you… no, wait – that’s a realtor! I’m not sure if this home is occupied or not, as it’s up for sale, but all the better reason to ring the bell and see who, or what, might open the door.

Site of the Michael Myers killing spree – 1537 Orange Grove, Hollywood
To clarify, the site of his first killing spree. For locations of his other stab fests, click here.

Black Dahlia Crime Scene –  Norton Ave. at Coliseum Dr., Leimart Park
While I won’t give a specific street address (thats what Google is for), what could be creepier than trick or treating on the same ground that Elizabeth Short’s killer carefully arranged her severed body nearly sixty years ago?

Dan Ackroyd’s haunted house – 7708 Woodrow Wilson Dr., Hollywood Hills
This home reportedly inspired Ackroyd to write Ghostbusters after witnessing assorted types of supernatural activity.
Continue reading The Ultimate Los Angeles Trick or Treat Guide!

West Hollywood Halloween Antics

Okay, so I am a bit Scroogish when it comes to Halloween Festivities…. but I DO like to party. So tonight, as many Halloween nights before, I will most likely join the 50,000 or so other Angelenos and walk along Santa Monica Blvd to enjoy the freaky, sometimes scary sights. I guarantee you, I will see something that blows my mind. Now… what to wear… what to wear…. cuz you don’t even want to THINK about showing up for this party without a costume!!! Check here for details.
UPDATE: I got it wrong: 500,000 reveler’s are expected to show up! Yikes!!!!

Metrohaunting L.A. is too scary for you, here’s some Halloween happenings elsewhere on the Metroblogging network.

Liz Henry snapped this pic of a hearse with antlers attached to the hood and a coffin on the roof for Metroblogging San Francisco.

In our nation’s capital, Michael beats down some drunkards while dressed as a zombie (and a little drunk himself).

“Does any city do Halloween better that Montreal?” Metroblogging Montreal’s Lisa Hunter doesn’t think so… alas, I have to give it to the Canadians that I agree with their holiday view: “Most other places, Halloween is just an excuse to dress up… What’s been lost amidst all the candy and fairy princess costumes is the idea that Halloween should be genuinely scary.”

Metroblogging Montreal’s Laiya reminisces about past Halloweens.
Continue reading Metrohaunting

Los Angeles Public Library Circa 1921

Researching some potentially spooky stuff about Los Angeles on google books, I found this interesting old and thus public domain book called the Libraries of Los Angeles and Vicinity which talks about the Los Angeles Public Library (although it didn’t have a hyperlink back then natch). Around when the book was written, the library occupied floors 7 through 10 at the Metropolitan Building on Broadway and 5th. The books talks about the LAPL’s vast Californian and Latin-American literature collection as well as it’s extensive genealogy and pre-1855 journeys through California. I am planning on spending some time at the Library with my mom this week, I’ll see if I can find some interesting old works about traveling through California in the 19th century. The book also mentions a two million dollar bond that was just approved for the Library’s future headquarters, which I am guessing is its current location.

Where To See Borat?

So I am somewhat saddened by the fact that the Borat movie won’t be showing at my favorite theater, the Arclight, boo! I am further saddened by the possibility that I may have to drive to Santa Monica or Paramount to catch the flick on opening night. Anybody know where else this movie will be showing in LA, preferably somewhere near Downtown? Also here is what the Arclight sent me when I asked them about the movie:

We appreciate your enthusiasm and loyalty to ArcLight. Unfortunately, we
will not be showing the “Borat Movie” while we wish we could showcase every
film that excites our guests, we find ourselves restricted from time to
time. The movie theater business works in what are referred to as
“Competitive Zones.” These are geographical areas determined by population
and theater location, to prevent the theaters from monopolizing or
overloading a certain area with a certain movie. It actually works in favor
of theater companies and theater guests in the long run. Hollywood is a
prime example of a competitive zone. Only one theatre in our geographical
area may have a film at any particular time. At ArcLight Hollywood we work
hard to obtain the major studio’s product while balancing that with
independent and limited releases that we know our Guests enjoy so much.

Grumble, grumble, unassigned seats, grumble grumble, cell phones, grumble grumble talking during the movie… =[

Update I am guessing this has something to do with Fox cutting the number of showing locations by nearly two thirds from 2000 to 800 and then expanding it the next weekend. The Times has an article about the release, I think they coined the term for Borat’s bathing suit, calling it a “neon green sling bikini.”

Los Angeles Haunted Places

I just saw this page linked off of digg. It lists haunted places in LA… Spoooky! I’m not one to believe in ghosts, but who knows, anything is possible.

Los Angeles – Palace Theatre – The vaudeville-era Palace at 6th and Broadway is said to be extensively haunted by spectral stage workers and theatre guests. One of the seats near the front of the house supposedly is haunted by a man who was shat there when discovered out on a date with the wrong woman. Two old stage hands bicker in the wings. When a show stinks, the spirits make their opinion known by lobbing invisible rotten eggs at the stage. Ghost hunters have identified nearly two dozen individual hauntings in the building. There is some mischievous activity, but nothing particularly scary.

Los Angeles – Los Angeles Pet Cemetery – The Little Rascal’s dog Petey, Hop along Cassidy’s Horse and Mary Pickford’s dog are all interred here. However, the dead animal that does the most haunting here is Kabar, a Great Dane that belonged to Rudolf Valentino. The dog died in 1929 but it’s playful phantom is still reported panting or licking people that wander near it’s grave.

Los Angeles – Downtown – Cabin The First Interstate Bldg. (now called the AON building) – The building on wilshire burned down on may 4, 1988. An engineer was riding the elevator when the doors opened on the 12th floor, the place where the fire was taking place. When they found his body it was shriveled and burnt. Janitors have reported hearing noises and lights switching on and off on the eleventh floor as well as the 32nd floor. Also, a couple of people commited suicide by jumping off the top. One man jumped ’cause his wife left him. Another lady a couple of years back, in the 90’s. Her intestines were hanging off the trees. But many claim the entire building is damned.

Los Angeles – The Coliseum – In the 1960s a man fell off the top floor of the sports complex to his death. Many people thought that he had been pushed, but the court ruled it an accidental death. On night games towards the end of the game an apparition of a man is seen on the top floor of the complex as well as the sounds of screaming and a loud CRUNCH.

Los Angeles – Angel City Brewery – Formerly Pabst Blue Ribbon, this complex houses one of largest artist colony in the world. Upon ascending the stairs in the main building leading up to the rooftop, many voices could be heard. It sounds like a hundred muted conversations going on at the same time. The sound of trains and freeway traffic are audible until reaching the rooftop. Once on the roof, even the visible freeway traffic and rail yard is dead silent.

Los Angeles – LA County Museum of Arts (LACMA) – According to security guards, a woman was shot by her husband because she was sleeping with other men. She is now a very active spirit supposedly begging men who visit the building that see her to (to put it nicely) have sex with her as well as playing with the electrical system. Contractors doing work at the site have left in fear and never come back.

Update: I should point out (as many diggers did) that anyone can add a ghost story to that page, the veracity of these stories are questionable at best.

More after the jump…
Continue reading Los Angeles Haunted Places