Monday, May 31, 2010

Wow, Los Angeles Times digger Phil Willon got hammered coming and going in his effort to expose the scandal in which Antonio Villaraigosa has failed to report what could amount to tens of thousands of dollars in freebies so he could attend sport, concert and awards events.

First, the inimitable John Schwada at Channel 11 scooped the Times with his embarrassing report about Villaraigosa's bizarre reasoning that he's above the rules in accepting free tickets. Second, the Times rushed its story into the Saturday, May 29, holiday weekend edition -- a paper seen by so few people that politicians often choose this date to release ugly info about themselves.

Third, Willon's story was ruined by one of the most inept headlines ever, and his lead was deeply, deeply buried by an inept editor:

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A man who was found shot to death in an alley in South Los Angeles May 30 has been identified as 20-year-old Claudio Johnson.

Johnson was discovered by Los Angeles Police Department officers around 7 am in the 5900 block of South Figueroa Street. Johnson was lying in an alleyway behind his house and had been shot. The Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to the scene and pronounced Johnson dead.

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A 21-year-old man who was shot in the head during a home-invasion robbery in Panorama City has been identified as Diego Frausto.

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The shooting occurred at 9:38 p.m. May 26 in the 8900 block of Greenbush Avenue.

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Does Los Angeles County own you a piece of $45 million? You could easily be one of the 25,200 people the county can't "find" who got screwed shortly after the last California housing bubble collapse in 1991. If you don't know the squirmingly familiar lessons from that disaster, read "Unreal Estate" published in 1993 in the now-defunct L.A. Times Sunday magazine.

If you owned a home or condo in 1993, don't get screwed again. In the early 1990s, L.A. County royally messed up its refunds to people whose homes had tanked in value, who overpaid their property taxes as a result, and who were owed a refund. L.A. County owes thousands of people an average of $641 -- but some big property owners like big corporations are owed far more, and some little owners are owed only a couple of dollars.

Here's who to contact for your money:

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The Beresford-Redmans.
  • The Beresford-Redmans.
A day after a memorial was held for Monica Beresford-Redman, reports indicated that Mexican prosecutors on Monday would recommend murder charges against her husband, former Survivor producer Bruce Beresford-Redman.

However, as slow as the investigation has been into her early April death in Cancun, the process of bringing charges against a suspect seems to be just as deliberate in Mexico: A judge will weigh the prosecutors' case before officially bringing possible charges against Bruce Beresford-Redman, if that happens at all.

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An officer throws a regulation kick. - YOUTUBE
  • YouTube
  • An officer throws a regulation kick.
The Los Angeles Police Department launched an investigation over the weekend after an officer was spotted apparently throwing a kick toward a bicyclist involved in a demonstration against British Petroleum Friday night in Hollywood.

At least 400 bicyclists (organizers say it was 600 to 1,000) showed up for the ride to a BP station in Beverly Hills to protest the company's role in the Gulf oil spill. It's not clear what precipitated the cop's action on Hollywood Boulevard near Highland Avenue, but after the camera man appeared to have yelled, "Wow, wow, wow -- what the f--- was that for," he says he was tackled and detained.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Suspect Wozniak.
  • Suspect Wozniak.
The head of a young Orange County man who was allegedly killed by a stage actor was found this weekend in a Long Beach park, police said. We told you Friday about the deaths of 26-year-old Samuel Eliezer Herr, whose body was dismembered, and his friend, 23-year-old Irvine resident Juri Julie Kibuishi, who was lured to her death via text messages from Herr's phone, police say. OC Weekly has this shocking statement from Costa Mesa police: "This morning, after two three days of searching, search teams at El Dorado Park in Long Beach located the missing severed head of Costa Mesa homicide victim Samual Herr. "

The suspect in the case, stage actor Daniel Patrick Wozniak, 26, was under arrest. The motive, authorities indicated, might have been $2,000 withdrawn from Herr's bank account via ATM. More from OC Weekly.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wozniak, in character, in a photo posted on his MySpace page.
  • Wozniak, in character, in a photo posted on his MySpace page.
A strange story was brewing Friday as authorities searched a Long Beach park for body parts and a 27-year-old stage actor, Dan Wozniak, was arrested on suspicion of murdering a local college student and his female friend. Those parts apparently belong to the male victim, 26-year-old Samuel Eliezer Herr. The woman, 23-year-old Irvine resident Juri Julie Kibuishi, was found dead in Herr's apartment by the student's father last week. He was originally believed to be the suspect until information allegedly led to Wozniak (and Herr's torso was subsequently found). Wozniak is suspected of using Herr's mobile phone to woo Kibuishi to the student's apartment. Much more from our sister publication OC Weekly.

An ex-con pleaded guilty this afternoon to the murder of Lily Burk, a 17-year-old Los Feliz girl who was kidnapped and later killed inside her car near downtown Los Angeles.

  • Lily Burk
Charlie Samuel, 50, avoided the death penalty by pleading to the July 24, 2009 slaying. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Samuel, a transient with a history of crimes, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, kidnapping to commit robbery, second-degree robbery, attempted first-degree ATM robbery, carjacking and kidnapping for carjacking. He also admitted special circumstance allegations of murder during a carjacking, murder during a kidnapping and murder during a robbery.

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Los Angeles artist Shepard Fairey was warned by a judge in New York Friday that he would likely lose a copyright case brought by Associated Press over his use of an AP photo for his iconic Hope posters, and that he should seek a settlement, according to AP.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein said, " ... Whether it's sooner or later, The Associated Press is going to win" the case. Fairey has argued that his use of the photo is covered by the legal "fair use" doctrine and alleges that AP itself has used copyrighted images in the past without permission.

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