Forget the Little Old Lady from Pasadena — unless she's Norman Bates' mother. This weekend the folks at the macabre bus tour company Esotouric delve into Pasadena Confidential — that is, all things grim and grisly about our staid neighbor to the north. The tours strive to be “provocative and complex, but never dry, mixing crime and social history, rock and roll and architecture, literature and film, fine art and urban studies into a simmering stew of original research and startling observations.”

This popular four-hour tour will look at 100 years of Pasadena's dark side, from its early days being, as Philip Marlowe once described, “a wealthy close-mouthed provincial town,” to the mysterious — and deadly — explosion of the home of JPL swinger/occultist Jack Parsons, to the beating death of David Lynch actor Jack Nance.

Other Esotouric outings have included Black Dahlia and Raymond Chandler-themed tours, and are the brainchildren of Kim Cooper and Nathan Marsak, who created the late, lamented 1947 Project. See Esotouric site for details.

I, Swinger: Rocket scientist Jack Parsons

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