Stephen Blackmoore

If The Name Fits

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Dec 132012
 
Los Angeles, CA

Everybody's got a schtick these days. Every comic's got their own brand of rubber chicken, every porn star's got their signature cum face, every politician has their own particular way of fucking you in the ass. But none so much as your lowly petty criminal.

Every bank robber gets a name based on some identifying characteristic. Goofy Hat, Floppy Hat, Overweight, Weather Girl, Irreconcilable Differences, Tic-Tac, Enormous Ears, WWF Shotgun, Cuecard and, my personal favorite, The Geezer.

But now we're seeing small fry getting in on the act. Seems there's a guy in the West Valley who's been hitting places with a lot less dough than your typical bank; Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Subway. Not places known for having vaults overflowing with cash.

His gimmick? He asks for a job application, pulls a gun and then walks with the contents of the register and safe. What are they calling him? The Job App Bandit, of course.

Seems an awful lot of work to me. I mean, why ask for the job application? Why give them time to memorize your face? Walk in, wave the gun around, get in, get out.
The hoodie-wearing African American man they're looking for is in his 20s, around 5 feet, 6 inches, 150 pounds, with large, dark-frame glasses, a dark backpack and a Raiders beanie.
Sure, there's no picture, but that's a better description than you usually get.  And the people giving the description are scared shitless because some asshole's shoving a gun in their faces.

Anyway, if you happen to work in a Starbucks keep an eye out for this guy and watch out if he asks you for a job. Clearly he's already got one.
Dec 052012
 
Los Angeles, CA

Today, 1,656 people will be buried in the Potter's Field at the Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights. They've been sitting in morgue drawers and then as collections of ashes for the last couple of years. These are the unclaimed, the unknown. These are the people who have come to the L.A. County Coroner's office and never left. They are the homeless, the homicides, the suicides, the people who have no next of kin. They are old men found in alleys and babies in dumpsters. They are drifters and locals. Common men and women who have no families, or none who are willing to speak up for them.

As such they don't get a grave to call their own, many don't even have names. Just a hole in the ground with the ashes of their morgue-mates.

This happens every December. After lingering in the morgue for two to three years hoping for identification, the bodies are cremated and, with as much respect as is possible, placed into a single grave.

The number goes up and down but it hovers around 1,600 to 1,700 people every year. The books get closed and the only thing that remains of the people they once were is a case number and maybe a photo in the County Unidentified Person's List.

If you know, or know of, someone who has gone missing in Los Angeles County, check that list. They have records going back to 1907. People disappear here all the time. Harrowing, yes. But sometimes it's better to know than not.

Not Exactly The Blackboard Jungle

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Nov 282012
 
The California Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Statistics Center released some interesting numbers for last year. Juvenile arrests are down by 20%, the lowest they've been since they started keeping track in 1954.

And we're talking across the board here. Homicides, rapes, violent assaults, property crime, the works. Drug arrests dropped a whopping 47% in the last year.

The report cites several possible reasons, but here's the one that really jumps out. Pot laws.

See, back in 2010 California passed SB 1449, which changed the laws around possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from a misdemeanor requiring an arrest, court date, jail time, etc. into (in most circumstances) an infraction.

You know, a ticket.

The effect?
The 2011 reform did reduce youth marijuana possession arrests by 61% in one year, from nearly 15,000 in 2010 to 5,800 in 2011, reducing overall drug and total arrests in tandem.
61%. Imagine that.

Now there are all sorts of arguments around this. It really depends on whether you see marijuana as the blight on society the same way Nixon did. I mean, technically, nothing's changed in the behavior. The kids are still getting high on reefer and listening to that devil jazz, or whatever the hell kids do when they're lighting up. Play the piano scene from Reefer Madness on an endless loop? Fuck, I don't know.

But a drop in arrests of 61% is important. That's 61% fewer kids sitting in a County jail cell. That's 61% fewer kids getting run through the state court system. That's 61% fewer kids learning to be better criminals in jail, or getting preyed upon by other inmates. That's 61% fewer kids finding out their lives are screwed before they even started.

And it's cheaper for the state. You want change? Hit the wallet. That almighty bottom line drives everything.

Don’t Order The Soup

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Sep 192012
 
Lomita, CA

Dawn Viens, the wife of Thyme Contemporary Cafe owner David Viens, went missing last year.

When David discovered that he was a suspect in her murder he tried to kill himself by throwing himself off a cliff in Palos Verdes, but survived.

Cops dug up the restaurant, went through the house. Couldn't find the body.

And now we have a pretty good idea why.

Prosecution has a recorded confession that popped up in court the other day of Mister Viens saying that not only did he kill her (he says it was an accident), but he got rid of the body by boiling it for four days until the meat just sort of floated off the bones. He mixed it with restaurant waste, tossed it down the grease pit and scattered the rest around town. The only piece he said he kept was her skull, which is supposedly in his mother's attic, but the cops haven't found it.

Wow. That's really fucked up. I mean, four days? Was the restaurant open at the time? Did people actually eat there while the body boiling was going on? I'm assuming the restaurant was a one man operation because I can't imagine you'd be able to hide that from your employees. God forbid they think it's the day's special and...

Ya know, I'm not even gonna finish that thought.

His Lazy Eye Brings All The Girls To The Yard

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Sep 132012
 
Los Angeles, CA

L.A. has a lot of faults, chief among them the myth that the city can make you a star. That somehow the glam and glitter of days gone by will rub off on you and leave you transformed. Men and women, boys and girls come from all over to hopefully get a chance to make it big. More often than not they're left battered and broken on the Walk of Fame.

It's easy to chalk it up to naivete, and for some of them yes, that's exactly the problem. But for others it's a burning desire to be famous, to be important. In short to be validated. And really, isn't that what we're all looking for? Validation?

It doesn't help that when you have an army of ready-made victims stepping off the Greyhound from Kansas every twenty minutes that you inevitably have the predators who want to feed off a piece of their souls.

Like Anthony Augustus Jefferson, or DJ Tone, who is wanted by the San Bernardino Police Department for sexual battery by false pretenses, false impersonation, indecent exposure, and theft.

He's allegedly been hitting up models and actresses claiming to be a talent agent in tight with rappers who have likely never heard of him and getting them to pay "business expenses", promising to reimburse the women and then disappearing in a cloud of cartoon dollar signs.

To make matters worse two women have filed claims that they had were fooled into having sex with him as part of "auditions". I'm willing to bet they're not the only ones.

He's a real catch.  Like a walleyed pike.
So if you know the whereabouts of Anthony, or have been the unfortunate recipient of his attentions, give Detective Rodrigues of the Bakersfield Police Department at 661-326-3870. He could use the help.

Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

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Sep 122012
 
Los Angeles, CA

Say you've just robbed a bank.  And it's not going well.

You've got cops crawling up your ass like they're looking for polyps. You've got helicopters buzzing overhead like pissed off vultures.  The news crews are tracking you on iPhone apps and your options are dropping faster than Dotcom stock options.

You know what you need?  A diversion.  Something you can toss out behind you to make things worse for the cops.  Like that chaff stuff on fighter jets.

But all you've got are these huge wads of cash...

Some guys knocked over a Bank of America this morning in Sylmar and took the cops on a merry jaunt that led them down near USC before they started chucking cash out of the car.

Didn't take the locals long to figure out what was going on, resulting in:

FREE MONEY!
That's right, the street filled up during a police pursuit with people looking to get hold of some sweet, sweet Benjamins.  Like tossing chum out for the sharks.

Didn't help the bank robbers any.  A couple who broke off on foot in Sylmar got away, but the rest got picked up by Sheriff's deputies when they, surprise, hit traffic.

You know one of the big questions in the interrogation room is going to be, "Which one of you geniuses thought this was a good idea?"

I don't think anybody's going to admit to that one.
Sep 052012
 
Los Angeles, CA

You know how in the movies somebody straps dynamite to somebody and tells them that if they don't rob a bank for them that they'll set it off?

Turns out that happens in real life, too.

Two masked men kidnapped the manager of a local Bank of America last night, strapped what they said was a bomb to her stomach and sent into an East L.A. branch with instructions to toss bags of money out the door.

Unsurprisingly, she did exactly that. I mean, what the hell is she going to do?

Once the bank robbers took off with the money the other people in the bank called the bomb squad, who promptly showed up and got rid of the device. No word yet on whether it was, in fact, a bomb.

It's happened before. Sadly, it'll probably happen again. Why? Because people are assholes.

Why can't they use, I don't know, weasels, or something? Weasels are terrifying. With their pointed teeth and Riki-Tiki-Tavi dance moves. "We're gonna strap these weasels to your nethers and unless you rob that bank we'll douse you with Drakkar Noir, which will send the weasels into a frenzy whereupon they will chew through your pants and devour your tender nibbly bits."

Yeah, that's a little too complicated, isn't it?

Man, I miss the Geezer Bandit. At least he was classy.
Jun 112012
 
Los Angeles, CA

There's a lot of trash on the sidewalks of Los Angeles. You can find all kinds of shit sitting in the gutter. Empty 40's of Colt .45, crack vials, used condoms, syringes.

And lungs.

L.A. Sheriff's Deputies responded to a call of a pair of lungs on the sidewalk in South Los Angeles last night around 8:30.

And when they got there, they looked at 'em and realized that they in fact do appear to be a pair of lungs. But accuracy is important in things like this and they're hedging their bets.

According to Sgt. Robert Dean of the LASD, "We don't know what they are," Dean said. "It's really weird."

They're not entirely sure that they're real, are actually lungs or are, in fact, even human. And now the L.A. County Coronor is taking over and will see if they're something like goat lungs or if we need to start worrying about serial killers who can't keep track of their internal organs.

My money's on goat, but a boy can dream.

Now That’s A Half-Time Show

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May 302012
 
Movies are big in L.A., in case you hadn't noticed. All types of movies. Summer blockbusters, RomComs, quirky indie hipster fare, gangbang porn films that cause a stink because they're filmed at the Coliseum.

Back in 2001 the adult film company Anabolic Video filmed The Gangbang Girl #32, with Kimberly Franklin as The Slutty Cheerleader, Gauge and Sienna as the Bitchy and Upset Stranded Girls respectively and Mr. Marcus as the Chief Perverted Mechanic/Football Player 9.

Bit of trivia, Mr. Marcus is a big fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Anyway, the problem is that in order for them to have filmed at the Coliseum and have access to the lights and grounds they would have needed permission. You don't just wander into the place and throw a switch and hope you can get done filming before the cops show up.

The cops, in fact, did show up. In a helicopter. And hovered there a bit while they were filming. Beats chasing liquor store robbers in South Central, I suppose.

Personally, I don't see the big deal. Fucking is legal. Filming fucking is legal. Last time I checked filming lots of people fucking was legal. And even when it's not it's often a pretty gray area. Hell, when the Times asked the California attorney general if it was illegal to film porn on state property, even they didn't know.

Now this would just be an embarrassing little blip on the radar except that this comes on the heels of last year's resignation of Coliseum General Manager Patrick Lynch, who, along with ex-events manager Todd DeStefano, was indicted this past March in a whopper of a corruption case involving kickbacks, bribery, embezzlement, conspiracy, the works.

So who authorized the video company's use of the Coliseum? And how much did they pay for the privilege?

And into whose pocket did the money go?

Be interesting to see if this shows up in Lynch's and DeStefano's hearings. The idea that a bunch of jurors will have to sit through a gangbang picture during a corruption trial makes me ridiculously happy.

They might not like it, though. It only got a 5.6 rating on IMDB.
May 042012
 
We're at it again, folks.



Noir At The Bar is back on May 20th at The Mandrake Bar in Culver City.

We've got another stellar lineup. Lisa Brackmann (GETAWAY, ROCK, PAPER, TIGER), Eric Stone (SHANGHAIED, FLIGHT OF THE HORNBILL), Brett Battles (THE DESTROYED, NO RETURN), Fingers Murphy (FOLLOW THE MONEY, THE FLAMING MOTEL) and Mystery Dawg.

Eric Beetner's got some short film he wants to show y'all. I have no idea what it is.

Here's hoping there are boobs in it.

And, of course, Mysterious Galaxy will be in the house selling some books.

We open up at 8:00pm and readings start at 9:00. That'll give you a chance to get your drink on. Partway through we'll have a short break so you can do a line in the bathroom grab another beer and stay good and drunk.

Because if you're not getting drunk, what the fuck are you doing in a bar in the first place?

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