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Apr 10, 2013

Tapes offer glimpse into manhunt for California ex-cop turned killer

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California couple tied up in their mountain cabin by a former policeman wanted by authorities for a grudge-driven killing spree told an emergency call operator that he had likely been hiding in there for days.

The conversation, contained in tapes made public on Wednesday, offered a glimpse into the dramatic final hours before the ex-cop, Christopher Dorner, died on Feb 12 after a shootout with police while he was barricaded in a second cabin.

Apr 10, 2013

Pilots’ texts contributed to Missouri air ambulance crash -NTSB

April 9 (Reuters) – The pilot of a medical helicopter that
crashed in Missouri in 2011, killing all four people on board,
was distracted by personal text messages that day and during
the fatal flight, federal safety investigators said on Tuesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board found that the text
messages were likely a contributing factor in the crash of the
medical air ambulance and prompted officials to recommend new
prohibitions on the use of portable electronic devices by flight
crew members.

Apr 8, 2013

Autopsy under way for son of evangelical pastor Rick Warren

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An autopsy was conducted on Monday on the body of the adult son of popular evangelical pastor Rick Warren, who was found dead on Friday with a gunshot wound, California coroner’s officials said on Monday.

Rick Warren said in a letter to staff of his Orange County-based Saddleback Valley Community Church that Matthew Warren, 27, committed suicide after a lifelong struggle with depression and mental illness.

Mar 26, 2013

Judge orders Manson Family tapes handed over to Los Angeles police

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A federal judge has ordered taped conversations between Manson Family killer Charles “Tex” Watson and his now-deceased defense lawyer turned over to Los Angeles police, who are investigating the cult’s possible involvement in old, unsolved murders.

The written order by District Judge Richard Schell in Texas, which was made public on Tuesday, upholds a ruling last year by a federal bankruptcy judge that was appealed by Watson, 67, who is serving a life prison term in California.

Mar 23, 2013

Bodybuilding icon Joe Weider dies in Los Angeles at 93

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Joe Weider, the fitness and bodybuilding guru who built a magazine empire that included such publications as Muscle and Fitness, Shape and Men’s Fitness, died on Saturday at the age of 93, his publicist said.

Weider, also known for creating the Mr Olympia bodybuilding contest and mentoring a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, died of heart failure, publicist Charlotte Parker said.

Mar 21, 2013

Los Angeles girl, 13, dies after inhaling computer cleaner

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A popular 13-year-old honor student found dead in her bedroom earlier this week was apparently killed after inhaling a can of computer cleaner to get high, school officials said on Thursday, in a rare “huffing” death that stunned her affluent Los Angeles neighborhood.

Aria Doherty, a popular student at Alfred B. Nobel Middle School in the upscale Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles, was pronounced dead in her home on Monday evening after she was found unresponsive by her older sister.

Mar 15, 2013

Police say missing Hollywood executive was likely murdered

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Detectives have uncovered evidence that a Hollywood studio executive who mysteriously vanished 10 months ago was murdered, even though they have yet to find his body, law enforcement officials said on Thursday.

Gavin Smith, a 57-year-old film distribution executive for 20th Century Fox, was last seen on the night of May 1, 2012, driving in his black Mercedes Benz away from a friend’s house in Oak Park, northwest of Los Angeles.

Mar 14, 2013

L.A. police say missing Hollywood executive was likely slain

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Detectives are investigating the disappearance of a Hollywood studio executive as a homicide 10 months after he vanished under suspicious circumstances, and are seeking the public’s help in solving the high-profile case, authorities said on Thursday.

Gavin Smith, a 57-year-old film distribution executive for 20th Century Fox, was last seen on the night of May 1, 2012, driving in his black Mercedes Benz away from a friend’s house in the community of Oak Park, northwest of Los Angeles.

Mar 13, 2013

LA school district to settle elementary school abuse claims

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Unified School District has agreed to a multimillion-dollar settlement with 58 current and former students at a school where an ex-teacher was accused of taking bondage-style photos of pupils, a lawyer for the district said on Tuesday.

The settlement would resolve nearly half of the 129 claims filed by former students of Miramonte Elementary School, attorney David Holmquist said.

Mar 12, 2013

Three charged with hazing in California student’s death

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Prosecutors in California charged three former members of a now-closed Fresno State fraternity on Tuesday with misdemeanor hazing in connection with the death last year of a pledge who died of alcohol intoxication during initiation.

Leonard Louis Serrato, 28, Aaron Joseph Raymo, 24, and Daniel Woodard Baker, 22, were charged with one count each of hazing and providing alcohol to a person under the age of 21. They face a possible sentence of six months to a year in jail and $5,000 fine if convicted at trial.