Thursday, August 11, 2011

Crime Scene Tours

Homicide, rape, and drug overdose, all normal things we here about on a daily basis here in LA. Now you can take a closer look with the

Crime Scene Tours
Thursday thru Sunday 9:30am, 1:30pm
Behind Grauman's Chinese Theater on Orange in the circular parking lot.

It first started in 2001 and lasted til 2003. But this Summer it was reborn June 15. Crime Scene Tours is a way for officers to interact with people and tell them how crimes went down. Your led by a tour guide, mine was Grant with 23 years on the force, LAPD. Nice guy, answered all my questions.

Bam! Not a gunshot or an explosive going off, the first thing you might notice that makes the tour stand out is the Crime Scene Tour bus itself. What's red and black and has yellow crime tape all over? The bus that will be taking you through LA's big name murders, suicides and robberies.

 River Phoenix died of a drug overdose, right here. Because he was a celeb, the police were called in to make sure it wasn't a murder or something else. That's procedure, you have to call it in, because so many other celeb murders are put into question over death. Even though it seems to commonly be drug overdose. Grant explained the whole convoluted process, but with dead celebrities best to play it safe

We started with the Black Dahlia and the Hillside Stranglers, if your into L.A. Noire it's a nice little send up to what inspired the game. You also get a nice history lesson on the formation of the LAPD. How murders were handles and investigated and new groups were formed within the LAPD to handle cases.
 One of the stops was Whiskey a Go Go where Charles Manson use to play. Did you know he was a musician? Little gems you can bring up at parties are abound and after your done with the tour you"ll be sure to point out where people were murdered to friends.

John Belushi died of a hot load, he was doing a speed ball which is cocaine and heroine mixed together and injected into your blood stream. I only wish the current cast of SNL would die more tragically then him. As we past another famous place to stay in LA.

This street seems normal to you, well it ain't, the Mendez Brothers killed the parents with shotguns here. There cold- blooded weirdos. To kill your own parents with a shotgun? Grant explained there was time in between their Mom and Dad's murder that the Mom was trying not to be killed. What's crazier is how close the Beverly Hills Police Department was, just a few blocks.

Other weird thing, so the Mendez Brothers were rich only because of their Dad who owned and created Live Entertainment, what's Live Entertainment today? Artisan Entertainment owned by Lions Gate. It might just be Lions Gate from now on.

In other strange connections Live distributed Pioneer Entertainment or some of the first anime in the US like Tenchi Muyo and released Reservoir Dogs from Quentin Tarantino. It's also connected to FHE or Family Home Entertainment which produced a lot of VHS for cartoons and kid shows back in the 90's.

Here's what the Mendez brother did from Wikipedia
"Jose was shot point-blank in the back of the head with a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun. Kitty, awakened by the shots, sprang from the couch and made a run for the hallway but was shot in the leg, causing it to break. She then slipped in her own blood that had run down her leg and fell, then was shot several times in the arm, chest, and face, leaving her unrecognizable. Both Jose and Kitty were then shot in the kneecap in an attempt to make the crime appear mob related. The brothers then drove off and dumped their shotguns on Mulholland Drive and bought tickets at a local movie theater, seeing the movie License to Kill"

License to Kill was a bad choice for an alibi 

Back to murder, though O.J. wasn't sentenced for it , you can visit the horrible, well actually it looks kind of nice now murder scene of Nicole. You go through the case and for me it was like stepping into all the days ruined by the trial so I couldn't watch TV. You go over  how far fetched it was that O.J. was set free. He's in jail right now for stealing memorabilia of himself.

Creepy thing I was reminded, he had custody of his kids. Second, they were sleeping inside the building when Nicole was murdered. Grant explained the sad procedure of having to figure a way out of the back so they wouldn't have to see their mother dead.
 Grant went over how much blood was in the street, which was way to much. Did you know a blood cover dog led people to the crime?
 Here's a quick shot of Peet's Coffee that use to be another cafe, but since O.J. liked going to the old one no one ever wanted to go back. It was bought multiple times an is now a Peet's coffee.
 Vitello's now with a free glass of water as soon as you sit down. Bad joke, if you don't get it, and I wouldn't have either without some back story. You see Blake definitely killed his wife there and in a very odd slip of his tongue kept asking for a glass of water after he told people his wife was shot. So it be like, "Hey my wife's been shot! Can I have a glass of water?" kind of extremely odd.
Filmmaker Sean Stanek lives here still and was  asked for a cup of water by Blake after most likely shooting his wife.

I got to say we did have some dark humor jokes I really enjoyed at the expense of the murderers. If you want a place to enjoy your dark sense of humor this is it.

Just to make sure these are my assumptions about the murders, but you know for legal reasons the
Crime Scene Tour follows by how it was judged in court, but breaks down how implausible it is that Blake and others are innocent.

Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, commenting on this ruling, called Blake a "miserable human being" and the jurors "incredibly stupid."

Fun fact, do you know what the term "Bag  hands" is in police speak. Well, it's exactly as it sounds. Officers can put your hands in bags, paper bags, and then put rubber bands around them. Now, there's a chemical they"ll put in the bag and if you've shot a gun, your hands gonna change color and the chemical can be traced to the gun you've fired.

I got that from the Blake murder, where the officers didn't do that.

 One of the biggest highlights in a slow block by block description with never are hard to find footage of the North Hollywood shoot out, if you can see above the people living in the house near the shootout are extremely lazy and have not fixed the holes in their garage.  The house with the bullets in it is extremely shady, the owner has 4 cars and small poodle which looked very well kept, so they have the money it looked like to fill the holes.

Seeing the footage of the shootout and the great commentary by Grant was a nice touch. You learned how fast it was over, but how powerful a gun fight it was.

Lastly, the ride back was that of hearing about the LA riots. Grant explained everything clearly like you were part of filming the documentary on it. There are signs and footage everywhere of it. The sad part was seeing parent take their kids to ransack places. Who brings their kids to a robbery, the bad elements of LA.

Crime Scene Tours is a learning experience for the gritty, notable dark side to are city. Drug overdoses and celebrity crimes aplenty.