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Friday, April 26, 2013

Murder LA 000022

 by James Cohen

63-year-old Jerry Payne of Long Beach stopped by his local 7-Eleven on the afternoon of Friday, April 12th, at the corner of PCH and Clark. According to a KABC reporter named Q, witnesses say Raymond Sean Clark, a homeless man familiar area residents, requested money from Payne, who declined as he went into the store. When Payne returned to his SUV, Clark threw some kind of "flammable substance" into the vehicle and ignited it. Payne fled his vehicle and bystanders attempted to douse the man with water. Payne was initially unidentified by authorities when he was taken to the hospital "because he is the victim of a violent crime," but he died of his injuries the following Monday morning.

Clark was quickly apprehended by police within a block of the scene and was charged with murder on Tuesday, to which he pleaded not guilty. He is currently being held in lieu of a half-million dollar bail.

KNBC reports that an unidentified man claims his car was previously set ablaze by Clark while he was inside the same 7-Eleven, for refusing to give the transient money.


Death Cafe, a global "social franchise" that started in England in 2011 came to Topanga last month.

"At Death Cafes people come together in a relaxed and safe setting to discuss death, drink tea and eat delicious cake. The objective of Death Cafe is 'To increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives'."

It's said not to be a support group, since it's not specifically for, say, the terminally ill, but it seems something like a support group nonetheless, just one for everyone who will someday die. The non-profit movement doesn't seem to be selling anything other than a community discussion of mortality and encouragement to enjoy life to the fullest while you can. Sounds kind of like a non-religious church, perhaps minus the enjoying life part.

The LA Times has a write-up about the first meeting, which, according to hostess Betsy Trapasso, was reserved to capacity before it happened. She plans to host future events and mentions the possibility of other neighborhoods on her website. Oh, and the release on the Death Cafe blog said it would take place in a "private tree house" -- the one pictured below?