Friday, May 4, 2007

BABE OF THE DAY-Kirsten Dunst

DBN-Updated Mon-Fri.
See You on Monday
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KRISTEN DUNST In Party - Click here for the funniest movie of the week
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Song of the day/Movie of the Day

The Strokes - Someday

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Music Video set to the Steven Mark song Lazy Sunday Afternoon.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Karma Police

Story of the Day - Who killed Bonny Lee Bakley?

In 2001, Bonny Lee Bakley, wife of actor Robert Blake, was shot to death as she sat in a car in Los Angeles. (Blake, accused of the killing, was acquitted in a criminal trial but was found liable by a civil jury and ordered to pay damages.)
Bonnie Lee Bakley
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Early life
Bonny Lee Bakley was born in Morristown, New Jersey to tree surgeon Edward J. Bakley and his wife, Marjorie. She had three other siblings: Margeryy Lois Hall, Joeseph, and her half-brother Peter Carlyon from her mother's second marriage, Peter Carlyon. Problems at home as a teenager led Bonnyto move out of the house and in with her grandmother.
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She dropped out of high school at age 16 and decided to go to New York City to pursue a career in modeling and acting at the Barbizon School of Modeling. She was married at 21 to her first cousin and had two children with him.

Bakley's early life is checkered by a criminal record. She was convicted in Little Rock, Arkansas for possessing false identifications. In 1989, she was convicted of drug possession in Memphis, Tennessee and later in 1995, convicted of passing bad checks.

FBI records show that in 1994, while under investigation for fraud, Bakley told agents of a con she ran on a college student, sending her then thirteen year old daughter to seduce the man.

Celebrity Obsession
Bonny soon made a living running a lonely hearts scheme, sending nude pictures of herself (many of which are now available on the internet) to men with the promise of visiting them if they sent her money.

Bakley also had a history of pursuing celebrities. Her friends and relatives all described her as "celebrity-obsessed". She claimed to have had an affair with rock legend Jerry Lee Lewis and borne his daughter in 1993, but DNA tests later disproved her claim. Lewis has denied ever having a relationship with Bakley. Tapes of Bakley's phone conversations reveal that she was starstruck and bent on marrying someone famous. "I like being around celebrities," she once said, "it makes you feel better than other people."

Her lonely hearts fraud, however, continued to be lucrative. She was able to marry several of her victims swindling a number of men out of their savings and life insurance. Eventually she obtained enough money to buy two houses and several undeveloped lots in Memphis and a house outside of LA; additionally, her lonely hearts fraud funded her unsuccessful Hollywood career as a singer and actor under the stage name Leebonny.

Marries Robert Blake
In 1999, Bonny Lee Bakley met Robert Blake at Chuck McCann's birthday party. At the time she was seeing Christian Brando, before becoming acquainted with Blake. Blake slept with Bakley, later claiming that she had assured him that she was taking birth control pills. Friends of Bakley later said that she was, in fact, taking fertility pills at the time. She was soon pregnant with what would be her fourth child.

Initially, Bakley believed that Christian Brando was the father, but later told Blake she wasn't sure, and that it might have been his. When a DNA test determined that it was Blake, not Brando, that was the father of Bakley's youngest child, Blake agreed to marry her. It was his second marriage, her tenth. Their marriage was somewhat unconventional. Bakley lived in a small guest house beside her husband's house in the Studio City area of the San Fernando Valley. It is rumored that Blake only married her to eventually get custody of their child, whom Blake wanted his childless daughter to raise.

On May 4 2001 Blake took Bakley to an Italian dinner at Vitello's Restaurant on Tujunga Boulevard in Studio City. Afterward, Bakley was murdered by a gunshot to the head while sitting in the car, which was parked on a side street around the corner from the restaurant. Blake told the police that he had gone back to the restaurant to get a gun he left at the table and was there when the shooting occurred.

She was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

Criminal & Civil Suits
On March 16 2005, Blake was found not guilty of the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley, and of one of the two counts of soliciting a former stuntman to murder her. The other count of solicitation was dropped after it was revealed that the jury was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of an acquittal. Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, commenting on this ruling, called Blake a "miserable human being" and the jurors "incredibly stupid".

Blake's defense team and members of the jury responded that the prosecution had failed to prove its case. During the trial, the defense alleged that Bakley was a drug addict who used her daughter for prostitution.

On November 18 2005, Blake was found liable for the wrongful death of his wife in a civil trial. Bakley's four children sued him, asserting he was responsible for their mother's death. The jury ordered him to pay $30 million.
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Bonny Lee Bakley
AKA Leebonny Bakley

AKA Leebonny Bakley

Born: 7-Jun-1956
Birthplace: Morristown, NJ
Died: 4-May-2001
Location of death: Studio City, CA
Cause of death: Murder
Remains: Buried, Forest Lawn Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Bisexual
Occupation: Victim

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Baretta's wife, got whacked

In 1980, still married to her cousin, Bonny moved down south. One day she arrived, uninvited at Jerry Lee's boyhood home. Frankie Jean Lewis, the rocker's sister, says Bonny sashayed into her living room with a tape recorder playing striptease music.
"She takes off her blouse and peels down her stockings," says Frankie. "It was good. She said 'I'd like to meet your brother.' So I got Jerry on the phone and I said 'Jerry, we got us a real live one here.' And he said 'Send her up.' That's what he always said."

Father: Edward J. Bakley (arborist, d. 1973)
Mother: Marjorie Lois Hall
Sister: Margerry Lisa Bakley
Brother: Joseph Bakley
Brother: Peter Carlyon (half brother)
Husband: Evangelos Paulakis (div.)
Husband: Paul Gawron (cousin, m. Nov-1977, div. 1982, 2 children)
Husband: Robert Moon (m. 1984, div. 1987)
Husband: DeMart C. Besly (m. 7-Dec-1988)
Husband: Joseph Brooksher (m. 1992, 1 day)
Husband: William Webber (m. 1993, 2 days)
Husband: E. Robert Telufson (6 weeks)
Husband: Glynn H. Wolfe
Husband: John Ray (m. 1996, div. 1998)
Husband: Robert Blake (m. 19-Nov-2000)
Daughter: Holly Lee Gawron (b. 1981, with Paul)
Son: Glenn Paul Gawron (with Paul)
Daughter: Jeri Lee Lewis (b. 28-Jul-1993, with Lewis)
Daughter: Christian Shannon Brando (renamed Rose Lenore Sophia Blake, b. 2-Jun-2000)
Boyfriend: Jerry Lee Lewis
Boyfriend: Christian Brando

High School: (dropped out, age 16)

Drug Possession Memphis, TN 1989
Passing Bad Checks TN 1995
Shot Studio City, CA (4-May-2001)

Who Was Bonny Lee Bakley?
The 44-year-old Bakley, who went by several aliases, had been married numerous times - so many in fact, that several of her former husbands don't know how many marriages she's had or whether she was even divorced when she remarried.
She also made a living running a lonely hearts scheme, sending provocative pictures of herself to men with the promise of visiting them if they sent her money. After receiving money, she would never show.

By the time she died she had accumulated an estate that included three houses.

Bakley's past was further checkered by a criminal record. She had been convicted in Arkansas for possessing false identifications.

Bakley also had a history of pursuing celebrities. She claimed to have had an affair with rock legend Jerry Lee Lewis and borne his child, a girl she named Jeri Lee, but DNA tests later proved he was not the father. Lewis has denied having a relationship with Bakley.

Tapes of Bakley's phone conversations reveal that she was starstruck and bent on marrying someone famous.

"I like being around celebrities," she said on one tape. "It makes you feel better than other people."

Initially, Bakley believed the her fourth child, a baby girl, was fathered by Christian Brando, son of Marlon Brando. Bakley claimed to have become involved with him after he was released from prison after serving half of a 10-year sentenced for manslaughter for killing his half-sister's boyfriend in 1990.

She named her daughter Christian Shannon Brando, but later told Blake she wasn't sure if the baby was Brando's. When a DNA test determined that it was Blake, not Brando, that was the father of Bakley's youngest child, Blake agreed to marry her.

On the evening of May 4, 2001, actor Robert Blake (Baretta, In Cold Blood) and his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, ate dinner at an Italian restaurant in the Studio City section of Los Angeles, Vitellos. Afterward, according to Blake, the couple walked the block and a half to their car, whereupon Blake realized he'd left his gun inside the restaurant -- a gun he was carrying because Bakley believed her life was in danger. Blake left Bakley in the car and walked back to the restaurant.Nobody in the restaurant remembers Blake actually retrieving anything: He apparently drank a glass of water and returned to his car where he discovered Bakley had been shot to death.
Suspicion quickly pointed to Blake and, just as quickly, his lawyer, Harland Braun, began to spin the story to emphasize Bakley's somewhat sordid past (she could most charitably be referred to as a con artist), suggesting that any number of people had reason to have wanted her dead, for just as many different reasons. The marriage itself, though, had been described as "troubled" -- Blake only married Bakley because she was pregnant with his child and according to some acquaintances, the couple rarely went out to eat together.
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Robert Blake, Actor / Murder Suspect
Born: 18 September 1933
Birthplace: Nutley, New Jersey
Best Known As: The Baretta star who was accused of killing his wife
Name at birth: Michael James Vijencio Gubitosi
An actor who once played a cop on TV, Blake was charged in 2002 with the shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. As a child actor Blake appeared in the Our Gang movie series; as an adult his specialty was hard-bitten heroes with soft hearts, particularly the cockatoo-carrying, disguise-wearing TV detective Baretta (1975-78). Blake and Bakley were married in November of 2000 after paternity tests proved he was the father of her infant daughter Rose. On 4 May 2001 Bakley was shot and killed while sitting in a car near Vitello's Restaurant in Studio City after having dinner with Blake. After an investigation of nearly a year, Blake was arrested and charged with murder. (His bodyguard Earle Caldwell also was arrested and charged with conspiracy.) Police alleged that Blake had shot Bakley himself after trying to hire others to do the killing. After many procedural delays, Blake's trial took place in 2005; the jury deliberated for nine days before ruling Blake not guilty of the murder charge. Later that same year, a civil suit was brought against Blake by the children of Bakley; Blake was found responsible for Bakley's death and ordered to pay a reported $30 million to her children.

Blake won a 1975 Emmy for his portrayal of Tony Baretta... He played labor kingpin Jimmy Hoffa in the 1983 TV movie Blood Feud... The Baretta theme song ("Don't do the crime if you can't do the time...") was sung by Sammy Davis, Jr.... Prior to her relationship with Blake, Bakley was romantically involved with Christian Brando, son of actor Marlon Brando.
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April 18, 2002 Actor Robert Blake was arrested by Los Angeles police today, nearly a year after his wife was shot to death in the couple's car.
The actor was arrested at his sister's home in Hidden Hills at about 6 p.m. PT.

'We are confirming that we have arrested Robert Blake in connection with the murder of his wife,' police spokesman Officer Don Cox said. He said that Earle Caldwell, Blake's chauffeur and bodyguard, was also taken into custody. Blake was taken to Parker Center police headquarters. His hands cuffed behind his back and wearing a white jacket and a green cap, he was escorted out of a white unmarked squad car and into the building, where he was booked and had his fingerprints and mugshot taken.

Bonny Lee Bakley, 44, was shot to death May 4 last year as she sat in Blake's car after they ate dinner at the restaurant Vitello's. Blake, 68, told police they walked to the car together but he had to return to the restaurant to retrieve a gun he had left behind. When he returned, Bakley was dead, he said.

Police arrived outside Blake's sister's home hours before they arrested him. For nearly a year, police seemed stymied as no witnesses stepped forward and a lack of evidence stalled the case.

Police insisted the investigation was not dead, and it apparently bore fruit today.

Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles district attorney, said prosecutors will review the case submitted by police, and on Monday will announce whether they intend to file charges. Arraignment would be that day in Van Nuys Superior Court, she said.

Fingers Point at Blake

Blake denied involvement in Bakley's slaying, but Los Angeles police repeatedly said they had not ruled out the former Baretta star or anyone as a suspect.

Bakley's family — particularly her mother, sister, and grown daughter — have said they believe he was involved in the slaying, and cited alleged abuse and threats made by Blake.

Ten days after the killing, police recovered what they believed was the weapon used when they found a gun in a trash bin a block-and-half away from the crime scene.

The gun, a Walther pistol described as a collector's item, still had one bullet, which matched the two bullets used to kill Bakley. A source close to the investigation told ABCNEWS at the time that police found a box of ammunition of the same brand in Blake's house. Three bullets were missing from the box, the source said.

Blake's defenders pointed out he is avid gun collector, and the brand of ammunition, Remington Peters, is a popular brand.

Bakley's autopsy report has been sealed because detectives believed the investigation would be compromised.

The Victim's Alleged Past

Harland Braun, Blake's attorney, has painted an unsympathetic picture of Bakley since the beginning of the investigation, portraying her as a lifelong grifter who was obsessed with being a celebrity's wife.

Bakley's shady past, he said, ultimately led to her death. He released tapes of Bakley's phone conversations made before her marriage to Blake, where she seemed torn between pursuing Blake or Marlon Brando's son Christian. He has also submitted boxes of tapes, letters, photos and other documents to police to suggest that Bakley defrauded several people, giving them a motive for killing her.

Blake remained somewhat reclusive since the slaying. Representatives at Vitello's restaurant said they had rarely seen him there since the slaying. Noting that they were busy serving customers, a Vitello's employee said tonight they had no comment on Blake's arrest at this time.

Blake has been raising Rose, the baby daughter he had with Bakley, occasionally leaving his home in the Studio City and according to his attorney, and receiving letters of support.
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Ex-mobster: Robert Blake 'wanted to annihilate' his wife
Reformed gangster Frank Minucci told jurors Tuesday that actor Robert Blake sought his help to kill Bonny Lee Bakley.

By Lisa Sweetingham
Court TV
VAN NUYS, Calif. — When Robert Blake faced the prospect of life with Bonny Lee Bakley, he called a friend in New Jersey who used to run around with mobsters and made him an offer the actor hoped he couldn't refuse.

"He said he's got something really heavy for me to do. He said he would give me a blank, signed check," Frank Minucci testified in Blake's murder trial Tuesday. "He was screaming about a woman. He said, 'She's got me by the balls.'"

Minucci, a self-described minister and actor who played a mob boss in the film "Carlito's Way," told jurors that Blake offered him any amount of money if he would just come to California.

"He said, 'I want the guy in 'Carlito's Way' — that's the guy I want,'" Minucci testified.

He said when Blake mentioned that the woman, whom he never named, was pregnant and claiming the baby was his, Minucci suggested he marry her.

"He said he wanted to annihilate the bitch: 'I'll kill both her and the kid,'" Minucci said. "That was at the time he didn't know [the baby] was his."

Minucci said that when he told Blake, "What are you talking about, Bobby? You want me to whack somebody? 'Cause I ain't that guy," the actor became angry, said he didn't want to talk on the phone, and again pleaded with Minucci to come to California.

Some time later, they spoke again by phone and the actor allegedly told Minucci, "You f---, now I got to marry the bitch."

"He told me he was getting married and after the situation had settled, my wife and me should come out to California and we would talk about things when I got there. But I never went," the witness testified.

Minucci's testimony dealt another blow to the defense and came on the heels of witness Gary McLarty, a stuntman who testified that Blake offered him money and insinuated how to murder his wife several weeks before her death, but never mentioned Bakley by name.

Stuntman Ronald "Duffy" Hambleton is expected to testify Wednesday that Blake solicited him with a similar murder-for-hire offer.

Prosecutors say that when Blake couldn't hire anyone to kill Bakley, he pulled the trigger himself on May 4, 2001 as she sat in his parked car near an Italian restaurant where they had just finished their last meal together.

Blake claims that while he may not have loved his wife of six months, he did not wish her dead, and he had nothing to do with her shooting.

Phone friends

Minucci, a broad-shouldered, slightly rotund figure in a black suit, eyeglasses and goatee, spoke from the hip as he described his former profession.

"I was a street guy, I ran numbers, loan-sharking, ran after-hours joints — a lot of bad-guy stuff," he said.

Minucci told jurors that after he met his wife, had a baby, and gave his "life to the Lord," there was "no more bad-guy stuff."

"Brother Frank: A True Story" is a biography about Minucci's transcendence from street thug to ministry figure and actor.

Minucci told jurors that Blake contacted him through his agent in late 1998 or early 1999 and the two began a phone relationship for the next year and a half, talking about their similar abusive childhoods and trading "war stories."

"He talked to me a lot about problems he was having. Sometimes he was just depressed. He hated Hollywood," Minucci testified. "At one point, he told me he had been on the psychiatric couch for 35 years and it wasn't doing him any good."

Minucci said that at times Blake sounded agitated and "fired up," but other times his speech was slurred and he sounded medicated.

"Did he talk to you about women?" prosecutor Shellie Samuels asked.

"They were to be used," Minucci said.

The prosecutor asked him to elaborate and told him it was acceptable to use profanity in the courtroom. Minucci, however, looked up and said he had to answer to someone else for his language.

"I can't remember his exact words, but it was filthy, for filthy reasons," he said.

Minucci said Blake once talked about a woman in New York with whom he had a difficult relationship, because she "had his nose open."

Minucci explained to jurors that Blake was madly in love with the woman because of her sexual prowess.

Threatening calls

Minucci testified that about this time he received five $100 bills in an envelope mailed from California with no note and no explanation.

"I called Bobby. He said, 'I'm sending you a little something else,'" the witness testified. A second envelope, with another $500, followed, and then a request from Blake.

"He said, 'Get her to change her number. I don't care how you do it, scare her — whatever you want to do," Minucci testified.

Prosecutor Samuels later asked Minucci if he had heard of a woman named Colette Duvall, a former girlfriend of Blake's, however Minucci didn't recognize her name and testified that he was only given the New York woman's phone and address.

Minucci said he and a man from his past named "Cockeye Ralphie," went to a pay phone in Staten Island to call the woman.

On cross-examination, Minucci told Blake's defense he didn't know Ralphie's last name.

"I don't know. And that's my answer — I don't know. There's a lot of us, we don't ask names," Minucci deadpanned like a character out of "The Sopranos."

Minucci said Ralphie made the first threatening call.

"He told her he was going to rip her laundry off and do dirty things to her," Minucci testified. "She asked him when he was coming over."

Minucci said he didn't believe Ralphie, so he called her himself.

"She wanted to know how big it was," Minucci said, smiling and shrugging in embarrassment.

"How big what was?" Samuels asked.

"My hooza-whatzi," the witness said.

The courtroom erupted in laughter and the witness smiled. Blake sat still at the defense table and did not laugh.

Minucci said Blake called him shortly after the failed phone calls.

"He said, 'I don't want you to call her no more, leave her alone.'" Minucci testified. "He was really fired up. I started feeling like he was my boss."

Bakley's voice

On cross-examination, Minucci admitted that he was a minister and was "wearing a collar" at the time he threatened the woman in New York.

He also said that Blake complained about a lot of people in his life, often using profanities, and that one would need "a roll of toilet paper" to list all the people Blake wanted to "whack" from his childhood to the present.

Although Minucci mostly kept his composure on the stand, he appeared to have trouble understanding when he could speak and when objections to questions prohibited him from answering.

"I don't have a Harvard degree, your honor," Minucci told the judge. "So you got to help me out here."

At one point, defense attorney Gerald Schwartzbach cut off the witness when he attempted to give an elaborate answer to a yes or no question, and Minucci shot back, "No, there'll be none of that. You ask me a question, I want to give an answer."

Minucci also seemed confused about whether the woman in New York whom Blake sent him cash in the mail to deal with was the same woman Blake was complaining about when he asked Minucci to travel to California.

In a police interview a year after Bakley's murder, Minucci told detectives that he called Blake's house in the spring of 2000, that a woman answered the phone whom he instantly recognized as the woman in New York, and he assumed later that it was Bakley.

"She had that smooth, sexy kind of voice. You know what I mean? Like she was putting it on," he testified.

Blake, however, did not marry Bakley until November 2000, and she lived in his home for less than a week before she was murdered.

"The fact of the matter, sir, is that the last time you spoke to him, he told you he was going to retire with that woman, isn't that correct?" Schwartzbach asked the witness.

"Either that or retire her," Minucci shot back.

The answer was stricken from the record.

Outside the courtroom, reporters asked Minucci if he believed Blake murdered his wife.

"Do I think he did it? I wasn't there, brother, but if I had to put my money on a horse, it would definitely be 'He Did It.' There's no doubt in my heart," Minucci said. "And that's a sad thing to say from an old gangster like me. I'm almost in tears here, because I really hate being here. The guy's a dirtbag. Bottom line, you don't kill the mother of your children."

Robert Blake, 71, faces life in prison if convicted of the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley.
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In letter, Robert Blake's wife mentioned brushes with death
By Lisa Sweetingham, Court TV

BURBANK, Calif. (Court TV) — Shortly after his wife was gunned down by an unknown assailant, Robert Blake says he looked through a trunk filled with her belongings and found a letter she had written her probation officer years earlier in which she boasted about a half-dozen times she had escaped death.

"I was brought up dirt poor and always had the dream to either become famous ... or to marry someone who already is as famous as I wanted to be," Bonny Lee Bakley wrote in a letter, which was projected on a screen for jurors at Blake's civil trial Tuesday. "And this is why I'm driven. Also, being I've almost been killed a half dozen times, I know I better not waste any time."

The actor's defense said the letter was likely written in 1999, when Bakley was pregnant with Blake's child and on federal probation in Arkansas for fraud charges.

Bakley was trying to convince Blake to marry her at the time, but was also dating the son of actor Marlon Brando, whom she met while he was in prison for killing his sister's boyfriend.

"Keep in mind also, that if I should lose out on Blake because of this distance," Bakley's letter continued, "then after I'm off probation I will most likely end up with Christian Brando, whom I cared about before I met Blake. And we all know how unstable he is."

Brando has been listed as a witness by Blake's defense and he may be called to the stand when the defense begins its case next week.

Blake, 72, was acquitted of murder charges in March and is now defending himself against a wrongful death civil suit brought against him by Bakley's four surviving children.

"Mr. Blake, did you have anything at all to do with Miss Bakley's death?" attorney Peter Ezzell asked his client.

"No," Blake said.

"I have no further questions, your honor," Ezzell concluded.

The "Baretta" star has maintained his innocence through six days of contentious and often confusing questions about the events that transpired more than four years ago when his wife was shot to death outside an Italian restaurant in Studio City.

The diminutive, gray-haired actor's bravado on the witness stand has caused jurors to laugh out loud, shake their heads and whisper to one another.

Blake has been known to call plaintiff's attorney Eric Dubin "chief" and "liar." When he speaks out of turn, he often whispers to himself, "Shut up, Robert."

Blake has steadfastly maintained his innocence, but his mood alternates from short-fused and confrontational when asked about his curious decisions on the night of his wife's death, to warm and reminiscent when discussing his love for Rosie, the 5-year-old daughter he shared with Bakley.

Bakley's two adult children, Holly and Glenn Gawron, have sat stone-faced at the plaintiff's table through more than a month of often wrenching testimony about Bakley's fitness as a mother, her schemes to trick Blake into marrying her, and her successful mail-order porn business that she also used to scam cash from lonely men.

The defense contends that many of those men had motive to kill Bakley.

Jurors voice their doubts

As the case against Blake begins to wind down, some jurors appear to be concerned about Blake's credibility, based on questions they posed Tuesday.

If he was truly trying to help his wife, one juror wanted to know, why did Blake waste time knocking on doors after he found Bakley bloody and unresponsive in the passenger seat of his car, instead of running straight back to the restaurant where they had just finished dinner?

Jurors may submit written questions, which, if approved by the judge, are slipped seamlessly into the attorney's questions in such a way that panel members do not know it's a query from one of their own.

"I don't know, I suppose everybody does it differently," Blake explained. "I looked up and saw there were [porch] lights and I went to the closest place where I thought there were people."

Another juror asked Blake about a claim he made in court Monday about a strange man he nicknamed "Buzz Cut" who had been parked in front of his home in the weeks before Bakley was killed.

"If Mr. Blake was concerned about Buzz Cut, why didn't he write the license plate numbers down and have it checked out? I'm sure he knew someone who could do him a favor?" the juror asked.

Blake said Buzz Cut never stayed put long enough for him to jot down the plates.

Another juror wanted to know why Blake didn't use the level of anger he has expressed during the trial to demand to be allowed near his wife at the crime scene. Witnesses have testified that Blake never approached his wife while paramedics tried to save her.

"She deserved at least a 'good-bye, toots,'" the juror wrote, calling on the hard-boiled language Blake has used on the stand.

The actor responded that he tried to go to her side several times but was led away.

"Did you kill your wife?" Dubin asked Blake point-blank.

"I beg your pardon, sir?" Blake said.

"Did you kill your wife?" Dubin repeated the question.

"No," Blake said, warning Dubin, "Don't get cute."

Blake said he had affection and warmth for Bakley, but was not in love with her.

He married her, he said, to make a safe home for Rosie. At the time of Bakley's death, Blake said, he loved her the way one loves a pet, the desert or the ocean.

"I suppose poets have written sonnets for a thousand years about being in love. A lot of people say, 'I love my husband, I love my wife,' but I believe they really mean they're in love with their husband or wife, which is quite different from loving your dog," Blake explained. "I loved her. I thought she was charming. I respected her intellect ... She could get a rock to follow her down the road. She was captivating. But there was a terrifying side to her that you would never want to rouse. Hopefully, it could be dampened and eased as she had a better life for the first time in her life."

Bakley was shot twice on May 4, 2001, just days after she moved to California to live in Blake's guest house and begin their new life together.

Blake will return to the stand Wednesday morning to complete a seventh day of testimony.
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Robert Blake Not Guilty
Jury Deadlocks on Solicitation Charge
"Not Guilty" and that's the name of that tune.
A jury of seven women and five men deliberated for more than 36 hours before returning a verdict of not guilty in the murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley and not guilty on one count of soliciting someone to murder her. The jury deadlocked on a second solicitation charge.

The jury was deadlocked 11-1 for not guilty on the second charge. The prosecution has agreed to drop the solicitation charge rather than retry the case. Jurors told reporters they found Blake not guilty because the prosecution's evidence never "put the gun in his hand."

The 71-year-old actor was accused of shooting Bakley, his wife of only six months, outside his favorite Studio City restaurant Vitello's after trying many other options to get her out of the life of their infant daughter Rosie.

According to the prosecution, Blake was obsessed with keeping Bakley out of his daughter's life, due to her long history of sexual and criminal activity bilking men out of money through a lonely hearts mail-order scam. The prosecution said Blake first tried to abduct Rosie, tried to get Bakley's probation revoked by planting drugs on her, tried to get others to "whack" her, and finally shot her himself when everything else failed.

Bakley was on probation for mail fraud at the time that she died. She had bilked hundreds of men out of money with her mail-order scam and even married some of them and had their adult children cut out of her victim's wills. She also had a history of pursuing celebrities. The defense argued that there were hundreds of people with a motive to kill Bakley.

Blake told an interviewer that he believed after he and Bakley got married, someone recognized her photo in the press and began to stalk her. He said Bakley was concerned about former victims -- she had received threatening letters from some of them -- and that is the reason he carried a gun for protection and hired a bodyguard at one point. A former maid of Blake testified to seeing a stranger in a vehicle parked near Blake's house in the day leading up to the shooting.
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Deadly Night at Vitello's
On May 4, 2001, Blake and Bakley went to Vitello's restaurant for dinner. After they left, Blake returned to the restaurant to retrieve his handgun, which he had left in the restaurant booth. He asked for water and after drinking two glasses, he left again. When he returned to the car he found Bakley had been shot, he said. He ran to the nearby home of Sean Stanek, who called 911 and returned to the scene with Blake. Stanek tried to stop Bakley's bleeding while Blake sat on the curb crying.
Bakley was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's hospital.

Several days after the shooting a vintage World War II Walther PPK was found with its serial number partially filed off in the Dumpster near where Blake's car was parked and proved to be the murder weapon. The handgun Blake retrieved from the restaurant was not the murder weapon, test revealed.

Note: One of the signature lines "Baretta" used in almost every episode was "... and that's the name of that tune." Another was "... and you can take that to the bank.

jury in a civil trial found actor Robert Blake liable in the May 2001 death of his wife Bonnie Lee Bakley and ordered the former television cop show star to pay her children $30 million in damages.
After eight days of deliberations, ten of the 12 jurors agreed that Blake, who was acquitted of criminal charges in the case, decided to get rid of Bakley so that he could raise their daughter Rosie by himself.

"These kids lost their mom, and that got overlooked over the years," said Eric Dubin, the attorney for the children. "This was a real family. This was a real person. And to have that validated in a court of law means an awful lot to these kids."

Bakley, 44, was shot to death on May 4, 2001, as she sat in Blake's sports car in an alley behind the Los Angeles-area restaurant where the couple had just dined.

In May, a jury of seven women and five men deliberated for more than 36 hours before returning a verdict of not guilty in the murder of his wife and not guilty on one count of soliciting someone to murder her. The jury deadlocked on a second solicitation charge.

Blake, former star of the television show "Baretta," did not testify in the criminal trial but took the stand in the civil case and denied the charges that he was responsible for Bakley's death.
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Christian Brando Invokes Fifth Amendment at Blake Civil Trial
BURBANK - Marlon Brando's son, a key figure in the wrongful death case of his former lover and Robert Blake's wife, refused to answer questions in court Tuesday.

Christian Brando's lawyer stood next to the witness box and repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment on behalf of his client to protect him from possible self-incrimination.
Blake's lawyers have pointed at Brando as a possible suspect in the slaying of Blake's wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Brando, 46, has not been arrested or charged.

Blake is being sued for wrongful death by the family of Bakley. The star of the old "Baretta" TV show was found not guilty of murder in a criminal trial that ended earlier this year.

On the witness stand, Brando answered only a few questions, giving his name and birth date and identifying his voice on two tape recordings of phone conversations with Bakley.

"At any time did you meet an individual named Bonny Bakley?" Blake attorney Peter Ezzell asked.

"Yes," said Brando, who then invoked the Fifth Amendment when asked for more details of their relationship.

"Did you become aware that Bonny Bakley had taped her conversations with you?" Ezzell asked.

"No," Brando said.

The tapes, which have been played publicly before, include discussions in which Brando expresses exasperation with Bakley, who was claiming at one point that the baby she was carrying was fathered by Brando.

The child belonged to Blake.

Blake's attorney then played brief snippets from the tapes, and Brando said it was his voice along with Bakley's. He refused to answer a question about his comment on the tape telling Bakley: "You're lucky somebody ain't out there to put a bullet in your head."

He also declined to answer questions about whether he hired someone to kill Bakley, if she told him she feared Blake was going to kill her, or if she offered Brando sex with her 17-year old daughter.

Superior Court Judge David M. Schacter allowed Brando to invoke the Fifth Amendment on certain questions but not on others.

Brando did testify that he had served five years in prison for manslaughter in the death of his sister's boyfriend, Dag Drollet.

As he left the courthouse, Brando was asked whether he had any idea who may have killed Bakley. He shrugged, smiled and said, "probably sitting up in the room there," an apparent reference to the courtroom.

His lawyer, Bruce Margolin, said Brando invoked Fifth Amendment protection because "he didn't want to take part in this charade that somehow implies he's involved in this matter. ... He would prefer to have nothing to do with this matter."

After hearing the limited testimony from Brando, jurors in the civil trial left on a bus trip to Vitello's restaurant, where Blake and his wife dined the night she was shot to death.

Blake contends that wife Bonny Lee Bakley was shot when he left her in his car to go back inside a restaurant to retrieve a handgun that he carried for protection but had accidentally left in the booth where they dined.

Blake did not testify during the criminal trial but spent seven days on the witness stand in the civil case discussing his relationship with Bakley and other matters.
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Robert Blake Ordered to Pay $30 Million

A jury in a civil trial found actor Robert Blake liable in the May 2001 death of his wife Bonnie Lee Bakley and ordered the former television cop show star to pay her children $30 million in damages.
After eight days of deliberations, ten of the 12 jurors agreed that Blake, who was acquitted of criminal charges in the case, decided to get rid of Bakley so that he could raise their daughter Rosie by himself.

"These kids lost their mom, and that got overlooked over the years," said Eric Dubin, the attorney for the children. "This was a real family. This was a real person. And to have that validated in a court of law means an awful lot to these kids."

Bakley, 44, was shot to death on May 4, 2001, as she sat in Blake's sports car in an alley behind the Los Angeles-area restaurant where the couple had just dined.

In May, a jury of seven women and five men deliberated for more than 36 hours before returning a verdict of not guilty in the murder of his wife and not guilty on one count of soliciting someone to murder her. The jury deadlocked on a second solicitation charge.

Blake, former star of the television show "Baretta," did not testify in the criminal trial but took the stand in the civil case and denied the charges that he was responsible for Bakley's death.
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Judge Rejects Retrial for Robert Blake

Superior Court Judge David Schacter had denied a motion from actor Robert Blake for a new trial in the wrongful death civil lawsuit in which a jury awarded members of Bonnie Lee Bakley's family $30 million in damages.
Blake's attorney, M. Gerald Schwartzbach, argued in the motion that the jury verdict was tainted because of numerous acts of juror misconduct, including one juror's failure to disclose that her daughter was in prison on a murder conviction.

"I'm frankly shocked by the ruling given the record before the court of egregious misconduct," Schwartzbach said. He plans to appeal the ruling.

"The children of Bonny Lee Bakley found justice for their mother's killing, and no reason ever existed to disturb this jury's verdict," said Eric Dubin, an attorney for Bakley's family.
Civil Trial Verdict Appeal
According to the Associated Press, M. Gerald Schwartzbach filed the appeal brief on February 28, 2007.It was also reported in the AP article that an LAPD Internal Affairs investigation has been opened regarding the lead detective in the original murder case, Detective Ron Ito. The complaint was filed by M. Gerald Schwartzbach and civil trial witness Brian Allan Fiebelkorn. The complaint alleges that the detective failed to investigate leads that persons other than Robert Blake could have been responsible for the murder of Bonnie Lee Bakley. Fiebelkorn testified that associates of Christian Brando (originally claimed to have been the father of Bonnie Lee Bakley's daughter) may have been responsible for the murder of Ms. Bakley. The defense theory of who may have been involved in the conspiracy to kill Bonnie Lee Bakley was laid out in a defense motion filed during the criminal trial proceedings.

Post Acquittal
Following filing for bankruptcy, Blake has gotten a job as a ranch hand. He has moved into a small apartment and hopes to return to acting. His young daughter, Rosie, has been adopted by his older daughter.

Blake Detectives Ignored Other Suspects
Robert Blake's attorney attempted to show that detectives investigating the death of Bonny Lee Bakley focused only on evidence pointing to the actor, while ignoring hundreds of letters from victims of her mail order sex scam. Defense attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach, while cross-examining the lead detective in the case, produced nine thick folders crammed with letters from victims of Bakley's con game that were not seized by police investigating her murder.

LAPD commander who pushed 'cold case' unit dies at 58
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LOS ANGELES- Retired police Cmdr. Jim Tatreau, who pushed for a cold case unit using DNA and fingerprint database technology to re-examine thousands of forgotten murder cases, has died. He was 58.
The LAPD veteran, who rose from patrolman to head of the department's elite Robbery-Homicide Division, died at his home Sunday, two years after he was diagnosed with brain cancer, his son Jim Tatreau Jr. said.

Tatreau, a Southern California native, was a fierce advocate for those under his command. Detective Ronald Y. Ito, lead investigator on the high-profile Robert Blake murder case, said Tatreau supported a thorough inquiry.

"He supported our theories of a case, but he also wanted us to check out every aspect of it," Ito said.

Blake was acquitted in the criminal case, but was held liable for the death of wife Bonnie Lee Bakley in the civil trial.

Tatreau, who sat on hundreds of disciplinary board of rights hearing, often advocated for second chances.

"Jim had a soft spot for the underdog, for the 'strays' as he called them," said his sister Terri Tatreau, a retired LAPD sergeant. "If you were being run out of town, Jim would step out in front and turn it into your parade."

Tatreau's legacy, however, was the cold case unit. Detectives tried to create a centralized unit in 2001, but it was Tatreau who cut through the bureaucracy and got the unit formed.

"He thought it was negligent to not make use of technological advances

to solve cases, many of which had been gathering dust for decades," Detective Rick Jackson said. "That's why he fought so hard for our unit's creation, when it looked like it might not get off the ground."
Since its inception, the unit has solved nearly 50 homicide cases dating back half a century.

Tatreau is survived by his wife Tammy; sons Lt. Jim Tatreau Jr. of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Officer Scott Tatreau of the Mesa, Ariz. Police Department; and daughters Tiffany and Tatum.

A memorial service was planned for May 9 at the Police Academy


The More You Know - Bonnie Lee Bakley

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Thursday, May 3, 2007

BABE OF THE DAY-Carla Gugino

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Carla Gugino - Click here for the most popular videos
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Carla Gugino - Tribute - Watch the best video clips here
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Carla Gugino in the Morning

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RISE: BLOOD HUNTER - Trailer - Click here for more amazing videos
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Song of the day/Movie of the Day

INXS-Pretty Vegas


Snake Eyes
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Full Synopsis:
Brian DePalma directed this taut thriller, set in Atlantic City, where a corrupt cop investigates a political assassination. Outside an Atlantic City arena-hotel-casino, a TV news reporter stands in a pre-hurricane storm to report on the heavyweight boxing match about to begin inside. A transition to the stadium interior focuses on Atlantic City homicide Detective Rick Santoro (Nicolas Cage), a father with a wife and son, yet also a dishonest cop who maintains a mistress and cheerfully accepts bribes. DePalma's Steadicam follows Santoro on a fast-paced tour of the stadium as the laughing, yelling detective travels stairs and hallways, talks to a gal with a between-rounds placard, visits the dressing room of champ Lincoln Tyler (Stan Shaw), rides down an escalator to squeeze money from a small-time hood, enters the arena of 14,000 fight fans, talks on his phone with his girlfriend and wife, and sits ringside next to his lifelong buddy, Navy Cmdr. Kevin Dunne (Gary Sinise). Behind Dunne, the U.S. Secretary of Defense Charles Kirkland (Joel Fabiani) is seated alongside billionaire casino owner Gilbert Powell (John Heard). As the fight gets underway, Dunne abandons his position protecting the defense chief to pursue a suspicious redhead. From his ringside vantage point, Santoro has a close view of the champ, curiously conscious despite taking a kayo punch. At that moment, an assassin fires at Kirkland. Santoro immediately concocts a good cover story for his pal (to explain why Dunne left his post protecting Kirkland). Just after the shooting, Dunne kills a Palestinian extremist, the apparent killer, and Santoro orders the stadium doors locked, hoping he can locate other suspects among the fleeing crowd. One such is Julia Costello (Carla Gugino), an injured woman in a blond wig who spoke with Kirkland seconds before the gunfire. After a video replay reveals the champ took a fall, going down to the floor from a punch that never touched him, Santoro becomes more curious and suspicious, comparing witness accounts, and he attempts to locate Julia, convinced she's the key to truth behind the assassination. As it all comes to a head, Santoro peels through successive layers of corruption, ultimately confronting himself in a self-examination of his own values. Filmed at Montreal's old Forum. ~ Bhob Stewart, All Movie Guide
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Story of the Day-LAPD

Los Angeles Police Department
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The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is the police department of the City of Los Angeles, California. With over 9,500 officers and 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of 473 square miles with a population of more than 3.5 million people, it is the third largest law enforcement agency in the United States (trailing behind the New York Police Department and Chicago Police Department). The agency is famous world wide and has been heavily fictionalized in numerous movies and television shows. It has also been involved in a number of controversies, perhaps most notably the infamous Rodney King incident and the subsequent 1992 Los Angeles riots.

LAPD swarm and beat/kick an unarmed protestor.
Perhaps one of the most frightening things I've ever seen, the police storm the protestors again for the second time. Watch closely; you'll see one Hispanic male start to run, and then you'll see the LAPD pick one guy and begin to hail him with clubs and kicks. He falls to the ground, assumes the fetal position, and continues to get beat/kicked for another 10-15 seconds. Watch the LAPD and the sheriffs throw people out of the way who try to come to this guy's aid. He was bleeding quite a bit from his head, but I couldn't get close enough to film that. One of the sheriff's had a billy club pointed at me.

The worst part of this video is when the group who are helping the wounded man out of the way. Watch closely and you can see an LAPD officer run in and hit an innocent good samaritan with his/her club. Disgusting.

Unprovoked attacks by Los Angeles police. From the counter-protest called by to protest a Minutemen march in Hollywood on July 8, 2006.

Chilling LAPD Video

LAPD: South Los Angeles

LAPD Attacks Protesters, Reporters, Cameras

May 1st, 2007 was not a Day Without Immigrants. No longer facing draconian legislation in the form of 2006's H.R. 5537, which would have called for the forced deportation of 12 million undocumented immigrants, immigrants' rights groups called off boycotts as the new, smaller rallies took on a less dramatic tone. Draft immigration reform legislation, currently under consideration by the Democratic Congress, seems to be written with both immigrants and the rule of law in mind. The situation for immigrants is not perfect, but things are much brighter than they were last year.

But in any protest, there are going to be a few people who don't behave themselves. Such was the case in Los Angeles' MacArthur Park, as a few troublemakers threw plastic bottles, wood planks, and other debris at LAPD vehicles. A small group of LAPD officers apparently figured out a simple solution to this problem: Beat up those people. Then fire rubber bullets and tear gas indiscriminately into crowds of peaceful protesters standing nearby. Then beat up any reporters who might be filming the incident. Then start destroying the cameras.

The end result: Almost 15 years to the day after the Rodney King riots, a video surfaces of LAPD officers chasing down protesters and striking them with batons as they try to flee, then trying to destroy videotaped evidence of the abuse. Ten people, including at least five journalists, were hospitalized. The Los Angeles Times reports:
About 6:45 p.m., police ordered the last people out of MacArthur Park, mostly news personnel and some marchers filming the police actions, declaring an "unlawful assembly" ...

Late Tuesday, a spokesman for Telemundo confirmed that one reporter and three camera operators from Channel 52, the Spanish-language TV station, had been injured and had been taken to a hospital by police.

Another TV station, Fox 11, showed video of a Fox camerawoman apparently being struck by a baton-wielding police officer.
Noting that "the vast, vast majority of [protesters] who were here were behaving appropriately," LAPD Chief William Bratton has called for a full investigation. "[Q]uite frankly," he said after reviewing video of the incident, "I was disturbed at what I saw."

15 years after the Rodney King riots
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LAPD Police Flee Angry Mob

the 15th anniversary of the start of the riots that began in L.A. after LAPD officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King. It also reminds us that rarely have two videos so influenced an event.
The first was captured by George Holliday, who shot the footage from the balcony of his Lake View Terrace apartment and then sold the video to TV station KTLA. A portion of the tape was broadcast quickly across the globe, sparking immediate outrage.

When officers were later acquitted in the beating, the rioting soon began. Truck driver Reginald Denny, unaware of the rioting, was driving a load of sand through the intersection of Florence and Normandie -- ground zero for the riots -- and was pulled from his truck by rioters. In the sky above was Bob Tur, piloting a Los Angeles News Service helicopter. (Tur would also be the first in-air reporter to locate and broadcast

O.J. Simpson fleeing in the slow-speed white Bronco chase.) Tur captured footage of several men beating Denny with a claw hammer and concrete slab (fracturing his skull in 91 places), and Damian Monroe Williams doing a victory dance over Denny's unconscious form (Williams, by the way, was only in prison until 1997 in the Denny attack, but murdered a man in 2000 and is now serving a life sentence). The live broadcast also showed a man spitting on the unconscious Denny, and others throwing beer bottles at him. Another stopped to steal his wallet; another tried to shoot the gas tank on Denny's truck. But that horrific live video would also save Denny's life: local resident Bobby Green saw the attack on TV, slipped out of his house, found other helpers to lift Denny back into the truck, drove the truck to the hospital, and then returned the truck to the company.

So you had two pieces of video -- one citizen, another professional journalism -- that shaped this day. The Rodney King video was the catalyst for a community to bring their outrage, much of it justified, to the forefront. The Denny beating video erased any sympathy viewers might have had for the rioters, and also told the world that things in L.A. had spun completely out of control.

Much has happened in the 15 years since the riots. South Central is now called South Los Angeles by city mandate, areas have been rebuilt and developed thanks to investors such as Magic Johnson yet poverty and joblessness still persist, black neighborhoods that were the flashpoint of rioting are now majority Hispanic as African-Americans have migrated out to the suburbs. Another key development? More citizens have video and digital photography ability than ever before, like in the form of cameraphones, and are keeping their eyes peeled for their chance to capture history.

LA Riots

Four days that shook the world
CNN last week carried a fairly extensive remembrance of one of the most important moments of the past two decades — the March 3, 1991, videotaped beating of Altadena's Rodney King at the hands of four LAPD officers and the failed prosecution of those men, which the following spring led to the worst urban rioting in American history.

There was some scattered coverage by some other news outlets of those monumental events, which unfolded into four days of unparalleled rage and destruction, much of it occurring in underprivileged neighborhoods of color in Los Angeles that could not very well stand much more physical or psychological abuse.

But burn this city did, baby, in many areas right to the ground, with more than 3,000 separate fires set and more than 1,000 buildings destroyed.

The question is: How did everyone else — including us — lose track of time and not extend at least some coverage to the anniversary of this seminal event?

The final cost of this “uprising,” this “mini-Civil War,” totaled between 50 and 60 dead, some 2,000 injured and up to $1 billion in property damage. There were 10,000 arrests, with prosecutions for riot-related crimes extending well into the next few years.

What many probably don't recall very well were all the “copycat” riots that broke out the day the verdicts were announced — April 29, 1992 — in other cities: San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle, Fresno, New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Tampa and Dallas.

In her only interview with the press days after the beating, Odessa King, Rodney's mom and a devout Jehovah's Witness, told this writer she feared that any opinions expressed to the press would only fan the flames of potential violence, and she stopped talking to reporters after that. A year before the world turned upside down, Odessa clearly saw it all coming down the road.

Here in Pasadena, merchants in the major shopping districts also felt an ill wind blowing, albeit only days beforehand, and braced for the worst, boarding up windows along Colorado Boulevard and installing chain-link fencing around their businesses on the day that the verdicts were to be rendered by a jury in Simi Valley deciding the fate of the four officers.

What started out as people partying on North Los Robles Avenue a few nights later turned ugly, with police officers eventually cordoning off the street. One man, Howard Martin, died in the violent confrontation. Martin was entirely innocent and had nothing to do with the melee, and he and others tried to hide in an apartment near the shooting. But even an apartment wall could not stop a ricocheting bullet fired from the gun of one of the officers, which hit Martin in the head.

Today, 15 years later — after one war-mongering Bush regime, the placating cruelty of Bill Clinton and his faux-liberal positions on the death penalty, law and order and welfare reform, and now another uncaring Bush junta with an eye on everyone's business and an even bloodier war on its hands — all of these events went largely unnoticed by most of the major media, except for CNN and the LA Times.

The Times, to its credit, ran a fairly extensive collection of pieces last week, culminating in coverage of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's visit Sunday to First AME Church in South LA, the epicenter of some of the good things that came out of those troubled days.

Other papers, though, including ours and most other daily and weekly papers, with the exception of our sister paper the VC Reporter of Ventura, offered little coverage last week of this important anniversary.

To this we can only apologize to our readers and offer a sentiment similar to one frequently expressed in 1992 by those who lived through similar events in 1965, when the so-called Watts riots — spawned by the same types of police brutality and lack of opportunity, investment and education — rocked the country: Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it, a fact that Odessa King seemed to know all too well.

Watts Riots
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The riot began on August 11, 1965, in Watts, when Lee Minikus, a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer, pulled over Marquette Frye, who Minikus believed was intoxicated because of his observed erratic driving. However, in this part of town especially, traffic stops were not so routine. While police questioned Frye and his brother Ronald Frye, a group of people began to gather. The mob began to throw rocks and other objects and shout at the police officers. A struggle ensued shortly after Frye's mother Rena arrived on the scene, resulting in the arrest of all three family members.
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Shortly after the police left, tensions boiled over and the rioting began. Over six days, US$35,000,000 in destruction of property occurred. The neighborhood was 99% black. The only other non-blacks in the neighborhood were a few people of Hispanic origin, and several Jewish store owners. The community believed racially motivated police brutality was rampant.[citation needed] Only 5 of the 205 police officers assigned to this neighborhood were African American. Police were accused of the rape of black women, use of racial epithets, and use of excessive force in arrests.[citation needed] In the Watts area, only one out of eight adults had a high school education, and poverty and unemployment were higher in this section of Los Angeles than any other neighborhood.
Watts Riots News Reel

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As a result of the riots, 34 people were officially reported killed (28 of those were African American), 1,032 people were injured, and 4,000 people were arrested. Among the dead were a fireman, a LA County deputy sheriff and a Long Beach police officer. The injured included 90 Los Angeles police officers, 136 firemen, 10 national guardsmen, 23 persons from other governmental agencies and 773 civilians. 118 of those injured were injured by firearms[1].
600 buildings were damaged or destroyed, and an estimated $35 million in damage was caused. Most of the physical damage was confined to businesses that had caused resentment in the neighborhood due to the perception of unfairness. Homes were not attacked, although some caught fire due to proximity to other fires
Some LAPD efforts unconstitutional
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LAPD goes to war
Clashes with protesters, press raise serious questions
MAYBE the protesters started it.

Maybe Los Angeles police officers were just responding to rocks thrown Tuesday night when they turned their batons and rubber bullets on people hanging around after the otherwise peaceful immigration reform rally at MacArthur Park on Tuesday evening.

Maybe the reporters who were hit and shoved, and the television camera crews, were getting in the way of cops trying to restore law and order.

It doesn't really matter. The reality is that the LAPD is the force charged with protecting and maintaining the peace of the city. And on Tuesday, it failed to do that.

The images of what took place don't look good. They suggest that the old LAPD was on duty at the rally, not the modern force we hope we have, one that responds appropriately instead of overreacting with violence.

The outcry from the media and protesters was predictable, and the calls for a full investigation from the mayor and City Council are appropriate.

And Chief William Bratton has done the right thing by immediately ordering an investigation into what happened, and promising to deal with any officers who acted inappropriately.

Now there must be follow-up with a full and transparent investigation, with the full involvement of the community.
The consensus of both the police and protest organizers is that the scuffles were instigated by a small group of agitators who were not part of the larger demonstrations. The "vast majority" of protesters were acting appropriately, Bratton said.

That's what is so disturbing. If the incidents were isolated and involved known troublemakers, why did the cops come down so hard on working journalists just doing their jobs?

Several were hit, pushed, thrown to the ground, even kicked - videos show that all too clearly. The idea that any officer would imagine that it's acceptable to suppress the gathering of news ought to concern us all.

The LAPD has done a lot in recent years to repair its relationship with communities that have felt victimized by the police. The ranks are more diverse. Community policing is a priority.

This incident doesn't have to set back that relationship. Whether it does will depend on how city leaders follow through with the investigation, and whether they hold people accountable.

For too long, L.A. has not properly disciplined unacceptable behavior among public safety personnel, leading to a destructive us- versus-them attitude. This tradition has cost taxpayers millions in settlements and cost the good men and women of the LAPD the respect they deserve.

This incident requires more than a cursory look at what happened. We need to know why some officers were in a frame of mind to use force which, from the visual evidence, wasn't needed at all.
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LAPD to probe cops who dispersed rally
LOS ANGELES – In the aftermath of a violent skirmish that marred an otherwise peaceful day of pro-immigrant rallies, Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton yesterday called the actions of some officers “disturbing” and pledged a full investigation.

Advertisement“There is going to be some very serious questions asked of officers,” Bratton told a packed City Hall news conference.
Violence broke out Tuesday evening when a breakaway group of protesters on the fringes of a demonstration near downtown threw bottles and rocks at police. Officers in riot gear responded by shutting down the rally of several thousand people, in the process charging and firing rubber bullets at crowds teeming with children.

Bratton said he was troubled by the lack of adequate notice given to demonstrators to leave the area and by the amount of force used relative to the size of the disturbance. He said there were nine arrests Tuesday and that all preceded the final spurt of violence.

“Two hundred and forty rounds (of rubber bullets) with no arrests as part of that action is of great concern to me,” Bratton said.

Crowds at the rally in a large city park reacted with shock as hundreds of officers descended in response to a disruption of which most of the marchers were unaware. “They were just shooting at will,” said Sean Duenser, a demonstrator hit by rubber bullets on his arm and stomach.

As officers cleared the park, they struck and shoved several news reporters and photographers, sending three to the hospital and prompting statements of concern from chapters of the Radio and Television News Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles, asked Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley to launch an independent investigation in addition to the LAPD's own internal probes.

“I am angry and concerned that rather than containing a few bad actors not related to yesterday's march and rally, the situation was apparently allowed to snowball into acts of unjustified force against those who were simply participating in, or reporting on, the rally,” Nuñez wrote in a letter to Cooley.

The most forceful defense of the police – seven of whom suffered minor injuries from projectiles – came from Bob Baker, president of the Los Angeles Police Protection League, the union representing rank-and-file officers.

“Our officers gave a legal dispersal order and were met with violence,” he said.

Video appears to show LAPD officer hitting suspect
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A Los Angeles Police Department officer pursuing the driver of a stolen car Wednesday was seen on videotape appearing to beat the suspect after he apparently had surrendered.

Mayor James Hahn said the videotape jeopardizes reforms made in the wake of similar incidents and will test the "bond of trust" with the community.

Video shot from news helicopters shows the suspect running for a short distance before slowing to a stop, apparently opting to surrender to officers pursuing him on foot.

The suspect appeared to raise both arms and drop to his knees. The first arriving officer drew his weapon, but put it back in his holster and then tackled the suspect, forcing him to the ground.

The second officer also jumps on the suspect, who is on the ground in a prone position, while a third officer arrives and appears to kick him in the head. This same officer then drops to the ground, takes out his flashlight and can be seen swinging down at the suspect's head area 11 times. He also appears to use his knee to strike the suspect.

The video shows other LAPD officers arriving on foot and surrounding the suspect, who remains motionless on the ground.

Officers began chasing the stolen car shortly after 5 a.m. (8 a.m. ET).

The pursuit ended in the city of Compton, when the driver jumped out of the vehicle and fled.

Officers to be quizzed

Deputy police chief Earl Paysinger said the 37-year-old African-American suspect received medical treatment.

Paysinger said the man had some slight abrasions and had complained of an injury to his nose, but was otherwise "fine."

The suspect had not filed a formal complaint, he said, but nine officers are being interviewed about the incident.

"We will go through this with a fine-toothed comb, asking the questions the community wants to know," Los Angeles Inspector General Andre Birotte promised.

David Cunningham, the civilian head of the city's police department, added: "Assuming there is a finding of excessive force, there will be zero tolerance."

The footage is reminiscent of the 1991 beating of Rodney King by four LAPD officers.

"Unless some heads roll, we will return to some dark, bad, old days of the LAPD," Los Angeles Urban League President John Mack said.

Community activist Najee Ali held a news conference in front of LAPD's Parker Center shortly after the broadcast of the incident to express his outrage at the beating and demand an independent investigation.

He called on the Justice Department and the attorney general's office to get involved.

"We want this officer criminally prosecuted," Ali said. "We saw an unarmed man be beaten on camera who seemed to be cooperating and not resisting arrest so we're outraged and shocked ... It's very unfortunate that after the Rodney King beating we still have rogue officers within the LAPD."

Ali said that the LAPD contacted him first to tell him about the incident and to say the police were "on top of this."

But he also told CNN the LAPD had asked him to cancel his news conference, and when he refused, the department asked if he could "soften it up."

At the news conference, Ali called the incident a litmus test for LAPD Chief William Bratton.

"We're sending a message out to Chief Bratton that we've gotten rid of [former chief] Daryl Gates because he did not take the Rodney King beating -- police abuse -- serious and if he [Bratton] doesn't take this serious, we'll get rid of you," Ali said.

The four officers who were seen beating King on the infamous video were acquitted of all charges in 1992, leading to days of rioting in Los Angeles that left 55 people dead.

Two of the officers were later convicted in a federal trial of violating King's civil rights.

Last week, the LAPD announced it had fully implemented reforms it was required to put into practice by a federal consent decree in 2001, after the Justice Department found numerous instances of civil rights violations in the agency.

LAPD Officer Charged with Making False Arrests

LOS ANGELES – A 16-year veteran LAPD officer stationed in the Rampart Division was arrested today and charged with filing a false police report and making false arrests, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Edward Beltran Zamora, 44 (dob 5-5-62), was released on $20,000 bail after he turned himself in at Parker Center, said Deputy District Attorney Shannon Presby with the Justice System Integrity Division. He is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 8 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Division 30.

Following tips, the Los Angeles Police Department conducted an undercover audit of Zamora. During the probe, Zamora allegedly arrested undercover officers on two separate occasions on suspicion of drug possession, even though no drugs were found on either officer. During one arrest, Zamora allegedly falsely claimed in a report he found a baggie of cocaine directly by the suspect when he allegedly found the baggie more than 15 feet away and no drugs were found on the undercover officer, officials said.

Zamora is charged in case No. BA307311 with one felony count of filing a false report, and two misdemeanor counts each of false arrest and false imprisonment. If convicted, Zamora is facing more than three years in state prison.

Three LAPD officers convicted in corruption scandal

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Motorcyclist leads LAPD on a chase



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