The Crown City masquerades as a calm and refined retreat, where well-bred ladies glide around their perfect bungalows and everyone knows what fork to use first. But don’t be fooled by appearances. Dip into the confidential files of old Pasadena and meet assassins and oddballs, kidnappers and slashers, Satanists and all manner of maniac in a delightful little tour you WON’T find recommended by the better class of people! From celebrated cases like the RFK assassination (with a visit to Sirhan Sirhan’s folks’ house), “Eraserhead” star Jack Nance’s strange end, black magician/rocket scientist Jack Parsons’ death-by-misadventure and the 1926 Rose Parade grand stand collapse, to fascinating obscurities, the tour’s dozens of murders, arsons, kidnappings, robberies, suicides, auto wrecks and oddball happening sites provide a alternate history of Pasadena that’s as fascinating as it is creepy. Passengers will tour the old Millionaire’s Row on Orange Grove, thrill to the shocking Sphinx Murder on the steps of the downtown Masonic Hall and discover why people named Judd should think twice before moving to Pasadena.
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“Serial,” the true crime podcast from the producers of “This American Life,” has become an internet obsession. The first season broke the iTunes record for fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads and streams and the series has been covered by media from the Wall Street Journal to the Colbert Report.
A 15-year-old murder case is at the core of the story. Host Sarah Koenig has been exploring the disappearance and death of Hae Min Lee and the murder conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. She and her team have been digging into the details and talking to the people involved, podcasting their findings in a new episode each week. Throughout the series the investigative team hasn’t known what was coming next or how many episodes it would take to tell the entire tale.
Now the story will come to a close in the twelfth episode to be released Thursday December 18. You can listen to the season finale at our Crawford Family Forum with fellow fans of “Serial” and KPCC managing editor of news Kristen Muller and science reporter Sanden Totten. After we hear the podcast, we’ll talk about the findings with special guests, including crime historian and mystery novelist Kim Cooper (Esotouric/ “The Kept Girl“), attorney Alan Jackson (Partner with Brown White & Newhouse LLP and former Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office) and attorney Lisa Kang (Alternate Public Defender for Los Angeles County).
Join us and tell us what you think about the case, the storytelling and its conclusion. Free, reservations required from http://www.scpr.org/events/2014/12/18/1637/serial-season-1-finale-listening-session/
Join us in the gorgeous National Register Pasadena Central Library, as true crime historian/novelist Kim Cooper discusses and reads from “The Kept Girl” (Esotouric Ink, 2014), a 1920s mystery starring the young Raymond Chandler, his devoted secretary and the real-life Philip Marlowe all on the trail of a murderous cult of angel worshippers. Accompanying Kim is husband Richard Schave, her partner in Esotouric bus adventures and LAVA – the Los Angeles Visionaries Association, and the designer of this 1940s-inspired paperback, the debut publication of their L.A.-centric press, Esotouric Ink. Kim’s illustrated talk will draw on her years of research into the lost lore of Los Angeles, with a focus on the bizarre Great Eleven cult, which ensnared dozens of credulous Angelenos in their mystical rites before one disgruntled ex-believer brought the whole enterprise tumbling down. You’ll hear about Raymond Chandler’s pre-literary life as an oil company executive, the idealistic L.A. policeman who is a likely model for Philip Marlowe, the real woman who inspired the character of Chandler’s secretary Muriel, and the terrible secrets revealed by the fraud investigation in the Great Eleven’s activities. Richard will share insights into how he used cutting edge computing tools to evoke the look and feel of a mid-century book, and Kim will talk abut the deluxe Art Deco wraps created for the Subscribers, whose pre-publication support covered a big chunk of the print cost. The talk will be followed by a Q&A, and copies of “The Kept Girl” and “The Raymond Chandler Map of Los Angeles” will be available for purchase and signing by the author.
The Pershing Square Restoration Society invites you to attend the Pershing Square Renew Launch Party, the first public event from the new non-profit organization “dedicated to supporting and facilitating Pershing Square’s revitalization.”
Pershing Square Renew says “Join us in the heart of Downtown for a fun-filled night of music, art, food, ice skating, interactive games, and prize-giveaways. Although this night will be about having fun and celebrating with the community, it will also be an opportunity for you to weigh in on your hopes, dreams, and aspirations for a renewed Pershing Square.”
Background information: In 2013, the Pershing Square Task Force was formed with the intent of “Re-Envisioning” the historic park. Public response has overwhelmingly supported a different model: the restoration of the 1910 John Parkinson landscape design that was demolished in 1951 to put in underground parking. More than 1500 people have signed the petition asking for restoration and the campaign has been prominently covered by The Los Angeles Times, Which Way LA? and Curbed.
The Pershing Square Task Force has since been replaced by Pershing Square Renew. Pershing Square Renew recently announced their intention of holding a design competition for Pershing Square; Councilman Jose Huizar confirmed that the historic 1910 John Parkinson design can be entered, and that a public vote will select the winner.
Supporters of the campaign to Restore Pershing Square are encouraged to attend this event and share their hopes for a return to John Parkinson’s 1910 design for the park, or other ideas which occur to them. All are welcome–please spread the word!