Orange Countys 31 Scariest People

 

6. JEANNE CARMEN

Onetime B-movie bombshell, model and gal pal to, among others, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, Jeanne Carmen has seen her career reboot over the past few years. There's been commercial work for Pac Bell and Nike as well as a couple of TV bios. All of which are nice, but what makes Jeanne Carmen scary is the way she makes us feel. You know. All tingly and . . . Look, yeah, she's in her, what, 70s, but she's still a very attractive woman. There's just something about the way she looks, smiles, carries herself, something about her that makes us want to . . . Not that we would. No, no, no. We're just saying that sometimes when we think about her . . . we think about . . . It's all very healthy, isn't it? I mean—I mean, we mean—that this is nothing that has anything to do with anything and don't bring our mother into this. I mean, we mean, have you seen Jeanne Carmen? Have you really looked at her? Have you?! We have. God help us. MITIGATING FACTOR:The woman is hot.

 

7. RAGHU P. MATHUR

"Disloyalty will not be tolerated." "I apologize for doing that, but I don't admit to doing it." "When you point your finger at someone, three fingers point right back at you!" Such are the curious pronouncements of Raghu P. Mathur, ruler of Irvine Valley College, the northern campus of the South Orange County Community College District. Recently, upon surveying his kingdom and detecting unsightly clutter, his Highness ordered his subjects to remove everything from their doors and windows. Although maybe it wasn't the clutter. Maybe it was those "Mathur must go!" posters. It all started in '96, when the board of trustees launched an assault on "shared governance," the state-mandated policy giving faculty and other groups a share in campus decision making. Soon, Mathur, a chemistry instructor, was made president, whereupon he embraced the board's agenda, especially the elimination of "reassigned time," a form of compensation for non-instructional duties such as senate office, upon which shared governance depended. But wait! As a teacher, Mathur enjoyed massive amounts of reassigned time! Oh well, l'Ètat c'est Mathur. Unilateral board rule has continued, and through it all, Mathur, the recipient (in 1998) of a 74 percent vote of no confidence, has remained unswerving in his devotion to governance unshared. MITIGATING FACTOR: When students flee the strife-ridden college, Mathur allegedly tells each one, "Thank you, loyal customer; please come again."

 

8. SHERIFF MIKE CARONA

Earlier this year, a maniac armed with an assault rifle sprayed 17 bullets into Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Brad Riches as he drove his squad car into the parking lot of a Lake Forest 7-Eleven. How did Carona, the county's top cop, respond? By ordering heavier firepower for his deputies, many of whom now carry AR-15 assault rifles locked inside the trunks of their patrol cars—something that still wouldn't have kept Riches from being shot to death. That move was consistent with the rest of Carona's gun policy: giving concealed-weapon permits to anyone who says they need one and who hasn't already been convicted of a felony. With 1999 likely to go down as the Year of the Public Massacre, there has never been a riper moment for law-enforcement officials like Carona to push for greater gun-control measures. But don't expect leadership on this issue from Carona, who prefers to shy away from saying anything that would disturb his right-wing backers in OC, many of whom think the sheriff's top priority should be upholding the Second Amendment. MITIGATING FACTOR: We still don't regret endorsing the guy over Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters, whose comments about Latinos during the sheriff's race still creep us out after the sun goes down.

 

9. HARALD MARTIN

The Anaheim Union High School president and longtime city police officer claims credit for persuading the Anaheim Police Depart-ment to bring the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) into the city's jail in an effort to speed the deportation of undocumented felons. This year, he's made his rep by demanding that the Anaheim Union High School board draft a resolution billing Mexico and other countries $50 million for the cost of educating the many alleged "illegal aliens" currently enrolled in the city's schools. Exactly how many? Don't ask Martin, who admits he has no idea and wants the INS to do the head-counting—something expressly prohibited by INS policy. Now Martin is under fire for telling the Los Angeles Times that an Anaheim high school student molested by her teacher—whose family was recently awarded millions in damages to be paid by the school district—was also "culpable" for what happened to her. Martin has refused to apologize to the girl or her parents. MITIGATING FACTOR: Hmmm.

 

10. DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS

Deer in the headlights of drivers on the Eastern Transportation Corridor may not be people, but they definitely undergo some horrifying near-people experiences. And they're experiencing them more and more, as people get closer and closer. The still water that shimmers in the wide eyes of the average deer standing in the middle of the average toll road runs much deeper—and gets much darker—than any human eco-extremist. It's not necessarily terrified innocence that makes these creatures freeze when they suddenly show up in the cross hairs of your halogen beams. No, it is vengeance, my friend, long-simmering and well-focused . . . or have you forgotten the legacy of a long-ago OC amusement called Japanese Deer Park? Opened in 1967 in Buena Park, it was a few acres where people could come to pet and feed hundreds of free-roaming deer. But by 1974 the place had become unprofitable, and the owners began giving the deer lethal injections, claiming the animals had tuberculosis. They killed 177 of them before the health department stopped them, ruling that the massacre was "obviously economic." The 141 that were spared were donated to UC Davis for use in experiments. And now it's payback time: hundreds of deer, driven by the relentless purpose of true believers, roam the rural lands around the toll roads, seeking the glorious retaliation of warrior-martyrs. Innocent? Ha! As time bombs! And it's no coincidence that their antlers and hooves so strikingly resemble the horns and cloven footprints of Satan himself. Can any driver say otherwise who has been stared down by a defiantly wild-eyed deer in its final seconds, whose children will never be able to watch Bambi without thinking of Fox's When Animals Kill, who has had to pay the ultimate price to their body shop because the front quarter panel of their SUV couldn't be salvaged with Bondo? MITIGATING FACTOR: They are cute.

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