By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Where have you gone, Charles Manson; a nation turns its fearful eyes to you, woo, hoo, AWWWWWWW!!!!!! Was that a frigging bird?!?!?!.
Time was when we could feel good about the shit that scared us: nuclear war, serial killers, cancer. This was scary shit a person could understand and shake hands with. Look at what we have now. Scary comes in such benign packages -- doomsday is no longer likely to be delivered by a superpower but by a subway passenger or a chicken. Charlie? You're more likely to get murdered by a crazy mom or an angry teen (fear the day you cross an angry teen mom off her meds).
We here at theWeeklyare nothing if not -- did you feel that shaking. . .cut it out, Griley, it's not funny . . . I am not crying. I just have very expressive eyes . . . Anyway, we've updated our annual scariest list to include this new trend in fear, so along with our usual menagerie of crooked cops and putrid politicians, you'll also get terrifying tow trucks, reckless restaurateurs and the baseball helmet from hell! All this along with Art Linkletter and the Lord Jesus, who, coincidentally, are roughly the same age. Scary.
1 ROBERT "BILL" LEWIS
Lewis is all about the kids and education. So when the opportunity presented itself, Lewis, then an Orange Unified school board member, told his daughter to get behind the wheel of his car and he would teach her to drive. Sure, she was only 13 at the time, but you're never too young to learn. Plus, he was shit-faced. Well, tell that to the troglodytes who arrested Lewis, eventually charging him with felony child endangerment. For good measure, tell it to the 11-year-old boy his daughter hit in the crosswalk. The boy was not seriously injured, but police say Lewis had his daughter drive because he had a blood alcohol level of .13; the legal limit is .08. Lewis is now a former Orange Unified school board member. MITIGATING FACTOR: Wish my kid could do that.
Courtesy American Apparel
2 DOV CHARNEY
The sideburns, the bedhead, the glasses: coulda sworn I saw this guy at the end of my street on a 10-speed, pulling a hand truck with a plastic crate, a VCR and an empty gas can on it. I think it was him. I think the gas can was empty. Seriously, the American Apparel CEO (they opened a Huntington store this summer) is one click away from looking at a loaded chamber of judges. He's facing a brace of sexual harassment suits from women who used to work for him, and a Jane magazine reporter has said he masturbated in front of her during an interview. He's a one-man Minnesota Vikings party boat. MITIGATING FACTOR: Nice polo shirts.
3 JOHN LOFTUS
According to his website, this former Justice Department prosecutor "works without charge to help hundreds of intelligence agents obtain lawful permission to declassify and publish the hidden secrets of our times." But for all his snooping, Loftus apparently hasn‚€™t heard of the White Pages. On Aug. 7, Loftus appeared on Fox News as part of his weekly Inside Scoop With John Loftus and gave out the address of a La Habra home. Inside, he said, lived Iyad K. Hilal, whom authorities suspect of masterminding the July 7 London terrorist bombings. One problem: Hilal had moved out three years ago. The current residents are lifelong La Habrans Randy and Ronnell Vorick. The Voricks soon became the targets of vicious attacks -- someone, probably the president, definitely a Fox viewer, spray-painted "Terrst" near their front door -- and police soon began an all-hours patrol to protect the family of five. "Mistakes happen," Loftus told the Los Angeles Times, adding, "That was the best information we had at the time." Fox fired Loftus soon after, and Loftus eventually apologized. MITIGATING FACTOR: It was Fox News.
4 HOWARD AND ROBERTA AHMANSON
Name a battle fought by Christian conservatives in the past decade, and Newport Beach billionaire and Home Savings & Loan heir Howard Ahmanson Jr. and his wife, Roberta, probably funded it. The Episcopal Church split over the ordination of a gay bishop? Started by the Anglican Council, to whom the Ahmansons donated over $1 million in 2000 and 2001. Gay marriage? A third of the money ($210,000) behind 2000's Proposition 22, which defined marriage in California as limited to straights, came from the Ahmansons. Intelligent design? Led by the Discovery Institute, on whose board of directors Ahmanson sits and to which he gave $2.8 million last year alone. The Ahmansons -- according to Time magazine, among the 25 most influential evangelicals in America -- are proud parishioners of St. James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach, which earlier this year made worldwide headlines after seceding from the Episcopal Church of America over the gay-ordination issue. It joined the Ugandan church. MITIGATING FACTOR: Most of the old Home Savings & Loan buildings that are now Washington Mutual branches still have those cool murals Ahmanson's dad commissioned so many years ago.
5 ROLAND ARNALL
Founder and CEO of Ameriquest Mortgage, the Orange-based company that pioneered home refinancing for individuals with crappy credit or debt. During the summer, Ameriquest set aside $325 million as settlement cash in light of a 30-state investigation into the company's alleged deceptive lending and appraisal practices; earlier this year, Ameriquest also settled a $50 million class-action suit in California over bait-and-switch tactics. But duping low-income folks never dissuaded George W. Bush from considering someone for an ambassador‚€™s post (see: George Argyros, Spain), and so Arnall awaits his congressional confirmation hearing to represent the United States in the Netherlands. MITIGATING FACTOR: The Texas Rangers' Ameriquest Field? Very nice.