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
11 PATRICK FREY
The LA Times profiled Frey earlier this year, calling him "an admired educator" in northern California who lives on a "remote ranch with his wife, a teenage son and a donkey named Burrito." But although Frey was recently awarded "Teacher of the Year" by the Monterey County School District for his work with differently abled students, the Times noted, that was before he came to Orange County and took command of the U.S. National Guard's Fullerton-based Alpha Company. It was in Fullerton that Frey began lecturing his soldiers about hygiene -- moral and physical -- comparing them unflatteringly to his special-ed students, and using a hatchet in bizarre knighting ceremonies that he may have learned while serving as a mercenary in white supremacist Rhodesia. With that kind of sensitivity training, how could things go wrong when Frey led his troops in Iraq? So far, more than a dozen members of Frey's Alpha Company have been investigated -- and seven have been sentenced to prison -- for abusing handcuffed Iraqi insurgents by applying electric shocks to their genitals. Take that, you Abu Ghraib pussies! MITIGATING FACTOR: Some, citing Mapplethorpe, call it homoerotic performance art.
12 ART LINKLETTER
Art was old when we were kids, and America still made steel when we were kids. To be honest, we assumed Art died years ago, when he was in his early sesquicentennials, but there he was at Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration, having been present at the original opening -- of the earth. We have no idea what kind of deal Linkletter, who looks like a meatier version of his college roommate, Monty Burns, struck with which netherworld figure -- Beelzebub, Hades, Liza -- but clearly the man has connections. Fear him! MITIGATING FACTOR: Would have been scary just for giving Bill Cosby that lame "Kids Are Babbling Morons" idea.
13 AMIT KUMAR SINHA
Actually, we're quite sympathetic to this young man because, let's face it, we've all been in his shoes. I mean, who among us hasn't lied to our parents about attending UC Irvine's School of Medicine -- a school we never applied to -- accepting Mom and Dad's financial assistance (it takes about $50,000 a year for a UCI med student to live and study) for years and years and then, on the day of the medical school graduation, panicking that the folks -- arriving soon to watch you walk the proud walk of a graduating doctor -- will find out the awful truth -- who would blame you for doing what any thinking person would do: calling in a bomb threat. Yes, Amit did all this -- and allegedly started a fire in a trash can! -- in the hopes of scuttling UCI's med school graduation. It didn't work. In fact, the only thing that happened was Amit got himself arrested. He ended up copping to making a bomb threat and received three years of formal probation and was ordered to pay $5,000 to a victims' fund. MITIGATING FACTOR: Bet Mom and Dad paid the fine.
14 & 15 SEPTEMBER
We all remember 9/11 -- the old guy down the street has a sign in his yard that commands me to hold it ever in my mind (grim) -- and some of us remember when Yasir Arafat's Black September killed 11 unarmed Israeli jocks at the 1972 Olympic games -- hockey still more violent -- and then came September 2005. The month opened with news that Orangewood Children's Foundation had fired and then sued Tracy Salcido of Yorba Linda, its top financial officer, alleging that she embezzled more than $900,000 -- almost a million dollars -- from an organization whose only goal (besides producing fabulous party pics of rich people at fund-raisers for Coast, Orange Coast and Riviera magazines) is to help kids who've already been so fucked over they live in foster care. Salcido could not be reached for comment. Not be outdone, just a few days later (still September), the Los Angeles Timesreported that the Orange County Performing Arts Center had fired an employee in its finance office. The center, whose only goal (besides producing fabulous party pics of rich people at fund-raisers for Coast, Orange Coast and Riviera magazines) is to bring a little Broadway to the county, doesn't need to say much because the district attorney's office says Ana Limbaring of Costa Mesa, who handled cash for OCPAC, kept a little something -- $1.6 million -- for herself. Limbaring is in jail. MITIGATING FACTOR: May be the only accused white-collar criminals not helping write policy for the Bush White House.
16 JEREMY VINCENT
On Aug. 9, Vincent and girlfriend Jessica Rowe partied at the Standard Hotel in Hollywood, pretending to be Rammstein, one of the most successful German-language bands in history. At 5 the next morning, Rowe somehow fell out the window of their rented Humvee limousine whilst returning to Irvine; more than a dozen cars spread her across a mile and a half of the 405. Three days later, Vincent organized his own re-enactment of the scene: he and some friends rented limos, returned to the same club in LA, and again pretended to be Rammstein. Notable differences include Rowe's absence -- and Vincent's arrest at the end of the night after a resourceful limo driver discovered his credit cards didn't check out. We all deal with trauma in our own way; Vincent's recovery cocktail seems to be part credit card fraud and part Nixonesque callousness, with just a dash of jail time. Garnish with $150,000 in bail. MITIGATING FACTOR: Most people wouldn't be thinking straight after such a messy breakup.