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
Hello, guys and ghouls! This is your humble Crypto Mexican, with another spine-shivering edition of OC’s Scariest People! Just in time for my second-favorite holiday: Día de los Muertos. (My favorite? April GHOULS’ Day, of course! Eee-hee-heee!)
Read on, as OC Weekly’s staff spins the titillatingly terrifying tales of OC’s most garish gangsters, cutthroat cops, diabolical dog abusers—and Vanessa Bryant! And visit our Navel Gazing blog to read about our latest entrant into the Bob Dornan Hall of Shame: Birther Queen Orly Taitz! Say, Orly: Care to work on my teeth? AHAHAHAHAHAHA!
1. ROBERT RIZZO
Thomas Nast couldn’t have invented a grosser caricature of political corruption and avarice than Rizzo, the short, impossibly rotund former city manager of Bell whose fleecing of the working-class Los Angeles County city afforded him a near-$800,000 annual salary and a Huntington Beach palace. The public face of civic corruption is currently free on $2 million bail but still must face multiple felony charges. Worst of all? Pranksters covered his house in toilet paper in October.
MITIGATING FACTOR: The t.p. was very appropriate, given the shitty state of Bell’s finances.
2. ANDREW THOMAS GALLO
Part of the San Gabriel man’s punishment for two previous DUI convictions were classes in which he learned the dangers of drinking and driving—and how he could be tried for murder if someone died in another crash blamed on his being drunk. The lessons didn’t stick: Gallo got behind the wheel of a minivan and, in the wee hours of April 9, 2009, plowed into a car at the intersection of Orangethorpe Avenue and Lemon Street in Anaheim. Immediately killed were Anaheim Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, passenger Henry Pearson and driver Courtney Stewart; another passenger, Jon Wilhite, was critically injured but survived. Gallo was convicted in September of triple murder and has a December sentencing hearing, at which he faces 50 years to life in prison.
MITIGATING FACTOR: There are a lot of Angels fans in prison.
3. MICHAEL KEVIN LALLANA
The USC graduate, mortgage-company employee and Fullerton family man is accused of placing his man juice in the water bottle of a female co-worker . . . on at least two separate occasions! Prosecutors claim Lallana entered the office of a woman identified in court records as Jane Doe, whom he used to supervise, and—ahem—deposited his ejaculate into a water bottle that was on her desk. The woman later returned to her office, took a swig from the bottle and quickly tossed it in the garbage, feeling sick and irritated. That incident happened in January; after finding her bottle spiked again in April, Ms. Doe had its contents examined by a lab, which eventually linked Lallana’s DNA to the sploogey contents. The 31-year-old Lallana—married, with a daughter—has pleaded not guilty; if convicted, he is eligible for prison time and will have to register as a sex offender.
MITIGATING FACTOR: There is someone in this sad incident scarier than Lallana. The lawyer Doe has hired for the likely lawsuit that will follow the criminal case is Gloria Allred.
4. DANIEL WOZNIAK
Talk about Method acting: While starring as a lout in a local theater musical of the Fellini film Nine, prosecutors say Wozniak murdered Afghanistan War veteran Sam Herr, dismembered his body and scattered his remains around the Los Alamitos Joint Training Base and El Dorado Park in Long Beach; he then murdered Herr’s friend, Julie Kibuishi. And this was just days before his wedding. OC prosecutors will seek the death penalty against him next year.
MITIGATING FACTOR: If convicted, Wozniak could whip San Quentin’s acting troupe into shape.
5. IMPERIAL STARS
A few weeks ago, Christopher Wright, Paul Arabella and Keith Yackey got on a semi-truck, headed for U.S. Highway 101 and blocked three lanes of traffic to play the song “Traffic Jam 101.” Naturally, the California Highway Patrol arrested the Garden Grove trio—known as Imperial Stars—impounded the band’s truck and instruments, then threw them in jail. The band members only spent a night in the slammer before coming up with the $10,000 bail, so now they’re free to tell everyone from Inside Edition to TheOrange County Register to your favorite rag the stunt was done to “raise awareness about the 1.5 million homeless children in America.” Um, yeah. If you’re buying it, know the Imperial Stars have been offered a reality-TV show, money for a benefit concert and more!
MITIGATING FACTOR: The fact that people believe their bullshit—and not that they play terrible music—is the scariest part of this band’s existence.
6. VANESSA BRYANT
She’s arguably the most reviled player’s wife in sports for being the Yoko Ono to Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant’s John Lennon—and this was before Vanessa’s eventful 2010, which started with her fighting allegations by a former maid that she berated her incessantly and even made the Peruvian immigrant fish a receipt from dog doo-doo. The two sides reconciled in time for Mrs. Bryant to enter the nation’s immigration debate by wearing a T-shirt during the opening game of the NBA Western Conference Finals that declared, “Do I Look Illegal?” Most observers dismissed the move as a desperate attempt at attention by the part-Latina instead of a serious commentary, and the former view proved right: Vanessa has said nothing on immigration since.
MITIGATING FACTOR: She and Kobe frequent the iconic Mexican restaurant El Camino Real in Fullerton, which shows she has good taste in something.