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
MISGUIDED MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY ADVERTISERS
Look, if you're a business owner, and you come up with what you think is a clever, cheeky promotion for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, BE AFRAID. Your chances of pulling off something that is actually clever and not offensive are slim. Just ask the folks at Thalia Surf Shop in Laguna Beach, who Photoshopped the civil-rights leader's head onto a surfer's body for an ad touting 20 percent off all black products. (Ouch.) Or the folks at the dining area of Pippin Commons at UC Irvine, who offered chicken and waffles as the themed meal for that holiday. (Ouch.) Mitigating Factor: Thalia issued an apology, and UCI's food vendor conducted cultural-awareness training. So we'll have to look elsewhere for our facepalm-worthy missteps next year.
This 32-year-old worked hard at his construction job, driving tractors and such to provide for his wife and young daughter while living in a quaint Fullerton home where he worked on a video-game website. His normal life no doubt incurred the ire of Placentia police, who for almost 10 years suspected him of killing a 20-year-old Fullerton College student named Lynsie Ekelund, missing since the night McAmis said he dropped her near her home after a night out with friends. The cold case was handed to elite investigators with the Orange County district attorney's office in 2008. Last October, McAmis confessed to strangling Ekelund after attempting to rape her, then dumping her corpse in a shallow grave at a worksite in Santa Clarita. He has pleaded not guilty. Mitigating Factor: If he's convicted, well, it's just that he finally got caught. [Editor's note: material in this entry was corrected. Please see the end of the article for details.]
DANIEL ALMA SHEPERD AND GAY DAVIDSON SHEPERD
Daniel, 62, was a science teacher at Mesa View Middle School in Huntington Beach, and his 52-year-old wife was a former leader of the Huntington Beach teachers' union. Daniel met his young victim, who was a Westminster High student, and introduced the lad to his wife. They began grooming their victim in 2009 by inviting him over to their house for drinks, board games and movies. The DA says things took a turn for the stranger shortly after, when the two hopped into their hot tub naked urging their young charge to do the same. Gay stands accused of blowing more than bubbles as she orally pleasured both fellas. Numerous sex acts followed in the ensuing weeks, including mutual masturbation, sodomy, oral sex and plain-ol' sex. Daniel is currently facing five years in state prison, while Gay faces eight. Mitigating Factor: The unattractiveness of the alleged perps reveals that all of these "hot for teacher" stories are ugly, rather than titillating.
THE BAD JUJU OF THE YOST THEATER
The historic Santa Ana venue has been the Chavez Ravine of OC Latino history—twice. In 1985, city officials forced the Olivos family—which had turned it into an internationally famous venue for hosting Spanish-language film and music stars since the 1950s—to sell it to them, then promptly turned around and unloaded it on developer Irving Chase. He, in turn, let the venue crumble for more than 20 years until letting the nonprofit El Centro Cultural de México use it for a son jarocho concert in 2007. Chase then planned to let El Centro lease the space, but in swooped Dennis Lluy, the former DIY punker behind the late, great Koo's Café, now a city insider. Chase reneged on his proposal, leased the space to Lluy—and earlier this year, El Centro just happened to get pushed out of a building owned by Chase's father-in-law. Mitigating Factor: The renovations look very nice.
The Santa Ana councilwoman had been a vendida for most of her 12 years on the Banana Republic's ruling junta, taking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from gentrifying developers while vilifying activists fighting the same developers as malcontents. Then sometime this year, the Orange County prosecutor got all MEChista and began railing against those same developers for their supposed ethnic cleansing of the city's downtown—the same ethnic cleansing she had applauded for a decade. No one believed her act, and it didn't help when Alvarez publicly compared property owner Irving Chase (see above) to Hitler, a stance that effectively squashed any criticism of Santa Ana's city-led gentrification efforts for good. Mitigating Factor: She's termed out next year.
PHAT HUY TO
The horror of being sexually violated by a social deviant is bad enough. If the assailant also smells weird, that could make it worse—or it could be an important clue. This 27-year old resident of Garden Grove was recently sentenced to eight years in state prison for raping a woman he ordered into his car by threatening her with what appeared to be a gun. The victim told police that To, who sodomized her and forced her to orally copulate him for two and a half hours, mentioned to her during the ordeal that his mother owned a doughnut shop. The victim told police her attacker smelled of garlic and onion doughnuts. Rumor has it To is now housed in the men's prison at Chuckwalla. Mitigating Factor: Prison food is pretty underseasoned.