There was a lot to hate about 2011 as a whole.
And, there are still nine days left for December to make a case for changing my mind about which was the worst month in Orange County this year.
But, from my perch on this ivory tower I call "couch," I'm ready to proclaim October 2011 as the nastiest month of all . . . this year. My reason? Actually, I have eight of them . . .
OK, when a heavily armed and armored gunman walks into a bustling hair salon and, by the time he is captured shortly thereafter, he has mowed down eight people and left a 73-year-old woman seriously injured, that day alone is going to taint the rest of the month.
2) Texas plays in the World Series, the Angels play with themselves
Yes, it would have been worse had the Rangers beat the Cardinals, and there is some poetic justice in taking Albert Pujols from St. Louis (that'll teach 'em). But if the Angels are not in the Fall Classic or there are no Yankees to root against, what's the point in watching? Actually, millions and millions of Americans agreed, based on the ratings.
Deputy Kevin Taylor, then working at Theo Lacy Jail, exposed John Chamberlain as a pedophile and ordered his assault by dozens of inmates. All we have to show for it is the conviction of five jailees for Chamberlain's beating death.
Sentenced a month earlier to life in prison for torturing a Huntington Beach woman on Christmas Eve 1990, former mixed-martial arts fighter Joseph Hyungmin Son, a Hollywood actor who played Dr. Evil's henchman Random Task in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, killed his cellmate in a Kern County institution.
Twenty-five years after former Camp Pendleton Marine Andrew Urdiales allegedly stabbed drama student Robbin Brandley 41 times in an unlit Saddleback College parking lot, he returned to Orange County to finally face the music. The thing is, Urdiales is linked to several other killings of women in Southern California, and he's been convicted and received the ultimate sentence for extending his murder spree to Illinois, which later abolished its death penalty. So, prosecutors hope he'll be eligible for execution in California. But having him here gives us the willies.
Like justice for Urdiales, parole being denied for former Egyptian model Omaima Aree Nelson is a good thing. But the parole hearing also reminded us of what she did as a 23-year-old newlywed over Thanksgiving weekend 1991: dismembering, disemboweling and partly eating her husband William E. Nelson. Besides recalling the way she cooked, breaded and deep-fried the 43-year-old's remains, we get to re-read her joke to investigators: "Nothing tastes as good as the man I married. It's the sauce that does it." Yes it does . . . make us sick.
Huntington Beach Police arrested the 39-year-old pastor of Refuge Southland Church in Buena Park for allegedly picking an 8-year-old girl up from her home to play with one of his five daughters at his house in Westminster, but instead pulling into a parking lot where he touched her inappropriately, unbuttoned his pants and pulled them down slightly. He is then accused of paying her $40 not to say anything. He pleaded not guilty at arraignment, but Olague was arrested again for allegedly possessing child porn on his home computer, including images of a 6-year-old female relative. Heaven help us.
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We saw eye-to-eye with the former state assemblyman on politics . . . well . . . never, but we loved the way he mixed it up with opponents and his tech-savvy ways. Indeed, we were gearing up for a battle royale with fellow Republican Todd Spitzer for Orange County supervisor next year. After all, if Devore threw demon sheep at Carly Fiorina when he sought the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, who knows what kind of possessed barnyard animal he would unleash on Spitzer. Alas, Chuckie announced (via tweet, natch), he was leaving to become a visiting scholar in Texas. Texas? Like, ew. Chuck, we hardly knew ye.