FROM Linda Deutsch
Should Leslie Van Houten Go Free? After nearly a half century in prison, Manson Family murderer Leslie Van Houten may be set free. The parole board recommended freedom yesterday. It was her 20th appearance before the board. Van Houten was convicted of killing Leno and Rosemary LaBianca - a couple who lived in Los Feliz. She, Charles Manson and two others left a grisly scene. It was the summer of 1969 when the Manson killings took place. Van Houten is now 66 years old. Patricia Krenwinkel - another Manson murderer - is the only woman who’s been in a California prison longer.
The OJ Simpson Verdict, 20 Years Later It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since a jury acquitted Heisman Trophy-winning-football player-turned-TV and movie star OJ Simpson of murdering his wife, Nicole Brown-Simpson and a friend at their Brentwood home. The jury’s decision to not convict OJ sent ripples across the country, with some people believing a great injustice had been done, while others saying OJ was set up and deserved to have been set free.
Remembering Manson Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi The murder trial of Charles Manson made Vincent Bugliosi a household name worldwide. He died last night of cancer at the age of 80. It was 1969 and Bugliosi had only been Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles for five years when the Manson Family shot, stabbed and hung the movie actress Sharon Tate and five other people in the Hollywood Hills. Later the same night in Los Feliz, they tortured and killed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in the couple’s home. After they were convicted, Bugliosi was surrounded by a familiar crowd of reporters. As the Associated Press special correspondent who covered that blockbuster story, Linda Deutsch was there that day.
Linda Deutsch Looks Back at L.A.’s Biggest Trials For the last 48 years, Linda Deutsch has had a front-row seat to L.A.’s most high-profile trials. When Charles Manson showed up in court with an X carved into his forehead, she was there. She was also there when O.J. Simpson struggled to put on a leather glove, and when jurors took a field trip to Phil Spector’s house. After nearly half a century as the L.A. courts reporter for the Associated Press, Linda Deutsch retired yesterday. She joins us to talk about her career and what she plans to do next.
Coliseum Scandal Casts Spotlight on Rave Culture Last Friday, two former executives of the Memorial Coliseum, two rave promoters and two other contractors were indicted on 29 counts of bribery, embezzlement, conspiracy and conflict of interest. Today's LA Times reports that one of the contractors is still at large and may be out of the country. District Attorney Steven Cooley says millions of public dollars were stolen and that prosecution will be conducted "aggressively." Jointly run by the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County and the State of California, the Coliseum has hosted two Summer Olympic Games, John Kennedy's nomination as President, several world series and Super Bowls, and a mass conducted by Pope John Paul II. But since 2005, almost all the events there have been raves, also known as "electronic dance concerts."
Switzerland Rejects US Extradition Request for Polanski Roman Polanski was declared a free man today after Switzerland rejected a US request to extradite the famed director to face justice for forced sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. It is unclear what legal options are left for Los Angeles prosecutors now. Is this the end of road for the 33-year-old case? Linda Deutsch is a special correspondent for Associated Press , based in Los Angeles.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.