Thursday, December 9, 2010

Burning the Bomb House and the Publicist Murder

We've had a couple of brushes with current events recently that I've found intriguing. First up: George Jakubec in Escondido was found to be making highly explosive HMTD bombs in his rented home at 1954 Via Scott - he was found because his gardener brushed against some with his foot and it exploded. No, we don't know George, but the house is within a few blocks of where I drive on my way home sometimes.

If you've been watching the news, you know that the bomb squad decided the only way to safely get rid of the HMTD was to burn down George's home. Well, the burn happened at 10:55 today. Within 5 minutes, the home looked like the top photo. Within 15, the photo to the left.

I got home in the wee hours of the morning from a trip to Virginia, so I was just waking up when I flipped on the TV and took these shots of the news. As you can see, the house backs (backed?) up to the freeway, so they closed the freeway.

We only live about 4 miles from there, so I took this photo from our upstairs window. This photo was taken about the same time as the black plume photo above. It is amazing how different a plume can look from different angles.

The next current event that piqued my interest was the murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen. No, I didn't know her either, but as you'll recall from prior posts we just did a Hollywood trip in September and had a great time. Ronni had attended the premiere of Burlesque on Nov 16, and went to the afterparty at the W Hotel shown on the left - which is about a block from Hollywood and Vine, one of the places we visited in Sept.

On her way home to Westwood, she was on Sunset Blvd waiting to turn left onto Whittier. A bicyclist rode up and attempted to rob her, but instead ended up firing 5 shots into the car. Ronni was able to drive hundreds of feet down Whittier before she crashed her car into this lamp pole and died. Very sad. We drove within about a block of this home. It is about 2 blocks from Michael Jackson's home, which we did drive by before droving around the area. The house in the photo, by the way, is 6500 square feet and valued at $4M.
When the police went to question the suspected murderer, they went to the Harvey Apartments where he lived. He shot himself as they approached. The gun he used was the same gun he shot Ronni with. When I looked up the Harvey Apartments, I found they are just 700 feet or so from the spot on La Mirada where we parked our car when we were on Let's Make a Deal in September.
So nothing earth shattering here. Just a few very intriguing stories that we were fairly close to. That is all.

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