The Interview, The Victim

Part 2 Detective Kevin Bailey is a youthful, fit-looking man in his mid-thirties. He comes across as a genuinely nice guy. Bailey is close enough in age and general experience to the young people he mostly deals with to understand their formative social and cultural influences. Hip to youth idiom, Bailey throws a lot of […]

One Murder, Four Deaths

Part 1 Two days after the September 11th everyone will always remember, a lithe 39-year-old ex-Marine named Donald Perez took $200 out of his savings and headed north for Mendocino County. Perez was on the road in anticipation of another sexual romp with an 18-year-old Fort Bragg man child named August Stuckey.  By 10am Friday, […]

Where Are the Files, Sue?

Susan Massini might as well have torched Fort Bragg herself that September night in 1987 for all she did about it. In two hours the town’s library, Ten Mile Justice Court and the old Piedmont Hotel went up in flames. Lots of people were questioned, even more people talked, but nobody was ever arrested for […]

The Stories Behind the Stories

Monday’s story began, “A search was suspended Sunday night but is expected to resume today for Antonio Angulo, a North Coast resident who has been missing in the Lake Berryessa area since Wednesday, a spokesman for the Napa County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday night.” Antonio Angulo is a resident of Boonville. He and his wife […]

Jim Chellberg’s Bogus Arrest

If your name is Jim Chellberg and the FBI pounds on your door at 7 am, here’s what you can look forward to for the rest of the day. And the next two years. And, likely as not, the rest of your life. The FBI came pounding on Mr. Chellberg’s door in Noyo Harbor, Fort […]

Lindy Peters Answers His Critics

Lindy Peters is the former mayor of Fort Bragg and a current member of the Fort Bragg City Council. A large, affable man in his mid-forties, Mr. Peters resembles the action movie star, Steven Seagal. Mr. Peters is a former college football player also familiar to many Coast residents and sports fans as “The Voice” […]

The Mother of All Dog Fights

Occasional newcomers to the North Coast (more often than not city people) will settle in San Francisco’s northern most boutique, Mendocino, not as if they’re neighbors but as if they’re occupiers. Yes, these folks from New York, San Francisco and more recently Sacramento, love the outdoors, but it’s their outdoors: it’s their freedom, and their […]

The Day I Met Mike on the Street

I’d just encountered Glenda Anderson, journalist and prisoner of love when, only minutes later, just around the corner on West Church, Ukiah, there was the dungeon master himself — Mike Sweeney, Mendocino County’s trash czar, a wholly reinvented person of the uniquely Mendo type from his days as a Maoist hit man and, presumably, recycler […]

Off the Record (Jan. 15, 2003)

COURT ORDERS, if not strictly enforced by the judge who issues them, can be more dangerous to the parties involved than no court order. In Mendocino County, restraining orders and custody orders are often violated because they’re not enforced by the judges who issue them. For instance, a young father I know has faithfully appeared […]

The Great Fort Bragg Witch Hunt

Isn’t it just like Lucifer to plunk his evil self down in a pretty little Mendocino County mill town of forested hillsides, ocean bluffs, and rivers running to the sea? Life was good in Fort Bragg, population 7,000 when Beezlebub set up shop out on Airport Road. It was 1983. The town’s largest employer, Georgia-Pacific, […]

Steve Ahl vs. Ukiah

Just after noon on a slow, sunny Sunday afternoon last March, the famous Ukiah policeman, Peter Hoyle, was sitting in his patrol car at 1040 North State Street. Officer Hoyle was monitoring passing traffic with a handheld radar device.  The 1000 block of North State Street generates a lot of speeding ticket money for Ukiah. […]