Getting Away With Murder

It was a perfect early afternoon in May when a young Mexican couple saw the car under the overpass with the man holding a knife to a terrified woman’s throat. The young Mexican couple got back on Highway 101 and sped south to the Cloverdale Police Department. They told the Cloverdale police that a man […]

Guns, Germs & Steel

James Stephens, felon, up on charges that he was in possession of a .22 rifle and a 12 gauge shotgun, nar­rowly missed four more years in state prison because, apparently, he’s a non-violent felon and he wasn’t in actual possession of what the DA characterized as “weapons.” A .22 and a shotgun were merely in […]

La Familia In Boonville?

The Mexican drug cartel La Familia went down last week, big time, with kingpins arrested in 19 states and 750 pounds of meth seized and Michoacan, the birthplace of most Mendocino County immigrants, much in the news as headquarters for much of the mayhem associated with the international drug trade. In Boonville, the Tapio-Soto familia […]

The United Nations’ Mendo Grows

Mendocino County natives take for granted some­thing outsiders consider intoxicatingly glamorous, adventurous, and outrageously profitable — the pirate’s dream of going to Mendoland and growing a fortune in weed. The image that many of these 09ers have is of a summer frolicking in the redwoods and ferns, plenty of recreational drugs, reggae festivals, skinny-dipping in […]

Court Case Updates

Aaron Vargas is the young man who shot and killed Darrell McNeil in Fort Bragg last year for what Vargas said was McNeil’s predatory child molestation of not only Vargas but other Fort Bragg-area children. Vargas’s trial for murder will begin the last week of September. Attorneys on both sides seemed to anxious to get […]

The Hoyle Trial Fiasco: Case Dismissed

District Attorney Meredith Lintott had a problem. His name was Peter Hoyle, a well-known and controversial Ukiah cop with 33 years anchoring Mendocino County’s thin blue line. If Hoyle hasn’t arrested every crook in the county down to their grandchildren it’s only because they weren’t home when he came calling. Lots of people say that […]

All In The Family

Bullet-headed, barrel-chested, built like a brickworks, and with his head shaved and sporting a big, bushy Fu Manchu mustache, Special Agent Peter Hoyle, a 33-year police veteran, much of it with the Ukiah Police Department, was called to the stand. If Hoyle had karate-chopped the witness chair to kindling no one would have been surprised. […]

High School Tagged

Last week the Anderson Valley High School was tagged in two brazen raids that left many locals spitting mad. One custodian I spoke with at the school swore with such fluency and vehemence I was afraid he might incite a vigilante lynching party before the week was out, and if the names of the suspects […]

Just a Matter of Time?

“I guess it was just a matter of time,” a patron of the Ledford House restaurant in Albion said when he heard about Anthony Geer’s DUI. Mr. Geer owns the renowned Coast eatery. Patrol deputies were staked out on Albion Ridge Road when Mr. Geer drove home from the restaurant with his wife. He’d had […]

When Love Freezes Over

Remember when motherhood was sacred? When it was simply unthinkable that Mom’s underwear could possibly be Exhibit A in open court? No more. There it was, Mom’s undergarment. Not the unmentionable itself, but a photograph of it showing that it had been violently torn, barbarously ripped from the sacred flesh it shielded. Mr. Benjamin Torango […]

Neither Grace Nor Gravy

The abalone fillet sizzled in a pan of seasoned butter. The wine was so cold the bottle sweated. A dash of brandy went into the pan, the alcohol caught and the chef flipped the fillet in a cloudlet of flame. An auspicious aroma escaped into the dining room where the tables were spread with linen, […]

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