January 21, 2012 § 1 Comment
The day began with grey skies after a light overnight rain–our first precipitation in over a month. By afternoon, it was crisp and sunny, so I took my dog to Bronson Canyon for a hike.
The trail where police conducted an an exhaustive search for body parts Wednesday and Thursday was scattered only with fallen leaves. The only thing out of the ordinary was the ruts left behind by their vehicles .
One is never entirely alone on the trail, and today I had the company of at least two dozen other hikers and their dogs. Everyone seemed assiduous in their avoidance of the obvious topic of conversation. Still, talk of the murder broke through a few times in overheard conversations.
Meanwhile, the investigation progresses. What I assumed at first to be a gangland slaying seems to have been a different kind of crime. According to the LA Times blog:
Andrew Hill, who lives on the second floor of the apartment building, told The Times he heard a lot of commotion on the floor above him at about 3 a.m. about three weeks ago. He said he heard furniture moving as well as screaming and yelling. He said he spoke to police detectives Thursday and they asked him when the garbage was taken out.
Medellin’s friend Vilma Aguilar told KCBS-TV Channel 2 that Medellin hiked through Griffith Park. During one hike last year, she said, he met a new friend.
Additional source: www. latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow
January 20, 2012 § 1 Comment
The man whose head, hands and feet were found in Bronson Canyon this week was Hervey Medellin, a 66-year-old retiree who lived at 6238 DeLongpre Avenue in Hollywood. According to neighbors, Medellin had gone to Tijuana before New Year’s and not returned. His car was impounded from the garage of the apartment building as the police investigation continued.
Medellin worked for Mexicana Airlines before his retirement and apparently had no family in the area.
Bronson Canyon Park reopened to the public today. The park was combed by more than 120 law enforcement officers during the two-day search.
January 20, 2012 § 1 Comment
According to CNN.com, the owner of the head, hands and feet found earlier this week in Bronson Canyon has been identified. The police have not released his name.
The article also contains this tidbit:
The recent discovery of a severed head, two hands and two feet in the Hollywood hills is near the home of actor Brad Pitt, and authorities have interviewed his bodyguard for possible leads, police said Thursday.
“It’s standard procedure for us to have our detectives canvass the neighborhood,” Los Angeles Police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said. The bodyguard saw nothing unusual, he added.
In an unusual coincidence, Pitt starred in the film “Seven,” in which he plays a detective and a severed head is found in a box.
Apparently I’m not the only one who thought of “Se7en.” I didn’t mention the proximity of Brad Pitt’s house to the murder scene because I wanted to protect what little privacy he has left. So much for that antiquated idea!
January 19, 2012 § 2 Comments
Is there any more arresting image than that of a severed human head? As the search for additional body parts continues in Bronson Canyon, one has to feel particularly sorry for the two traumatized women–a professional dogwalker and her mother–who discovered the head on Tuesday afternoon. Conversely, everyone else in the Hollywood Hills is grateful their canine companions weren’t involved. (My own dog not only has a penchant for finding hidden objects–she once pulled an old bra out of a hedge–but for putting mysterious things in her mouth. Needless to say, she would have been all over a severed head.)
Perhaps because no additional body parts were discovered today, the LA Times blog has published a story memorably titled, L.A. has head, hands, feet; Arizona has body, but match unlikely. Yes, a headless torso was found in Tucson, but it’s not our torso. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/hollywood-head-arizona-body.html
Which brings us, naturally, to the movies. The strange and horrible cinematic quality of the crime in Bronson Canyon has been noted by journalists and interviewees alike. “My mom and I thought it was a movie prop,” said Lauren Kornberg, the dogwalker. Others have alluded to police dramas and “The Sopranos.”
Right after the discovery, a neighbor emailed me the following YouTube link to a clip from Roman Polanski’s “MacBeth,” which I hadn’t seen before. Apparently it’s considered the best cinematic beheading:
It brought back memories of David Fincher’s “Se7en,” which ends with the delivery of a box containing a woman’s severed head–Gwyneth Paltrow’s–to her husband, a police detective played by Brad Pitt. Although we (mercifully) never see the head, the moment is so horrifying that it’s as though we did.
Back at Bronson Canyon, the investigation is coming to a close. The park is due to reopen sometime tomorrow.