Authorities Identify Bronson Canyon Murder Victim

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!

Severed Heads: A Meditation

January 19, 2012 § 2 Comments

"What's in the box?!" Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman Face the Horror in "Se7en"/Courtesy New Line Cinema

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gomhWx017Sc

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1giVzxyoclE&feature=endscreen&NR=1

Back at Bronson Canyon, the investigation is coming to a close. The park is due to reopen sometime tomorrow.

Searching for Body Parts in Bronson Canyon: Day Two

January 18, 2012 § 1 Comment

Investigators and search dogs combed Bronson Canyon today, finding a pair of hands and a pair of feet near the site of yesterday’s discovery of a severed head. According to a friend who tried to walk his dogs there this morning, Bronson Canyon Park–which includes the former quarry (aka “Bat Cave”) and trails leading to the Hollywood Sign–was closed to the public.

Police believe the murder was committed elsewhere and will use dental records to identify the victim. According to LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith, “There’s no other evidence that this is anything besides a single, individual isolated occurrence.”

It would be sad if Bronson Canyon became known for this macabre event. A a regular visitor, I intend to return for a hike as soon as I can. I hope others will do the same.

Source: http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-hollywood-sign-human-head,0,5488244.story

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