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Posts Tagged ‘Christine Pelisek’

The Daily Beast Scrutinizes Fox Executive’s Baffling Disappearance

Like the tragic shooting of publicist Ronnie Chasen in Beverly Hills, the May 1 disappearance of Fox film executive Gavin Smith has transfixed members of the film and TV industry. Today, the formidable Daily Beast reporting tandem of Maria Elena Fernandez and Christine Pelisek takes a look at the latest circumstantial evidence and tries their best to uncover something new.

Contrary to the family’s initial statements, Smith was staying with a female friend in Ventura County far longer than just the night before his disappearance. According to the reporters, he had been there basically since returning to LA from CinemaCon in Las Vegas around April 20:

“They were kind of friends and he was hanging out there for a few days,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. homicide division’s Sgt. John O’Brien said. “There was no romance in that at all. Just hanging out with a friend for a couple of days.”

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Los Angeles: A Model of Police/Media Relations?

Guardian journalist Duncan Campbell, who was the paper’s LA correspondent for a number of years, had an interesting column yesterday about Scotland Yard’s attempt to permanently restrict unsupervised interactions between police and the media in the UK, in the wake of the News of the World scandal.

Interestingly, he holds up the relationship between LAPD and the LA media as a model of democratic virtue.

Working for the Guardian for five years in Los Angeles, I was amazed at how easy it was to get information from law enforcement officials who regarded the media not as a hostile force but as part of a democratic process… [T]here are risks in such frankness, but they are countered by the benefits both for the public and the police.

Journalists covering crime should be talking to police, criminals, lawyers and victims if they are to inform their readers and listeners, just as sports reporters need to talk informally to footballers and political correspondents to MPs. Whistle-blowing officers would never expose corruption in the presence of a press office minder. Guardian investigations in the past have often been helped by principled officers wanting to expose wrongdoing.

Having worked a few crimes stories in our day, we can honestly say good reporting would be impossible if all queries had to be fielded through the LAPD press office. There is no way Angelenos would have found out about the Grim Sleeper without Christine Pelisek‘s relationship with LAPD detectives. Who knows if Lonnie Franklin would have ever been caught if Pelisek’s stories hadn’t given the Grim Sleeper murders national attention?

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‘Grim Sleeper’ Story Still Evolving: More Victims Likely

Christine Pelisek, the Daily Beast reporter who broke the story of a serial killer on the loose in Los Angeles she called the Grim Sleeper, reveals in her latest piece that a new chapter in the saga may be unfolding. LAPD has released eight new photos of women who are missing, and who have had direct contact with Grim Sleeper suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr. in the past. The piece includes this morbid quote from LAPD detective Dennis Kilcoyne: “We have a strong suspicion that these eight people crossed paths with Mr. Franklin. In my opinion most of these girls went to landfills years ago.”

Yikes. Read all the terrifying details here.

Previously on Fishbowl LA: Photo Trove Leads Police to Two Possible New ‘Grim Sleeper’ Victims

Christine Pelisek Finds a New Serial Killer On the Loose

New job, same Christine Pelisek. The former LA Weekly writer, who now writes for The Daily Beast, discovered the existence of the “Grim Sleeper” serial killer on the loose in Los Angeles two years ago. Now she’s written about a new serial killer roaming the Southland.

From Pelisek’s story in the Daily Beast:

The first body was found in a patch of weeds in L.A.’s industrial wastelands. The victim, a woman, was naked; her feet and wrists had been bound.

The second body was discovered in a vacant field near a school sixty miles east of the city. The woman, also naked, lay facedown, in a semi-fetal position.

The third body was found, partially clothed, in a dirt gulley of a desolate area miles away in the county of Riverside. She, like the others, had been strangled.

The murders were 20 years apart yet police believe they were committed by the same person—a serial killer still on the loose.

It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. Creepy.

Previously on FBLA: Christine Pelisek Leaves LA Weekly for the Daily Beast

Tina Brown Confirms ‘The Daily Beast’ Talks With ‘Newsweek’

She’s not tipping her hand one way or the other, but in a Q&A commemorating her site’s two-year anniversary, The Daily Beast founding editor Tina Brown did confirm the widespread rumors that her site was in talks with Newsweek for some kind of collaboration.

“Yes, there have been some interesting discussions going on, as we have with potential partners large and small all the time.”

Hmmm. Enough of a nugget to get people talking about her site. But not enough to suggest anything of consequence is actually happening between The Daily Beast and Newsweek. Smart.

Also in her anniversary interview, Brown sends some love Christine Pelisek‘s way–the former LA Weekly reporter who broke the Grim Sleeper story in 2008, and who Brown promptly snatched up when the opportunity arose. Glad to hear Pelisek has the support she deserves at her new gig.

Previously on FBLA:

  • The Daily Beast Snags Howard Kurtz Away from the Washington Post
  • Newsweek/Daily Beast Talks Heating Up
  • Christine Pelisek Leaves LA Weekly for the Daily Beast
  • Christine Pelisek Leaves LA Weekly for the Daily Beast

    Crime reporter Christine Pelisek has left the LA Weekly for the Daily Beast. Her first day was Monday. She tells FBLA she will be sticking to her same beat. Pelisek is best known for her dogged work on the Grim Sleeper case that resulted in a serial killer being caught. Fine piece of journalism there.

    Best of luck Christine. Way to go Daily Beast!

    Previously on FBLA:

  • James Rainey’s Profile of Christine Pelisek

  • Who Will Play the LA Weekliers in the Grim Sleeper Film?

    We’re not breaking any news here – we’re just saying the Grim Sleeper story is too perfect not to be a movie. The scrappy reporter – indifferent police – idiosyncratic killer. So since it’s inevitable we’d like to make our first casting suggestions:


    For the gritty yet girlie editor we’re thinking Holly Hunter as Jill Stewart.


    For the dogged Canadian reporter, Christine Pelisek we’re thinking Kate Hudson for looks. Maybe Kate Winslet because she’s…uhm…also foreign.

    Who else? Leave the names in the comments.

    James Rainey’s Profile of Christine Pelisek


    LA Weekly’s Christine Pelisek is finally getting the credit she deserves for staying on the Grim Sleeper case (and beating the LAT at it). Good for her. The whole article by James Rainey is worth a read:

    But that the terrible, slow-motion slaughter even became known to the public owes to the obsessive reporting of Pelisek, a star investigative reporter for the LA Weekly.

    An inherently inquisitive Canadian with a knack for winning the trust of people unlike herself, Pelisek pushed to get authorities to tell her about their suspicion that the killings of seven young women in the 1980s might be connected to a skein of new deaths that began in 2002.

    Note that when Rainey writes about the coining of the phrase “Grim Sleeper,” Jill Stewart is not mentioned by name – only as “the editor.” Ahem.

    Photo credit Don Bartletti

    Serial Killer Rodney Alcala Gets Death Penalty


    KTLA reports:

    Convicted serial killer Rodney Alcala has been sentenced to death for killing a 12-year-old Huntington Beach girl and four Los Angeles County women in the 1970s.

    Tuesday’s sentencing marked the third time Rodney Alcala has been sent to death row for killing 12-year-old Robin Samsoe.

    His two previous convictions for the killing were overturned on appeal.

    Thanks to Erin Broadley and Christine Pelisek we can’t get this episode of The Dating Game out of our heads. So way to make a serial killer scarier. Thanks guys.

    Photo credit KTLA

    LA Weekly Found the Creepiest Thing Ever Put on the Internet

    So LA Weekly‘s serial killer reporter Christine Pelisek wrote a piece about Rodney Alcala who is believed to have murdered and raped several women. His convictions have been overturned on various technicalities over the years. Well, here is Alcala as Bachelor Number One on The Dating Show in 1978. He’s the one who wins.

    Pelisek whole story is here.

    Thanks to Erin Broadley for posting this. We’re going to need a combo of Paxil and Comet to recover.

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