Last month when L.A. Weekly broke the story that a police detective had connected the violent deaths of several prostitutes as the work of one individual, Fresno inmate Roger Hausmann was named as the leading suspect. However, L.A. Weekly revealed Friday that a DNA test has subsequently cleared Hausmann, who remains imprisoned on unrelated charges. "Obviously there is still someone out there," said Captain Ed Winter from the L.A. County coroner’s office.
From a collection of "panty-dropping comics" to a philosophical argument that our culture is shifting from material to spiritual, recent books penned by L.A. Weekly contributors are a diverse lot. The paper provides a round-up in its July 5 issue.
"Finke's prickly distrust for (figures of authority) practically borders on disrespect, if not outright disdain," writes Jon Friedman, who also says "nobody writes tougher stuff than this L.A. Weekly scribe." Finke says she's different than other reporters who cover the movie industry because she focuses on business, not celebrity, and because she could care less about what Tinseltown royalty thinks of her: "I write mean -- end of story. I'm unapologetic about it - end of story. I watch out for the shareholders -- end of story." UPDATE: Finke responds on her blog that Friedman "wouldn’t have dared write an article like this about a male business journalist working for a mainstream newspaper." She also accuses him of attributing his own statements to her and printing her off-the-record remarks.
The June 7 issue reveals that Inglewood police have linked 10 prostitute slayings, dating back as far as 1985, with DNA and ballistics tests. Evidence has been collected from a suspect, but it could be months before police know if his DNA is a match. L.A. Weekly's story is based on a series of jailhouse interviews, court documents, and interviews with police and family members. It also maps the killings of several other women being tracked by LA County Coroner's Serial Homicide Team.
Esquire, which published Nasdijj's first feature story in 1999, issues a "correction" and a profile of Tim Barrus, aka Nasdijj, in its May issue. (Available here to Esquire subscribers.) The magazine gives plenty of credit to L.A. Weekly, which broke the story of Nasdijj's true identity in the Jan. 23 article "Navahoax," calling it "an excellent report" that "created a small sensation." Esquire confirms the details of "Navahoax" and fills in some of the blanks, such as ascertaining that Barrus did have a son with developmental problems named Tommy, as he described in that first Esquire essay, but the details of Tommy's relationship with Barrus "are almost the opposite" of what appeared in the magazine in 1999.
Foodies at Creative Loafing (Atlanta), Riverfront Times, Westword, L.A. Weekly, East Bay Express, City Pages (Twin Cities), Phoenix New Times, and Houston Press picked up ten of the 21 nominations for which they qualified in the 2006 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards announced today. The complete list is available as a PDF here. Alt-weeklies were particularly dominant in the "Newspaper Writing on Spirits, Wine or Beer" category, in which all three nominees are AAN members. The awards recognize and honor excellence and achievement in the culinary arts.