Santa Monica

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Alert Diners Apparently Stop 'Roofie' Date Rape

Santa Monica police arrest Michael Hsu, 24

(Newser) - Three women dining out in Santa Monica, Calif., Thursday night apparently spotted a guy slip his table-mate a "roofie"-style drug—and rushed to prevent the woman from being raped, Jezebel reports. As Sonia Ulrich writes on Facebook , she and her friends Monica Kenyon and Marla Saltzer were enjoying... More »

Teen Drowns While Volunteering at Beach Cleanup

She was a valedictorian candidate and track star

(Newser) - A 17-year-old track star and valedictorian candidate drowned while volunteering at a beach cleanup in Southern California, My News LA reports. Thuy Tran, a student at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School in Los Angeles, was swept away by a wave at Santa Monica Beach on Saturday and wasn't... More »

Jet in 'Unsurvivable' Crash at Calif. Airport

Santa Monica crash sparked fire

(Newser) - A twin-engine Cessna Citation jet smashed into a hangar at Santa Monica Airport last night in a crash and fire officials say was "unsurvivable." The jet, arriving from an elite skiing area in Idaho, veered off the runway and crashed into a storage hangar, sparking a blaze that... More »

Santa Monica Shooter Left Apology Note

John Zawahri shows remorse for killing father, brother, but no anger

(Newser) - Santa Monica shooter John Zawahri showed no signs of anger in a three-page, handwritten farewell note found on his body, said authorities at a news conference last night. What it contained: an apology for killing his father and brother, a farewell to friends, and an expression of hope that his... More »

Cops: Santa Monica Gunman Assembled Own Weapon

Zawahri appears to have built his AR-15 to dodge gun laws

(Newser) - The Santa Monica gunman who killed five people last week appears to have assembled his own weapon—possibly in his bedroom—to skirt gun laws, reports the Los Angeles Times and AP . That would help explain the drill press authorities found in John Zawahri's room. In essence, Zawahri may... More »

Cops Found Bomb Materials in Shooter's Home in 2006

John Zawahri had threatened classmates when police searched house

(Newser) - A disturbing clue from the Santa Monica gunman 's past: In 2006, police found bomb-making materials in John Zawahri's home. They searched the house after Zawahri threatened students at his high school, according to a member of the Santa Monica-Malibu school board who lived next-door to Zawahri's... More »

Santa Monica Gunman Had 1K+ Bullets

Shooter's family had troubled past

(Newser) - The man who killed five people in the Santa Monica shooting rampage was carrying enough ammunition to cause some serious casualties, sources close to the investigation tell the Los Angeles Times . John Zawahri, who died in a gun battle with police, was armed with AR-15-type semiautomatic rifle and at least... More »

Father, Daughter Among Victims in Santa Monica

26-year-old Marcela Franco dies in hospital, raising toll to 5

(Newser) - The death toll in Friday's Santa Monica shooting spree has risen to five victims, with 26-year-old Marcela Franco passing away in the hospital today, CNN reports. Franco was taken to the hospital in critical condition after she and her father, Carlos Navarro Franco, 68, were shot on the campus... More »

Cops ID Santa Monica Shooter, Possible Motive

Sources say 23-year-old gunman was possibly motivated by parents' divorce

(Newser) - Police have identified the suspected gunman in Friday's Santa Monica shooting spree as John Zawahri, a man in his 20s who was possibly angry over his parents' divorce, the LA Times reports. The Times says five law enforcement sources have confirmed Zawahri as the suspect, while others say the... More »

Santa Monica Gunman Kills 4

He is then killed by police in college library

(Newser) - The death toll in yesterday's Santa Monica shooting spree has been revised down to five, including the gunman. Five more people were injured, two seriously. The violence, which lasted just about 20 minutes, started about a mile away from the Santa Monica College campus, when the gunman opened fire... More »

This Year's Nativity Flap: the 'Atheists Won'

Judge's ruling will likely end 60-year Santa Monica tradition

(Newser) - After almost 60 years of displaying Nativity scenes in a public park, Santa Monica Christians may be out of luck: A judge yesterday tentatively ruled to bar such scenes, and all other seasonal displays, from public spaces. The fight between the Christian groups and atheists began a few years back,... More »

$100M Pot Farm Destroyed in LA Park Raid

34,000 plants growing in Topanga State Park

(Newser) - A $100 million marijuana plantation was destroyed by a police raid in Topanga State Park in Los Angeles on Friday. The 34,000-plant operation deep in the park's back country is the largest busted by cops in the Santa Monica Mountains in seven years, reports the Los Angeles Times ... More »

30 Students Pepper-Sprayed in Santa Monica

They chanted against cuts and fees outside trustees meeting

(Newser) - At least 30 Santa Monica College students were pepper-sprayed when they chanted outside a trustees meeting last night to protest budget cuts and fee hikes. "I got pepper-sprayed with no warning," said one student, 21, who had been standing in a hallway outside the meeting. A college spokesman,... More »

California Atheists Snap Up Nativity Spaces

Christians get just 2 of 21 spaces in Santa Monica park

(Newser) - Santa Monica's Christians are crying foul over a lottery system that has left 18 of the 21 park spaces that usually hold Nativity scenes in the hands of atheists. A Jewish group snagged another spot, leaving the California city's church with just two spaces and only enough room... More »

Beck's Favorite Gold Firm Charged With Fraud

Current and former CEO of Goldline face up to a year in jail

(Newser) - Remember Goldline, the gold dealer that Glenn Beck trusts ? Well, the company and several of its top executives—including both current CEO Scott Carter and former CEO Mark Albarian—have all been charged with fraud, the Santa Monica City Attorney’s office said yesterday. Goldline is accused of, among... More »

Reese Witherspoon Hit by Car

She suffers minor injuries while jogging

(Newser) - Reese Witherspoon suffered minor injuries yesterday afternoon when she was struck by a car as she jogged along a Santa Monica road. The car was traveling 20mph when it struck the 35-year-old actress, who was rushed to a local hospital, police told Radar. She was released later in the day... More »

Renters Flock to Whitey Bulger's Santa Monica Digs

Residents to want live where a fugitive escaped a decade-long manhunt

(Newser) - The simple Santa Monica apartment where James "Whitey" Bulger hid from the FBI for more than a decade could soon be one of the hotter properties in the city's rental market. The door to unit 303 remains sealed with police tape as FBI agents continue to pick the... More »

Homemade Bomb Found at California Synagogue

Police searching for 60-year-old suspect

(Newser) - When an explosion rocked a Santa Monica synagogue on Thursday, officials thought it was just an accidental gas blast. But yesterday they found what appears to be a makeshift explosive device—and now they say they’ve linked it to an “extremely dangerous” suspect, the LA Times reports... More »

Twelve-Year-Old Kills Himself in 'Choking Game'

California kid strangles himself with rope for thrills

(Newser) - Police say a 12-year-old Southern California boy is dead after he apparently asphyxiated himself for thrills in the so-called "choking game." The boy died last week after tying a rope to his neck inside his home, the Santa Monica Police Department said yesterday. Officers found him in cardiac... More »

Cove Oscar Winners Stage Sting at LA Sushi Joint

Filmmakers go undercover to find illegal whale meat

(Newser) - The makers of The Cove, the Oscar-winning documentary about dolphin killing in Japan, have aimed their cameras closer to home in a sting to expose illegal whale meat served at a California sushi joint. The operation began in October, when they heard rumors that the Hump, a Santa Monica restaurant,... More »

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