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Gang Murders

February 5, 1987
In view of the recent publicity about the record level of gang-related killings in Los Angeles, it is indeed a pleasure to see The Times recognize that gang-related murders and violence is steadily declining in that unincorporated East Los Angeles area. The Sheriff's Department report that only four homicides in the area were found to be gang-related in 1986, a dramatic decrease from a high of 24 in 1978, is a most significant accomplishment. Your editorial (Jan. 6)
December 5, 2011 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
After upholding nearly 50 death sentences in a row, the California Supreme Court on Monday broke its pattern by overturning the convictions of a reputed gang leader in Los Angeles and his alleged accomplice in two killings that sent both men to death row for 15 years. The state high court unanimously ruled that Cleamon Johnson and Michael Allen, convicted of killing rival gang members Peyton Beroit and Donald Loggins in 1991, were denied a fair trial when a judge removed a juror who appeared to be critical of the prosecution's case.
March 29, 1992 | CARLA WHITE, Carla White is community events coordinator for The Times
Only two people have died for whom I've cared and grieved: my father, dead at the age of 67 after a heart attack in the family room of our home, and Jesus Perez, 16, who was executed by gang members on the night of Feb. 12 in a cold, dark alley. He had no real home. In the increasing brutality and callousness of our society, both could be considered dead of natural causes. I came to know Jesus when he was 10 years old and a fifth-grader at an elementary school in the heart of Skid Row.
October 2, 2007
Re "Big drop in L.A. homicides," Sept 28 The new policy of the Los Angeles Police Department requiring "captains to call the gang interventionists, give them the word on the shooting and get out there and avert another homicide" is not new at all. In 2001, now-retired LAPD Cmdr. Valentino Paniccia and I, with the help of Communities in Schools founder William "Blinky" Rodriguez, formed the San Fernando Valley Coalition on Gangs.
Three Bloods street gang factions are at war in Inglewood, and the Crips are mobilizing to enter the fray. But this time, the Crips, for a quarter-century the mortal enemy of the Bloods, are stepping in as peacemakers. Although several gang peace treaties and cease-fires have been negotiated in Los Angeles County over the last six years, this marks the first time that former and current Crips have intervened between warring Bloods sets.
November 4, 1997
"Study Ranks Joblessness Top Factor in Gang Toll" (Oct. 28) seems to imply that joblessness causes gang violence. This would seem to support the view that if we only provided more jobs, gang violence would decrease. But the only data presented show a correlation between the jobless rate and gang murders, not a cause-and-effect relationship. You could just as easily claim the reverse--that gang violence causes joblessness in a neighborhood (by encouraging the more successful families to move)
July 7, 1988
Your editorial urging a national law requiring a waiting period to purchase handguns is tragically irrelevant. Only the day before your editorial Sheriff Sherman Block told a state task force on gangs and drugs that 1,400 gang-related murders have taken place in the county in the last five years. My God, 1,400 gang murders and you and President Reagan call for a waiting period to purchase handguns. Ridiculous. There obviously is only one way to stem the wave of murders, shootings and woundings by gangs and others: Take away the right to buy, sell or own a handgun, and provide stiff prison sentences for anyone breaking the law. Your editorial recognized the need for such a law but your endorsement of the half-hearted, halfway waiting-period requirement simply takes weak-kneed politicians off the hook once again.
May 2, 1989 | KENNETH T. YAMADA, Times Staff Writer
A 22-year-old Santa Ana man who was slain in a drive-by shooting late Sunday became the city's fourth gang-related homicide victim so far this year, police said. On Monday, city investigators took it as an ominous sign, because just six gang killings took place in all of last year in Santa Ana. Santa Ana Police Investigator Tom Serafin predicted "a high year" and said the city's worst year for gang murders was 1979, when police estimate there were 12. Police said they found Javier Evangelista about 10:50 p.m. Sunday lying on a sidewalk on the 100 block of South Hickory Street, bleeding from a gunshot wound.
August 18, 1991
So it's the "politics of selfishness" if we taxpayers try to hold on to our hard-earned money? The editorial "After the Storm, Schools Remain Needy" (Aug. 14) was an insult to Times readers. I've got an excellent idea. Let's privatize our schools. While we're at it, let's privatize every government agency except our armed forces. How successful have our public schools been at educating our young? Not very! How about the constant postal rate hikes? Privatize. How about the never-ending "war on crime"--are we winning yet?
February 9, 1988 | RICHARD R. ROGERS, Richard R. Rogers is a recently retired homicide detective in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Departmen t
Leroy was a gang banger. Leroy is dead. He rode his bicycle out of Crip turf and was blown away, presumably by a Blood. The shooting occurred in South-Central Los Angeles, and you didn't read about it. Seventeen-year-old gang murder victims don't cause a blip in the daily media works in Los Angeles. And don't worry about what "Blood" and "Crip" mean. It makes little sense. Leads were slim. A woman heard shots. Someone saw a blue vehicle.
September 28, 2007 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
A northeast Los Angeles gang leader charged with murdering and assaulting gang rivals to keep control of a lucrative drug trade composed rap lyrics that will help prove his guilt, a prosecutor told jurors Thursday. During opening statements in the trial of Timothy McGhee, 33, whom police once described as a "monster" and a "thrill-killer" who led the Toonerville gang in Atwater Village, prosecutor Hoon Chun recited lyrics McGhee wrote for a girlfriend, and said they would help prove his case.
May 18, 2005 | From Associated Press
Two members of the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, street gang, were convicted Tuesday of murdering a pregnant teenager who had become an informant. Two others were acquitted of all charges. One of those acquitted was Denis Rivera, 22, who prosecutors said masterminded the slaying of his former girlfriend, 17-year-old Brenda Paz. On Monday, the jury will hear evidence in the sentencing phase of the case against the two who were convicted, Ismael Juarez Cisneros, 26, and Oscar Antonio Grande, 22.
November 8, 2003 | Anna Gorman, Times Staff Writer
Moments after a teenage girl was sentenced Friday for her admitted role in a deadly attack in Glendale three years ago, a Los Angeles judge in another courtroom declared a mistrial in the murder case of two co-defendants she had testified against. Jurors deadlocked on a murder charge against Karen Terteryan and Rafael Gevorgyan after deliberating for nearly two weeks. However, Terteryan and Gevorgyan were found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon.
November 1, 2003
Kerman Maddox's "Blood and Silence" (Opinion, Oct. 26) was the best article I've ever read regarding the horrible acts I saw up close and personal while growing up in Compton, where the Bloods and Crips ran rampant. I've seen too many innocent lives taken for wearing a certain color, which doesn't make any sense at all. Whenever there are incidents between cops and young black males, either assaults or deaths (which doesn't happen that much), folks like Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles)
April 26, 2003
I read "Behind Swift LAPD Action, a Moral Issue" (April 22) with mixed emotions. As a mother who lost her son to gang violence just five short months ago, my pain is still very raw. Our son Gregg and his best friend Naz were murdered in cold blood by gang members presumed to be out meeting their initiation quotas. My son and his friend had no gang affiliation and, very much like Joey Swift, had their whole lives ahead of them. Our son was only 20, soon to be 21, his big milestone -- never to be experienced.
August 29, 2002 | From Times Staff Reports
Minutes after checking out reports of a noisy party at a west Ventura gang hangout, police officers returned to find a man lying unconscious outside his apartment, suffering from severe injuries, an officer testified Wednesday. Officer Matt Liston told jurors in the Ventura County murder trial of a gang member accused of participating in the September 1999 beating death of William Zara that he found the 18-year-old lying on his back, breathing shallowly, after an apparent fight.
February 18, 1988
On Jan. 30, Karen Toshima was one of thousands of people who went to Westwood Village to have an enjoyable evening. Instead, she found death from a bullet fired by a member of a street gang. In her death, she joined the 60% of victims of gang murders who, like her, were innocent bystanders. Every person who was in Westwood Village on Jan. 30 can truthfully say, "But for the grace of God, it could have been me," because Karen was not killed by a personal enemy. She was killed by our common enemy, a wantonly violent member of a street gang.
For five months last year, a prosecutor's clerk looked into a confidential computer file listing witnesses in the murder case against her husband, a gang member, investigators say. LaShonn Roberts-Devault took her first unauthorized peek at the file on the day her husband was charged, March 27. It was not until mid-September, after she had accessed the file 37 more times, authorities said, that officials in Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley's office discovered what their employee was doing.
February 1, 2002 | From Times Staff Reports
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury returned a death verdict Thursday against a member of a street gang that is accused of a 1995 murder rampage stretching from Washington state to Southern California. Cambodian immigrant Samreth Sam Pan, 25, a member of the Tiny Rascals gang, was convicted of three killings in Los Angeles County and Sacramento. Meanwhile, a second jury began deliberations Thursday on the fate of his co-defendant, Run Peter Chhoun.
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