I’m sitting on the greatest unknown true crime story of my lifetime. This is every non-fiction author’s dream come true: an exclusive on the greatest mega-heist in history — over one billion dollars in diamonds, gold and precious gems — and you never heard of it because (a) almost everyone was in on it, and (b) they got away with it.

Yes, I had to wait until the statute of limitations was up on every aspect of the story before I could go public. In exchange for my silence, I was rewarded with unlimited personal access to the world’s greatest gem theif masterminds including the personal memoirs of the remarkable genius, “Mr. Stan,” the ultimate gentleman theif who got away with everything.

Stan was a respected member of New York high society, a millionaire businessman, artifact collector and investor with five offices in New York’s diamond district. His lovely younger wife, Branka, was a brilliant artist and friend of Phillip Pearlstein, Walter Chrysler and Joan Crawford. Together, they were a power couple beloved and admired for their charm, honesty and ethics.

What Mr. Stan’s friends and associates didn’t know was that Stan and Branka oversaw six or more teams of highly trained and disciplined specialists who, in the midnight hour, looted the vaults of the jewelry manufacturing firms who were insured for one-hundred-million dollars or more in New York’s diamond district.

Their only son, “Punch,” pulled his first multi-million dollar heist at age sixteen. Educated at the world’s most expensive boarding school in Switzerland, “Punch,” is the one who recruited the security firms to work with him instead of against him. With teams of acrobats, strongmen, safe crackers, locksmiths and alarm experts, the final added co-conspirator was the addition of the Lacka safe mantufacturing company who trained Punch in how to open all of their top-of-the line safes. With the insurance companies long intertwined with the New York mafia families, the firms hit by Mr. Stan and Son promptly paid those specific claims promply.

Now, just as I’m breaking this story in a three-volume set, Amierican Panther: Stealing Manhattan, two of Punch’s former independent contractors, “Coco” and “Gorilla,” were arrested and portrayed aS leaders of a “criminal enterprise.”


What they allegedly did may be criminal but what they were supposedly doing is not a criminal enterprise. Going back to the late 60’s and early 70’s the method has always been the same: you plan each aspect, then you bring in specialists for each aspect of the project. They might not even know who hired them or who else is working the same project. It is like the so-called “Pink Panthers” about whom I know more than INTERPOL because, after all, I’m Burl Barer, the true crime writer that criminals trust.

There are not 600 Pink Panthers. There were, at one time, six people you could rightfully say were “Panthers” — most are dead or retired. I know one of them personaly. There are two left. The people doing the so-called Pink Panther heists are hired hands just as “Coco” and “Gorilla” were hired hands back in the 1990s

This isn’t a gang. This isn’t a mob. This doesn’t fit the criminal enterprise template and, dammit, the Feds know it. Just as the infamous YACS only existed in someone’s fertile federal imagination, this “criminal enterprise” of Coco’s is imaginary as well. Coco was trained by Punch, Mr. Stan’s son. It appears that Coco simply did what Punch did before Punch left crime behind, and Mr. Stan before him. The big difference is that Mr. Stan was never caught, never prosecuted and never spent a day in prison. Now 82 and retired overseas, he has invited me to have lunch and go fishing, If I take him up on his offer, I’ll let you know.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for someone such as the btrilliant and talented Erin Moriarty to put this story, in all its glory in front of the public prior to the publication of my book, and remind the short term memory media and prosecutors that Coco isn’t head of some gang, mob or criminal enterprise– he’s not even an innovator, but a damn good student of the true masters,Mr. Stan and Son.

Who is a Drug Addict?

This is a true story. A young man and a young woman, both perhaps mid to late 20’s, huddled against the wind, were having an argument about addiction that began when the young man said:

“I need a crack hit,”

“No, you don’t,” the woman countered. “You want a crack hit.”

“No, I’m a crack addict and I need a crack hit.”

“You’re not an addict  ;  I’m an addict  My body is physically addicted to Heroin.   If you don’t get crack tonight, you’ll live.  If I don’t get Heroin, I might die – it’s that simple.  You  don’t know addiction. You know habit and preference and maybe some obsession of the mind but that sure as hell isn’t anything like addiction. You have a habit you can’t afford; I have an addiction that, for the life of me, I can’t afford to stop.”

The boy digs in his pants and pulls out three one-dollar bills.

She looks at him suspiciously.

“What do you expect to get from me for three bucks? Even my hand has five fingers, if you know what I mean.”

“I know what you mean.  I thought maybe you’d let me buy you a cup of coffee over there. That coffee shop is still open and if we sit by the window we can still see if our connects are coming but we will be warm and out of the wind.”

The girl smiled an honest  smile for the first time since well, I don’t honestly know.

“Hell, yes, “ she said linking arms with him as they headed for the coffee shop, “we drug addicts gotta stick together. You know…like family.”

Family isn’t always that eager to stick together. 

No one is more honest, more caring or more compassionate than a drug addict. When they say that they promise to never lie or steal they mean it 100%.. They are not being disingenuous or making promises they don’t intend to keep.  But if they are actually physically addicted to an opiate such a morphine or heroin, they know that if they don’t score, they could die . It is a true matter of life or death.  They are not using the drug for fun, for pleasure, or to get “high.”

If you say: “I can’t believe she would steal our flat screen TV to score Heroin.” I ask you, if someone kidnapped her and held her for ransom, saying that the price of keeping her alive one more day was your flat screen TV, would you say no?

Is her life of less value than your TV set?

People with addiction are not puppets with tangled strings that need to be cut so they can learn the harsh lesson of gravity. Beware of hastening them to “hit bottom”

They can’t get clean if they’re not alive.   As long as they are alive, there is hope.

Addiction/Recovery e-Bulletin’s Success Secret.

In five and a half years, the Addiction/Recovery e-Bulletin has become Leonard Lee Buschel’s most successful venture, and that’s a significant accomplishment when viewing Buschel’s track record of non-stop success in the past decade.

A California Certified Substance Abuse Counselor with years of experience with people struggling with addiction, Buschel co-founded the prestigious Writers in Treatment with Robert Downey, Sr., modeled after Music Cares. He also established the annual Experience Strength and Hope Awards® and the now international Reel Recovery Film Festivals®.

The secret of Buschel’s Addiction/Recovery e-Bulletin success is no secret. It is cutting edge in every way. There is no grinding ax, no hard sell of one support group over another, but a vast diversity of information making it the perfect balance of the latest research, pop culture and immediate relevancy.

Perhaps one of its great strengths is that you don’t have to be in the addiction/recovery industry to enjoy it, nor do you have to be suffering from addiction or striving for recovery to eagerly await its weekly arrival. And you don’t have to have problems with drugs or alcohol to find the A/R e-Bulletin vastly entertaining and informative. It is, above all, fun to read even when there are stories of heartbreak or scandal. The balance of content is perfect because there is something to challenge your preconceptions in every issue, something to re-affirm your views, and something so off the wall you just go, “WTF?”

Buschel’s ability to find and link to stories you won’t find elesewhere derives from its editor/publsher having an open and unbiased mind crediting readers with the ability to learn and grow by encountering a diversity of approaches and viewpoints.

You are likely to find a story about the dangers of rave drugs next to a feature on the value of psychedelics such as MDMA in the successful treatment of PTSD, or a feature lamenting the over-prescription of opiods juxtaposed with one explaining America’s past under-prescribing of opiods and the resultant suffering of chronic pain sufferers.

As much as I admire Buschel and his accomplishments, he deserves far wider praise and publicity. Hopefully some wise and perhaps even sober journalist for a major publication will take the hint and elevate the well deserved admiration of the A/R e-Bulletin to the next level.

To subscribe to the Addiction/Recovery e-Bulletin, simply follow this link!   


Leonard Buschel is a Philadelphia native, and a very happy Los Angeles transplant. He is a California Certified Substance Abuse Counselor with years of experience working with people struggling with addiction. He attended Naropa University in Boulder, CO. Mr. Buschel is the founder of Writers In Treatment whose primary purpose is to promote ‘treatment’ as the best first step solution for addiction, alcoholism and other self-destructive behaviors. Leonard is the director of the nine year old REEL Recovery Film Festival & Symposium®, and for five years has been the editor/publisher of the weekly Addiction/Recovery eBulletin®. He also produces the annual Experience, Strength and Hope Awards® in Los Angeles.

Recipients of the Experience, Strength and Hope Awards have incuded Academy Award winning actor Lou Gossett, Jr., Astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, Duran Duran founding band member, John Taylor, Emmy award winning actor, Joey Pantoliano, recovery advocate and actress, Mackenzie Phillips and others. Celebrity guests appearing on stage have included: Actors Robert Downey, Jr.; Ed Begley, Jr.; Tony Denison; Joanna Cassidy; Jack McGee; Ione Skye; Danny Trejo; Joe Walsh; and broadcast legend Pat O’Brien, plus comedians Bobcat Goldthwait and Alonzo Bodden. He just celebrated 23 years clean and sober.

Leonard Buschel
Editor/Publisher, Addiction/Recovery eBulletin

Learn more about Writers In Treatment at


Leonard Buschel




More death threats.
 I get them every so often, but I don’t take them too seriously. Mostly I get them from corrupt law enforcement employees who think I am going to expose their corruption. I don’t do that. That’s not my job.  I would rather expose the valor dedication and accomplishments of honest cops and compassionate detectives. Today, most of the death threats I get are not aimed at me, but at the guests on my radio show, True Crime Uncensored on Outlaw Radio.

About every few months, one or more of my guests is warned not to show up, not to speak, not to talk with me OR ELSE.   Or else what?   There were at least two real attempts on one guest prior to his interview, and I have received snarled warnings that a certain “crime bitch” should keep her mouth shut — this coming of course from a man who was allegedly on the grassy knoll with a weapon the day JFK was killed.

Once again the threats are happening to a potential guest known for his life of crime, a stand up guy who considers himself a career criminal, not a gangster.  I guess old associates are afraid that he will name names or spill beans best left in the can.

It has been several years since I’ve actually seen a bullit with my name on it — that was courtesy of Gary Friedman, and how the ATF found out about it I never  knew.  I was also threatened by a dirty drug cop with getting shot or busted if I didn’t drop an investigation….I never would have known he had something to hide if he hadn’t tried to hide it.

To live outside the law you must be honest, said Bob Dylan.  I think that’s true. Dishonesty is now so rampant that being a criminal isn’t the career choice it used to be,  The honor among theives is an illusion, and finding someone who doesn’t wear snow shoes when stepping on product is more rare than a pre -1945 Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey reunion concert.

I don’t know if other true crime authors get threats, or if it is just my winning personality.  It may be more safe to write fiction, and I love doing so, but when it comes to true crime, you never have to worry about how the story ends….conviction, execution or complete exhoneration,,, and because it is true, you don’t get too many objections to the belevability of the plot.


LIES LIES LIES and Stupidity

I am continually amazed by people who intenionally lie to hurt other people, or to prove a point.  I am also amazed by people who lie about everything all the time.  I guess it is some mental problem where they actually are not capable of telling the truth.  

Then we have politicians who lie repeatedly, and of course they know they are lying and they know that their fans are either idiots or fools or both.  A polite term for people who don’t know much about important issues, facts, reality, etc are termed “Low Information Voters.”   In the previous Presidential election, a candidate proclaimed “I love low-information voters!” And he meant it!

In our personal lives, people lie for diverse reasons. Most often, they lie because they fear that telling the truth will get them in trouble.  The only time it is ethically okay to lie is to save a life or to give hope of recovery to someone who might die if they lose the will to live.   Telling kids that it is NEVER okay to lie is not a good idea.  It is okay to lie if the Nazis are looking for Jews to kill and you know where Jews are hiding.  To tell the truth in that situation is to be complicit in the murder of innocents.

Telling lies about others is, generally speaking, both cruel and heartless.  I don’t endorse such behavior, nor do I tolerate it.  I hope you don’t either. My faith teaches not to “inhale a word of backbiting.”  When someone comes to you with gossip about the behavior of others, you can refuse to hear it.  Do not pollute the waters of friendship with gossip and backbiting

There is nothing peachy at 6360 Peach

The following Op-Ed feature is by award-winning investigative journalist Burl Barer.  Mr. Barer has been pro-active in the support of effective prevention and treatment of alcoholism and addiction since 1973 when he served on the Seattle Mayor’s Task Force on Drug Abuse Treatment and Prevention. Often outspoken and admittedly opinionated, the views expressed are his own and intended to foster further conversation and increased dedication to honesty and integrity in the Recovery Industry.

                Back in my college days, I was a lodger with three meals a day in the home of Wilma Smith.  It was wonderful. The food was home cooked family meals, and because there were Jews, Muslims, Hindus of different castes, and others, each meal offered your choice of beef, chicken or pork because Hindus don’t eat beef, Muslims and Jews (Orthodox) don’t eat pork, and chicken is always a useful alternative.  We were lodgers.  There is a difference between a lodger and a tenant very clearly under California law:

A “lodger” is a person who lives in a room in a house where the owner lives.

Yes, if you own a home, and you live in that home, and you  decide to rent out a room or two or three, the folks who stay there are lodgers.   In some states, lodgers have far fewer rights than tenants because they are in someone’s personal home.   The landlord lives there – not just in some room down the hallway, but this place is the landlord’s real-life residence and they share their living space with you. Kitchen, living room etc. just as if you were family.   

 The owner can enter all areas occupied by the lodger and has overall control of the house. Under California law, however, most lodgers have the same rights as tenants. (Civil Code section 1940(a).)

You have reasonable expectations of security and privacy within the context of being a lodger. While the homeowner may enter your room without your permission, they can’t rummage through your private possessions or confiscate your personal belongings.

“Someone should tell that to Ron, the guy who claims that we’re his lodgers,” says Timothy “ I found him digging though my backpack.”

“That’s nothing,” says Lyle, a gregarious man in his fifties. “I missed several hours of work because Ron decided to turn my room upside down in the type of search only an inmate in prison would be subjected to.  I wasn’t going to let him do it without me present.”

The Ron to whom they refer is the landlord who doesn’t live there and doesn’t share living space with his so-called lodgers.  In fact, this same fellow owns numerous locations, some designated as “Assisted Living,” other termed “Sober Living” and one claiming medical detox and counseling for people in recovery. He makes a big deal of his tenant not being tenants, but lodgers.  In the particular residence in question, 6360 Peach in Van Nuys, California. “lodgers” are primarily people on fixed income who have recently experienced surgery or other health issues. The affordability of not having to come up with first and last month’s rent in order to get a bed, a group TV room, and three meals a day sounds as if a good deal – but the pitch presented is not what you get.

One recent resident, well over sixty years of age, was recovering from a heart attack.  He was assigned a room that didn’t yet have a bed.  Eventually, the component parts arrived he was expected to put it together himself.  When he objected, the men delivering it from one of Ron’s other locations, mocked him to shame and insulted him, and when he followed them into his room, he had a cup of coffee in his hand. They grabbed it from him, saying “that’s against the rules!” and took it away.  What rule?  You come here thinking it’s one thing, and they treat you as if you are a court ordered criminal.

“When I came in direct from the hospital,” shares Mike, “they gave me a bed to sleep on, but no pillow. no blanket and no place to put my clothes. I had to sleep with my clothes on and use a rolled up towel as a pillow.”

If there are “rules” at 6360 Peach, they are not shared with new “lodgers.”  One fellow had a job working evenings.  He returned to find the gate locked with a padlock.  There is a night bell, but its location and usage were never shared with him.  Fortunately, he had friends in Van Nuys who let him sleep on their couch until he could get back into the residence.

Another resident left the house for the day and when he returned, his personal computer was missing.  He asked the on-site manager where it was, and she said that she didn’t know.  He was about to call the police and report burglary/theft when he figured he would alert Ron.

Ron had confiscated the computer, but would return it the next day.

You can’t have personal items in your room because, according to Ron, they will be stolen.

 Where are you to put personal possessions if you can’t have them in your room? 

No one knows.  There are no provisions for personal items of any kind. Lodgers are apparently presumed to be unburdened by any personal possessions.

The rooms are adequate for two pre-fab single mattresses and nothing else. Although there may be the possibility of a small nightstand with two drawers, and if you’re exceptionally fortunate, a small lamp.

Unlike Wilma’s boarding house, there are no yummy family meals for lodgers.  The meat boiled in the undrained pasta served for lunch was never identified.

“There was enough starch on my plate,” remarked one resident “to stiffen all the shirts in my closet – if I had a closet.   Breakfast was an egg on white bread one day, generic Cap’n  Crunch, the next.  Not exactly a diabetic’s delight.   Fruits and vegetables? Forget it. “

“One old guy, at least seventy-years-old, was thrown out,” states Lyle “because Ron claimed that the fellow had used drugs in the house although no one ever claimed to see him use any drugs in the house.  Ron had gone into the man’s room and searched through his private possessions including his brief case and all the attachments for his Nebulizer – a device to help him breath.  Ron supposedly found paraphernalia and wanted the old guy  to sign a paper saying that he was expelled for drug use, and he refused to sign it.  Ron took his personal property such as his phone and would only return them when the guy was off the property,  So, there this guy was, a senior citizen with disabilities, suddenly homeless on the street with two suitcases and a briefcase and no where to go. Do to his disability, he couldn’t even drag the suitcases anywhere.  Someone took pity on him and called him a Lyft to somewhere. It should have been to a lawyer.”

Under California Law, if you have more than one lodger in your residence, they have the same rights as a tenant when it comes to eviction and illegal searches of personal property.  Landlords are forbidden from taking maters into their own hands, such as forcing a paid-up resident out on the street. They must follow the law.

“Forcing that senior citizen out on the street was certainly a violation of tenant rights,” commented an online housing law expert, “And as the gentleman was a senior with health issues, the landlord violated policies that insist that the tenant must be given 30 days’ notice, alternative housing must be arranged, and continued care must be maintained for the individual, regardless of any alleged wrongdoing.”  

The group residence at 6360 Peach, despite claims to the contrary, is not an independent living center. It is also not assisted living, nor a transitional program to assist the disabled. Nor is it recovery oriented sober living.  Whatever it is, it isn’t what it claims to be.

A sad looking old man recently transferred from a local hospital, shirtless and polite, shuffled down the hall and meekly asked “May I please have a small glass of milk?”


The man looked as if he’d just been hit in the face with a wet towel

“All I need is a small glass of milk,” he pleaded.

“No. I’ve already locked up the milk.”

No kidding. There was a padlock on the fridge.

So much for compassion, empathy or individual care;

 “You won’t find that here,” confirmed a disappointed resident speaking on the condition of name and gender anonymity in an off-premises interview. “Whatever agency  regulates these places isn’t regulating this one.  Ron claims that he has a special relationship and that the agencies do favors for him in getting him clients.  Favors? Who is paying off whom?  Ron doesn’t live here and share true living space with us. It’s a sham. We sign things when we move in that do not give disclosure of rules, regulations and of course we sign it thinking all it is a bed, three meals and some sort of emotional support and transportation to the doctor and such. I’m sure he knows that we don’t know what we’re really getting into.  And do you think any of us know how to complain or even know that we can complain? Of course not. What are we going to do? Most of have physical or mental disabilities and we have nowhere else to go, and nothing to do when we get there. We are in the Van Nuys Gulag with a color TV, and not a single thing to reinforce our value as human beings. In fact, we are deemed suspicious irritants at best.  Look at our rooms. The empty walls and no personal items in the room tells it all – our only value is the thousand dollars a month we, or our insurance, pays for us to be treated as disposable left overs, devoid of value, respect or dignity.”

Names have been changed to protect residents from retaliation.   Whether or not the owner/manager of 6360 Peach is in violation of State, Federal or Local laws or regulations is up to the appropriate agencies to determine.   Accusations do not equal convictions or  culpability.

America would be great if it were America

We all know the image of America we had in our minds when we were kids — land of the free, home of the brave, with liberty and justice for all.

I recall my introduction to reality: real estate covenants that blocked Blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Jews from buying homes, golf courses and hotels that were restricted to white Christians only.  On the plus side was America’s unfailing endorsement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which clearly states universal health care and adequate shelter for all people. Our Constitution assures equal protection under the law for all people in America, but we all know that does not exist.  As for the right to all for an adequate defense and presumption of innocence, in Lynwood, Washington (2002) the public defender only represents people who plead guilty and is not obligated to appear in court for those who plead not guilty.  If you don’t object to an unconstitutional delayed arraignment, it is taken as your consent to this violation of your constitutional rights. I could go on and on.  What it all comes down to is:

“Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown”

“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown” means “you can’t change things, it’s the way things are and the way they will be, regardless of how much you tilt at windmills. The line is about the futility of fighting injustices and darkness in the world. It’s about giving up and looking away, because nothing can be done .

There is a theory to which millions subscribe, that maturity is reached when you give up trying to make the world a better place. As a Baha’i of Jewish Heritage and upbringing, I think that is complete nonsense It is exactly the opposite.

“We were all born with the moral obligation to leave this world a better place than the world that we’ve found.”

Everyone can do something.  Make someone happy.  Be generous, be supportive, be kind, refrain from gossip, advance justice mercy and compassion.  Beware of fatalistic cynicism.

Even if you are the only one who cares, act on it.



As a true crime investigator/journalist, I have been honored to interact with some of the most selfless and dedicated law enforcement people in America, and have also worked on projects with two of the admittedly most corrupt cops in the NYPD — Ken Eurell and Michael Gourdine (he’s #3 after Michael Dowd and Ken Eurell).   It is one thing to write about police corruption, it is another thing to experience it.

I live in a townhouse complex in Stevenson Ranch, California.  Among my fellow residents is a lovely family with a bright and talented son in his early twenties. Admittedly, he has issues: a heart condition and Systemic Lupus. It is not surprising that he also had some teen behavioral issues–a habit of artistic graffiti. Well, he got in trouble for that a few years back and was placed on probation. He had to check in at a kiosk in city hall between the first and the tenth of the month.  No problem, as he is conscientious about such things, plus he had a good job that he wouldn’t want to jeopardize.

A couple summers ago, he made the tragic error of checking in at the kiosk one day EARLY — the 31st rather than the first.  On the morning of the 11th, there was a knock at the door. His mother, 8 months pregnant with twins, opened the door and had a shotgun shoved in her face by an armed and masked member of Santa Clarita law enforcement. Why the mask? Oh, the cops will tell you that it isn’t to conceal identity, but is for safety reasons if the dispatching officer believes there might be a danger of toxic chemicals — the most toxic chemical in these townhouses is a used Swifter.

Several of these armed masked men pushed past her, stormed up the stairs to where her two sons were sleeping and dragged the oldest one from his bed and took him to jail. He was held without charges and without bail for a solid week before being brought before a judge. As there were no charges, the judge didn’t know why the kid was even there and sent him home to his distraught mother who, going into premature labor (no doubt from the shock of the experience)  lost one of her babies.   The surviving child, born too soon, had special health and care needs.  Maintaining a calm and near sterile environment was imperative — hence the “arrested son” could not return lest there be more such incidents.  Of course, he lost his job because he had vanished for a week.   Jobless, pretty much on his own and relying upon the kindness of cousins and associates not known for their exemplary lifestyles, it wasn’t long before our friend developed more health problems including both medical and non-medical dependence and checked himself into a treatment center whose program he had to abandon when he discovered that there was now a warrant  for his arrest related to his signing in a day early at the kiosk.  Insane? Sure. Now, I haven’t given this case the famed Burl Barer in-depth investigation but even if I have condensed and simplified the story, the essence of it is 100% accurate.  Law abiding young man dragged out of his home at gunpoint for being over-conscientious and held without charges long enough to lose his job.

Now, I would say that this was an isolated incident of police absurdity were it not for the Thanksgiving Day Starbucks visit by my daughter and her boyfriend who had recently come into town from Colorado. My daughter walked over to Starbucks on Valencia and her boyfriend, joining her made the foolish mistake of walking across and stopping briefly on the meridian. The next thing he knows, he hears police barking orders — one of them was not to him, but to the cop’s female partner “Call in for overtime!” It was about 7 minutes before five p,m.   Yes, a potential jaywalking ticket is worth overtime pay, but is it really necessary to PULL A GUN ON AN UNARMED YOUNG MAN VISITING FOR THANKSGIVING?

Yes, the officer put his gun in the kid’s face and threatened his life before issuing him a citation for blocking the flow of traffic. I encouraged him to contest the citation so he could tell the court how his life was threatened at gunpoint. The cops didn’t show up in court so the matter was dismissed.

I met these officers myself a few months later when a friend drove me home late one night. We were stopped as we were about to turn into the driveway. The police demanded to know where we were going and why. We are going here because I live here! I endured several more minutes of interrogation before they let me go home.  As I am seventy years old, I must have looked like a criminal preparing for a rampage.

Now there is no direct tie between these three little slices of life in Santa Clarita, but it certainly raises concerns about the ethics and attitudes of our local law enforcement. They may not be as corrupt as the NYPD back in the day,  but the first two incidents had me pretty damn worried during #3.



Before abuse hot lines and safe houses were widespread, June Briand shot four bullets into her husband’s head and was sentenced to fifteen years to life. This is the shocking true story of survival—and the intense bond June shared with her pathologically violent husband, a monster who physically and sexually tortured, degraded and dominated her so relentlessly that she refused to believe he was dead even after she killed him.


What kind of woman would slay her own husband? What kind of man would drive her to do it? Why didn’t she just leave him? Based on hundreds of hours interviewing June Briand, speaking with her lawyers, and poring over countless pages of court transcripts, police and hospital records, and interviews of virtually every key person involved with this case, the author explores those difficult questions while exposing the twisted dynamics of a relationship that enslaves a woman—and drives her to kill the beast she loved when she was finally out of hope, out of time, and out of her mind. At once terrifying and maddening, heartrending and ultimately exhilarating—including an unforgettable glimpse inside a maximum security prison—THE BEAST I LOVED is a book you won’t soon forget.

Praise For THE BEAST I LOVED: “As gripping as THE BURNING BED.” —John Saul, New York Times Bestselling Author Robert Davidson Author Robert Davidson “A superbly written, riveting—often horrifying—story urgently needed for our time. Davidson—with a reporter’s eye for detail—delivers a powerhouse page-turner about the limits of what a human being can endure…and still come out victorious.

With mesmerizing suspense and the heart-stopping twists and turns of a fast-paced crime novel, here is an important book that ensnares the reader from the first page, and should be read, then read again.” —Susan Page, bestselling author of If I’m So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single? and Executive Director of the acclaimed San Miguel Writers’ Conference “The book is gripping; it reads like the best of mystery novels and the reader cannot wait to find out what happens in the next section or chapter. It is an excellent supplemental reading source for the upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses I teach on Family Violence. The author does a superior job of getting the reader into the mindset of a woman experiencing both the battered woman syndrome and learned helplessness…The outcome is totally unpredictable and a reader would be well-advised to avoid the temptation to turn to the end in order to learn the final outcome.” —Raymond Teske, Jr., Ph.D., Professor, Criminal Justice Center, Sam Houston State University Filed Under: eBooks, New Releases, Print Books, Robert Davidson, THE BEAST I LOVED, True Crime, True Crime Books Tagged With: best true crime books, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Murder, murder book, Robert Davidson, THE BEAST I LOVED, True Crime, True Crime Authors, true crime book, true crimes, truecrime

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Freedom to Hyperlink! Read this and be incredulous.

Hey, did you see the story in the newspaper about…..?  You didn’t? Oh, it is kind of interesting. I’ll send you the link.

When we say “link” we mean hyperlink.  You click on it, and it takes you to something.,  Example: Here is a link to Burl Barer’s brilliant website.

My friend Leonard Buschel shared a hyperlink to a news story about Sovereign Health having problems, and Sovereign is suing Leonard for $100,000! They are not suing the newspaper for the story, they are suing Leonard for bringing the story to my attention, and the attention of anyone who reads his weekly Addiction/Recovery e-bulletin,

He didn’t write it, he didn’t publish it, and even if he had, this is still America where we have freedom of the press and freedom of speech — that’s why in the USA, Fox News can just make up stuff and have our President re-tweet it .

But Leonard Buschell links to an undisputed news story in the Orange County Register, and he gets sued for $100,000.

That is not only absurd, it is dangerous.  Your freedom to share, your freedom to read, your freedom to hyperlink is under attack.

Let me tell you something — there is a story on a website that insists that I am part of the George W Bush/Saudi Royal Family/Nazi Conspiracy.   I had never heard of such a thing until I read the story.  It is both stupid and nonsense. Am I insulted by it? Yeah, but so what. I’m not a private person, I’m what is known as a “celebrity” and a “public person.” That means that I don’t have the same right to privacy and protection that you do…by being a “public person” I can expect attacks, insults lies and BS.  And if you link to that story about me being a Nazi co-conspirator, (As a Jew, I found that doubly insulting) I am not going to sue you for $100,000… why the hell does Sovereign Health think it can sue Leonard?

Sovereign Health should be ashamed of itself for what appears as nothing more than a petty harassment lawsuit, but it is really much more — it is an attack on freedom of the press even though they are not going after the newspaper. It is an attack on your right to read, your right to share and probably a hell of a lot more.

Leonard says: I am being sued for $100,000 by Sovereign Health of California. Deposition is Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 10am in Newport Beach. Are there any whistleblowers out there courageous enough to come forward to get this place shut down? To prevent any more clients from suffering and other innocent individuals from being abused? This has been going on for almost 3 years. The pressure can be overwhelming at times. Please consider advertising in the Addiction/Recovery eBulletin to keep free speech alive.