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Today in
S.C.V. History
July 7
1919 - Mike Shuman, Placerita Junior High School principal, born in Fitchburg, Mass. [story]


Celebrating 96 years in operation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau hosted an open house in their new offices at 1 Cupania Circle in the city of Monterey Park.

The public was given a rare look inside of a 24-hour microcosm where some of the most heinous murders in Los Angeles County history were solved, and new cases are dissected daily.  Although this bureau uses cutting-edge technology to help solve crimes, it hasn’t stopped these veteran investigators to use good, old fashioned, gum shoe techniques.  Once a sheriff’s Homicide Bureau detective sinks their proverbial investigative teeth into a case, they never loosen their grip, which hence, earned them the nickname, the “Bulldogs.”

It was in 1921 when Sheriff William Traeger assigned special investigators from the Criminal Division to specifically handle homicide cases, and on Monday, December 31, 1923, the Homicide Detail was formally funded by the Board of Supervisors.   It consisted of five detectives, a stenographer, and a newly-promoted captain named William Bright to command the seedling detail.  As the population of Los Angeles County grew, so did the number of homicides.

Today, the Homicide Detail is known as Homicide Bureau and has approximately 60 of the most tenacious, hard-working investigators assigned to it.  It functions as a centralized Detective investigative unit responsible for conducting criminal investigations each year involving murder, deputy-involved shootings where suspects are struck by gunfire, officer-involved shootings where suspects are struck by gunfire, inmate in-custody deaths, suspicious circumstance deaths, child deaths, work-related accidental deaths, suicides, deaths resulting from fire, and adult missing person cases.  These services are provided to the residents of Los Angeles County residing within unincorporated county areas and contract cities for which the Sheriff’s Department provides policing services.  These services are also provided to independent cities within Los Angeles County upon request by the Chief of Police.

Assistant Sheriff Eddie Rivero, Chief Earl Shields, and Captain Steve Katz welcomed guests to the open house event, and gave special recognition to former and current personnel.  A tour of the new facility began by stepping into a hallway and facing the display of enlarged photographs on the walls, depicting homicide detectives working notable historical and current crime scenes, such as

El Segundo Murder – The murder of El Segundo Police Officers
Murder of a Model – The Linda Sobek Story
The Night Stalker – Richard Ramirez
Murder on Sunset — Mickey Cohen
Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel
The Rattlesnake Murder
James “Bluebeard” Watson
The Tiger Girl
The Phantom Sniper
The Glamour Girl Slayer

The tour moved to the media room, dedicated to the memory of retired and highly-respected Homicide Bureau captain Ray Peavy, where poster boards for current cases were displayed. As the tour continued, story boards were displayed showing real-life investigations where forensic arts and composite sketches played a significant role; examples of such work were:

Murder at Zuma Beach
Death in Diamond Bar
The Mosley Murders
Rage on Rockenbach

While these were some of the most heinous crimes in Los Angeles County history, it is fascinating and interesting to remember these homicides were solved without today’s modern technologies and conveniences, such as DNA evidence.  Technology does make the job easier but our longstanding “Tradition of Service” remains the same.

During the open house tour, numerous retired detectives who investigated some of the darkest depths of humanity and faces of trusted detectives seen on television over the years were present, all of them known for their professionalism, diligence and investigative talents.

Two retired detectives, in particular, who attended were Frank Salerno, Sr., lead investigator assigned to the Richard Ramirez “Night Stalker” case, and his partner, retired detective Gil Carrillo.  They worked tirelessly together and cracked the case which haunted California during the mid-1980s.  Captain Andres Ramirez, who was assigned to East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station as a deputy at that time and arrested the serial murder suspect before he was attacked by an angry crowd, also attended the event.

Interestingly, the family tradition of investigation was passed down to Mr. Salerno’s son, Detective Frank Salerno, Jr., who also joined the Department and became a Homicide Detective like his father.   Now, Frank, Jr., is in the threshold of his career, about to retire.

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Monday, Jul 6, 2020
Another resident of the city of Santa Clarita has died due to COVID-19, the city's 26th fatality and the 33rd in the Santa Clarita Valley to date, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Monday, Jul 6, 2020
Smoke from the Soledad Fire burning near Agua Dulce has caused unhealthy air quality in the Santa Clarita Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains, sparking a smoke advisory from Los Angeles County Public Health officials.
Monday, Jul 6, 2020
After improving the data processing systems, which resulted in no data being reported since Thursday, July 2, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Sunday reported an increase of 7,232 new cases for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Friday, Jul 3, 2020
Park officials have announced Los Angeles County regional parks and natural areas, which include William S. Hart Park, Placerita Nature Center and Vasquez Rocks, will now be closed Mondays and Tuesdays due to staffing reductions.
Friday, Jul 3, 2020
As the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health suspends daily reports until Monday, the California Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed a total of 248,235 cases statewide as of July 2 (up from 5,688 from July 1 and another 2,352 results received), with 6,263 deaths (up 100 from July 1) from the disease.

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As firefighters worked through the night battling the Soledad Fire in Agua Dulce, a second blaze, named the Cambria Fire, was reported Monday morning in nearby Placerita Canyon.
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After improving the data processing systems, which resulted in no data being reported since Thursday, July 2, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Sunday reported an increase of 7,232 new cases for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
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1850 - Town founder Henry Mayo Newhall arrives in California to look for gold [story]
Henry Newhall
1914 - Rev. Wolcott H. Evans, the future "pastor of the disaster," named pastor of Newhall's First Presbyterian Church [story]
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1932 - Robert Poore wins the greased pole climbing contest and $2.50 at Newhall's July 4th celebration [story]
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Park officials have announced Los Angeles County regional parks and natural areas, which include William S. Hart Park, Placerita Nature Center and Vasquez Rocks, will now be closed Mondays and Tuesdays due to staffing reductions.
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As the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health suspends daily reports until Monday, the California Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed a total of 248,235 cases statewide as of July 2 (up from 5,688 from July 1 and another 2,352 results received), with 6,263 deaths (up 100 from July 1) from the disease.
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The Old Town Newhall Library will exhibit works by Santa Clarita artists created during "The Quarantine Art Challenge" from July 14 to October 9.
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The Committee for College of the Canyons — Yes on Measure E has been ordered to pay a $9,000 fine for infractions committed in 2016 and 2017.
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