Crimes of The Times

Los Angeles Times

In this series, L.A. Times staff writer Christopher Goffard revisits old crimes in Los Angeles and beyond, from the famous to the forgotten, the consequential to the obscure, diving into archives and the memories of those who were there.


Rebecca Schaeffer’s murder by an obsessed fan led to anti-stalking laws. Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor, reflects on the case.

May 8, 2024

William Leasure, killer cop, still denies the big crimes, the ones that put him in prison: orchestrating the contract murders of a beauty shop employee and a jazz bassist.

May 15, 2024

Recovering at USC Medical Center, Paul Morantz was wheeled out in his hospital bed to face the press. He had no doubt the snake had come from Synanon, the drug rehab group founded 20 years earlier by a magnetic pitchman named Charles Dederich.

May 29, 2024

The length of the trial ensured that the terrible footage was constantly on the nightly news.

June 12, 2024


If you have information on old crimes, famous, once-famous or obscure, contact


Writer: Christopher Goffard
Editor: Cindy Chang
Research: Cary Schneider, Scott Wilson
Photo editor: Marc Martin
Design: Taylor Le