Newsletter: Essential California: A key to the Golden State Killer case

Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. stands in a Sacramento court on May 29 as a judge weighs how much information to release about the arrest of the former police officer accused of being the Golden State Killer.
(Paul Kitagaki Jr. / Associated Press)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, June 2. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend:


The four-decade hunt for the Golden State Killer reached a turning point in April when detectives lifted the DNA of their suspect from his car door as he shopped inside Hobby Lobby, court documents released Friday show. The secret collection occurred in a public parking lot in Roseville, just outside Sacramento. By then, authorities already considered Joseph DeAngelo Jr. a suspect but were still gathering evidence. Los Angeles Times

Pushing the envelope: Stormy Daniels’ California-based attorney Michael Avenatti has been generating headlines as he pursues a case against the President in the court of public opinion. But the story of how Avenatti ran his firm as it maneuvered into bankruptcy tells a lot about the way he operates, testing legal and ethical boundaries. Los Angeles Times


Long shots: As national Democrats play up talk of a wave that could help them regain control of the House, Marge Doyle, who is running for Congress in San Bernardino County, is one of more than a dozen Democrats attempting to unseat GOP incumbents in California districts long considered unwinnable. It’s a bold move in a year when skeptics may soon accuse them of sapping resources and energy Democrats need elsewhere. Los Angeles Times

Turnabout: Antonio Villaraigosa, whose meteoric rise in California politics was viewed as the embodiment of burgeoning Latino political power, is now having to defend his own turf in the city he once led in hopes of advancing in next week’s gubernatorial primary. Los Angeles Times

Bucking tradition: Once you’re sheriff, you’re sheriff for life, or so the thinking goes. Two challengers to Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell in Tuesday’s primary election want to break that tradition, arguing that deputy morale is dangerously low under an outsider-in-chief who has mismanaged the department. Los Angeles Times


Fighting on: Slowly and emotionally, USC is trying to find a way forward amid scandal. Los Angeles Times

“This is real”: Gov. Jerry Brown says fallout from Trump quitting the Paris climate accord is “far more serious than anyone is saying.” Los Angeles Times


Asking for help: Anaheim police are seeking witnesses in a case involving a 28-year-old transient who is accused of two random assaults that seriously injured one person and left another in critical condition, authorities said. Los Angeles Times

Good heavens: What Pluto and California have in common. The Atlantic

Heading west: She moved from New York to Los Angeles, the finally get some personal alone time. Curbed LA

History lesson: The day California’s wine beat France’s. University of California

Dana update: In California, Democrats might have blown their shot against “Putin’s favorite congressman.” Vox

The scope of it: “The Mexican Mafia’s Iron Grip on California’s Jails.” Daily Beast


Follow the money: The lesson about taxes and CEOs from Chipotle’s move to Newport Beach. Los Angeles Times

Fascinating: Why Asian chain restaurants are doing so well in the Bay Area. San Francisco Chronicle

They’ve had enough: The outward tide from Silicon Valley is reaching Texas and even Idaho. Mercury News

Tuning out: The ESPN Zone, a once high-flying dining and entertainment concept at Downtown Disney, is bidding farewell. Orange County Register

Mystery of the deep: Less than a year after SeaWorld debuted its signature submarine ride, it was shut down with little explanation. Submarine Quest, which SeaWorld boasted would transform visitors into underwater researchers, is now in limbo. And no one knows why. San Diego Union-Tribune

Know before you drink: A database for finding out if your drinking water is polluted. Sacramento Bee


Hard to believe: A very frustrating low-speed chase for the LAPD. Los Angeles Times

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1. The most affordable places to live in California: Ever heard of California City? SF Gate

2. “You need to speak English”: Encounters in viral videos show Spanish is still polarizing in the U.S. Los Angeles Times

3. “The Equestrian Coach Who Minted Olympians, and Left a Trail of Child Molestation.” New York Times


4. Ports O’ Call Restaurant’s “unhappy hour.” Daily Breeze

5. “Who killed Bobby Kennedy? His son RFK Jr. doesn’t believe it was Sirhan Sirhan.” Washington Post


Burned out: “An investigation by the Bay Area News Group found many of the region’s major fire departments are months — and often years — late on performing annual inspections at schools and apartment buildings. In many cases their record-keeping is so flawed, scores of residential buildings go unchecked altogether because fire marshals don’t know they exist.” Mercury News

The cleanup man: Los Angeles PR doyenne Michael Sitrick charges around $1,100 and has represented everyone from Exxon to Michael Vick. His career was built on helping the rich and famous deal with bad press. Then Harvey Weinstein came along. New York Times

Game-changer: Haifaa al-Mansour is a female Saudi director challenging Riyadh and Hollywood to evolve. Vanity Fair


Interesting fellow: Meet the limo driver from the Inland Empire and the flat earth movement. New Yorker

Bad news is back: Clayton Kershaw and the hopes and dreams of the Dodgers are on the line. Los Angeles Times

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad.