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Newsletter: Today: Inside the Hunt for the Golden State Killer

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Evidence in the Golden State Killer case.
(FBI)

A series of gruesome crimes in the 1970s and ’80s finally leads to an arrest.

TOP STORIES

Inside the Hunt for the Golden State Killer

For more than four decades, the unsolved killings and rapes haunted the victims’ families and neighbors. For years, authorities had not even been able to connect the crimes, until DNA provided the missing link. Now, officials say they have arrested the so-called Golden State Killer at his home in the suburbs of Sacramento. Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., a 72-year-old former police officer, has been charged with eight counts of murder in three counties. For victims, their families and a key detective, the wait for an arrest was agonizing. The case had fascinated writer Michelle McNamara, who was turning her research into a book when she died in 2016. Her widower, comedian Patton Oswalt, helped complete it. “I think you got him, Michelle,” he tweeted.

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Seeing You in Supreme Court

Will the third time be the charm for President Trump’s travel ban? The Supreme Court’s conservative justices certainly sounded ready to uphold the third version of the ban while hearing arguments Wednesday. Though federal judges have dealt a string of defeats, the highest court in the land has been a friendlier forum. Here are the four questions the Supreme Court is being asked to rule on.

More Politics

-- The “Candyman”? A summary of allegations compiled by Democrats says Dr. Ronny Jackson, Trump’s pick for Veterans Affairs secretary, showed “a pattern” of questionable prescription drug practices and behavior, including the crash of a government vehicle while intoxicated. Jackson has denied the allegations.

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-- Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions refused to tell Congress whether he had stepped aside from supervising the federal investigation into Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

-- Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has proposed raising rents and allowing work requirements to be imposed for the poor who receive housing subsidies.

-- French President Emmanuel Macron challenged many aspects of Trumpism in a speech before a joint session of Congress.

Mexico’s Drug War on Trial

In 2009, three cousins were abducted by Mexican soldiers and never seen again. Now, Mexico’s government finds itself on trial in a case brought before the top human rights court in the Americas. The ruling could provide a rebuke to Mexico’s drug war strategy of relying on army and navy personnel to battle cartels.

No Slam Dunk

Now that March Madness has passed, the NCAA is being forced to take a sobering look at itself. After federal prosecutors charged 10 people in connection with allegations of bribes and kickbacks in men’s college basketball last fall, an independent task force began investigating. Its report calls for widespread reform, but critics wonder if the report goes far enough.

Prius Drivers Would Hate This Lane Change

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The free ride for zero-emission vehicles in the toll lanes of L.A.’s 110 and 10 freeways may soon be over. Today, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will consider a proposal aimed at reducing congestion in those lanes by charging drivers of Priuses and the like, albeit at a 15% discount. Environmentalists say that would eliminate a major incentive for zero-emission vehicles. The policy is one of several that Metro is weighing as it tries to meet a federal mandate of (don’t laugh) 45 mph for HOV lanes during rush hour.

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A view of the 110 Freeway’s toll lanes in October 2017.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times )

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MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- Patton Oswalt discussed the Golden State Killer and the book by his late wife, Michelle McNamara, at the L.A. Times Festival of Books last weekend.

-- Need to get up to speed on this weekend’s big film, “Avengers: Infinity War”? Here’s everything you need to know about the Marvel universe.

CALIFORNIA

-- Republicans say they are ready to turn in at least 830,000 signatures for an initiative to repeal recent increases in state gas tax and vehicle fees, more than enough to qualify the measure for November.

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-- A state audit has concluded that the Cal State chancellor’s office has failed to hold campuses accountable for lab safety. Among the issues cited: a chemical spill and poor training.

-- Southern California’s two large public television stations, KCET and KOCE, are merging to become a stronger voice in local broadcasting.

-- A federal lawsuit accusing music mogul Russell Simmons of raping a documentary filmmaker in 2016 was dismissed by agreement from both sides’ attorneys. No reason was given in the court filing.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- The good news for “Game of Thrones” fans is that George R.R. Martin is returning to the world of Westeros with a prequel scheduled for this year. The bad news: The long-awaited next book in the series isn’t going to arrive anytime soon.

-- Bob Dorough, the jazz artist who wrote the “Schoolhouse Rock” songs, has died at age 94. It all began with “Three Is a Magic Number.”

-- Have you seen Kanye West’s tweets about Trump’s “dragon energy” and much, much more? Kim Kardashian West is defending her husband as a “free thinker.”

-- You may not have heard of H. Jon Benjamin, but it’s likely you’ve heard him. He’s the lead voice for the animated series “Archer” on FX and “Bob’s Burgers” on Fox.

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” is getting an opening-night gala screening at the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival tonight, but back in 1968, the writer-director-actor described its premiere as a more intimate affair. It opened in Philadelphia in 18-degree weather with 50 people scattered through a thousand-seat house. “I could have opened a Regal Shoe Store and drawn a bigger crowd,” Brooks said. “But the 50 loved it. It was a little funeral, but a nice funeral.”

NATION-WORLD

-- Federal officials say a monthlong outbreak of a virulent E. coli strain tied to romaine lettuce has sent 42 people to hospitals in 19 states.

-- The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, dedicated to the legacy of black people lynched in the United States, opens today in Montgomery, Ala.

-- When the remaining members of a migrant caravan targeted by Trump arrived in Mexicali, Mexico, they had to take a number. More than 100 other migrants were already waiting to seek asylum.

-- Thousands of Germans participated in rallies to show their support for the country’s Jewish community and protest against a wave of anti-Semitism.

-- Using the most powerful telescopes on Earth, astronomers have spotted 14 burning-hot galaxies hurtling toward each other at the edge of the observable universe.

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An artist’s impression of 14 galaxies that are in the process of merging. Eventually, they will form the core of a massive galaxy cluster.
(NRAO/AUI/NSF; S. Dagnello )

BUSINESS

-- Acting consumer financial watchdog chief Mick Mulvaney said he would like to cut off public access to a database of consumer complaints and suggested the banking industry donate to lawmakers to convince them to weaken his agency’s authority.

-- The competition for Southern California air travelers is heating up. JetBlue Airways is trying to draw new passengers by returning to Ontario International Airport after a 10-year absence, among other things.

SPORTS

-- Today’s NFL draft should be more interesting than usual, given there’s no consensus on who the top three picks are.

-- Surprise! (Or not.) LaVar Ball has pulled sons LiAngelo and LaMelo from their Lithuanian team in an apparent dispute with the coach.

OPINION

-- Will the real Mike Pompeo please stand up? He may speak like a tea party tub-thumper, but he deserves a chance, writes Doyle McManus. The Senate is expected to take a final vote on Pompeo today.

-- State leaders in Arizona and elsewhere are so dead set on privatizing education that they are undermining long-standing constitutional norms.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- This FBI agent was fired from the bureau twice. He claims he was singled out for his race and religion. (ProPublica)

-- Michael Cohen intends to plead the 5th Amendment in the civil case involving his payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels. Perhaps Trump now regrets making these comments about invoking the right against self-incrimination? (Washington Post)

-- A woman in Spain has found unexpected fame as a Trump doppelganger. By the way, she sees no need for a smartphone. (Associated Press)

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

Every Tuesday, they gathered outside Republican Rep. Darrell Issa’s office in Vista. On one side, the protesters and a 20-foot-tall inflatable chicken bearing a resemblance to Trump. On the other, a wedding DJ in a red “Make America Great Again” cap. In between, a makeshift blue wall. And so it went for more than a year — until the protesters packed it in, months after Issa said he wouldn’t seek reelection. This is the story of Tuesdays with Darrell.

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