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Tour to explore dark, seamy side of downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Downtown Los Angeles’ creepy, seamy side will be on display this autumn in a tour by Esotouric, a company that has turned tawdry L.A. stories into its very own brand.

The Sept. 10 bus tour, Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice, will prowl downtown’s historic buildings to locate where Richard Ramirez, the “Night Stalker” serial killer, slept and which hotel saw a visit from the “Skid Row Slasher,” another serial killer, who targeted transients.

In the “Main Street Vice” portion of the tour, participants will explore the ribald and raunchy old stretch that, in the first half of the 20th century, was known for burlesque houses, dirty picture parlors and tattoo shops.

“We’ll visit the scenes of some more unforgettable debaucheries and share stories of crime, smut, passion and commerce,” the tour’s organizers say.

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Sounds a little like Hollywood Boulevard today, right?

Esotouric, whose bus tours specialize in L.A. history as seen through crime, literature and culture, is charging $58 for the tour, which will depart at noon Sept. 10 from Café Metropol, 923 E. Third St.

Other upcoming tours include a Real Black Dahlia tour on July 9 and a Raymond Chandler Tour on July 16.

Info: Esotouric, (323) 223-2767


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