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Your Los Angeles Crime Tour

Editor's Note: This installment of producer and director Harry Pallenberg's guest blog looks at crime.


Shooting the fourth chapter of SHOTGUN FREEWAY about crime (seen above) was the most fun we had on the film. I mean, we got to hang out with James Ellroy for a whole day - and I mean ALL DAY! We were filming as Ellroy got off a plane, and he stayed with us until almost midnight. Then, "Jigsaw" St. John (also in CRIME) showed us an amazing place, one I keep coming back to and that is a great way to begin this week's post on L.A. crime: The Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club - a.k.a. the Los Angeles Police Academy.

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The Police Academy is tucked away in Elysian Park and is, surprisingly enough, a good spot to grab lunch. The Cobb Sandwich is actually pretty tasty, but you are not really going here for the food.

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That noise you hear is LAPD target practice - you can look, but not shoot. Below is the shooting range, and a few helpful signs:

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The next picture IS NOT Hef's grotto:

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After lunch at the Daryl F. Gates Lounge & Dining Center, you can walk off the fries by paying a visit to the Academy's amazing rock garden - compete with waterfalls. In fact, while you're there think of a reason to have a party because it's available to rent! Weddings come to mind.

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Finally, before you leave don't forget to stop in the gift shop. They have everything from T-shirts and LAPD trinkets, to real guns & tactical riot gear!

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Jack Webb's guns are right by the entrance for those of you old enough to remember him.... He sure scared the hell outta me as a kid.

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After the Academy, you can pay a visit to in at the LAPD Historical Society. While we were making SHOTGUN FREEWAY, the Society was trying to get a museum off the ground, so we cleaned and restored dozens of hours of old LAPD training films in exchange for being able to use them. Now they have a cool little museum and store, where the kids will enjoy sitting on a motorcycle or in the copter.

For a much darker tour of LA Crime history sign up for the ESOTOURIC Crime Tour. As their website explains:

Esotouric bus adventures debuted in May 2007 and soon was offering more than a dozen provocative tours into the secret heart of Los Angeles and the incredible personalities that made the city great, from the mad scientists of Pasadena Confidential to literary lions like Raymond Chandler and Charles Bukowski.

Don't want to get out of your armchair to actually take a tour? Then here are a few virtual ways to brush-up on historic L.A. crimes.

One crime for each day... of 1947.

1947 too current? Here are some older mysteries, solved and unsolved.

If you want something more - check out the last 7 days worth of crime right in your 'hood with (former) Chief Bratton's L.A. crime map. There are generous helpings of additional stats to be found there, but don't believe everything you find on a map... if you believe this L.A. Times story: Los Angeles Police Department's interactive crime map is full of errors, Times analysis finds

Speaking of the L.A. Times and believing the LAPD: The Times helped bring to light one a sad case involving a FOAF (friend of a friend): Bruce Lisker, who has been in jail for 26 years for a crime he did not commit - the murder of his mother. He will probably (I hope) be free by the time you read this, but his whole crazy story is here.

Closing crime thought - hope you never need this.


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