Beverly Hills

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Lyle Menendez, right, is seen here as a young man in this undated family photo. When asked why she has chosen to speak out for the first time in support of her cousins, Diane Vander Molen said she wanted to defend them against the trial?s prosecutor?s claims that there had been no sexual abuse in the family. ?I know for 100 percent that there was,? Vander Molen said. ?Their privacy was everything to them. They were completely different people when nobody was around. And then Jose and Kitty would turn on the charm when they had people over, which wasn?t very often.?

The Dysfunctional Menendez Family

Nightmare on Elm Drive

If you thought you hated your parents. The crimes committed by Lyle and Erik Menendez in 1989 took teenage angst to?terrifying levels when they shot and killed their mother and father, in one of the most brutal, high-profile crimes in American history. The Menendez brothers’ homicides at a well-to-do Beverly Hills mansion?rattled American people and thrust the uncomfortable topic of sexual abuse into the national spotlight. Now serving life in prison, the brothers will never see each other or the free world again.

On August 20th, 1989, Joseph Lyle Menendez, 21, and his brother, Erik, 18, shot their parents Jose and Mary Louise “Kitty” Menendez multiple times with shotguns in the den of their $5 million Spanish-style Beverly Hills mansion. Jose was shot point-blank in the head as the couple lazed in front of the TV with ice cream and strawberries, and Kitty, after attempting to flee, was shot multiple times ? to the point that she no longer resembled a person.

The Menendez Brothers case received an unprecedented amount of attention through Court TV coverage of the initial trials and as a result, many became fascinated by the story. Nearly 30 years after the murders, the Menendez brothers remain an intriguing fixture in true crime history because questions still remain. In particular, what made them do it?

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Mobster Bugsy Siegel's mistress Virginia Hill. She was conveniently not at her home in Beverly Hills when Siegel was shot dead on June 20, 1947.

Mobster Bugsy Siegel’s mistress Virginia Hill. She was conveniently not at her home in Beverly Hills when Siegel was shot dead on June 20, 1947.

Bugsy & His Flamingo

The Testimony of Virginia Hill



SENATOR TOBEY: “But why would Joe Epstein give you all that money, Miss Hill?”


WITNESS: “You really want to know?”


SENATOR TOBEY: “Yes, I really want to know.”


WITNESS: “Then I?ll tell you why. Because I?m the best {expletive} sucker in town!”


SENATOR KEFAUVER: “Order! I demand order!”

–Excerpt from Virginia Hill?s testimony in front of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Gambling.

In the beginning of the 50’s, United States seeked to expose and bring into public attention the growing issue of organized crime at that time.

It started on April 1950, when a dead body of a gambling kingpin from Kansas City was found in a Democratic clubhouse. That assassination raised concerns about the growth of organized crime and its involvement with politics. The need for an investigation committee concerning this issue was discovered, and on May 3, 1950, the Senate created an investigation committee of 5 members, lead by a Democratic Senator from Tennessee, Estes Kefauver.

In its 15 months of hearings, the committee, investigating corruption, crime syndicates and illegal activities, visited several large cities, in which TV broadcasts were interrupted to bring the work of the committee to the attention of the public. The most notable hearing was when the committee reached Broadway, New York, to interview Frank Costello. An estimated number of 30 million watched or listened to the hearings.

In Illinois, the Committee helped to expose a Chicago Police scandal, which later brought down the Senate career of Scott Lucas, a Democratic Majority Leader.

The completion of the hearings signaled the Senate to implement some suggestions about how to better tighten the laws concerning the prevention of corruption and organized crime. It caused the FBI to stop denying the existence of the underworld.

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Frank Sinatra Has a Cold

In the winter of 1965,?writer Gay Talese arrived in Los Angeles with an assignment from Esquire to profile Frank Sinatra. The legendary singer was approaching fifty, under the weather, out of sorts, and unwilling to be interviewed. So Talese remained in L.A., hoping Sinatra might recover and reconsider, and he began talking to many of the people around Sinatra — his friends, his associates, his family, his countless hangers-on — and observing the man himself wherever he could. The result, “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” ran in April 1966 and became one of the most celebrated magazine stories ever published, a pioneering example of what came to be called New Journalism, a work of rigorously faithful fact enlivened with the kind of vivid storytelling that had previously been reserved for fiction. The piece conjures a deeply rich portrait of one of the era’s most guarded figures and tells a larger story about entertainment, celebrity, and America itself.

FRANK SINATRA,?holding a glass of bourbon in one hand and a cigarette in the other, stood in a dark corner of the bar between two attractive but fading blondes who sat waiting for him to say something. But he said nothing; he had been silent during much of the evening, except now in this private club in Beverly Hills he seemed even more distant, staring out through the smoke and semidarkness into a large room beyond the bar where dozens of young couples sat huddled around small tables or twisted in the center of the floor to the clamorous clang of folk-rock music blaring from the stereo. The two blondes knew, as did Sinatra’s four male friends who stood nearby, that it was a bad idea to force conversation upon him when he was in this mood of sullen silence, a mood that had hardly been uncommon during this first week of November, a month before his fiftieth birthday.

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This is what public transport should look like

Len Brown and other socialists want 19th century technology for public transport.

The future?of public transport are vehicles that pick you up from where you want to leave from and take you to where you ant to go to, for a reasonable price.

Beverly Hills seems to have worked it out.

Beverly Hills is known for celeb residents like Jennifer Lawrence and Harry Styles, but in just a few years tourists might be heading there to take photos of something else – a brand new fleet of on-demand driverless cars.

A unanimous vote by the council means that preparations are now underway to build a fleet of robot-controlled vehicles that will take people to every address in the city, according to?The Hollywood Reporter.

‘This is a game-changer for Beverly Hills and, we hope, for the region,’ Mayor John Mirisch said in a press release. ‘Beverly Hills is the perfect community to take the lead to make this technology a reality.’ ? Read more »

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Time Magazine Cover: July 28, 1947. Hedda Hopper is the handsome, headlong gossip whose syndicated column, usually titled "Hollywood," written in prose of an inspired spasticity, daily gives her millions of readers the illusion that they have been behind the sets, the bushes and deep into some of Hollywood's better bed-&-bathrooms...

Time Magazine Cover: July 28, 1947.
Hedda Hopper is the handsome, headlong gossip whose syndicated column, usually titled “Hollywood,” written in prose of an inspired spasticity, daily gives her millions of readers the illusion that they have been behind the sets, the bushes and deep into some of Hollywood’s better bed-&-bathrooms…

Duchess of Dish

??Two of the cruellest, most primitive punishments our town deals out to those who fall from favour are the empty mailbox and the silent telephone.?

Those are words spoken by Hedda Hopper, popular gossip columnist during Hollywood?s golden age.

Hedda was ?a sartorial extremist, preening in headgear that varied from cabbage rose confections to plumed saucerlike contraptions that seemed poised for flight.? Her hats were ?garnished with toy horns, Eiffel Towers and Easter eggs ? So outr? were her hats that they were spoofed on the cover of Time, in an illustration portraying her with a telephone, a microphone and a typewriter perched atop her curls. Those hats, and a wardrobe of mostly pink and lavender suits, riveted Westchester housewives, young Hollywood hopefuls? and studio heads alike.

Hollywood marriages, affairs, breakups, bad behaviour, and political leanings were her ammunition. Her gun was her syndicated column, which at its height reached some 35 million readers. If you didn?t take her call, you were dead. If you lied to her, you were dead. If you gave a good story to her rival Louella Parsons ? you were dead.

Their views and news were often whimsical, wrong, or both, but a thing like that didn’t matter. In flat prose laced with gosh-golly enthusiasm they reported marriages and births that never happened. In the ’50s Louella assured everybody that Ronald Reagan was without political ambitions, and Hedda once soured on a young actress because she went to a wedding without a hat on. Large talents often made them cranky, and besides Liz they took on Welles, Brando, Garbo, Olivier, Chaplin, Hepburn and Bogart.

Even the Axis followed them: German propagandists during WWII showed photos of Hedda’s extravagant hats as examples of American decadence.

Louella’s columns were sprinkled with “swarthy Mexicans” and “pickaninnies,” and she once called Mussolini her favourite hero. Hedda decried racial intermixing, was a feverish Commie hunter and led the attack that drove Chaplin to Europe.

In their approach to life and work, which were essentially the same thing, they seemed variations on the same cartoon. They both swore like troopers, demanded and gave loyalty and feuded with each other, mostly because it was good for business. Hopper, who couldn’t type, dictated her column at the top of her lungs.

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Sofia Loren and Jayne Mansfield shot by Joe Shere at Romanoff?s in Beverly Hills, 1958.

Sofia Loren and Jayne Mansfield shot by Joe Shere at Romanoff?s in Beverly Hills, 1958.

That look Sofia gave to Jayne at Romanoff?s

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