Andrew Murr

Bryant's Legal Eagle

As Kobe Bryant struggled to get his head back into basketball for the NBA season tip-off this week, the world's focus remained on another match, this one in a small court in Eagle, Colo.

Let The Games Go On

Never mind. After a week of on-again, off-again uncertainly, a federal appeals court in San Francisco unanimously ruled today that the California recall election will go forward on Oct. 7 after all.The ruling seems certain to be the final word on the election's timing, since the plaintiffs quickly announced they would not appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Looking For Votes, Not Love

California Gov. Gray Davis doesn't have his own Gulfstream jet. So while Arnold Schwarzenegger wings his way in comfort from one campaign event to the next, Davis pinballs around California on the Southwest Airlines shuttle.

A Nation-Builder

On September 11, 2001, Rick Hooper watched in horror from his U.N. office as the World Trade Center burned. By the time the towers had collapsed, he was calmly helping colleagues evacuate their building.

Tarnished Gold

The job fair ends in five minutes, but scores of unemployed hopefuls wait steadfastly, sweating in line under the Orange County sun. "They won't get in and yet they're still all standing there," says an incredulous Leo Delgadillo, manager of the California Employment Development office that is hosting the event.

A New Amber Alert

On the tapes, Scott Peterson is cool and charming. He tells Amber Frey that he loves her and hopes to see her soon. Then he gets down to business. Could Amber please give him snapshots of the two taken at a recent Christmas party?

Meet The 'Parlor Maid'

It's not easy for American politicians to get face time with China's reclusive leaders. So in 1998, when Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan wanted to persuade Beijing to sign a multimillion-dollar contract to use L.A.'s port, his aides knew who to ask for help: Chinese-American businesswoman Katrina Leung.

Ask Tip Sheet

Scott Peterson said his wife, Laci, disappeared while walking their dog. What happened to the canine? -KATHY CARTER, WILLCOX, ARIZ.Peterson said he last saw his wife at 9:30 a.m.

A Husband In Trouble

Scott Peterson was determined to play golf Friday morning, even as forensic scientists were still figuring out whether two corpses that washed up in San Francisco Bay last week were those of his missing wife, Laci, and their unborn son.

Old Case, New Twist

The still-unsolved 1947 Black Dahlia murder remains the perfect L.A. tabloid mystery. The victim, 22-year-old Hollywood wanna-be Elizabeth Short, got her nickname from the flowers she wore in her jet-black hair; her corpse was neatly sliced in half and posed spread-legged in a vacant lot.

'I Had A Terrible Feeling'

The youngest were fresh out of high school. The oldest were veterans of other battles who signed up for one more chance to serve their country. By last weekend, 53 American soldiers were identified as captured, killed or missing in Iraq.

White Power, Minus The Power

These are rough times for the racist right. This week ex-Klan leader David Duke will be sentenced to 15 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to a mail-fraud scheme in which he charmed $100,000 from his supporters--then used the proceeds on personal investments and gambling trips to Las Vegas and the Bahamas.

Update: Starting To Accept 'The Worst'

Last week's police search of the Modesto, Calif., home of Laci and Scott Peterson brought new trauma to the family of the missing pregnant woman. Investigators won't say what was among the nearly 100 items they hauled away, but the search spawned a rumor that Laci's body had been found under the house.

Holes In The Safety Net

Megan's Law was made for sex offenders like Vincent Santana. With six convictions for rape, sexual assault and related sex crimes since the 1970s, the Las Vegas resident was just the type of ex-con the cops--and neighbors--would want to keep an eye on after his release in 2001.

Caesar Slept Here

It's a sunny morning, perfect for a leisurely stroll. The date: A.D. 400. You walk up the steps of the Temple of Vesta, where inside, six virgins tend an eternal flame (and risk being buried alive if they, well, you know).

Opening Shot

Her efforts to dodge an abusive boyfriend put Keenya Cook in line for murder. Last winter, Cook was a 21-year-old Tacoma, Wash., woman living with her 6-month-old baby at Cook's aunt's home.

Periscope

A Loss for Liberty It's no secret in Moscow that Russian President Vladimir Putin has long had a beef with Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty. It's no surprise either: one could hardly have expected the ex-KGB officer to embrace a radio station created during the cold war to broadcast American-style news deep behind enemy lines.

Sending Out An S.O.S.

The bad news traveled fast. A man with a gun had abducted two teenage girls from a dusty, hilltop lover's lane overlooking the Mojave Desert town of Quartz Hill, Calif., leaving their boyfriends tied up with duct tape as he sped off in one of their cars.

When Kids Go Missing

The two hang gliders had come to the national forest near Riverside, Calif., to enjoy the brilliant skies, but instead stumbled on a scene straight out of hell. "We found a dead body," the caller sobbed frantically to the 911 operator. "I think it might even be the little girl that's been on the news!" Thus came the abrupt end to the national search for 5-year-old Samantha Runnion, kidnapped less than 24 hours earlier while she played Clue with a friend outside her home in Stanton, Calif., by a...

Rodney King Revisited

Ten years after the Los Angeles riots, a videotaped beating of a black male by a white cop is once again fueling racial anger. This time the setting was a gas station in Inglewood, Calif., a racially mixed city on L.A.'s southern flank, where a traffic stop by cops devolved into a punching, wrestling fight with the driver's 16-year-old son, Donovan Jackson, on July 6.

'He Will Strike Again'

Samantha Runnion was a precocious child. Though not yet 6, she had just finished first grade at nearby Lawrence Elementary School. She liked to read, play games and take ballet lessons.

An Independence Day Rampage

Hesham Hadayet apparently came to the airport for just one reason: to kill. On a busy July 4 morning at Los Angeles International Airport, the Egyptian limo driver from Irvine, Calif., stood quietly in blazer and gray slacks at the back of the ticket line at El Al Israel Airlines.

A Moth To The Flame

Terry Barton told friends she wasn't going to take it anymore. She wanted a divorce. Her estranged husband, John, was a bad drinker, a man with a mean streak and a checkered work history.

Close To Home

Tom Smart emerged drawn and tired from Salt Lake City police headquarters. He'd just finished a session with investigators probing the disappearance of his niece, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart, snatched from her bed in the middle of the night June 5 by an armed man in a tan, short-billed cap.

Divorce, L.A. Style

The San Fernando Valley was long America's iconic suburb. Starting with GIs who flocked to new tract homes after the second world war, the vast stretch of Los Angeles north of the Hollywood Hills was both a part of the city and an affordable, roomier mecca away from it.

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