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Steve Lopez: Who are L.A.'s worst people? Help create a rogues gallery


OK, now that readers have celebrated civic pride by selecting the most admirable Angelenos of all time – congratulations, Vin Scully and Tom Bradley – let's move on to something a little different.


The villains.

When it comes to dishonorable, immoral and contemptible characters, we have  such a rogues gallery in greater Los Angeles, where does one begin?

I'm not sure any other region in the country can match our all-star cast of bigots, crooked business barons and dirty politicians, and let's not forget that walking amongst us are people associated with films such as "Howard the Duck" and "The Hottie and the Nottie," starring Paris Hilton. Hollywood is bound to get a few votes, don't you think?

Under "M" for Murder, we have Hall of Famers like the Hillside Strangler, the Night Stalker, the Freeway Killer and Mr. Helter Skelter himself.

But don't let me influence your vote. Let local historian Joe Scott of the L.A. County district attorney's office do that.

"Frank Shaw," said Scott, nominating as most disreputable Angeleno the L.A. mayor who, in 1938, was recalled in the midst of scandals that fueled the imaginations of Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy.

Nobody beats former LAPD chief William Parker, said author and former Timesman Bill Boyarsky. "He was the most damaging Angeleno of all time" because of his "us-against-them, all-white, anti-minority attitude. That has done more lasting harm to the city than anything."

We've also had more than a few John Birch Society honchos in our midst. And Richard Nixon. And O.J. Simpson.

And let's not forget Cardinal Roger Mahony.

But let me get out of the way and let you have your say.

Who would you put in the Greater L.A. Hall of Shame?

-- Steve Lopez

Photos: Candidates? From left, Frank Shaw, Charles Manson, Richard Nixon, William Parker, Susan Atkins, Richard Ramirez, O.J. Simpson.


Comments () | Archives (121)

1)Gloria Allred

2)the bureaucrats that voted to rip out the Red Cars/Yellow Cars in the 1950's, instead of fixing and upgrading that system.

3)Joel Kotkin

The "current" worst person in Los Angeles is our very own Mayor Villaraigosa. He has, with the help of the buffoons on the city council driven our city right to the edge of bankruptcy with over spending. Every day we read stories in this and other publications about escalating gang violence. He has done nothing to make this city better except for those gang members and special interest groups and developers.

I agreed with West Valley Dave- Tony Villar!

1) Mark Ryavec for his unrelenting campaign against homeless people.

2) Cardinal Mahony for busting the union of his grave diggers.

3) Almost all of the city officials and city bureaucrats.

Cardinal Mahoney and Ronald Reagan

-Sam Yorty, who put back race relations by decades with one of the most blatantly racist campaigns anywhere (a black colleague received one of the mailings warning voters against Bradley leading essentially a takeover of the city by the Black Panthers).
-Tom Bradley, unfairly attacked with racist messages more than once, he represented real hope for the city, but then became just another typical politico unable to resist big money. Yet LAX still has a terminal named after him.
-Jay Leno, for so strongly pushing the campaign of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Antonio Villaraigosa. (Emphasis on the period!)

1. tony villar, 2. all members of la city council, 3. leadership of lausd, 4. seiu leadership, 5. illegal alians living in la, 6. kobe bryant, the rapist. these are just the ones who come to mind immediately.

Ralph Horowitz, the developer whose greed helped shut down the South Central Community Garden - and every public official that colluded with him.

Saigon Sam Yorty

Please don't put President Nixon with these rouges. He was a good man.

The Mayor

Los Angeles is nothing but a dumping ground for the worst people you can meet. Hey, let's talk about the creeps who run the entertainment industry. Everyone you hated in High School is in charge. Why not put David Geffen up there for openers!

All the real estate robber barons who forcibly, "legally", evicted many many people from low-income and affordable housing in and around Venice, CA, in order to build condos or high-priced homes, oftentimes with no compensation or alternatives for the people made to move from THEIR homes. The attitude was always "the nerve of these people to actually live by the beach" and "how can we make more money off this few acres of land?" Of course these real estate moguls could not have done it alone: the tacit approval of local politicians and "public"-service officials who rubber-stamped the processes with virtually no protection for the public ought to sit right down there next to them.

I've only been in LA 20 years, but here are 10 of the worst off the top of my head -- there are many more.

1) OJ Simpson + ALL his attorneys
2) Harvey Levin (TMZ guy)
3) Alan Rosenberg (SAG head who singlehandedly ruined people's lives with a selfish ill-timed strike ploy)
4) Dennis Prager (fools otherwise smart people into Republicanism)
5) Mark Canton (for first paying Jim Carrey $20 Million)
6) Michael Ovitz + Michael Eisner (for Ovitz's Disney golden parachute)
7) Matt Drudge (for starting that horrible website in Hollywood)
8) Mayors Hahn, Riordan and Villaraigosa (for doing nothing good in their terms)
9) Darryl Gates (for his gestapo-like tactics shaming the LAPD)
10) Whoever started the "New Jack City" riot in Westwood which subsequently ruined an entire neighborhood for nearly 20 years and counting.

Rogues: All the minoritiy members that account for 95% of the violent crime in LA.

Heroes: William Parker was a hero and only the deaf, dumb and blind are unaware that his views were correct. I also vote for Darryl Gates as another LA hero.

Have to agree about our beloved Mayor. He campaigns for office pointing at his wife (a teacher) for a reason for us to vote him, then when he gets it on with an ethically-challenged reporter, suddenly his family life is private. Sorry, in the real world that's called hypocrisy... truth is rarely convenient.

And I'll throw in a vote for Opportunist-in-chief Famewhore, Gloria Allred as well. She was right there arm-in-arm with Rachel Uchitel before the cuts on Tiger's face started to scab.

Our own "2009 was the best year of all" Mayor.

Where is this guy coming from?

Former Dr. Christopher Thompson, aka Dr. Death...for using his car like a lethal weapon.

The top 10 was easier. The bottom 10 is just too limiting. Maybe the bottom 100 is a better idea.

Phil Anschutz

Chatomargo...I must correct you...Mr. Horowitz simply kicked a bunch of ungrateful lowlife squatters off of his OWN property! Out of the kindness of his heart he allowed them to use it, at HIS expense of water, property taxes, etc. for many many years. He should be on the list of LA's Heroes! As far as the worst people go, Gloria Allred is pretty revolting, Tom Bradley was pretty bad too, currently I think Tony Villar tops the list, along with Mark Ridley-Thomas and his cockamamie plan to spend $700,000 on an office remodel.



#1.Those that voted for Antonio Villaraigosa
#2.Antonio Villaraigosa

It's just so frustrating. Our city and it's residents beg and plead for visionary leadership. Yet we gave the job to a stumbling, bumbling, irresponsible oaf. Twice! Ugh. C'mon folks - this is the best we can do? I can't take this for much longer.

This is easy. You're all going to kick yourselves for not thinking of it:


Now that it's complete gridlock, they agreee, that yes, the technology exists now to build a subway. It won't be finished until after I retire. Bunch o' Punks!

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