Editor’s Note: Why This Issue Is A Little Bit Scary

Our October issue features the Zodiac Killer, the plight of Skid Row, and WeHo City Council raining on our Halloween parade
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WITH HALLOWEEN just around the corner, we wanted to dive into the spirit of the holiday by making this issue just a little bit scary. Unfortunately, we may have overdone it.

For starters, there’s Aaron Gell’s extraordinary cover story about an L.A. novelist-turned-amateur sleuth who may very well have solved the decades-old mystery of the identity of the Zodiac killer. You remember Zodiac—the serial slayer who terrorized Northern California in the late 1960s and whose taunting notes to police and reporters became the inspirations for scores of smugly superior fictional mass murderers like Hannibal Lechter. After you finish that piece, you’ll be switching on lights all over your house.

But, if for some reason, serial killers don’t frighten you, writer-at-large Peter Kiefer’s piece on the looming ARkStorm—a catastrophic weather event that UCLA scientists predict could happen anytime over the next 50 years—will definitely have you inspecting your weather stripping. Or maybe buying a boat. Or moving to Kansas. It’s that terrifying a read.

On a less scary but equally disturbing note, there’s award-winning author and addiction expert Sam Quinones’s deep dive into Skid Row, which explores the issue of homelessness in L.A.—and across the rest of the nation—in a way seldom addressed. Turns out the tent cities that first sprang up in Skid Row and have since spread to cities throughout America may not be solely caused by the rising cost of housing, as many advocates believe. New, insidiously addictive forms of drugs, like meth and fentanyl, are also to blame, as are equally insidious court decisions that have hamstrung municipalities. “Skid Row is the center of what homelessness has become in America, a zone of lawlessness where drugs are, de facto, legalized and people die almost daily,” Quinones writes.

Our piece on the ARkStorm will have you inspecting your weather stripping. Or buying a boat. Or moving to Kansas. It’s that terrifying a read.

Speaking of hamstrung municipalities—or, in this case, chowderheaded ones—did you know that West Hollywood has called off its annual Halloween parade for the third year in a row? The event annually drew hundreds of thousands to the city—nobody does Halloween like L.A. The WeHo City Council’s excuse is concerns about COVID-19, even though that same council greenlit a Pride parades earlier in the summer, when COVID case numbers were even higher.  Now that the parade may be permanently canceled—a story we first broke in August—we decided to pull together a spectacular photo portfolio that should remind anybody who needs reminding just how fabulous WeHo’s Halloween parades have been in decades past.

So lock your doors, turn on your security alarm, and enjoy this month’s issue.

Maer Roshan, Editor-in-Chief

This story is featured in the October 2022 issue of Los Angeles