Feature Stories

Holiday in South Africa: Johannesburg in 1986, revisited

May 8, 1986. I am the only passenger on the 30-minute shuttle from Jans Smuts International Airport to Johannesburg’s city center. Joburg’s population is three million plus and its downtown bears an uncanny resemblance to ...

Geyser murders, part 4

The first person executed by the state of California — José Gabriel — might have been an innocent man.

Geyser murders, part 3

There was enough evidence to hang Indian Jose Gabriel for the killings of the Geyser family on Otay Mesa in 1892…at least by mob standards.

Geyser murders, part 2

The quivering mound of crimson-streaked grime would be the prisoner.

Attempted reconstruction of the scene of a double murder on Otay Mesa in the 1890s. They blamed the Indian, José Rafael.

Geyser murders, part 1

Double murder up on Otay Mesa, 1892. An old Indian laborer is blamed.

Sunday, October 16, 1892Thomas Smallcomb got the news around 11:00 p.m. Trouble up at the Geyser’s. A double murder. The deputy constable flicked the reins and steered his two-horse buckboard east on Otay Valley Road. ...

Bullfight fight

No blood, no big deal. Right?

California Academy of Tauromaquia, a San Diego bullfight-training school owned by Coleman Cooney, is under fire by animal-rights groups. But there is no slaughter or blood spilled (in California). That won’t slow down the signature gathering for a petition to shut the school down.

Thinking Flashes in the Sky (Part 4)

When normally responsible persons report UFOs.

After an announcement by Roswell Army Air Field commander Col. William Blanchard that a “flying saucer” had been “captured,” there was immediate rebuke by his superiors. The press followed in discrediting the existence of UFOs. Quickly, reports of UFOs dropped off; those that were reported were ridiculed.

Thinking Flashes in the Sky (Part 3)

UFO vapor trails in San Marcos

A look back on the Fourth of July weekend of 1947, when reports of UFOs went viral!

Thinking Flashes in the Sky (Part 2)

On 1947’s Fourth of July weekend, 500 people per day reported seeing UFOs…and we’re talking all over the country, not just flaky-nutty Southern California.

Arrest warrant issued for Kristin Rossum’s Australian lover

Alleged co-conspirator Michael Robertson in the spotlight.

Arrest warrant issued (quietly) for Michael Robertson, the former boss/lover of Kristin Rossum, the former San Diego toxicologist convicted of poisoning her husband in 2000.

Thinking Flashes in the Sky (Part 1)

Newfangled aircraft or UFOs?

On June 23, 1947, pilot Richard Rankin saw a fleet of ten aircraft that became known as the first “flying saucers.”

Peter Pan in San Diego

Three single men — none of them good

Do San Diego men suffer from Peter Pan Syndrome? The San Diego women who have to date them sure do!

How San Diego Unified music programs do so much with so little

Beleaguered San Diego Unified music programs — jamming on tin whistles and plastic trombones — win a national Music Education Award. Teachers ask, "What the…?"

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