Posts Tagged ‘killers’

New Year’s Roundup … Chip and Bill’s doings for 2014

Friday, January 3rd, 2014



* The bridge that stole my heart, the bridge that defined a people, will be a mysterious character in my debut novel. A little eye candy for now, also via the L.A. Times.

* As mentioned earlier, William J. Kelly and I are collaborating on a sequel to Smogtown: the Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles that Penguin/The Overlook Press published in fall 2008. Our new subject is one that’s sizzling ’round the world, and centered in East Asia’s emphysemic tiger. Not long ago, Neon Tommy, the fine digital publication put out by USC, did a piece comparing L.A. and the good, ol’ People’s Republic. Bill’s in there.

* Think we’re helpless against climate change? Well, innovations like this might mean those ice caps last a bit longer. “Ford Motor Co. will debut a solar-powered plug-in hybrid at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. The C-Max Solar Energi Concept has solar panels on its roof that can charge the vehicle’s battery. If the technology proves viable in testing this year, Ford thinks it is a way to free some rechargable vehicles from wall sockets.But there’s a catch. The solar panels on top of the C-Max can capture only enough energy to charge up the battery to about one-eighth full — good for maybe three miles of electric-powered driving — during the day. “While solar panels have been making strides in terms of efficiency, even if we put them on the hood, you still couldn’t recharge the battery enough,” said Mike Tinskey, Ford’s director of vehicle electrification and vehicle infrastructure.To make the system more useful the automaker has developed a special concentrator that acts like a magnifying glass, directing intense rays to solar panels on the vehicle’s roof, Tinskey said …” Story link

* Besides a novel and new environmental book on deck, I have a super-secret other project that I’ve completed. Shhhh. You may one day learn about it if the winds blow the right direction.

*  In my stories’ collection, The Vicodin Thieves, one of two new pieces is about my big brother Paul’s encounter with Robert Kennedy, probably a few hours before he was assassinated in the kitchen of the old Ambassador Hotel. Here’s a photograph of his hearse leaving Good Samaritan Hospital, where he died from a killer or killers’ bullets, from the L.A. Times. You can get a sense of my article about RFK and Paul from this excerpt, exclusively pulled from my award-winning little offering. Here goes …

“Suddenly he was there, inside a chic Lincoln Continental, spectacularly unprotected as he grinned at onlookers woozy at what dumb luck had plunked into their midst. The city of movie stars and rock gods had been expecting him, just not in the cool shadows outside of downtown’s Biltmore Hotel. Clearly, history had pulled a fast one. A brown-haired college student palming a metallic device when he stumbled across this scene had no intention of squandering his brush with it. With nobody cordoning him off, he edged close enough to the man-of-the-hour to read his expression.

The student’s goal was to shoot.

The whole world was gnawing its cuticles watching to see if the polarizing face in the car could reproduce Camelot within any reasonable facsimile. Of course, the mob despised him, the political left was torn over him and Wall Street and the Kremlin harbored their own sharp opinions. But, as the college kid discovered in the year of the Tet Offensive and LSD-mixed Kool-Aid, the guy behind the excitement was mortal—a floppy-haired man weary around the eyes, facing backwards in the rear seat of somebody’s chrome-and- leather luxury sedan. Robert Francis Kennedy might have wanted to take a whiz or grab a Phillipe’s French Dip nearby if not for his excursion in the filtered sunlight near Fifth Street and Grand Avenue.

RFK, an adventurer, the first to dive into frigid waters and an armchair philosopher apt to quote the ancient Greeks, was achingly aware of his vulnerability to assassins by the time he had arrived here for the 1968 California primary. Outwardly, the New York Senator and former U.S. Attorney General in his older brother’s administration ridiculed his fear of being murdered as tiny com- pared to his determination to achieve a higher good. Even so, palpable threats made him flinch, if not more fatalistic where the public could not see. “Everybody,” one insider explained, “remembered Dallas.”

But did anyone learn from it where it counted? The young man with the camera—my older brother, Paul Jacobs—was able to get within about a dozen feet of the next potential leader of the free world until, finally, a staffer shooed him away. The resulting two photographs from a borrowed Nikon Nikorrmat 35mm camera caught RFK in unscripted poses, and not just any, either. Because Paul likely took them hours before infamy doubled down in the kitchen of the sprawling, Myron Hunt-designed Ambassador Hotel, he unknowingly had on film a pair of the last privately captured photos of the second Kennedy to die on the job …”

Announcing the release of my true-crime book, THE ASCENSION OF JERRY: Murder, Hitmen and The Making of L.A. Muckraker Jerry Schneiderman (Vireo/Rare Bird Books)

Sunday, March 25th, 2012



Bumbling hitmen. Burning corpses. A threatened son. Life in hiding. Jerry Schneiderman’s orderly world evaporated when his business partner was executed by an assassin in 1979 Los Angeles, and the buzzard-eyed ringleader came for him. Though the killers behind the murder-for-hire corporation were nabbed, the trauma annihilated Jerry’s family and strip-mined his trust. Recovery only came years later with Jerry’s improbable rebirth as a prank-loving activist who defended the weak by milking his scars.

* “In Chip Jacobs true-crime, The Ascension of Jerry, we are whisked back to LA’s Kodachrome world of the Seventies. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Jerry, the “bright colors and greens of summer” quickly change to the real life black-and-whites of mayhem and murder. But, this is not just another Hollywood Whodunit. In the end we find it is really about one man’s search and struggle to find his own personal truths and redemption. Well written and highly recommended.” –Steve Hodel, LAPD Hollywood Homicide detective (ret.) and bestselling author of “Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder.”

* ”Jacobs delivers a seductive tour of an L.A. rife with murder-for-hire plots, political corruption and sociopathic schemes. Against this backdrop the young Schneiderman comes of age, to ultimately emerge as the last man standing. A terrific book – I couldn’t put it down! — Stephen Jay Schwartz, L.A. Times bestselling author of Boulevard and Beat.

* “Chip Jacobs’ chops as an accomplished newspaperman are on brilliant display in The Ascension of Jerry, a delightfully off-kilter true-crime tale of a hero (sorta) who is neither especially loathsome nor lovable … maybe just lucky to get out alive. Jacobs’ prose is intimate, darkly funny, and crisp as he follows the twisted path that leads SoCal businessman Jerry Schneiderman through a series of weird events – including crossing paths with some dumb-ass hitmen and some burning corpses – only to emerge as a merry prankster with a jones for social activism. (If you haven’t yet deduced that this book is not your Mama’s supermarket true-crime trash, then you’re doing it wrong. But here’s the thing: Jacobs’ ear for a good story is pitch perfect, and he tells it with all the smoggy pastel colors of post-noir LA. The Ascension of Jerry isn’t an old song in a new key, but an entirely new song about crime, fear, and a weird kind of redemption that could only happen in the general vicinity of Hollywood. Jacobs is a genuine writer, not a wannabe scribbler. He knows what makes us keep turning pages. So for those few true-crime readers who like their mayhem served up in a sumptuous story, seek this one out.” — Ron Franscell, celebrated true-crime author.

* a “wildly unpredictable mix of darkly humorous and highly dangerous events“— ”Killer Prose: With The Ascension of Jerry, Writer Chip Jacobs Reveals his Wildest Tale Yet “- Pasadena Weekly, March 23, 2012 (Note: the “murder corporation” referenced in this article was located near but not in the old Bullocks department store in Pasadena).

 There’ll be much more as our launch campaign begins. Please check back for updates. In the meantime, you can purchase the book right now on and other online bookstores., Kindle Version, Barnes & Noble. Publisher link: Vireo/Rare Bird Books

(Note: some bookstores are still listing incorrect information about the book that we expect to be remedied soon. Some minor production issues in the book will also be corrected soon.)