The Pop Culture Road Trip

Lohan To Be Charged With Felony Count Of Grand Theft

February 8, 2011 2:31 PM

LOS ANGELES  (CBS) — The District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that they would file criminal charges against actress Lindsay Lohan in connection with allegations she stole a necklace from a jewelry store in Venice.

That’s the local CBS TV report in L.A. right now.  More trouble for Lohan – who appears to be in some sort of self-fulfilling death spiral at this point. I’ve written about troubled celebs in a number of my books. Lest we think there’s not a rich history of this sort of thing, here are 10 entries from my book, “James Dean Died Here – The Locations of America’s Pop Culture Landmarks.” 

Where would the tabloids, then and now, been without these events? What celeb events do you think created the biggest tabloid feeding frenzies?

      Cooke, Sam

Hacienda Motel (now Polaris Motel)

9137 South Figueroa Street

Los Angeles, California

Popular soul singer Sam Cooke
(“You Send Me,” “Wonderful World,” “Another Saturday Night”) was shot to death
at the site of the former Hacienda Motel in December of 1964 by a motel manager
armed with .22 pistol. Cooke had taken a young woman to the seedy motel, and
after the shooting she claimed that he had tried to rape her. However, evidence
suggests that she may have been a prostitute who may have tried to rob Cooke
(leading to Cooke’s panic and subsequent chase). When Cooke broke down the door
of the manager’s office, where he mistakenly believed the woman had gone, the
shocked manager shot and killed him.

Crane, Bob

# 132A, Winfield Apartments

(Now the Winfield Place

7430 East Chaparral Road (1/4 mile
east of Scottsdale Road)

Scottsdale, Arizona

On the afternoon of June 29, 1978,
actress Victoria Berryl knocked on the door to this apartment. She expected her
knock to be answered by former TV star Bob Crane. There was no answer. She
pushed the open the unlocked door and went inside. There she found his
half-naked body lying in bed. His face was so badly beaten that he was
unrecognizable from the left side. An electric cord was wrapped around his
neck. Crane’s pal and partner in sordid behavior, John Carpenter, was
eventually charged but found not guilty of the crime in 1994.

Dogg, Snoop Doggy

Woodbine Park (on Motor Avenue at
National Boulevard)

Palms district

West Los Angeles, California

In 1993, Rap singer Snoop Doggy
Dogg was arrested for murder. Allegedly, on August 25, 1993, he drove a black
Jeep Cherokee during a drive-by shooting at this park. Philip Woldemariam, an
alleged gang member, was shot and killed. Dogg claimed self-defense, and was
eventually acquitted of the murder charges. The jury deadlocked on lesser
charges, which were later dropped.


Downey, Jr., Robert

29169 Heathercliff Road

Malibu, California

The 31-year-old actor was busted
in Malibu on July 16, 1997 for wandering into his neighbor’s house and passing
out on their bed. The neighbor, Lisa Curtis, returned home, found a strange man
asleep in her house, and called the police, who arrested him for trespassing
and being under the influence of drugs.

Grant, Hugh

Pick up site: Northeast corner of
Sunset Boulevard and Courtney Avenue

Arrest site: Three blocks away at
the intersection of Curson and Hawthorn Avenues

Hollywood, California

On June 27, 1995, pretty boy
English actor Hugh Grant picked up hooker Divine Brown here on Sunset
Boulevard. Busted in the act just a few blocks away, Grant ultimately received
probation and paid a small fine. Rather than harm his career, if anything, the
incident seemed to bolster it.

Herman, Pee Wee

South Trail Theater (former site)

6727 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, Florida


visiting his parents in Sarasota, Florida, Pee Wee Herman (Paul Reubens)
decided to go catch a movie. And it was on that date, July 26, 1991, that
Herman was arrested by police for exposing himself in an X-rated movie theater.
Pee-Wee dolls were recalled from toy stores and CBS dropped plans to broadcast
the remaining five Pee Wee’s Playhouse

after, Herman, the butt of ten thousand wisecracks–got a rousing ovation that
September when he walked onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards
and casually inquired, “Heard any good jokes
lately?” Today, the adult theater has been replaced by a restaurant.


Michael, George

Will Rogers Memorial Park

9650 Sunset Boulevard (just across
from the Beverly Hills Hotel)

Beverly Hills, California

On April 8, 1998, pop star George
Michael decided to enter the men’s room at this well-mannered park and engage
in what police described as a “lewd act.” (The park was under fairly regular
surveillance after cops realized that it had become a “hot zone.”) Michael was
alone in the restroom at the time–which is located near the northwest corner of
the park. Michael was arrested, found guilty of the charge, and eventually
sentenced to perform community service.

Neil, Vince

The Esplanade at Sapphire Street

Redondo Beach, California

Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil
had been living it up at his Redondo beach home for three days, when he decided
to make a run to a local liquor store for more booze. Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley
(a member of the Finnish punk band Hanoi Rocks), went along for the ride.
Coming home from the booze run, Neil, driving with a personal blood alcohol
level almost twice the legal limit, swerved sharply to avoid a parked fire
truck. His red 1972 Ford Pantera then smashed into a white Volkswagon,
killing”Razzle” Dingley. Neil escaped with minor injuries, but the man in the
Volkswagon was left with brain damage and paralysis. Though Neil was arrested
for vehicular manslaughter, amazingly, he got off with just a 30-day jail

Nicholson, Jack

The corner of Riverside Drive and
Moorpark Street (near the Lakeside Golf Course)

Studio City, California

On February 8, 1994, Jack
Nicholson allegedly hopped from his car here and attacked motorist Robert
Blank’s Mercedes-Benz with a golf club. It seems Blank had cut him off in
traffic. He smashed the windshield and dented the roof with his golf club, and
then drove away. Though Nicholson was charged with misdemeanor assault and
vandalism, Blank also sued him, eventually settling out of court.

Von Bulow, Claus

Clarendon Court

Bellevue Avenue at Rovensky
Avenue, across from Rovensky Park

Newport, Rhode Island

In 1979, Claus Von Bulow was
convicted of trying to murder his wealthy wife Sunny at this opulent Newport
mansion by injecting her with insulin (allegedly, so he could make off with her
money.) In 1982, however, he was acquitted after a successful appeal. Today,
Sunny is still alive, but comatose at New York City’s Columbia-Presbyterian


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