Edit ModuleShow Tags

Front Pages



Published:

(page 1 of 5)

Silent Night, Deadly Night

When Christmas really can be murder——and other violent crimes

WHEN SAN DIEGO–BORN KILLER Scott Peterson murdered his wife and unborn child on Christmas Eve three years ago, his was hardly an isolated case.

San Diego police records suggest the holiday season—particularly Christmas Eve and Christmas Day—is a peak time for murders, particularly those stemming from domestic violence. It’s a time of year when emotions and passions run high, and financial burdens tend to weigh on fragile psyches more than at other times.

“A lack of money, wanting to buy things, the kids are screaming and wanting this and that—all that can add up,” says San Diego Police Department spokesman Gary Hassen. “It can be a happy and joyous time for some, but for others it’s a very stressful time of the year. And the crowds—I remember being up at Disneyland right before Christmas, and there were fights on Main Street. Tempers flare, and there you are.”

Last year, the city of San Diego recorded 62 homicides, or roughly one every six days, according to SDPD’s Dave Cohen. Two, he said, occurred within 48 hours of Christmas.

Shortly after 8 p.m. on December 23, police officers responded to a North Park apartment after getting a report that a woman had been stabbed. They found Roxanne Mark, 47, suffering from a stab wound, and learned her husband had stabbed her during an argument.

Angelo Mark, 49, had plunged a kitchen knife with a 6-inch blade into his wife’s back. He was arrested at the scene and booked into county jail for assault with a deadly weapon; his wife was transported to a trauma center, but her condition worsened, and she died shortly before 11 p.m. Prosecutors said in court that Mark, who had two prior domestic violence convictions, stabbed his wife because she “wouldn’t shut up.”

Early in the afternoon of December 24, 54-year-old Brenda Bohannon asked a neighbor to call police after she allegedly discovered her 70-year-old companion, Mose McClain, unconscious on the floor of the East San Diego apartment they shared. Paramedics pronounced McClain, a retired General Motors laborer, dead at the scene. A day later, autopsy results prompted police to open a homicide investigation.

Bohannon was arrested and later charged with murder.

Elsewhere around the country, some of the grisliest murders in the annals of crime took place at Christmas. Two years ago, Louis DeBerardinis beat and stabbed his girlfriend to death on Christmas Day in the home they shared in Niskayuna, New York, and then set the house on fire. He drove to an apartment less than a mile away and fatally shot two members of his girlfriend’s family before turning the gun on himself.

In 2000, San Jose police arrested a man accused of stabbing his wife to death with a screwdriver on Christmas Day in front of the couple’s three children.

And it was on December 26, 1996, that JonBenet Ramsey’s crumpled body was found in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado. The 6-year-old beauty queen had been strangled.

The case has never been solved; police suspect Ramsey’s parents, who have repeatedly maintained their innocence.

CITY BEAT

Spin City

DEVIN WADE KNOWS 20 TRICKS. Three weeks into a job as a sign spinner, he’s pretty good at a “one-handed catch.” The 20- year-old from Ocean Beach is still working on his “helicopter,” “typewriter” and the infamous “Bruce Lee.”

What’s a sign spinner? Those people—usually young ones—who hyperkinetically tout wares or services by standing on busy street corners waving advertising signage. Actually, wavingis an understatement. Some of these kids perform.

Wade and his ilk are the consumer street division of Cirque du Soleil.

Arrow Advertising has 75 spinners working the streets of San Diego, says director of marketing Justin Brown. Arrow deploys its workforce in Southern California, Las Vegas and cities in Maryland and Virginia.

“We produce results,” says Brown.

Mary Middleton concurs. “We didn’t have a spinner one Saturday, and our traffic was half what it usually is when they’re here,” says Middleton, sales manager at the downtown Palermo condominiums.

Palermo——on a Wednesday ——is where we espied Wade. For a seven-hour shift, he makes $8 an hour. “But if I learn 90 tricks, I can make $15 an hour,” he says. “It’s not boring. I have fun all day—by entertaining. I love the honks.” He’s been tipped, given food and water, and once was handed a flower.

Willing to share the love, Wade notes that Arrow is currently hiring.

——RON DONOHO
Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Vote Now for San Diego's Best Restaurants 2018
    From burritos to bottomless mimosas, you choose San Diego’s best eats and drinks in 90 categories
  2. Personal Stories are on Display at the Museum of Man's 'PostSecret'
    Frank Warren collects deep, dark secrets for this community arts project
  3. The Best Burgers in San Diego
    These burgers are food critic Troy Johnson's finalists for the best in San Diego
  4. The Best of North County 2018
    Our annual list of what we’re loving above the 56, from bites and brews to shopping, wellness, and arts and kids’ activities galore
  5. Has Anything Really Changed Since Ballast Point Sold to Constellation?
    More than two years after the acquisition, misinformation and misunderstanding still abound
  6. Your 2018 San Diego Summer Bucket List
    Here’s our insider’s guide for Memorial Day through Labor Day
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Vote Now for Your Orangetheory Winner!

Winners will be announced at our Sweat event on May 12

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

AquaVie: 10 Reasons It’s Downtown’s Best Kept Secret

The best workout and spa getaway around? It’s actually right underneath your nose.

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags