Over the weekend, my gracious hosts took me out to Portuguese Bend out in Palos Verdes. It’s apparently the most geologically unstable portion of land in the US. As we drove along a road that seemed to be comprised mostly of patches due to the many geologic shifts and slides, my friend pointed out the large metal water pipe running along the roadside aboveground. I was told that the ground shifts often enough that there are teams that wait for a shift, then rush out to fix the water pipes. It’s startling how many enormous mansions are built throughout the area. It’s also home to the Trump National Golf Club course. The area is an interesting mix of native vegetation and the overstated, lush and verdant landscaping that the well-to-do have clustered around their enormous houses.
We then parked at Lunada Bay and checked out the scenery. The water is clear and blue here, and apparently the beach far below is local surfing hot spot for residents. I was notified that the locals would throw rocks when anybody that wasn’t from the neighborhood tried to surf there.
So far, I have yet to experience an actual earthquake. Sometime in the next week, I want to head back out there to check out the Wayfarer’s Chapel.
Shortly after entering Hollywood, we drove past The Museum of Death, which my host pointed out. I’d never heard of it, and am always morbidly curious, so we took the tour.
Inside the first exhibit area is a collection of Serial Killer memorabilia – with various ‘artworks’ on display by Otis Toole, Henry Lee Lucas and John Wayne Gacy; there’s a self portrait of Gacy as Pogo the Clown which is FAR less unsettling than the actual overly creepy picture of Gacy beside it. In the Richard Ramirez display, there’s actually a Richard Ramirez plush doll affixed to the wall. The walls are lined with copies of letters from the men themselves, painting a bizarre picture of sociopathy that’s quite disturbing. Letters from Jeffrey Dahmer, the Son of Sam and other Serial Killer ‘heavy hitters’, as it were, are also featured beside a television that shows footage of court scenes and interviews.
The next room is the execution chamber, with the clothes of a man that had been executed in the electric chair tacked up on the wall beside a mock electric chair. I think they’re the clothes of Allen Lee Davis – they were spotted where he’d bled during the execution. There were also ‘after’ pictures of Ted Bundy from several tabloids.
There’s an entire room dedicated to Charles Manson, and another rather large exhibit with enormous, vivid photos of the Black Dahlia murder. There’s even a Heaven’s Gate room:
“The Museum of Death acquired a bunk bed from the Heaven’s Gate compound along with other items that were auctioned off by police. These items have been arranged into a display recreating how the scene must have appeared to authorities discovering the bodies back in March of 1997. Mannequins dressed in black, with Nike sneakers on their feet, rest on a bunk bed. Purple sheets bearing the emblem of the Heaven’s Gate cult are draped over them. Nearby sit Heaven’s Gate cult literature, bottles of barbiturates and vodka.” – Text taken from (http://www.thecabinet.com/darkdestinations/location.php?sub_id=dark_destinations&letter=m&location_id=the_museum_of_death)
A smaller section of wall across from the door leading into the Heaven’s Gate room features literature, propaganda and images from The Peoples Temple. There’s also an entire mortuary area, with videos and vivid images of how bodies are prepared for viewing. There’s also a looping video that details the embalming process.
Throughout the museum are various photos of decapitations (with a small collection of chinese decapitation photos, which I assume were from WWII), autopsy photos and execution videos. Also lots of car accident photos.
There’s also an entire wall dedicated to GG Allin, which is as it should be, really.
There were mentions and images of Albert Fish, Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo and other severely cracked people in a small alcove, as well as a video theater with looping videos of shark attacks, murders and other various garish things. The walls of the theater were covered with newspaper articles about horrific happenings.
Afterwards, we drove out to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. I’d always wanted to see it in person. I love the architecture and decor and it made me really happy to be able to check it out. Afterwards, we stopped for dinner at Genghis Cohen, which is quite possibly the best Chinese restaurant I’ve ever eaten at.