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As the crow flies the dead body was found a half-mile from my front door. As the bike rides it’s about two-thirds of a mile away. Far enough away for some, but too close for comfort for me.

I pedaled upon the cordoned-off scene above on my ride home from work last night. It was about 8:30.  I’m on Vendome looking west up Dillon Street, which is immediately south of the 101 Freeway.  After answering my question of “what happened?” with the question “do you live around here?” that I dutifully answered, an officer told me a homicide investigation was taking place.

My first thought was that it was gang-related. But then I watched as officers stepped over  a low guard rail and disappeared into the foliage adjacent to the southbound lanes of the freeway, and that struck me as decidedly un-driveby. When I got home I posted about it on L.A. Metblogs and then emailed Ruben Vives who writes The Homicide Report blog for the L.A. Times.

This morning I learned from Vives that the victim was woman and that detectives aren’t sure how long she’d been dead as her body had been there for some time given its state of decomposition.

In an eerie coincidence, it was only yesterday that I found myself looking through the Los Angeles Public Library archives at photos from the Hillside Strangler serial murders case, wherein a number of the victims were dumped along roadsides and freeways.

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