September 2012 issue of Los Angeles Magazine
For those die hard fans that are still interested in Stephanie Lazarus, there is a new article out in Los Angeles Magazine's September 2012 issue, by my good friend Steven Mikulan. The eight page article is now online.
Along with writing for Los Angeles Magazine, Steven is the editor of Frying Pan News, an online web site that describes itself as “a blog on the current economy” providing, “...original content on politics, business, labor, jobs, the environment, culture...”
I initially met Steven Mikulan back in December 2004, at the Robert Blake trial. He was the first journalist that I got to know while attending a trial, and has always been most kind, supportive and encouraging of my trial coverage efforts. Steven was instrumental in saving a space for me in the second row at Phil Spector’s first trial and it’s how I got to know the late writer Dominick Dunne. The four of us, myself, Steven, Dominick and the Daily Journal's Ciaran McEvoy became a tight knit group during that long drawn-out trial. Ciaran, Steven and I have been friends ever since.
Steven wrote for the LA Weekly for 25 years, mostly covering the local theater scene. It was later in his career there that he also covered the criminal beat and local politics for the weekly paper. Steven has a style of putting words together like I’ve rarely seen another writer do so successfully. For example, he labeled the Lazarus story “media crack.” I know that Dominick loved reading Steven’s pieces that I printed out for him during the Spector trial. I’ll never forget when one of Spector’s defense attorneys, Bradley Brunon came over and complimented Steven on the latest story he wrote and asking him about a German term he used in the piece, verfremdungseffekt. Steven’s striking wit is often insightful and at the same time, he has an ability to capture what's most important in a way that can pluck at your heart strings.
What I found refreshing about Steven’s reporting is, he attended some of the trial, did original research on the case and reveals information we haven’t heard about the LAPD’s secret preparations in the hours before Stephanie's arrest. He also brings new information about Lazarus via interviews with her former partner, Detective Don Hrycyk in the Art Theft Detail Unit, as well as from Stephanie's younger brother, Steven Lazarus. In addition, Steven also scored key interviews with DDA Shannon Presby, Sherri’s father Nels Rasmussen, and a friend of Lazarus’s who attended UCLA with her.
It’s my opinion that it’s difficult to tell the Lazarus story and do it justice in a magazine article, where others control how may words you get to write. I thought the article was very good considering the limited amount of space Los Angeles Magazine gave Steven. I should note there are a few errors in the printed magazine version. However, I believe Steven’s editor is in the process of making corrections to the online version.
I spoke to Steven about his article and he gave me this response:
“Reporting on a story this complex was difficult, because as a writer I know that what got published would become part of a public archive that will be consulted by people in the future. Such readers must always trust a writer to be accurate, they have little choice but to rely on his or her story to be historically true, and yet making sure every factual rivet of any story is secure is no easy task. Throughout this effort I knew that no matter how many times I played back an interview, read a transcript, studied a Thomas Guide, deciphered my trial notes or looked at weather reports from 26 years ago, some little thing could escape my attention."(Note: To view the article online, click on the link in the bottom of the online excerpt that says "subscribe now" and from that page, click on the link to preview a digital copy of the magazine for free. The article begins on page 152. Sprocket.)
LA Magazine - In Plain Sight