A Fugitive in Our Midst: Christopher Dorner in Retrospect

Big Bear Lake, CA, February 10, 2014 – In February of 2013, many of us began following the news of a disturbed, disgruntled ex-cop as he crisscrossed southern California: A pair of murders in Irvine, an attempted boat theft in San Diego, an officer shot in Corona, and a fatal ambush in Riverside. It was chilling to watch Christopher Dorner’s path of vengeance, even from afar. And then, he was in our neighborhood. On Thursday, February 7th, CNN published Dorner’s manifesto, in which the former Navy marksman said his killing spree was in retribution for his wrongful termination from the LAPD. The same day, his Nissan Titan was found abandoned and on fire in the San Bernardino National Forest. The County Sheriff’s Department set up a command post in the nearby parking lot of Bear Mountain Resort, and began a massive manhunt aided by SWAT teams with snowcats and, when the heavy snow allowed, aerial searches. Schools in the Bear Valley Unified School District went on lockdown, and did not reopen the next day. On Sunday the 10th, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner’s arrest and conviction. Meanwhile, searchers in Big Bear continued to trudge through the forest in knee-deep snow, and check hundreds of empty vacation cabins. Local children went back to school on Monday, but were in another...

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Heltebrake to file lawsuit for Christopher Dorner Reward

San Bernardino Mountains, April 20, 2013 – An attorney for Rick Heltebrake has announced he will seek the entire one million dollar reward offered by the City of Los Angeles in the Christopher Dorner case. L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa offered the reward in February for information leading to the apprehension and capture of Dorner, who was the subject of a widespread manhunt after killing and wounding several people. On February 12, Dorner carjacked Heltebrake on a road off Highway 38 near Barton Flats. Heltebrake then reported the incident to a San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriff’s deputy. The deputy and others later trapped Dorner in a cabin where the suspect ultimately died. Heltebrake’s attorney, Allen Thomas, claims the City of Los Angeles is ignoring both California law and City ordinances by unilaterally selecting its own judge and jury to decide who qualifies for the reward. Specifically, Thomas says the City’s procedure would not allow his client to present evidence directly to the tribunal and question witnesses but would allow the Los Angeles Police Department unfettered access to the tribunal. The proceedings could be conducted in secret beyond public scrutiny. The lawsuit will allege the City breached a valid reward contract and violated Heltebrake’s civil rights by attempting to force an unfair proceeding on him that impairs a valid contract without just compensation. The Media Relations department for the City of...

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Family Requests Help in Locating Missing Girl Danielle Stitzel

Big Bear Lake, CA, April 30, 2011, 1:30pm – The family of Danielle Stitzel is asking for the public’s assistance in locating this missing 16 year old girl.  Danielle was last seen on Tuesday, April 26th at 4:15pm at Meadow Park on Park Avenue in Big Bear Lake.  Danielle is 5’3″ tall with blonde hair and blue eyes.  She was wearing a black sweatshirt, blue jeans, a black jacket and black shoes.  The Big Bear Sheriff’s Department has followed leads to her possible whereabouts in the Los Angeles area but that does not rule out that she may still be in Big Bear.  Anyone with any information regarding this missing girl should contact the Big Bear station at (909)...

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