MS-13 Tentacles Reach into Pacific Palisades

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Temescal Canyon Road was closed last year during the July homicide investigation .

With a 2018 Temescal Canyon Homicide

It was a little more than a year ago, on July 21, 2018, that a 24-year-old man of Guatemalan descent was found dead in heavy brush along the eastside of Temescal Canyon Park by a local resident.

After speaking to West Bureau Homicide Detective Lieutenant John Radtke, Circling the News reported on the homicide, which occurred about a quarter of a mile north of Pacific Coast Highway,

KTLA reported that LAPD Detective John Lamberti said the man had multiple injuries. “He added that it was ‘very apparent’ that he was the victim of a homicide.”

“We need help from the community,” Radtke had told CTN. “We would like to help to identify the person.”

Two booking photos of the victim were released, and one showed a tattoo of a tear drop by his left eye. Authorities did not release information about the victim’s prior arrests, but said they believe the victim died where he was found.

An anonymous source had told CTN that the death was most likely gang-related, but at the time there was no confirmation.

The MS-13 Gang made news a week ago on July 16 and U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said the gang is “believed to have killed 24 people over the past two years” in Los Angeles.

CTN contacted LAPD to ask if the killing in Temescal was related to this case.

“Yes, this was related,” said LAPD Public Communication Officer Norma Eisenman in a July 23 email to CTN. “This particular case is a Sheriff’s case.”

According to the 78-page, July 9, indictment, 22 members of the Mara Salvatrucha street gang, aka MS-13, engaged in numerous acts of violence, including murder, assault, robbery, trafficking in narcotics, and possessing dangerous weapons, including machetes and firearms.

In an NBC News July 16 story “Feds Charge 22 Linked to MS-13 Slayings, Racketeering in Los Angeles,” it reported that Hanna in a news conference said that those arrested were young, with only three of the 22 listed in the indictment older than 24.

Nineteen of the 22 defendants are “in the country illegally,” Hanna said. “Two are U.S. citizens and one is a lawful permanent resident.”

L.A. MS-13 members operated through subsets or cliques, which were usually named for the street in the territory. In this case the Fulton clique and the 503 associates of that clique joined together to commit murders (The indictment explained that 503 members upheld values of extreme violence. 503 is the telephone country code for El Salvador).

MS-13 in Los Angeles is distinct from other MS-13 in other parts of the country because these gangs have to make large payments to the Mexican Mafia.

According to the indictment, MS-13 members engaged in acts of violence against those who cooperated with law enforcement officials, innocent citizens and rival gang members and claimed territory throughout L.A. City and County.

According to the NBC report “Authorities said non-gang members were also targeted, including a 34-year-old homeless man who was shot to death in January of 2019 in a North Hollywood park claimed by the gang.

“Among the seven murders at the center of the 12-count indictment was the killing of an individual identified by the initials ‘J.S.,’ who federal prosecutors said was choked and dismembered in March of 2017 for crossing out MS-13 graffiti,” NBC reported. “One alleged gang member ‘carved out J.S.’s heart,’ and others ‘threw J.S.’s body parts into a canyon’ in the Angeles Forest, the indictment says.”

(Editor’s note: To read the indictment, visit:

MS-13 Territories:

Three new turf fields were dedicated at Whitsett Park in 2017. It was the first of three construction phases. Ultimately there will be seven synthetic soccer fields, restrooms and office buildings and additional shaded areas.

MS-13’s Fulton clique controlled the Whitsett Sports Field, located in North Hollywood and bordered on the west by Whitsett Avenue, the north by Sherman Way, the south by Vanowen Street, and the east by the Hollywood Freeway (CA 170).

Nearly every available surface of Whitsett Park, including walls, construction containers, bathrooms, adjacent residences, trees, and alleys, was covered in MS-13 and Fulton clique graffiti.

The indictment noted that MS-13 and Fulton clique members routinely gathered and met at Whitsett Park to sell drugs, ingest drugs, extort park vendors, discuss gang business, and commit acts of violence, including shootings and robberies.

Additionally, Fulton clique members controlled and congregated in the wash area located at the entrance to the Los Angeles riverbed at Fulton Avenue and Vanowen Street in North Hollywood.

MS-13 also controlled Lafayette Park located at Wilshire Boulevard and North Hoover Street.

Additionally, MS-13 controlled about one fourth of MacArthur Park, located between S. Park View Street and S. Alvarado Street, and 6th and 7th Streets, bisected by Wilshire Boulevard. In the late 1990s, the Mexican Mafia divided MacArthur Park into four sections, to be controlled by four separate gangs, including MS-13.

This man was killed in Temescal Canyon Park. He had a tear tattoo by his left eye.

TATTOO MEANINGS: The teardrop is one of the most widely recognized prison tattoos and has various meanings, according to Wikipedia.

According to a Business Insider story “15 Common Tattoos Criminals Have and What They Secretly Mean,” a tear tattoo can mean a lengthy prison sentence, while in some areas of the country it signifies that the wearer has committed murder.

“If the teardrop is just an outline, it can symbolize an attempted murder,” the story reported. “It can also mean that one of the inmate’s friends was murdered and that they are seeking revenge.

“The teardrop has been popularized recently by rappers, but still remains a staple in prisons.”




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1 Response to MS-13 Tentacles Reach into Pacific Palisades

  1. Nina Kidd says:

    Thank you for reporting on this, Sue.

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