Orange Coast Magazine
 

 

CRIME: O.C. Confidential

Our "Center of the Universe" story about seduction and a serial killer is being read all over the world right now. Click here for the story.

 For more true crime coverage, check out:
  • Murder, Love & Redemption Everyone knows how Manson girl Susan Atkins helped take lives. But few know the story of the life she helped save. 
  • Sandy Murphy's Complicated Life Convicted of murder in 2000 and branded as Las Vegas’ most notorious femme fatale, she resurfaced a decade later as the happily married owner of a Laguna Beach art gallery. 
  • Murder. Just Because. One of the most loathsome killers in Orange County talks. Without remorse. And that’s the scariest thing of all.
  • The Private Struggle of a Public Woman To Orange County society, Debbie Simon had it all—beauty, wealth, family, friends, and a landmark Newport Beach address. But in the desperate months before her death, she lost what mattered most.

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Summer Guide: Coming Attractions

Muckenthaler Jazz Festival, Huntington Beach Pier Swim, Summerfest , Sawdust Art Festival, Art‑A‑Fair, Cher Read more...


Summer Guide: Location Scouting

This article originally appeared in the June 2014 issue. Read more...

Death Valley National Park

Despite its forbidding name, Death Valley isn’t a desolate wasteland. The otherworldly landscape intrigues with charms that are both subtle and severe—immense, colorful volcanic craters; layered, water-carved canyons; silky sand dunes; and a radiating heat that seems three-dimensional. Even when the park fills with visitors pursuing spring wildflowers, the vast emptiness swallows sound and light, and opens a path to restful silence, joyous starry skies, and unending wonder about the planet’s origins. Read more...

Joshua Tree National Park

After the deaths of an infant son and then her husband, South Pasadena socialite Minerva Hoyt (1866-1945) found peace and consolation in the beauty of the desert. But the avid gardener turned activist in the 1920s as the rage for exotic landscaping, accelerated by affordable autos and paved roads, took a toll on the land. Named to a state commission, “The Apostle of the Cacti” prepared a report, recommending parks be created in Death Valley, the Anza-Borrego Desert, and the Joshua tree forests. Read more...

Channel Islands National Park

Variously ranched or used as Navy bombing ranges, five spits of land that never were part of mainland California are windows to its distant past. The vestiges of civilization have been dismantled during the past few decades, and native plants and animals have rebounded. More than 140 species can be found only here. Read more...

Pinnacles National Park

The nation’s newest national park—christened last year—is an inspiring testimony to the awesome power of plate tectonics combined with erosion: sheer rock spires rising out of the scrubby Gabilan Mountains. Its beauty was apparent to Schuyler Hain (1861-1930), a homesteader from Michigan, who led valley and cave tours, and acted as caretaker, until Pinnacles was deemed a national monument more than a century ago. Read more...

Sequoia National Park

Certain that ancient trees had a highter purpose than becoming fence posts and shingles, George W. Stewart, the 21-year-old city editor of the Visalia Delta, penned an 1878 editorial calling for a state ban on cutting giant sequoias. For the next dozen years, the newspaperman battled mining, livestock, and timber interests, and spurred state and federal officials to secure the park’s first 76 square miles. Read more...

Kings Canyon National Park

Strong-willed, heartily disliked, and highly effective Interior Secretary Harold Ickes (1874-1952) took an interest in wilderness preservation that went beyond most: parks without roads. Wheeling and dealing—which inluded selling FDR on the idea with commissioned Ansel Adams photographs—Ickes got his wish in Kings Canyon. Read more...

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite forever changed Muir. Soaring granite monoliths, icy streams that tumble like feathers over cliffs, stately groves of sequoias, and wildlife around every bend. Muir championed Yosemite not just for its natural beauty, but its ecological significance, too—a template for dozens of national parks that followed. Read more...

California has more national parks than any other state: nine. Use our guides, outlines below, to plan a memorable visit.

 
READ NOW: Serial Killer Seduction

Our "Center of the Universe" story is being read all over the world right now. Click here for the story.

 

Who Did Randy Kraft Seduce?

Current photos of author Jay Roberts.

 

A Fact-Checker's Journey to a 1980 Afternoon

Our intrepid intern tracks down the details in Roberts' story.

 

Why Isn't Randy Kraft Dead?

Our original piece on one of California's deadliest and most depraved serial killers. 

 

Editor's Letter, October 2013

Our editor considers "Center of the Universe" to be compelling—and incredibly frightening. Click above to find out why.