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Author Beth Black

  • Beth Black



The OC Fair as antidote to the blend-in culture of modern Orange County

A long time ago, the Orange County Fair was a dangerous place for chameleons. One of the vendors profited by attaching live lizards by a string to children’s collars so we could delight in watching the reptiles’ color change to match our clothing. The oddity of a creature that altered its intrinsic nature to blend into its surroundings fascinated us—as freaky things at the fair always do—but how could we not see that the poor animal was just trying to save its life? Most of us were too young to understand the cruelty of the game. Read more...


How Halloween has changed during a half-century in Orange County

In the early 1960s, when I was about 6, my family lived in Santa Ana across the street from the most dangerous place on Earth. This dreadful labyrinth that ran the length of Mabury Street was a jungle of scraggly orange trees with branching arms straining toward us from vast uncountable rows. It only appeared to be an innocent orange grove. We knew the truth: The bogyman lived there. Read more...
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.