If you’re visiting Los Angeles, forget about tours of the mansions of Hollywood movie stars in uber chic Beverly Hills.
What about a tour of crime scenes?
Starline Tours, which has long taken star struck tourists on tours of the homes of Southern California’s rich and famous, has rolled out its latest look at Hollywood for CSI fanatics and armchair investigators: Crime Scene Tours of Los Angeles.
“The tour visits some of the most shocking crime scenes in Los Angeles,” a press release that landed in my inbox says.
“It is led by off duty or retired Los Angeles Police Department personnel, who provide an insider’s look at the crime scene most people can’t bear to see.”
The press release continues in this vein.
I am sure that tourists from around the world will be standing in line to see the Brentwood condominium where Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, wife of O.J. Simpson, were brutally murdered, Vitello’s Restaurant (pictured above), where Robert Blake was accused of fatally shooting his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, in the neck, the site of the North Hollywood Shoot Out, considered one of the longest and bloodiest shootouts in U.S. police history, or the site of such heinous crimes as those of the Night Stalker and the Hillside Strangler, the Manson family’s horrific murders of actress Sharon Tate and Abigail Folger, and The Black Dahlia, one of the oldest unsolved murders in Los Angeles history.
But I can’t help but think that this is all a bit distasteful.
Can’t you imagine images of camera toting tourists excitedly taking pictures and having pictures of themselves taken at the scenes of tragic events – while the family and friends of victims are still alive?
Can you imagine how they would feel if they stumbled across a busload of gawkers?
Following the Loma Preta earthquake in Northern California in 1989, I remember seeing pictures of foreign tourists taking pictures of each other in front of homes that had been devastated by the tragedy.
It didn’t go down to well with those of us that lived there. If I remember correctly, a certain foreign consulate in the city had to be advised to advise its citizens to demonstrate a little more sensitivity.