the story of my friendship with silvia sanches and the dark truth about nonprofits
Dockweiler Beach is not a relaxing place. It’s directly under the flight path of the planes leaving LAX Airport and the noise is deafening. I don’t know why anyone would ever go there and lie on the sand since they’d have to wear earplugs just to make it bearable.
In May of 1998, I visited the beach with my dearest friend, private investigator Casey Cohen. At that time, Casey was considered one of the foremost authorities on the death penalty phase. He had worked for defense attorney Leslie Abramson on some of the highest profile death penalty cases, such as Marlon Brando’s son, Christian. His last case was that of Jeremy Stromeyer, the young man who killed a seven year old girl in a Reno casino bathroom.
Together, we walked down the ramp leading to the sand and stood next to the lifeguard tower where a young man named Martin had died from multiple stab wounds.
“It was the internal bleeding that did it,” I told Casey. “His chest cavity filled up with blood and he basically drowned in it.”
“Oh, thanks, thanks!” Casey’s voice was rife with sarcasm, his face starch white. “I could die like that, so don’t make me think about it.”
To this day, I could kick myself for that blunder. Casey had cancer and his days were numbered.
I can imagine the beach looks different at night. To an inner city kid it becomes a mysterious, exciting place. The ugly electrical plant on one side melts into a brooding shadow, the sky glows purple and the water shimmers with moonlight. Airplanes turn into long, black UFOs sliding overhead, lights blinking like something out of a sci fi movie.
Silvia Sanchez was no stranger to Dockweiler Beach. She liked to go there and party with her friends. On the night of April 26, 1995, she headed down with her boyfriend, Gerardo, and her friends, Rueben, Claudia, Leonore and Maribel. Everyone was drinking, having a good time. Martin was with them and they drove in his car.
The murder happened by the water. Silvia knew who was responsible: Gerardo, the man of her dreams, her only love, the one who made her feel like she was the luckiest girl on earth.
You can read the rest here: This Game of Life, Part I – Break Free with Karen Hunt (substack.com)