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Severed Head and Body Parts Found in LA – Anyone Want a Picture?

Posted on the 20 January 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost

Severed head and body parts found in LA – anyone want a picture?

The Hollywood sign, close to where the head was found. Photo credit: Laughing Squid,

A dog walker who found a severed human head in a plastic bag near the famed Hollywood sign in Los Angeles had the presence of mind to snap a few photos of her and the head before calling the police.

Now, however, it seems that nobody wants to buy the grisly photos – despite the fact that the Hollywood photo agency peddling them claims the dog walker is smiling in them.

Lauren Kornberg, a professional dog walker who grew up in the Hollywood Hills where the head and now, hands and feet of an unidentified man have been found, told local radio station KPCC that she first thought the head was a film prop. One the nine dogs she was walking at the time had found the bag and was playing with it; when she approached, the dog dropped the head, which then rolled 30 feet down into a ravine. Korberg’s mother, who was with her at the time, went down into the ravine to get a closer look.

“Even as we got closer, we still couldn’t say for sure whether it was … real, until my mom was literally about a foot away, face to face, and could see bloody hair and eyeballs and eyelashes and gasped and said, ‘It’s real, oh my God, it’s real,’” Kornberg said.

The head was found on Tuesday, and the hands and feet the next day; police in Los Angeles believe all the parts come from the same person. Investigators say that they have stopped searching for more body parts and are attempting to identify the victim, who they believe to be between 40 and 60 years old and to have been killed elsewhere. No arrests have been made, but The Los Angeles Times reported that search warrants have been issued in connection with the crime.

It’s unclear whether the photos were taken while Kornberg still believed the head was a prop or not. What is clear, however, is that though selling the photos is not a crime – The Los Angeles Times checked – it’s certainly a violation of good taste.

How about $42? Snarky gossip site Gawker was the first to report that the agency was looking to sell the photos. Maureen O’Connor reported that the site was approached by a “prominent Hollywood photo agency” asking $5,000 for the photos – the agency also noted that in at least one of the photos, the dog walker is “smiling”. Gawker promptly offered $42 and when that offer was refused, checked with several major media outlets to see if they’d been taking the photos. Only one news outlet the site contacted was willing to take them: Fred Mwangaguhunga, founder and editor of Media Takeout, said he’d offer upwards of $3,000; the site hasn’t shied away from grisly beheading images in the past, so it’s not surprising they would now. No word yet on whether he actually has.

Is this the work of a serial killer? It’s too early to tell, according to experts David Lohr of The Huffington Post spoke to, especially in the absence of an identification on the victim. Retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent Mark Safarik told the news site it’s likely the victim was dismembered in another location and brought to the Branson Canyon site; dismemberment, however, is rare in serial killings, he said. “It could be a need-driven behavior, a contract killing or the killer may have [dismembered the victim] to make him easier to transport,” Safarik told The Huffington Post. But more information is needed to find out: “Get the [victim's] identity and the investigation will get kicked into high gear.”

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