Southern California breaking news and trends

TSA 'PreCheck' program arrives at LAX with speedy security options

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LAX

A new, passenger pre-screening program will have travelers flying through TSA security ASAP at LAX.

The Transportation Security Administration "PreCheck" pilot program touches down at Los Angeles International Airport on Jan. 18, offering pre-approved fliers an expedited security experience. 

At check-in, PreCheck enrolled passengers will not have to go shoeless and beltless, they can leave liquids and laptops inside carry-on luggage, as they mosey a reserved fast path through the security area.

Expedited screening does not guarantee immunity from standard security restrictions, however. Random searches and unexpected measures are still a possibility.

As part of the program's application process, individuals are required to release personal information, submit to fingerprinting and background checks, and participate in a face-to-face interview. 

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A second severed hand found below Hollywood sign, to go with other hand, head

With AFP Story by Michael THURSTON: US-e

Robyn Beck/Getty Images

The famous Hollywood sign

A second human hand has been found near the head and hand already found below the Hollywood sign, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The human head was found Tuesday afternoon, the first hand was found Wednesday morning and the second hand was found Wednesday afternoon. Police believe the murder occurred elsewhere and the body was dumped in the park.

"We're hoping we can find more remains," LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said, according to the Times.

The victim appeared to be an Armenian man between 40 and 60.

The search is expected to continue Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the Times reported.

The LAPD told KPCC that the case was still under investigation and they couldn't provide any further information at the moment, and that they do not know when there will be further info available.

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Inside the Facebook page of suspected killer Elizabeth Ibarra

L.A. Weekly posted a breakdown of Elizabeth Ibarra's Facebook on Wednesday. The 19-year-old is suspected of luring Francisco Rodriguez onto his front lawn, then shooting and killing him. 

Dubbing it her "telling Facebook trail," L.A. Weekly posted several screenshots showing new, if confusing, layers of the relationships between Ibarra, Jason Schumann (the suspected shooter) and Rodriguez.

One post features a picture of the future suspected shooter with a baby, captioned by Ibarra as "DELANO WiTH HiS DADDY :'] ♥ H0W AD0RABLE!!" She then went on to call him a "sick cheating son of a b----" in the comments section. Another post highlights future victim Rodriguez making a suggestive comment on a picture of Ibarra from July of last year.

The rest of the Weekly's report can be found here

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Hollywood head discovery: Hand discovered not far from severed head

Human Head Found

Jason Redmond/AP

LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith, center, prepares to speak to media in front of the Bronson Canyon Park entrance as detectives search the neighborhood below the Hollywood sign after a plastic bag containing a human head was discovered Tuesday on a nearby trail.

Police have now found a hand not far from the fairly fresh severed head discovered by a hiker on a Hollywood trail on Tuesday. The hand, which unlike the head was not bagged, was found about 50 yards from the head.

"The hand is still where they found it, they're taking pictures of it, and they'll take it down to the coroner's office," said Cmdr. Andy Smith. 

The L.A. Times reported this morning that police sources said the head was from an Armenian male in his 40s, but Smith said, "As we've taken a look at that, we're saying undetermined now. It could be European or Armenian, but they're saying undetermined." The age estimate has also shifted to between 40 and 60.

Police are combing missing persons reports, among other things, throughout the county to try to identify the person the head and the hand belongs to.

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Accused OC homeless killer given 15 seconds with lawyer, does not enter plea

Homeless Homicides

AP

Anaheim Police Department photo of Itzcoatl Ocampo. The former Marine is accused of killing four homeless men in Orange County.

Itzcoatl Ocampo, the 23-year-old former Marine accused in the brutal serial killing of four homeless men in Orange County, appeared in a cell on Tuesday at a Santa Ana arraignment that lasted less than five minutes before being postponed.

Ocampo's lawyer asked for a continuance, saying he was given only 15 seconds to speak with his client through a food slot, and did not have enough information to enter a plea. Jail officials also had not conducted a psychological evaluation on Ocampo, reports KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez.

"He was curled up in a ball under a blanket in underwear, no shirt, no pants," Longwith said. "He looked like a wet cat — a scared, wet cat. It wasn't much conversation," said Ocampo's lawyer of his brief visit on Tuesday, reports the L.A. Times.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Ruckauckas called Ocampo a "thrill kill" case — a person who kills "to see what it’s like to make those kills and he gets a thrill out of it." He expects Ocampo to plead insanity.

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