Surprising and Strange

Leaving Gadsden, Alabama, and Roy Moore

Bless his cotton-picking, pedophile, hypocritical 10 Commandments blackheart, good ole child-molesting Republican boy Roy Moore of Gadsden, Alabama is in the news and on the run. I, too, spent time at Gadsden, and have escaped to tell thee. It was another time and another place. Between jobs as a correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta reporter/columnist for the Sacramento Bee, I…


Disbarred RSF Casey Anthony attorney Macaluso gets jail for $13M cocaine scheme

Summary: The former attorney of accused-murderer Casey Anthony, who has since been disbarred, was convicted of drug smuggling. (Editor’s note: It is with great pleasure we present this tale of justice served in the case of Todd Macaluso, former Casey Anthony attorney and Rancho Santa Fe reprobate. As editor of various Rancho Santa Fe newspapers and websites, I had the “honor” of being threatened with…


Dr. Bronner rises from the grave to say

‘ALL-ONE’ soap aside, and sudsy philosophy notwithstanding, Dr. Emmanuel Bronner emerged this month from beyond the grave with an appropriately nostalgic series of ruminations released on a vinyl LP. Or as the publicity department said: “‘Sisters & Brothers’ is a long-play record that features original recordings of Dr. Emanuel Bronner—visionary, soapmaker, grandfather and founder of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. Recorded between 1970 and 1995, on a variety…


In age of Drumpf, Tony Clifton claims foul

Editor’s Note: Michael Patrick Welch, renowned New Oreans writer, musician, teacher and friend of The Escondido Grapevine, conducted an interview with the provocateur known to Andy Kauffman and Bob Zmuda fans as Tony Clifton. While others have shunned this outstanding piece of informational journalism, we embrace it and re-print this as a public service. “After a year of chasing Tony Clifton to get his thoughts…


20 years ago, Heaven’s Gate couldn’t wait

Dateline Rancho Santa Fe. March 26, 1997. A 911 call came into the San Diego Sheriff’s Communications Center. It was treated as a prank call at first. From what turned out to be a nearby payphone, the caller said something so preposterous that dispatchers took their time in relaying the information to central command. “This is regarding a mass suicide. I can give you the address,” the…



Heaven’s Gate survivor 20 years later

A former Heaven’s Gate member is looking back on the time he spent with the cult 20 years after dozens of its members committed suicide together at Rancho Santa Fe. The man, who goes by the name Sawyer, told Inside Edition that he spent 18 years with the cult, reaching the rank of “overseer” before leaving in 1994. He recalled his conversations with the leader of the cult,…


Fake or real? Esco HS party turns viral

Video of an Escondido Charter High School teacher violently reacting to a group of students intruding on his class has drawn widespread criticism from Australia to Cape Verde – but more than one viewer insists not all was as it seemed. Footage showing Escondido Charter students entering the classroom of a teacher was uploaded to streaming website Streamable earlier today. Wearing party hats, stick-on moustaches, sombreros and…


Heaven’s Gate and other ‘cult’ architecture

Religions have inspired some of the great architecture of human history. Reims Cathedral. The Blue Mosque. Angkor Wat. But what about those faiths that aren’t exactly major? Or are controversial? Or aren’t religions at all? Since many fringe religious groups tend not to mesh well with society, they often take to the country. In the process, they sometimes employ innovative planning strategies, as is the…


From the Escondido X-Files…

“he-it tried but i fought, with all my might. i was able to break what he-it was doing, because when i came to his shadow disappeared. ( i saw exactly what you looked like.) tall 8ft-skinny-define in nature.-muscular tone-black eyes.- the hands, three long fingers thumb index,middle. short pinky and other. big hands. beak like mouth.- giant alien head that we know about – no smell.-…