I Heart SCV
Shrouded in Mystery
April, 2017 - Issue #150
After all of the torrential rainfall, mudslides in burned areas and flooded roads this winter, the arrival of spring in Santa Clarita is very welcome indeed. We might even have a week to get outside before it's 100 degrees and the hills are crawling with rattlesnakes. Unfortunately, the springtime sunshine can't quite shed light on all parts of the SCV. Several dark and perplexing events shaded in mystery still linger on past winter's end.
Based on all accounts, William Cierzan is not the sort of man to just "disappear." His wife called him on January 26 and spoke to him about what he planned to cook for dinner that night. When she arrived home just a few hours later, he was gone. All of his personal things were still at home, but he had vanished, with only some blood stains to suggest what might have happened. An investigation was launched soon after the discovery and nearby areas have been searched on foot by volunteers throughout the winter. Unfortunately, search efforts have proved fruitless and Cierzan remains a missing person as of this writing.
Cierzan has been described as a pretty typical SCV resident who worked at Magic Mountain, enjoyed golf and was content. That someone like him in the nice, quiet suburbs of Santa Clarita could essentially vanish is deeply unsettling. The local news outlets have been persistent in covering this story but the pieces still don't make sense. If he got injured and wandered off in some type of confusion, how did he leave without a trace? And if someone took him, what could possibly be the motivation? It's all very confusing, but what's clear is the community wants Cierzan to come home safely.
Two Parked Cars, Two Dead
Two Santa Clarita residents were found dead in their cars this winter, the only commonalities being the mystery and sadness of it all. The first was Frederick Jay Bowdy, a 33-year-old father of six children. He was an actor who had found a few roles but was still waiting for his big break. Bowdy had been recently arrested over a domestic incident and potential assault, and days later, he live-streamed his final moments via Facebook. He told those watching his live broadcast that he was going to kill himself - and he did. This act and some of what he said just before it are very difficult to grasp.
The second person found dead in a vehicle was Julie Crane, a 57-year-old mother of two now-grown children. Homeless, she had been living and sleeping in her car for several weeks and she was ultimately discovered in the vehicle in the parking lot of DICK's Sporting Goods in Canyon Country. Suicide and homicide were both ruled out pretty early on, which means that she passed away from some ailment or accident or other unknown cause. Even if the cause can be determined, there's sadly nothing to be done now.
Tragedies are, unfortunately, a part of our day-to-day. And so is finding a way to distract ourselves, exchanging the unusual and frightening mysteries of real life for the unusual and frightening mysteries of fictional life on Netflix. Oh, humans. Of particular interest is "Santa Clarita Diet," which has been out for over a month now. Without giving away much in the way of spoilers (Don't worry.), the consensus is that the first episode is pretty bad, but if you stick with it for one or two more, you'll watch them all. It's campy, funny and unusual.
Fittingly, the show follows a family dealing with a rather grave problem. But it's soon clear to see that all the other families have problems, too - just usually less bloody ones. There are plenty of darkly-comedic mysteries to fuel a season two. What's the biology of the "condition" plaguing Drew Barrymore's character? How long can things stay "normal?" Will the writers come up with any SCV-esque jokes that don't rely on pot and Magic Mountain? The show may be a comedy, but it drives home a very real truth. We may heart the SCV and do our best to get by here, but things aren't always "all good."
This column is intended as satire and a (sometimes successful) attempt at humor. Suggestions, catty comments and veiled threats intended for the author can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.