I’ve always found crime a fascinating subject. I find it even more interesting when it happens in my own back yard. Unfortunately I have yet to experience the Blood and Dumplings Tour, offered by Esotouric, which actually does go around to spots in my home town and the surrounding areas. Instead I went with the next best thing, a a crime tour of the Pasadena area, they call Pasadena Confidential.
The tour lasted about three and a half hours and they told us about more crimes than I can remember. They took us to all over Pasadena, South Pasadena, Altadena and San Marino to show us a lot of messed up things can happen in these unassuming towns. For instance on a small stretch of Bank St. in South Pasadena there seemed to be a murder or suicide in every other house at some point in time. I also learned how messed up rocket scientists could be because there were a lot of crimes related to the guys who started what’s now known as JPL.
One notable off-bus stop we made was to visit the Colorado Street Bridge, also known locally as Suicide Bridge for all of the successful and attempted suicides from people jumping off of it. To illustrate two crime stories related to the bridge, Crimebo the crown wrote two skits. They were performed in a grassy area near the pedestrian entrance to the bridge by tour-goers randomly picked by Crimebo. The skits were simple, and somewhat uncomfortably entertaining, like skits you might see at summer camp. I appreciated the effort nonetheless.
After that, we all took a walk onto the bridge as Crimebo went into detail about a few suicides of the bridge’s past. He also showed us how easy it would be to still commit suicide off the bridge despite efforts to deter it like building a laughable fence up the side of the bridge.
On our last off-bus stop, we were told about the Sphinx murder that happened in front of the Scottish Rite Cathedral, also known as the Masonic Hall, in downtown Pasadena. This would be the last photo opportunity with Crimebo, and some people did take advantage of that and posed riding the Sphinx along with Crimebo and his creepy looking doll.
Our hosts on this tour were Richard Schave, Kim Cooper, Joan Renner, a guy named Nathan, and Crimebo the Clown. Each had something to add to the tour. Richard, Kim, Joan each seemed very knowledgeable about the crimes they were presenting, but tended to be a little dry. Nathan jumped in once in a while with strange anecdotes and conspiracy theories. Crimebo, being a clown and all, I might say, was the most entertaining. He was humorous as a clown should be, as well as witty and oddly charming. My tour-mates and I agreed that it may be better if Crimebo hosted the whole tour himself. And I’m personally trying to think up an excuse to hire Crimebo for my own events.
While the tour could use a little polishing, I would certainly recommend it for anyone with an unhealthy interest in crime, especially in the Pasadena area. It definitely gave me a new perspective of Pasadena and showed me some sights, crime-related-or-not, that I would have otherwise overlooked.
Full price tickets for the tour are $58, but I got mine through Goldstar Events for $35 including the fee Goldstar charges. Esotouric rotates their tours so I don’t know when the next Pasadena Confidential might be, but you can check for yourself on the Esotouric Calendar. And their other tours seem interesting too.