Thursday, July 8, 2010

On Palien vs. Indigenist paradigms for saving the planet: scientist whiteboy Gwynne Dyer and ecofeminist (and scientist) Dr. Vandana Shiva

 [photograph of ecofeminist, philosopher, author, scientist, Dr.Vandana Shiva is from here]

For more on Vandana Shiva's work and appearances on the U.S. West Coast, please go to this website.
For her website for the U.S., please visit
For her organisation website, please visit

It's not ALL here, but on some level, this video tells the tale about the arrogance and ignorance of the Global North, dominated by hetero Homo Palians (WHM), and the Global South, which has lots of woman-led Indigenist activism fighting for survival of Gaia. The Global North has Indigenist activism too, of course. In both hemispheres, we know who controls political and economic systems, and who doesn't. WHM do, and so their paradigms rule--but not in a "cool" way. And not in a way that will responsibly cool the Earth.

Pay attention to the moment where Gwynne Dyer, someone who whites in the U.S. would probably consider "a good guy" calls ecofeminist Vandana Shiva, "ridiculous". Yeah, about that matter of being unsustainably ridiculous. Proponents and protectors of the Patriarchal Palian Paradigm (the PPP) wrote, republish, and mass distribute the damn book on it, putting out free, non-biodegradable copies along with the New Testament to brainwash everyone else. Note how Mr. Dyer apparently "makes sense" except, well, that he doesn't really once you REALLY listen to what Ms. Shiva has to say.

What follows is from *here* at Democracy Now.

Gwynne Dyer, freelance journalist and specialist on international affairs and geopolitics. His latest book is, "Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats."
Vandana Shiva, Indian environmentalist, scientist, philosopher, global justice activist and eco–feminist.

AMY GOODMAN: Our guests are Gwynne Dyer, he’s author of Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats and Vandana Shiva joins us, an Indian environmentalist, scientist, philosopher, global justice activist and eco-feminist. A longtime critic of genetically modified crops and the system of corporate driven agriculture and neoliberal globalization that’s privatized natural resources and impoverished farming and indigenous communities across the global south. Well we’re talking about geoengineering. You just came from giving a speech last night at St. John the Divine. What are your thoughts on geoengineering, Vandana Shiva?
VANDANA SHIVA: Well, three thoughts. The first is, it is the idea of being able to engineer our lives on this very fragile and complex and interrelated and interconnected planet that’s created the mess we are in. It’s an engineering paradigm that created the fossil fuel age that gave us climate change. And Einstein warned us and said you can’t solve problems with the same mindset that created them. Geo-engineering is trying to solve the problems of the same, old mindset of controlling nature. And the phrase that was used, of cheating, let’s cheat—you can’t cheat nature. That’s something people should recognize by now. There is no cheating possible. Eventually the laws of Gaia determine the final outcome. But I think the second thing about geo-engineering is, we’ve just had the volcano in Iceland, yes it was Iceland. And look at the collapse of the economy. And here are scientists thinking that’s a solution? Because they are thinking in a one dimensional way. Linear issue of global warming, anything to do with global cooling. I work on ecological agriculture. We need that sun light for photosynthesis. The geoengineers don’t realize sunshine is not a curse on the planet. The sun is not the problem, the problem is the mess of pollution we are creating. So again we can’t cheat.
And the final issue is, that these shortcuts that are attempted from places of power, and I would add places of ignorance, of the ecological web of life, are then creating the war solution because geo-engineering becomes war on a planetary scale with ignorance and blind spots, instead of taking the real path, which is helping communities adapt and become resilient. That’s the work we do in India. We save the seeds that will be able to deal with sea level rise or cyclones so that we have soil tolerant varieties; we distributed them after the tsunami. Last year we had a monsoon failure. But instead of sending armies out, we distributed seeds. And the farmers who had seeds of millets had a crop. The farmers who were waiting for the green revolution chemical cultivation had a crop failure. So building resilience and building adaptation is the human response, it’s the ecological response. And we don’t have to panic. The panic and fear is coming out of ignorance.
JUAN GONAZLEZ: I’d like to ask you about the—something you’ve talked about quite often—the global land grab that is going on around the world by countries fearing the scarcity in terms of their food products going out and grabbing other countries’ lands. Could you talk about that?
VANDANA SHIVA: You know my last book, "Soil, Not Oil" I talk about the fact that, you know, the oil culture has given us climate change. And if we continue in that same paradigm, the only next step is eco-imperialism. Grab what remains of the resources of the poor and take it to create insularity, and a false defense of security. Because the planet is interconnected, our lives are interconnected. The rich cannot isolate themselves in islands of defense against a planetary instability. The other option is earth democracy, as I talk about it. Now those who have power and money and those who are driven by greed and injustice are now seeking to grab the land of the poor. It’s happening on a very large scale in Africa, it’s happening in India. The World Bank is promoting it because this is a very false idea, that large-scale farms will help us with food security with all the details showing smaller farms produce more food. So if you have to be food secure, you’d better be small. Diversified farms can deal with climate change much better because if one crop doesn’t do well, some other crop will do fine. And the monoculture of large farms will be more vulnerable to climate collapse. And, of course the biggest issue is half the world farms, you can’t rob them of their livelihoods.
Forget the running out of water and climate wars related to water wars, you’re going to have, you’re already having in India, as a result of the land grab, in this case more for mining and industry, what we’re seeing is a war within. And Operation Green Hunt has been launched by the government in order to clean out the lands to be able to grab the lands on behalf of corporations. We talked about the Kashmir crisis and the shootouts. But those scenes are taking place in every remote tribal area today. And that issue of war for resources, that as long as you’re powerful you have the right to grab anyone’s resources and you have a right to use all kinds of illegitimate violence, that militarized mindset that I say comes from capitalist patriarchy, is really at the root of so many of our problems which is why we need to feel at home with nature and we need to recognize that the resources of the earth belong to all, have to be shared. In the land rights of the poor defenseless indigenous person is the biggest peace initiative of today and it’s the biggest climate issue of today.

AMY GOODMAN: Gwynne Dyer, defined and defend geoengineering and tell us which governments are engaging in it.
GWYNNE DYER: First of all, Vandana and I agree on about 95%.
VANDANA SHIVA:—We agree about the problem, that there is a problem.
GWYNNE DYER: Yes, we agree about the problem, and I don’t disagree with any of her solutions. But I do not think they’re going to happen in time if we do not intervene directly as well to avoid a massive human dieback in population. We are heading for the brink very fast.
VANDANA SHIVA: But your solutions commit the planet to a massive dieback.
GWYNNE DYER: I don’t agree with you.—Holding the temperature down is an intervention. It is an intervention that’s intended to be temporary, it wins you time to get your emissions down. The goal is still to get it emissions down. Many of the other goals you and I agree upon are attainable, but only with time, and we don’t have the time. We’re going to be—the last report out of Hadley Center suggested on the current track, we are four degrees Celsius hotter, average global temperature by 2016, that’s only 50 years.
VANDANA SHIVA: But Gwynne, everyone of your solutions is further disrupting the web of lifee, which is the problem. The problem is not warming and cooling, we can survive, the planet can survive.
GWYNNE DYER: Of course the it can-–not all of us.
VANDANA SHIVA:—Not all of us, but the problem is that geoengineering is an experiment. It is not a solution. And you cannot experiment in such a violent way without full assessment of the impact. And as I said, just a simple thing a blocking the sun’s rays is a problem for the planet. Its a problem for humanity...
GWYNNE DYER:—You’re talking 1% I mean you are talking one percent-–
VANDANA SHIVA: But iron filings—
GWYNNE DYER:—I don’t like iron filings-–...that is ridiculous.
VANDANA SHIVA: But iron filings in the ocean-–
GWYNNE DYER:—that is ridiculous.
VANDANA SHIVA:—Reflectors in the sky? Or Artificial Volcanoes.. But thats [inaduble]. Everyone of them, if the solution is looked at, all its spinoffs, in a full ecological way, and a full social impact, what does it mean? And the most important thing is its undemocratic. I think the crisis of the climate is so serious that people need to be involved. The problem of geoengineering or genetic engineering is a bunch of experts sitting with a bunch of corporations saying we’ll decide on behalf of the people. That is part of the problem. That is why I really respect Evo Morales, he called the people of the world after the collapse of Copenhagen, and said the people will decide the solution.
GWYNNE DYER: The people of the world will not decide you know that and I know that. This is not..
VANDANA SHIVA:—But they are deciding.
GWYNNE DYER: I havn’t noticed yet—–.
VANDANA SHIVA: Well there’s a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth that came out of that amazing gathering that we need to shift to an earth centered paradigm—rathter than an arrogant, narrow, reductionist, mechanistic science, expert-based paradigm.—
GWYNNE DYER:—You know what will happen, you know what will happen—
AMY GOODMAN: I just want to interrupt for a second, to say Gwynne Dyer if you can explain—I don’t most people understand what geoengineering is.
GWYNNE DYER: Geoengineering is short-term interventions to avoid a climate runaway disaster, in order to give us more time to get our emissions down, which in themselves, will cause a runaway, climate disaster if we simply allow them to go ahead. Without geoengineering, you hit that disaster in less than 50 years. You probably need more than 50 years to get your emissions down. Now first of all, obiously, you got to do the experiments. You got to figure out are there horrendous side effects you don’t want to do. But if you don’t do this, you know who dies first? Its the people in the tropics and subtropics. Not up here. We watch you die on television.
JUAN GONAZLEZ: Can I ask you in terms of geoengineering, what companies or are what governments are promoting this as a potential solution?
GWYNNE DYER: We still don’t have any official government commitment to it anywhere.
JUAN GONAZLEZ: What companies are investing in it and developing it?
GWYNNE DYER: Companies are investing in a couple of marginal things, frankly I don’t believe have any credibility. Vandana mentioned iron filings chucked into the sea. Well, I don’t think thats—
AMY GOODMAN: What does that do?
GWYNNE DYER: Well the idea is that you cause blooms of algae which will then die, and as their bodies drop to the seabed, imbed carbon—in the seabed and take it out of the oxygen.
AMY GOODMAN: And volcanoes what are they?
GWYNNE DYER: Well the volcanoe, the idea is that It all came as when they explode put sulfur dioxide-when volcanoes explode, put sulfur dioxide, large amounts of it, into the stratosphere, where it stays for a couple of years because it doesn’t rain up there. The particles stay and they reflect enough sunlight to lower the temperature of the earth.
AMY GOODMAN: And seeding the clouds?
GWYNNE DYER: Seeding the clouds is make them more reflective, spray up some sea water on low-lying clouds and they’ll reflect a little bit more incoming sunlight than they did before-–
AMY GOODMAN: And what else?
GWYNNE DYER:—And lower the temprature. The other proposals I mention, you know paint the outer reefs green or white, but I think thats probably a one-time solution.
VANDANA SHIVA:—I wouldn’t object to that.
VANDANA SHIVA: What color you paint it doesn’t really matter—I wouldn’t object to that.
GWYNNE DYER: There’s a new one thats come up recently, a fellow at Harvard suggested that you could actually begin with rivers and resevoirs but put rather microscopic scale bubbbles into the water, which would whiten it. In other words it would reflect more sunlight than normal dark water does, without actually changing the quality of the water.
AMY GOODMAN: And as Juan asked, the corporations involved?
GWYNNE DYER: In none of these cases, so far, are there corporations involved. This is coming out of the scientific community. There-–
AMY GOODMAN: Is it also coming out of the Pentagon?
GWYNNE DYER: They are looking for links with both the Pentagon I think, and the scientific community, with corporate funding. But the initiatives are coming out of the scientific community. The scientific community is scared and desperate. There’s an undercurrent of panic in most of the interviews that I held with the scientists—.
AMY GOODMAN: Vandana, Gwynne’s argument there is just not enough time to talk about the people-oriented solutions are you are talking about?
VANDANA SHIVA: Well the first thing is, there is never enough time, but you have to find a solutions. To use the excuse of immediacy and urgency to take the wrong action is not a solution. In terms of time, wheat orgaic farming, again in my book "Soil Not Oil" we have shown localized ecological biodiverse system of farming could solve 40% of the climate problem because 40% of the emissions are coming from food mills, oxide emissions, cutting down the Amazon forests, all it to globalized and industrialized food system. Tomorrow we can do that. In three years’ time, all of the world’s farming could be ecological absorbing the carbon dioxide and putting fertility back in the soil. It is not a 50-year experiment, it is an assured, guaranteed path that it’s been shown to work. And it does three things for you. It reduces emissions while increasing food security and productivity and increasing water security, because soils rich in carbon and organic matter, are the best resevoirs of water. But I want to just mention-–just as there’re a group of scientists panicking because of the reductionist approach,—I’m a scientist. The reason I do ecology today is because I realize science was a shrinking in terms of the knowledge an individual gets in a particular stream. And so many of the narrow expertise is where you are getting this panic because they don’t know there’re other solutions. I’d love to take some of your geoengineering friends from the scientific community to our farm, to show here is a solution that works in the short run, in the an immediate run. There is an organized movement now—
GWYNNE DYER: I don’t think—
VANDANA SHIVA: I want to mention this, there is a movement against geoengineering called HOME: Hands of Mother Earth. Citizens telling irresponsible scientists, arrogant in their path, hands off mother earth.
GWYNNE DYER: Look your solutions are good. They will work. If you were the dictator of the world and could impose...
VANDANA SHIVA:—Which I would never be.
GWYNNE DYER:—But let me finish, if you were the dictator of the world and could change land ownership patterns in the U.S. like that, you could have it all done in three years-–
VANDANA SHIVA: It will happen.
GWYNNE DYER: You can’t do that.
VANDANA SHIVA: It will happen.
GWYNNE DYER: Not in three years, in thirty.
VANDANA SHIVA: The young people will they are ready to make change.
AMY GOODMAN: We will leave it there, Vandana Shiva, her books, well among them "Soil Not Oil" and Gwynne Dyer, "Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats."

Why are U.S. male serial rapist-killers of women and girls of all colors, in and out of the military--both soldiers and civilians, called superheros, not terrorists?

[image of photos of women raped and murdered 
by Lonnie David Franklin, Jr., over decades, is from here]

Pictured above:
Debra Jackson, 29
Henrietta Wright, 35
Barbara Ware, 23
Bernita Sparks, age unknown
Mary Lowe, 26
Lachrica Jefferson, 22
Alicia Alexander, 18
Princess Berthomieux, 15
Valerie McCorvey, 35
and Janecia Peters, 25 
 (Also pictured, Thomas Steele, from 1987.)

Answer to this blog post's title question:
Because the U.S. government and dominant society values and requires the serial rape and mass murder of women, so these men will be regarded with a perverse kind of awe and respect. These men's acts, always described as done by sick individuals, or "bad apples", cannot be any more sick or rotten than the institutions and systems of abuse, violation, degradation, subordination, and slaughter that support their actions by reinforcing and protecting the values, attitudes, behaviors, and structural power that allows men to rape and kill women, serially or not, but always politically, and always terroristically. Why aren't rapist-murderers called terrorists? Because the U.S. media prefers to identify the population from which terrorists come as non-U.S.-born people of color who are not Christian. And according to the U.S. government and media, the term "terrorist" simply and absurdly cannot apply to a person who is militarily fighting for the protection of freedom and democracy  maintenance of genocidal/gynocidal U.S. government and its dominant society.

What we know is that the rape and murder of one "good" white woman with class privilege will garner national, and international, media attention-rapt attention, obsessive and exploitive, attention. But the victim will be named as a person, an individual, a human being, if white and not poor or a prostitute. Not so when Black women are killed even when they are not poor, are not prostitutes, and don't have, as the press calls it, "troubled lifestyles", as if all they needed was a lifestyle makeover, not a radical societal transformation. If anyone, female, trans, intersex, or male, is trapped in systems and cycles of drug abuse and prostitution, the P.I.M.P.s, W.I.M.P.s, dealers of illegal drugs will not be seen as complicit in the demise of their lives, even though they are. Patriarchal and white supremacist institutions--all dominant social institutions, including media, will not be seen as complicit, because our society isn't set up to hold "a system of gross exploitation, rape, and murder" accountable, not an institution that fosters and enforces the invisibilisation of Black women as people in the minds of dominant U.S. Americans.

Only one man will now be charged with their murder, which means the physical, emotional, and sexual abusers and drug dealers in these women's "troubled" lives, if abused and addicted; the capitalists who ensure their impoverishment, if poor; the pimps and procurers, the rulers and profiteers of the systems of racist-misogynistic exploitation and degradation, such as the pornography industry; and the institutions and businesses--legal and illegal, will be free to do more harm, making human rights, civil rights, and simple recognition by a dominant society that a person is a person, impossible for a global, national, or local group of people who are both Black and women.

When can we expect the value of a poor Black woman, anywhere in the world, be equal to the value of any white person or any man? I don't know. But I know that telling the media that they are complicit, telling the pimps and procurers, the profiteers and the politicians, the media and press moguls that they are complicit, would be like screaming in a sound-proof booth. What is especially horrible and terrifying is that whenever a Black woman in her teens, twenties, or thirties screams for help, there is less dominant social support and assistance for her than for anyone else, except, perhaps, the children and the elderly who are poor, Black, and female. How little white wealthy men know about what it is to be seen and treated, daily, by society, as worth nothing at all, unless it is to be used and abused as a thing for men's sometimes murderous pleasure.

I don't want Lonnie David Franklin, Jr. to have a superhero comic book's name like "The Grim Sleeper". I want him to be remembered as the killer of many women whose lives will likely not be regarded as worth much whether they remained alive or were raped and killed, except by their loved ones. And I don't want U.S. soldiers in any of the armed services, to be welcomed home as heroes if they've raped and murdered any women of color. Will the President and other military leaders agree to not give a hero's welcome to such men? Will media agree to stop giving serial killers "cool" names?

One woman who has been putting a lot of effort, using media resources, including her radio program, to promote awareness of the racism, sexism, and classism of how murder is reported in this country, is Margaret Prescod. A bit more information about her in relation to this murder case is from *here* at

Margaret Prescod, who founded the Black Coalition Fighting Black Serial Murders and worked heavily with the families of the victims in the case, told CNN she spoke with the Grim Sleeper Task Force who informed her of the arrest Wednesday. Prescod said Det. Dennis Kilcoyne, head of the task force, told her that unlike a previous arrest in the case that turned out to be wrong, he was sure they had gotten their man this time.

"He told me that what they have is very solid," Prescod said.

Read more:

I like the way CNN fails to tell there listeners / readers that Margret Prescod has a radio show on KPFK!

Sojourner Truth with Margaret Prescod

Tues - Fri 7:00-8:00 AM
HOST: Margaret Prescod
PRODUCER: Margaret Prescod

From the Black Coalition Fighting Black Serial Murders website:

Did you know that the serial murders of Black women* have been going on unresolved in South L.A. since the 1980s? Law enforcement has divided the murders into three sets, but the time periods overlap and it isn’t even clear how many women have actually lost their lives in this brutal and vicious way.
Because the killings were not connected as serial murders, the tragic enormity of the situation has been hidden and downplayed, and vital evidence, connections and patterns may have been missed. Public and media attention which would have been greater if the total numbers of deaths had been known, would have spurred the police into a more vigorous investigation. Lives might have been saved and the community better protected from further attacks.

Families of several of the victims were never notified by law enforcement that their loved ones were killed by a serial murderer—and neither was the lone survivor of the attacks. Each was made to believe that it had been a random killer. Many families had to learn from press articles or from television! Crucial patterns of evidence have been missed.

Why was so little done in 20 years to solve these murders? If the murders had not happened in South L.A. against working-class Black women but in Beverly Hills or some other affluent neighborhood would they have been handled with the same lack of care and seriousness, would they be so under-reported by the media? What do you think?
What follows next is from *here* at the Los Angeles Times

DNA leads to arrest in Grim Sleeper killings

LAPD task force traces evidence from a slice of pizza to Lonnie David Franklin Jr., 57, whom neighbors call 'a very good man.'

By Maura Dolan, Joel Rubin and Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times

For well over two decades, the killer had eluded police. His victims, most of them prostitutes in South Los Angeles, had lived on the margins of society, and their deaths left few useful clues aside from the DNA of the man who had sexually assaulted them in the moments before their deaths.

A sweep of state prisons in 2008 failed to come up with the killer or anyone related to him. Then, last Wednesday, startling news came to the LAPD: A second "familial search" of prisons had come up with a convict whose DNA indicated that he was a close relative of the serial killer suspected of killing at least 10 women.

Working through the Fourth of July weekend, LAPD detectives drew up a family tree of the prisoner, then began analyzing all the men on it. Were they the right age? Did they live near the murder scenes? Was there anything in their background to explain why the serial killer had apparently stopped killing for 13 years, then resumed in 2003?

From that painstaking process, according to LAPD officials who requested anonymity, the prisoner's father emerged as a likely suspect. An undercover team was sent to follow him; they retrieved a discarded slice of pizza to analyze his DNA. On Tuesday, they confirmed that it matched the DNA of the suspect in the killings.

On Wednesday, police went to the South L.A. home of Lonnie David Franklin Jr., 57, and arrested him without incident, authorities said.

Franklin is charged with 10 counts of murder in the deaths of Debra Jackson, 29, Henrietta Wright, 35, Barbara Ware, 23, Bernita Sparks, age unknown, Mary Lowe, 26, Lachrica Jefferson, 22, Alicia Alexander, 18, Princess Berthomieux, 15, Valerie McCorvey, 35, and Janecia Peters, 25. He is also charged with one count of attempted murder, apparently stemming from the assault on the only victim who is known to have survived.

The killer was dubbed the "Grim Sleeper" by the L.A. Weekly.

As word of the arrest spread across South Los Angeles, neighbors and relatives of the victims began to gather near Franklin's home, and a contradictory picture of the suspect emerged.

Franklin was a garage attendant at the LAPD's 77th Street Division station in the early 1980s, according to city and police sources. He worked as a garbage collector for the Los Angeles Department of Sanitation during the years that the first eight killings occurred, beginning with the death of Jackson on Aug. 10, 1985, and ending with the death of Alexander on Sept. 11, 1988.

Franklin has at least four prior convictions, two for felony possession of stolen property in 1993 and 2003, one for misdemeanor battery in 1997, and one for misdemeanor assault in 1999, according to court records. He was sentenced to a year in jail for the first stolen property charge and 270 days for the second one.

On a tidy street of single-family homes in South Los Angeles where Franklin lived for decades, residents described him as a kind and compassionate neighbor who volunteered in the community, helped elderly residents of the block and fixed their cars for free.

"A very good man. His daughter just graduated from college, I believe," said Eric Robinson, 47. "He's a good mechanic, worked out of his garage. I've been here since 1976 — that's how long I've known him. I'm not pretty shocked, I'm all the way shocked."

Dante Combs, 27, said he visited Franklin last week to ask him to install a timing belt on his car.

"You needed your car fixed, he'd do it dirt cheap. He'd help you out however he could, cut your grass, put up your Christmas lights," Combs said as he stood behind the yellow crime tape that sealed off Franklin's block. "He helped all the elderly on the block."

In the afternoon, families of Grim Sleeper victims began arriving on the block. Many of the killings occurred not far from Franklin's home, and the family members said they needed to come to his home to bear witness.

"She was found on Western and 92nd, in a dumpster," Diane McQueen, 55, said as she stood behind the crime tape, clutching a funeral program for her niece Peters, the last victim attributed to the serial killer. "It hit my family real hard. I had lost hope this day would come. I feel a lot of joy it did at last."

"I wanted to see what his house looked like, what his neighborhood looked like, the place where he grew up," Donnell Alexander, 47, brother of victim Alicia "Monique" Alexander. " It was curiosity. What I found was that it wasn't far from where I grew up. His neighbors looked like the people I see every day. They weren't aliens. And he wasn't hiding in the community."

In announcing the arrests, Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley praised the LAPD and the California Department of Justice, which carried out the DNA "familial search" after Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown approved the use of the relatively new tool.

Only California and Colorado have formal policies that permit the use of software to look for DNA profiles of possible relatives of a suspect.

After years of futility, the LAPD stepped up its investigation of the serial killing case in 2007 when Police Chief Charlie Beck's predecessor, William J. Bratton, formed a task force to work exclusively on the case.

With so many years having passed since the killer first struck and the police only belatedly linking the long string of victims to a single killer, the team of detectives was left at a severe disadvantage. Investigators pored over old case files in search of important clues that might have been overlooked. They tried to re-create the seedy, violent world of South Los Angeles in the 1980s that the early victims and killer had inhabited.

One after another, leads that at first seemed to hold promise dissolved frustratingly into dead ends. But with public pressure mounting, the detectives tried whatever approaches they could, however seemingly farfetched.

They asked undercover vice officers to collect DNA samples from middle-aged African Americans arrested for soliciting prostitutes, hoping to identify a suspect.

The entire department was put on notice that members of the task force were to be summoned to homicide scenes that resembled the work of the serial killer in any way.

Most tantalizing was a 911 phone call an LAPD operator received in 1987. The caller said he had seen a man dump Ware's body out of the back of a van into an alley and gave the vehicle's license plate before hanging up. On the night of the call, the van was traced back to a now-defunct church in the area, but detectives at the time failed to pursue the lead aggressively, much to the dismay of Det. Dennis Kilcoyne, who headed the task force.

Kilcoyne and his team tried, 20 years later, to breathe life back into the investigation of the van. Detectives tracked down about 10 men associated with the church and took DNA samples to test against the suspected killers.

A visit to the retired deacon at his home outside of Macon, Ga., turned up nothing, as did a visit to a Florida prison.

The hunt epitomized the agonizing slog the detectives faced day in and day out.

"We never gave up on this investigation, not for one minute," Beck said in a statement issued by his office. "Our detectives worked relentlessly, following up on every lead they received. Their hard work has resulted in today's apprehension of this vicious killer. I am hopeful that the hard work of these men and women will bring some closure to the families who tragically lost loved ones during the last 23 years."

Times staff writers Hector Becerra, Andrew Blankstein, Robert Faturechi , Jack Leonard, Ann M. Simmons and Richard Winton contributed to this report.