Jesse James Hollywood
by Oliver Jones

The West Hills section of the San Fernando Valley, tucked away on the far northwestern edge of Los Angeles County, is a slice of what that sprawling suburb must have been like during the 1950’s: white, rich and for the most part, free from the crime that has gripped many of the surrounding neighborhoods since the 1970’s. The houses are huge and white and sell for half-a-million in a soft market. There are no signs of the ethnic restaurants and temples that in recent years have given the Valley flavor; this is the land of speed bumps and Presbyterian churches and afternoon lessons with the local tennis pro. In West Hills, Little League baseball is a religion the way high school football is in parts of Texas.

Jesse James Hollywood—accused drug dealer, murderer and one of the FBI’s most wanted grew up here playing baseball, and he even pretty good at it. He was a short kid, and like a lot of smaller boys he tried to make up for it in the weight room, power lifting and taking supplements. He was hyper and a little anxious and wore a scowl on his face as if it were a favorite tee shirt.

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