|Tim Klein on the Shooting Star in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico|
Friday, February 24, 2012In June of 1974, Tom Fuentes' boss, OC Supervisor Ronald Caspers, and nine other men disappeared with their yacht, the Shooting Star, off the coast of Baja California. None of them was ever found. Was it just bad weather and a leaky boat? Some say it was murder. The Coast Guard found no indications of foul play.
• The Sinking of the Shooting Star, Part 2
Sunday, March 4, 2012Based on a pair of articles from late 1974, I piece together just what happened to the "Shooting Star." Evidently, our own Tom Fuentes supplied the steaks and drinks and hors d'oeuvres in an extra ice chest.
• The Sinking of the Shooting Star, part 3
Tuesday, March 6, 2012The tragedy is devastating, especially to the Klein and Caspers families.
|As near as the Coast Guard could tell, the boat foundered|
in bad weather, likely in the very early hours of Friday, June 14
Wednesday, March 7, 2012Remarkably assertive and peevish Orange Countians shove their way into the Coast Guard's search effort. All hopes are pinned on finding the "unsinkable" Boston Whaler, which, conceivably, could carry the Shooting Star crew to safety. Eventually, it's found 350 miles to the south.
• The sinking of the Shooting Star, part 5: psychics & shadow governors & seriously special executive aids
Saturday, March 10, 2012As the Coast Guard prepares to pull the plug on the search, Orange Countians charge forward with a second massive voluntary effort. Psychics are enlisted to aid in the search. The morning after the Coast Guard calls it quits, Caspers' aid, Tom Fuentes, pulls the plug on the volunteer effort. We take a look at the Coast Guard report.
|The Shooting Star in La Paz|
Monday, March 12, 2012I have a conversation with Wayne Clark, the author of two excellent 1974 articles about the disappearance of the Shooting Star. He mentions a passenger who got off the boat, and then went to work for land baron Richard O'Neill's company. What was his name?
• Shooting Star, part 7: my correspondence with lobbyist Lyle Overby
Tuesday, March 13, 2012The mystery passenger exists, but he was not the 11th passenger after all (or was he?). He got on the boat perhaps at La Paz and disembarked at Cabo, where the final ten passengers sailed north and, ultimately, to their deaths.
• Shooting Star, Part 8: La Paz-to-Cabo details
Tuesday, March 13, 2012Mr. Lyle Oberly, among the Shooting Star crew until Cabo, generously provides some details of what happened.
|The group flew down to La Paz and then Cabo on June 9.|
They commenced sailing up the coast the next morning.
They left a MAYDAY message just before midnight, June 13
Rogers chaired the OC GOP forty years ago. He saw it change, thanks to Ron Caspers and the highly corruptible politicians who came after him.
• Shooting Star, Part 10: the "grand scheme of patronage"
Sounds like Caspers (with Fuentes' help) was a nasty piece of work. In 1969-70, he takes out fellow Republican Alton Allen, using unfounded charges of impropriety; he replaces Allen on Board of Supes
• Shooting Star, Part 11: mob connections, an unexplained murder
Fred Harber, owner of the Shooting Star, partnered with a mob figure in curiously lucrative El Toro real estate. Harber's one-time secretary, living in Laguna Niguel, was murdered with a cross bow in 1994. The crime has never been solved.
|Tom Fuentes and Ronald Reagan|
• Harber and Caspers attempt to bribe a developer, but then they die instead - June 18, 2012
• 1976: Tom Fuentes, lobbyist, deputy—investing in a "singles bar" with Sheriff Brad Gates - Jun 20, 2012
• 1954: "Shooting Star" was Caspers' second boating tragedy. The first was also a doozy - Jun 23, 2012
Back in 1954, 23-year-old rich kid Ron Caspers runs his boat into a Coast Guard cutter on a clear night. Two missing, never found, including his young wife.
|From the Times, 6/23/74|