8 – Escaping the Riot
Alfredo Santana, a PCC student who immigrated to America from Mexico, thought he wouldn’t make it home that night. Driving to drop off magazines at a 7-11 in Inglewood during the L.A. Riots of 1992, Santana was terrified out of his mind when he was stopped by a group of men in the road. The men proceeded to jam a large metal flag into his windshield, kicked open his rear window, and dragged him out of the car. He was then beaten and stripped of both his pants and wallet. He said the rioters only stopped beating him when he cried, “Yo hablo espanol.”
7 – Grand Theft Bicycle
Bikes! Bikes! Bikes! In 1974, PCC celebrated the lowered rate in bike thefts thanks to the security guard assigned to the bike rack from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. In 1972, 857 bikes were reported stolen, which were valued at $76,083. In comparison, only eight were reported stolen in the first month in January! However, many cyclists resorted to locking their bikes up on a ramp since the bicycle racks were overcrowded. After all, there were about 55,000 local cyclists. Bicycle theft today is still a relevant crime regularly reported to the Pasadena City College’s police department.
6 – Sticky Crimes
On what might have been a chilly October morning in 1991, professors in the C, R, and K buildings were rushing to open the doors to their rooms only to find that they couldn’t. In what was possibly the school prank of the decade, doors were glued shut, tables and chairs were super glued to the floor, and the elevator was out of order. The pranksters weren’t laughing for long, however, as they were caught and charged for up to $5,000 in damages.
5 – Shots Fired!
On a night in September 1991, hurtful words were not the only dangerous things fired at a school dance hosted at PCC. Unfortunately, shots were literally fired. Entrance to the dance was given to only PCC students and their guests, and about 200 people were turned away. The crowd loitered, drinking beers in the quad and by the campus center. Campus police promptly confiscated several 40-ounce bottles of beer. However, the now-drunk crowd, denied both a dance and booze, rioted. Gun shots rang out, windows were smashed, and a piano was rolled down a flight a stairs. Miraculously, no significant injuries were sustained.
4 – Home Sweet Home
Most students count the minutes until they can leave PCC. However, one man was grateful to call PCC home. Robert Mares, a homeless man at the time, crawled through a maze of pipes and beams under the A building, where accounting classes used to be held, to reach the basement. The home didn’t include a key when he moved in, but he only had to leave the door unlocked so he could enter without going through the pipes. The home included a blanket, rug, chair, empty wine bottles, and cigarette butts. Mares previously was charged with lewd conduct in a public place, possessing alcohol on a community college, and being intoxicated in public. After two months, Mares was evicted and arrested on May 24th, 1983 for “residing on public property without proper authorization.”
3 – For the Sake of Science!
Terry Wood was a man of science. For a psychological study, Wood would blindfold and tie women to a chair alone in a room. Only Wood wasn’t a psychology student. He wasn’t even a student for that matter—he just posed as one from various colleges. Wood told the women that he would open the blinds and leave the room to test if somebody would come save them. However, according to two of the women tricked, they could see through their blindfold and Wood never left the room. They also said that Wood quickly opened the blinds only to close them again. On April 26, 1985, Wood was charged with seven felony counts of false imprisonment and seven misdemeanor counts of battery.
2 – Kitty Litter Killer
In 2012, PCC student Isaac Campbell was sentenced to 11 years in prison for killing his girlfriend in a “crime of passion” in 2007. While Campbell was charged with voluntary manslaughter, it was what he did to the body of Liya “Jessie” Lu that was truly disturbing: he decided to stuff Lu’s corpse into a trashcan full of kitty litter. Lu worked at Kaiser Permanente six days a week at the time of her disappearance. Her supervisor described her, as “conscientious” and said that “she never had tardy problems.” So something was definitely wrong when she didn’t show up to work consecutively. A month after Lu vanished, she was discovered in Arcadia wrapped in plastic trash bags outside the home of Campbell’s friend. The friend sifted through the bags to discover Lu’s body unrecognizable and mummified.
1 – Pigman and BBQ
George Wood Pigman IV, a former student of PCC, was born into a bright future. His father was a well-respected literature professor at Caltech and his mother taught art at PCC. Pigman, known to drink and use drugs, stabbed his girlfriend to death with barbeque tongs in 2007. He left a trail of blood behind him as he climbed a roof a block away in only pants. He then dropped his pants and masturbated while screaming. Pigman, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to serve his time in a mental hospital.