The cover story in CityBeat by Chip Jacobs is about Jerry Schneiderman, the Hollywood real estate developer and agitating political gadfly whose formative episode as a businessman may have been the time his partner was murdered and he escaped from the hit man.
Twenty-five years ago this month, Jerry Schneiderman descended into a Fargo-esque murder triangle that only ended when he out-maneuvered a crafty redneck killer – an extortionist who had murdered Jerry’s business partner and a small knot of other Southland residents. Jerry escaped, his family, too, but not without hardcore evolution. Surviving this bad-ass changed him. Jerry mutated from an impish, make-no-trouble Jewish kid from the Valley to a cackling pot-stirrer happy to kick the city Establishment in the nuts. He has become a weird antihero in a town that loves its crusaders flawed.
Not many of those who tangle with Jerry today appreciate how he has been transformed. Transformed and also twisted...What he is now – profiteering do-gooder, wily opportunist, charming scoundrel as much despised as respected – takes a backseat to what he represents: a new breed of L.A. agitator reliant on guile and gotcha tactics, not City Hall connections, to stand up for the little guy. He doesn’t want to owe anyone anything, and if someone puts the headlock on him, he’ll laugh. Go ahead. Try it.
Jacobs has been invited to be on today's "Deadline L.A." with Barbara Osborn on KPFK. Also in CityBeat: Columnist Charles Rappleye announces his departure to work on a book, and the "Third Degree" column is a conversation with Pacifica Radio's Amy Goodman.