A Deeper Story.

Investigative reporter Chip Jacobs goes deep into some of his most compelling journalism pieces of the last three decades with his signature spotlight on strange corruption, seedy individuals, megalomaniacs, bright ideas, and transgressive game-changers. Featuring in-depth and expanded stories previously published in The New York TimesLos Angeles Times, and others, The Vicodin Thieves is an instant classic of crime, politics, and socio-analysis.


In this stories collection years in the making, you’ll find twenty-nine articles on a sumptous basket of subjects originally published in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Daily News, L.A. Weekly and other publications. Hold on for the unexpected and the maddening, the heartbreaking and the mystifying. The feature, investigative and opinion pieces here by Chip Jacobs have something evocative to share. There’s Tommy Koulax’s litigious, chili-cheese hamburger empire and Lockheed’s super-secret Skunk Works defense plant, the first casualty of “Operation Desert Storm” and violent bus drivers. Profiles of Southern California political heavyweights Richard Riordan, Danny Bakewell and Richard Alatorre, among others, inject personal narratives. The Vicodon Thieves, which draws its name from Jacobs' Los Angeles Times feature about pharmaceutical burglars

at real estate open houses, also includes expanded articles on a couple of doozies. One roots into the high-flying, smog-emissions broker who fell in with shadowy, ex-CIA and military-intelligence operatives bent to “repatriate” forgotten U.S. government aid from around the globe; the other is about the unsolved, execution-style murder of one of suburbia’s most electrifying young mayors blocks from his childhood home. Two new stories grace this compendium, including the prodigal life of an early, Universal Pictures director (the author’s great uncle, Nat Ross), who was gunned down in 1941 by a sociopathic drifter. Heretofore unseen photographs of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., likely captured hours before he was assassinated in the kitchen of Los Angeles’ old Ambassador Hotel, inspires another original piece. Few outside of the most ardent of Kennedyphiles probably realize how close RFK came to not being there the night America’s trajectory changed.

The Vicodin Thieves: First place, best anthology/compilation, Southern California Book Festival
Vroman’s Bestseller