I remember looking out over the city as the aircraft made its final approach to L.A.’s airport. Below me stretched mile upon mile of concrete: buildings, roads freeways, parking lots. Few trees and no green spaces relieved the sunbaked ugliness that extended from the mountains in the city’s east to the Pacific Ocean.
No wonder, I thought at the time, crime rates were so high. No wonder crazy people were using drivers on Los Angeles freeways for daily target practice—events which, by that time, were so commonplace, even the most reputable of the city’s news organizations no longer reported them.
With so many people living in Los Angeles, the absolute number of already-crazy people living among them was going to be high.
But packing so many people in so close together would surely compound the problem. Those conditions could easily push anybody unstable and close to the breaking point, mentally and emotionally speaking, over the edge into outright nuts-dom….