Posts Tagged ‘Martin Ramirez’



June 25th, 2009 Posted 7:59 am

I went over to Bernie, that metal Frisbee-shaped thing in my mouth. “A film can, Chet? That’s kind of strange.” He took it. “We had a film can in the Greed Case, and when we opened it – no film, but a painting by that Martin Ramirez guy.” Hey! I remembered that – a strange painting with trains and tunnels. 

Bernie opened up the film can, looked inside. “A film can with film inside this time,” Bernie said. “Plus a business card.” He held up the business card. “Ezra Printz, Public Relations, Hollywood, California. Tops in the Wonderful World of Movies.” He shook his head. “There’s a slogan.” Then he turned the card over. There was writing on the back. “What’s this?” Bernie said, squinting at the writing. Squinting: always interesting when humans did that. They never look their best squinting, but so what? I like just about every human I’ve met, even including some of the perps and gangbangers. Not Mr. Gulagov, of course. I think he’s in Dog On It. 

Bernie read the writing on the back of Ezra Printz’s business card. “The Greed Murder.”

Work still happening over at Friends of Chet. And also coming – a brand new secret feature!


At Work, Me and Bernie


May 7th, 2009 Posted 8:07 am

We drove on past the golf course. “Martin Ramirez and Ezra Printz were both in the Stockton mental hospital at the same time,” Bernie said. “Ezra Printz handled PR on the Greed shoot. You found that film can in Death Valley.” Hey! I’d almost forgotten that. My tail started swishing back and forth on the seat. And then I remembered something from that Death Valley cave: a skull. Uh-oh. “What are you barking about, boy? You can’t be hungry.”

No, I hadn’t been barking about food, but now that he mentioned it …

“And in that film can do we find film? No – we find a painting by Martin Ramirez. But suppose there was film in the can at one time, maybe when Ezra Printz came the mental hospital in Stockton. See where we’re going with this?”


“The question is – ” Bernie began, and then suddenly stopped. He’d noticed the sprinklers spraying water all over the golf course. “What the hell? Don’t they realize there’s only one aquifer? Don’t they know it took millions of years for that aquifer to fill?”

I put my paw on his knee. The car swerved a bit. I took in the lovely scent of water.




May 5th, 2009 Posted 7:09 am

“There comes a time,” Bernie said, “when it helps to have a theory of the case, even if it’s premature. Just between us, of course.”

In the Porsche, riding shotgun. We were in a nice part of the Valley, passing a golf course with water spraying everywhere. I stuck my head way way out, sniffed that lovely water. What was Bernie saying? Something interesting, I’m sure. And I always like hearing the sound of his voice.

“Let’s try this on for size,” he said, or something like that. “Martin Ramirez and Ezra Printz were both in the Stockton mental hospital at the same time. This goes far back – kind of like a Ross Macdonald novel, now that I think of it.”

Ross Macdonald? A new one on me. Some perp, no doubt. I’d have him by the pant leg soon enough. That’s the way our cases end.


More Greed


April 30th, 2009 Posted 6:34 am

“Now that we’ve bonded over the ukulele,” Bernie said to Arnold Fetzer, the art gallery dude, “what have you got for us?” We were working on what Bernie called the Greed Case, not sure why. We had a paying client, which was good. He was a Hollywood producer named Kelo Printz, who’d hired us to find a missing can of film. We’d found the can, all right, in a cave in Death Valley, but there’d been no film inside, instead a folded-up painting by Martin Ramirez. What else? Oh, yeah: Kelo Printz was missing. And I think there’s more, too. Milk bones in Fetzer’s drawer, for example. I sidled over that way.

Fetzer cleared his throat. I can do that, too. Once I got a chicken bone stuck in there, a story for another time. “You say you’re interested in Martin Ramirez,” he said. “Know much about him?”

“I’m listening,” said Bernie.

“He was a poor Mexican immigrant who came up to California in the twenties looking for work. By 1931 he was in the Stockton State mental hospital and he spent the rest of his life institutionalized. He also took up painting, and is now recognized as one of the leading painters of Outsider Art. In that first year at Stockton, he met a fellow patient who’d worked in Hollywood as a PR flack. The flack’s name was Ezra Printz.”

“Ah,” said Bernie.

Ah? Meaning what? The milk bone smell was overwhelming.


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