A couple of news stories grabbed my attention today.

GM was unable to negotiate concessions with some of its bondholders and will have to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy.  This is reorganization bankruptcy, not liquidation bankruptcy.  The prevailing thought is that GM will emerge from bankruptcy in the hands of Fiat and the UAW.  Chryler will halt vehicle production for (at least) 60 days.  Their leasing arm will be folded into GMAC finance.  They will receive and additional $8 billion in bailout funds, which hopefully the taxpapayers will see returned to them at some point.  I have not seen any word on how this may affect the money that Chryslers spends on manufacturer support of Dodge teams in NASCAR (Dodge is a Chrysler brand).

On the bright side for buyers, this might be a good time to buy a Chrysler vehicle.  Demand will likely sag on the news, but the warranties will now be guaranteed by the government.  With the recent news of GM “temporarily” closing 16 of its 21 plants and planning to buy ou 40% of its dealers, Ford looks to be in prime position to pick up some market share from the segment of the population that will only buy American vehicles.

The other story came out of Los Angeles.  A 72 year old sex offender gave his DNA sample, as required by state law.  The DNA got a match with a rape kit from murder victim Ethel Sokoloff, a 68 year old woman who was killed in 1972.  As a result,  John Thomas Jr. has been charged in two murders (Sokoloff’s and another crime in 1976).  Police believe that Thomas may be the “Southland Strangler” who may have killed more than 30 women (and raped many more) since 1955.

This has to be the mother of all cold cases.  Even if you were able to crack the case of a serial killer who began his reign of terror 54 years ago, the odds of the perpetrator still being alive are not very good.  I have an interest in crime, and I intend to write a bigger article on the story next week, after getting a chance to sesearch it a bit more.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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