blue squirrel

after a self-imposed 20 year absence from cycling, the sport i love, i am back and dedicated to holding my own in the superfast 40+ catagory. this blog will tell the journey, the highs and the lows, the team [team becher+] and it's cast of characters, our sponsors, supporters, and other local riders that make it happen... [anonymous comments are lame, cowboy up and put a name or start a blog]

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Anyone with information about the incident can call (213) 847-4261.

[UPDATE 2010.03.19]
finally justice for my good friend chris and loving wife michele. we all miss you chris, you can't be replaced.   READ HERE

[UPDATE 2008.02.01]
Random violence kills a man who saved lives
L.A. police have a suspect, but they have no idea why anyone would have killed Christopher O'Leary.
article LA times

[UPDATE 2008.01.30]
from the LA times

Christopher O'Leary, 34, a white man, was fatally shot near the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Avenue 46 in Highland Park on Sunday, Jan. 20. O'Leary was on his way to the store when a man or youth approached him and shot him. A passerby discovered the body and reported it to police. The motive is still unclear, said homicide Det. Lewis Lenchuk of LAPD's Northeast Division. O'Leary was transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, where he was pronounced dead at 9:11 p.m.

O'Leary was an employee at the Department of Public Health in the Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention Program. Having a doctorate in medical anthropology, O'Leary assisted in launching two STD prevention campaigns, according to Harlan Ortabalatt, a colleague. The first, "Check Yourself," was aimed at preventing the spread of syphilis among gay men. The second, "I Know," attempted to prevent the spread of chlamydia and gonorrhea among women of color. He was scheduled to give a presentation about the campaigns at the National STD Prevention Conference in Chicago and the International AIDS Prevention Conference in Mexico City later this year.

Those who knew and worked with O'Leary described him as an astute and vibrant person. "He would make you come alive," Ortabalatt said. "It would heighten your level about life." Unanimously, friends and colleagues have taken comfort in the idea that O'Leary was his usual self that Sunday; he was happy and enjoying life. Read O'Leary's obituary in the Sacramento Bee for more. Anyone with information about the incident can call (213) 847-4261.

[UPDATE 2008.01.30]
from the sacramento bee

O'LEARY, Christopher M.
Born on June 1, 1973, and taken from us tragically on January 20, 2008. Survived by his wife, Michele Rose O'Leary, mother Regina Cresci Southard, stepfather Michael J. Southard, father Michael I. O'Leary, brother, Sean M. Southard, sister, Catherine C. Southard, aunts, Catherine and Maureen, friend, Helen Degen, grandparents, Gerald and Nellie Cresci, uncles, Rob Burness, Damien and aunt Susan, Guy, and Gerry Cresci, and his beautiful dogs, Flora and Spike. Christopher was a National Merit Honor Student, who graduated Suma Cum Laude (1995) in Anthropology from UCLA, completed his PhD from the University of Michigan (2002) in Medical Anthropology and thereafter pursued his passion for public health advocacy as a GS14 government employee for the federal Center for Disease Control to the date of his death. In addition to his tremendous talent and work ethic, Christopher, fluent in four languages, loved traveling, running, cooking, arts, and being around the house with his wife and animals. His loss is greatly felt but his love and enthusiasm for life will be remembered by all. A memorial to celebrate Christopher's life will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 10am, at St. Philomene's Church, 2428 Bell St., Sacramento. Remembrances can be made to Sacramento SPCA, Sacramento Children's Receiving Home or Sund/Carrington.

UPDATE 2008.01.30
memorial / service for chris will be saturday feb 2 at 1pm.
location: hollywood forever cemetery, 6000 santa monica blvd., hollywood, ca 90038
after the service there will be light refreshments at chris and michele's house [call or email michele for info].

[original entry]
i am sorry to relay the tragic news that one of my best friends, dr. christopher o'leary phd., was killed this past sunday in a senseless act of violence, in los angeles. i don't have many details and i am still in a bit of shock [denial] over the whole thing. i received an email earlier this morning from his sister relaying the news. we had just had dinner with chris and his lovely wife michele on saturday night. they had bought and moved into a home in the eagle rock / occidental college area [the house use to belong to the college and was used by the dean], and it was our first visit to see the house and we all walked down to a new restaurant / bar in the neighborhood for dinner. i was impressed with the number of new art galleries, restaurants, cafes, bars in that part of eagle rock [eagle rock blvd.], as i am usually in carb deficit while suffering home with my head down, from a hard training ride. the neighborhood was always known as rough and had a bit of gang activity over the years.

chris worked for the CDC in los angeles and had traveled, worked and done research in remote areas around the world. chris was one of those guys you always wanted to hang around with and was also a huge dodgers fan like me. he and michele were my neighbors for a while and we would always meet up in some local dive bar for a few rounds and a few good laughs. our 4 dogs would raise hell in the neighborhood together and berlin [my little killa] has a soft spot for chris's dog spike. she would always let spike know that she was in charge and take him down and stand on top of him. chris and i also shared a fondness for hot peppers and his habanero plant is still growing in my court yard, a constant reminder of what a cool guy chris was. i will never forget the time he invited me to dine with him at the professors club at cal tech, while he was teaching there, nor any of the great cards he and michele would send when one of my dogs was sick.

chris will be missed by more people than i know and i surely will miss his wacky diatribe and laugh. chris did so many good things for mankind, it is tragic to know that one of mankind's weakest links took his life. this glass of chimay is for you my friend.

chris leaves behind his wife and friend michele, flor and spike.

[michele, chris's wife, wacky in her own right]

[chris and me hanging, chris is the good looking chap on the left]

[chris hamming it up]

[you know who]

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  • At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Christine Wigen,aka Cdub said…

    Chris was my co-worker at the LA County STD Program, and many of us grew to like him and found many of the qualities that you mentioned quite endearing. We'll miss him and hope that we can be of support to his wife, Michele. It's truly a sad day.

  • At 8:25 PM, Blogger Gazelle said…

    Thanks for the post and great photos. Chris and I were good friends for over 16 years. We first met while working together as baristas when he was a UCLA student. We had many good times, often whacked out on exotic espresso extractions. He will be dearly missed by my wife and I.

  • At 7:07 AM, Anonymous Betsy said…

    Thank you for the post and pictures. It helps to grieve with others who cared so much about Chris.
    I went to grad school w/Chris and worked with him at CalTech. He was one of the smartest, most original (not to mention quirkiest) people I ever met. He will truly be missed.

  • At 8:06 PM, Blogger Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said…

    My friend, I don't know what to say. Your tribute says many wonderful tings about him and shows the reach of his impact on people- the other comments here are testament to that fact.

    My deepest sympathies to all who knew and loved him.

  • At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Phil said…

    Chris was my closet friend during my time at UCLA. We drifted apart after college but always remained in close contact. It was great when we got the chance to reunite and relive old times, which unfortunately only happened when he came to New York. I had been meaning to come visit him and Michelle in Los Angeles, but never got around to it. Now I finally will. I just wish the circumstances were not so tragic. Chris, you will be missed!

  • At 12:09 PM, Blogger Craig said…

    Chris and Michele were my downstairs neighbors at their last apartment in Los Feliz. I just heard the horrible news yesterday and I am shocked and very saddened by this tragic loss. Chris was a genuinely nice person who was always eager to talk and offer good advice. My street has not been the same since they moved; now the world will not be the same without Chris. My heart goes out to Michele and the rest of his family.

  • At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Juliet said…

    A fellow grad student from our Michigan days pointed us to these pictures, thanks. They capture a lot of Chris's good humor and innate merriness. Ken and I are grieving him, and we're not surprised to find out how many other people are too.

  • At 5:34 PM, Blogger mama mia said…

    Christopher was my son. We have had a tremendous outpouring of love from our family and friends. At least 200 people attended his service in No. Cal. The priest addressed this senseless murder and stated that evil does exist but God is not evil. Several other masses have been held in his honor. Christopher was exceptional as a child, a brother and a son. He was a joy and delight who was loved by many. It is heartwarming to hear comments from persons who genuinely cared and remember him. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories with us. Say a prayer. God Bless our Christopher. Look for miracles to happen as a result of his senseless death. Christopher's mother, Regina

  • At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks Jim - I know you had mentioned this site but I haven’t been in a place to participate in these sites until now. I have the recipe: the most gut wrenching cry of my life gives me about 16 hours without tearing up and the ability to smile at memories. Thank you for this page - im not going to thank you for that picture but will for the others - I forgot about his macho pose. Everyone else, you have all been so great as a friend to Chris and me. Juliet/ken - just got your letter today. It prompted today’s "cleansing” - especially helpful because I just read the homicide blog about Chris for the first time and there is so much idiocy out there! But best just not to feed that stuff (although I did make a commentcito). By the way - the picture on that blog, why he looks so happy, is that he is holding Spike up at the fashion show we attended with the dogs last year. thank you "Shell Wife"

  • At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    consider checking "Gazelle"'s blog if you weren't able to come for the LA memorial. he is a beautiful photographer and friend. Click on his comment to connect

  • At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The trial for the alleged killer started today in downtown superior court, Dept 119. It is expected to take 2.5 weeks. The defendant has entered two pleas, not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. 11/10/09


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