Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

Annie Get Your Gavel!

In Don Ray print story on February 26, 2012 at 9:48 pm

This is the judicial profile I wrote of Judge Annie Gutierrez in 2005 for the Los Angeles Daily Journal. She’s retired now and has honored me by asking to help her write her life story. You can click on the link below to read the story, but be sure to stay tuned for the book that will astound you with even more about the life of a truly inspirational woman.

Judge Annie Gutierrez — “Don’t tell me I can’t.”


Shopping for Profit — Undercover ‘Shopping’ — that is.

In Don Ray print story on February 19, 2012 at 10:55 pm

This is the first of at least three print stories and one television segment I wrote or produced about what they now call “Mystery Shoppers.” It was something that I did for many years to make ends meet. This one was for Valley Magazine, right before it went belly-up. I never got paid for this. I sued in small claims court and won a default judgment. It’s been 35 years. I don’t think they’re going to pay me.

Don’t forget to click below to see the story.


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I’ve Got a Secret or Confessions of an undercover restaurant spy!

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2012 at 3:30 am

Back in the early 1970s when I was a U.S. Postal Police officer, a couple of us were chatting at the bar of a restaurant when another patron overheard us talking about investigations. He took us aside and recruited us as part-time “undercover shoppers.”  So, for the next 15 years or so, I moonlighted as a spy at restaurants, bars, gift shops and even Oakwood Garden Apartments across California. Even though I don’t drink (and didn’t then), I still had to spend an hour in the bar watching the cocktail servers and bartenders. We did a lot of Mexican restaurants, so I filled up on an awful lot of tortilla chips — hence, my current condition of being “gravitationally challenged.”

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Bathrooms on the Go

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2012 at 3:23 am

It was at a convention of investigative reporters in Chicago in 1985. The Saturday night mixer was a great opportunity to do the bulk of the research on a story about bizarre restrooms at restaurants across the United States. Of course, my fellow journalists thought I was crazy. But Tables Magazine paid well for this story.

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The Years of Serving Dangerously

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2012 at 1:38 am

Spend 24 hours at the lobby bar in the hotel in war zone — a bar where the political figures and the war corresponds and TV news crews stop for a drink, some friendly conversations and maybe some important intelligence. Click on the link below to read the story.

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Flynt in flashback, SF Bay Guardian, Jan. 15, 1997

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2012 at 10:00 am

Flynt in flashback

 The People vs. Larry Flynt sparks memories for this investigative journalist.

 By Don Ray

 ONLY 24 HOURS earlier I’d been sitting at home, looking forward to a couple days of relaxation and catch-up on paperwork between story assignments. But somehow I was now in the back of a black stretch limousine – second in a procession of six winding through Washington, D.C., heading for the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

I was sitting between, of all people, Dr. Timothy “Tune in, turn on, drop out” Leary and devout atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, famous for winning the battle nearly 30 years earlier to remove prayer from public schools. Read the rest of this entry »

Probably the First Story Anywhere About Video Piracy

In Don Ray print story, Government corruption, Investigative on February 11, 2012 at 8:07 am

I was writing daily TV news stories for Ralph Story and Connie Chung on the 5 and 6 o’clock news at KCBS (then KNXT) in Hollywood, but I really wanted to do investigative stories. At my lunch hour, I would scurry to the courthouses in Los Angeles Civic Center to search the new filings and the search warrant affidavits for possible stories. The people there at Channel 2 weren’t interested, so I took my stories to the newly formed Rebel Magazine. Even though it was a Larry Flynt publication, it had no problem printing well-reasearched investigative stories. That’s how this one came about. Be sure to click on the link below.

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