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In Loving Memory
Richard James Wagner
1935 - 2003


    Dick Wagner was born in Los Angeles in 1935, went to grammar school during World War II in West Hollywood, continued in L.A. public schools, attended UCLA, and graduated with a B.S. in Engineering in 1957.

    For 35 years he worked as an engineer in the San Fernando Valley's flourishing defense industry (Lockheed, Burbank; Bendix, Sylmar; Litton Data Systems, Van Nuys). In 1985, the words glastnost and peristroyka became causes for worry, and when the defense industry collapsed in the early 90's, he sought a new career in his family's tradition: typesetting.

    Shrinking defense budgets coincided with a business-adverse governmental landscape in Southern California and surviving companies moved. Today, Lockheed has left Burbank, and taken its tens of thousands of jobs to Georgia. One of the two Bendix plants in the San Fernando Valley has been torn down; the other sold off most of its land and the remaining plant has been shopped around without success. The Litton Van Nuys plant is now a weed strewn void waiting to become a parking lot for Anheuser-Busch beer trucks. Across the freeway from the old Litton site, ITT Gilfillan is down from its peak employment of about 2500 in the late eighty's to only a few hundred; if they survive at all, it is expected that they'll move to South Bend, Indiana. Dick's son-in-law worked at the Hughes plant in Canoga Park, but it has relocated to Tucson, Arizona, and visits with the grandkids are by mail now.

    As fortune has not been kind lately to San Fernando Valley defense engineers, it his been harsh for the economy generally. Store front print shops are doing only a fraction of the business they were doing in the eighty's, and their suppliers (including typesetters) have felt the pinch. In 1994, four of Dick's small roster of a few dozen customers went out of business, and one died.

    After having followed the televised proceedings of the O.J. Simpson trial, and using his analytical skills to probe the explanation of the crime from the publicly revealed information, Dick came to believe that the prosecution case was flawed and none of the defense theories was plausible. He realized half-way through the defense case that he had accumulated enough notes that he had the makings of a virtual book. After proper formatting, the "Wagner Scenario" could be publicly disseminated. This is the web site that has evolved from those notes..

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