New plaque commemorates deadly ambush of first L.A. Sheriff killed in line of duty

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On a sunny morning in the Irvine Spectrum area, it’s hard to believe anything bad happened here. Before being taken over by master-planned communities and upscale malls, or even its eponymous orange groves, Orange County was an untamed lawless land. Before it was bespeckled by Irvine Corporation projects, it was the definition of the Wild West. Infamous gangsters roamed or were pursued by similarly unchecked vigilantes through the canyons and arroyos of Los Angeles and later Orange County. At a hillock, across the I-405 freeway from the Irvine Spectrum, one of the early, deadly ambush battles between lawmen and robbers…


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