Special Report
by the
McClatchy Company's
California Newspapers
October 8, 2000

Prologue
Introduction
Chapter 1
THE FAMILY WHO CRANKS TOGETHER
Chapter 2
UNCLE FESTER
Chapter 3
FATHER TIME
Chapter 4
BEAVIS, BUTT-HEAD AND THE MAKING OF METH
Chapter 5
METH AND THE DRUG LORDS
Chapters  6-10
Chapters  11-15
Epilogue
The Bees' Editorial
Call to Action
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CALIFORNIA'S SOCIAL, MEDICAL
AND ENVIRONMENTAL NIGHTMARE

PROLOGUE

The little girl is 4 and wise beyond her years.

She tugs on the woman's bullet-proof vest. "I know what you came for," she whispers.

Down the hallway in her mother's bedroom, she opens the top drawer of a bureau to display baggies of methamphetamine, scales, homemade pipes used to smoke the drug, and account books that document sales.

She describes in detail how her mother had smoked a pipe of crank that morning and explains that she'd been sleeping with her mommy for several days because the dog had pooped in her bed and nobody had bothered to clean it up.

"People come to visit Mommy, and they bring money. It's green, and it has a two and a zero," she says. "She gives them little baggies with white stuff."

Then the little girl with the long, brown ponytail and cherubic smile goes off with a social worker to McDonald's for a Happy Meal, before heading to the hospital for a complete physical.

Eventually, she will live the rest of her childhood with strangers. Her mother will end up in jail. Or dead.