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What up, guys? Ola catal, it's your girl. Cheekies from the Cheekies and chill and dear Cheekies podcasts. And guess what? We're back for another season. Get ready for all new episodes where I'll be dishing out honest advice, discussing important topics like relationships, women's health, and spirituality. I'm sharing my experiences with you guys, and I feel that everything that I've gone through has made me a wiser person. And if I can help anyone else through my experiences, I feel like I'm living my godly purpose. Listen to cheekies and chill and your cheekies on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Hey there, podcast fans. Michael Lewis here, host of the Pushkin show against the rules. I want to tell you about a very special series we're doing called judging Sam. The trial of Sam Bankman Fried SBF, the former CEO of crypto exchange FTX is being tried for financial crimes. I'll be following the trial that decides his fate. Judging Sam starts October 2. Listen to judging Sam. The trial of Sam Bankman freed in the against the rules feed on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Welcome to stuff you should know. A production of iHeartradio.


Hey, and welcome to the podcast. I'm Josh. And there's Chuck. And there's Jerry. And we're just. Well, Jerry's not here. Actually, now that I mentioned it, that was just ghost of habit, wasn't it?


Ghost of.


She's not.


She's still with us.


She's driving the getaway car.


Yeah, she's not that kind of.


No, no. She's the kind of ghost that drives a getaway car.




So I mentioned that, though, Chuck, because it's apropos of the heist episode we're about to talk about, which, I guess this would qualify as a heist, right?


Oh, I mean, heck, yeah.


Well, usually to me, heists are a little more intricate, most of the time successful. This is a little more brute firepower than any other heist or most other heists. So that's why it kind of disqualifies it, in my opinion. Okay, that's my essay on heists.


I don't even know what the definition of heist is.


I just gave it to you.


Apparently, it's a robbery.


Yeah, sure. I mean, of course it's a robbery. And this qualifies as a robbery. It's its own unique thing, for sure, man.


Big time.


And as you're reading this it's so theatrical. It's so just totally off the chain nuts that this actually happened in real life. You have to remind yourself from time to time, these were, like, really bad guys, and what they were doing was beyond reprehensible. It's just we're so trained to get sucked into that kind of action in the movies that when it happens in real life, you have to kind of turn off that entertainment part of it and bring yourself back to reality sometimes. At least I did. I had trouble doing it during research a few times.


No, for sure. And we're talking about the North Hollywood shootout is what it's known a lot as the Battle of North Hollywood sometimes, and this is on February 20, eigth and 1997, when two dudes armed to the hilt with assault rifles, like anything you can think of. And this is, as we'll see, a time when, and this is kind of one of the big, sort of, I guess, interesting and scary parts about this. This is when cops, like people, could be more out armed than the police that are trying to stop them.




And that's what happened the day that they engaged, when North Hollywood became a war zone for a little while.


Yeah. And as a matter of fact, this episode, this event led directly to the militarization of police forces. As we see, these two guys basically pressed that issue because, yeah, the Los Angeles police Department was outgunned, out, armed, but definitely not outnumbered. They outnumbered the robbers, but they were still getting pinned down, and they were having no luck with anything. Well, I don't want to give too much away. Let's just start at the beginning, because we're talking about two dudes. A 26 year old, this is back in 97, named Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr. There was a 30 year old who he was friends with named Emil Matasaranu. And even though Emil was older, Larry was the one who called the shots. He was roundly described by family members as manipulative, controlling, and he had Emile under his thumb. Emile was described by his family members later as a follower. So even though he was a little older, he listened to what Emil told him to do, not just in their partnership as, like, criminals, but in life, too. I read somewhere that Emile got married because Larry told him he should and that he shouldn't marry an american girl.


So Emile went to Romania and got himself a romanian bribe because he was a romanian immigrant. That level of control is apparently what they were engaged in.


Yeah, totally. Previous to their meeting, they met each other. They were bodybuilders, like, not professionally, but just bodybuilding. Guys at Gold's gym in Venice beach in 1989. And just prior to this is when Phillips started his life of crime. Started kind of small, I guess, like most criminals. Just a heist of $400 from a Sears in southern California.




And then graduated to burglary, real estate fraud, stuff like that. Apparently was sort of enamored of like, scarface and ultimately the movie heat. So if this shootout sounds familiar, it sounds a lot like the one from heat. It's because they seem to have been inspired by that movie, for sure, but loved not only just the gangsters in movies, but also the white collar criminals. He would apparently park in front of rich people's houses and just sort of fantasize about that life and wanted know in the end, this whole thing was about money and the thrill of it all. Largely because of Phillips.


Right? For sure. And Phillips was kind of had the ods stacked against him in succeeding in a normal nine to five life because of the family he was born into. His father, Larry Eugene Phillips Sr. Who would later speak about his son in glowing terms after this. He was actually an escapee from a prison in Colorado when Larry Jr. Was born. So Larry Jr. Was born into an alias. His last name was false, warful. That's how he was born. And on his 6th birthday, apparently the FBI came in with guns drawn to capture his dad. And that helped set up what was referred to as basically a lifelong hatred of the police and by extension, the kind of normal society the police were charged with defending.


Yeah. As for Madisono, he was a romanian immigrant, came into the country when he was about eleven in 1977, was naturalized in 88. And his mom, we'll talk about her a little bit. Her name was Valerie Nicolescue.


I think that definitely gets it across. Sure.


Nikolescu, she says that he was bullied when he was a kid. He became a computer and video game nerd. He ended up going to Devry Institute of Technology when he was 19. Sorry. He got his degree when he was 19. But his neighbors also said things like, this guy was bad news. He threatened one of the neighbors with a chainsaw because their dog came on his property. And their family also had another sort of disturbing secret, right?


Yeah. They had a family business. Emile and his mom, Valerie, had basically a residential care center out of their home for people with disabilities, usually cognitive disabilities or mental health issues. And they were set up as a legitimate care institute. No, that's not the word, I guess, a care home.




The problem is they were not a good care home by pretty much any standard, they were caught multiple times doing, or they were accused multiple times of mistreating the people. One of their residents was left in the hospital, just kind of abandoned, ditched there. There was supposedly some allegations that Emile had been abusive toward at least one of the patients there, and he was not allowed to come back into the house anymore, which is a problem because this is the family house. And eventually they got shut down for fire codes. And later on, we'll see. It even got worse after the heist happened and all the news came out and the police and the press started looking into that family and their family business. Just suffice to say, like, his mom doesn't appear to have been a very good person herself, just based on the allegations of how she treated the people who were under her care.


Yeah, it was pretty just. I mean, this is one of the more disturbing parts of this whole story, actually. And it's kind of a sidebar, which is after the shootout, they searched her like a commercial building that she owned in Pasadena and found a 44 year old mentally disabled woman locked in a room with no windows, with no food or water. And then later, it turns out that she was charged for that initially, which was, I guess, just sort of like a neglect charge. She was sentenced to ten months. But then later in 2002, I found an article in the LA Times where, because I was like, why would she do this? It was Social Security fraud. She was collecting checks in her name. And her and this other woman later on, it was basically welfare and Social Security fraud. So she got pinched for that in 2002.


And if you read kind of some of the contemporary articles from 1997, right after the heist, she's kind of portrayed by the press as the things she says about herself or her background. The press don't really take on face value. She said that she was an opera singer from the state opera in Romania who defected in 1977. And they use the words like claim. When somebody's described as claiming something about their own personal history, that's a signal from the press that this is probably not a trustworthy person.


Yeah, absolutely. She would also say after this whole shootout went down with her son that she was like, he was depressed, his wife had left him and taken his kid. And I basically think this was a suicide mission for him. So whether or not that was true, who knows? That's what jeep claimed.


Right? So these are the guys who found each other in 1989 at Gold's gym and became really good friends. And one of the things, in addition to bodybuilding that they had in common was a real pronounced love of guns. And not just any guns, high powered assault rifles in particular. And apparently Larry Phillips had a line somewhere on steel cased ammunition. He could get it from Russia. Highly illegal, but apparently people weren't paying attention. And I saw there was this british National Geographic little hour long documentary on this called situation critical, which reminded me of that Seinfeld movie. Prognosis negative.




But they said that he managed to import rounds of this really illegal, incredibly powerful steel lined ammunition by the thousands of rounds. So not only did they have really high powered assault rifles, they had immeasurably higher powered shells to put in those assault rifles, which made them extremely dangerous people.


Yeah, absolutely. And as we'll see. And maybe we should take a break here.




These two guys were doing a lot of really dangerous criming before that 97 shootout.


Let's take that break.


All right.


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What up, guys? Ola ketal, it's your girl. Cheekies from the cheekies and chill. And dear Cheekies podcasts. You've been with me for season one and two, and now I'm back with season three. I am so excited, you guys get ready for all new episodes where I'll be dishing out honest advice and discussing important topics like relationships, women's health, and spirituality. For a long time, I was afraid of falling in love, so I had to. And this is a mantra of mine or an affirmation every morning where I tell myself it is safe for me to love and to be loved. I've heard this a lot. That people think that I'm conceited, that I'm a Mamona. And a Mamona means that you just think you're better than everyone else. I don't know if it's because of how I act in my video. Sometimes I'm like, I'm a baddie. I don't know what it is, but I'm chill. It's cheekies and chill.




Listen to cheekies and chill and dear cheekies. As part of the Ultura podcast network on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Hey there, podcast fans. Michael Lewis here, host of the Pushkin show against the rules. I want to tell you about a very special series we're doing called Judging Sam. The trial of Sam Bankman Freed SPF was worth tens of billions of dollars before FTX. His cryptocurrency exchange came apart at the seams and now he's being tried for financial crimes that could send him to prison for the rest of his life. Against the rules is following the trial that decides his fate. Judging Sam is the place to hear trial news and legal analysis with me, Pushkins, Jacob Goldstein and other special guests. It starts October the second. Listen to judging Sam. The trial of Sam Bankman freed in the against the rules feed on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.


All right, so before we broke, I hinted around that these guys were criming around previous to the 1997 shootout where everything ended, right? And that is very much true. In 1993 they were pulled over in a rental car in Glendale and cops said, all right, well, let me take a look in the trunk. And they went, oh, you've got two nine millimeter handguns, 245 handguns, two kalishnikovs, six smoke grenades, two homemade bombs, three machine guns, two bulletproof vests, one gas mask, six holsters, wigs, ski masks, two police radio scanners, a stopwatch, and close to 3000 rounds of ammo. And they said, we're just going to the shooting range, man. And sometimes we like to wear wigs or ski masks.




Or listen to what the cops are doing or time each other, right?


We're big fans of the police.


Obviously that all is, to an outsider, obvious Bs. But shockingly, the DA said we don't have enough evidence to convict them of conspiracy to commit robbery. And they pled down to a misdemeanor weapons charge and about four months in county jail each.


It gets even worse than that. That was 1993, okay? They were not only let off with basically a slap on the wrist, what they had in their trunk was described by other people later on as a bank robbery kit. That's everything you needed to rob a bank right there. And it was so painfully obvious that's what that was.


There was no stick up note, right?


No, there wasn't anything like that. They hadn't gotten to that point. But the craziest part of this whole thing, even crazier that they only got four months for these weapons. The DA and the judge agreed to give them their weapons back after they got out of jail. So they were rearmed, ostensibly so that they could sell the weapons to pay for their legal costs. But no one followed up to make sure they did sell the weapons. They just gave them back their assault rifles and their handguns and probably their ski masks, everything they needed to go rob banks. And that's exactly what they did with that stuff.


And this was Los Angeles, for goodness sakes.


I know, it's crazy.


So later on, this is after the final shootout that we're leading up to. But later on, there was obviously all kinds of investigations and stuff, and they learned that these two guys were in fact, what were known as the high incident bandits. These two dudes that robbed. Well, it was technically, it was two incidences, but three banks, because they hit two banks at once in 95. They robbed a. Well, not a bank, but they robbed a brinks truck in front of a bank of America right in the valley. And they killed a guy. They killed the driver. They opened up fire on these dudes.


Without warning, without it. Put your hands. They just came out of nowhere and just started firing on them.


Oh, yeah. Which we'll see is an obvious precedent. And then in 1996, they robbed two bank of Americas, one of which was the one that they had previously robbed the armored car in front of and killed that guy. And it was the same type of deal. They had these automatic rifles. They were screaming that they're going to kill you. They had body armor, ski masks, sunglasses. They took their time. As far as bank robberies go by being in these banks for six minutes and eight minutes, that's very long, which is. That's a long time for a bank robbery. I try to get out of there in less than three.


Well, yeah, that's what everybody does.


That's our goal. But they made off. I mean, these guys had a lot of money. They made off with between 1.3 and $1.7 million combined from these two heists.


Let alone whatever they got from the brinks robbery.


Oh, yeah, absolutely. And they were well known. They were the high incidence bandits. The FBI was actively tracking them and also had a theory that they're not alone. They're part of, like a larger crime ring or terror string that's funding them.


Yeah. And that's not only funding them with arms, but the bank robberies are meant to fund some sort of, like, right wing paramilitary group or terrorist organization or something. That was the point. That was the premise they were going on because these guys were so incredibly well armed. And just for context, too. $1.7 million for two bank robberies is an eye popping amount of money. It's up there in the top probably 50 bank robberies in the United States history. Like, those are really big hauls. I saw at the time. Back in 1991, the average bank robbery in the United States yielded the robbers about $3,000. Robbing a bank, the takes were usually so paltry that it wasn't worth the bank's money to invest in other protections, like screens that go up really quick between the tellers and the bank robbers. It wasn't worth them installing those in banks because the robbers rarely got away with more than a few thousand dollars. So that was a huge score for almost $2 million between just two bank robberies for these guys.


Yeah. And I don't think murder usually occurs at those bank robberies, too.


Supposedly. I can't remember the number. I think it was like 16 people died in bank robberies over, like, I think, 85 to 95 or something like that. And twelve of them were the bank robber. It was a statistic somewhat like that. I think 85% of bank robbers get caught. It's a really high risk, usually low reward crime. But if you do it like these guys did, arm to the teeth. And the other reason that their yields were so big, they scouted out the banks and they knew when the bank was going to get some big delivery of cash. Usually it was a payday or something like that. That's why their robberies paid off so well. They had done their homework ahead of time. Yeah.


And that's how they do it in the movies. And apparently these guys were inspired by movies.


Yeah, I guess everybody else in real life doesn't do it like the.


You know, they were living kind of high on the hog for a little while. They had a lot of money. Phillips himself, he was the one that really sort of idolized being wealthy and all that stuff. He bought fancy cars, he bought Rolexes. I think Mattisarano rented a big house for his family. So I think looking at the timeline, one was in June of 95, one was almost a year later in 96, and then this final one was in February 97. They weren't doing this. It's hard to say they were being smart about it because they were so brazen. But it seems like they were doing this as like, all right, well, here's our annual salary, and then we'll go out and do it again in about a year, right?


Yeah, no, it was like their new job and their new hobby and their new life, I guess from what I understand. Right. So on the day of the robbery, their third heist, February 20 eigth, 1997, a Friday. And since it's the end of the month, a payday, they had targeted a bank of America. It wasn't one they had hit before.


But for some reason hated bank of.


America, and I kind of get why, but being a former bank of America account holder myself. But they hit one in North Hollywood. It was on Laurel Canyon Boulevard. Are you familiar with this area?


Oh, of course.


Okay, so you knew. Were you in LA at the time?


No, I didn't. Oh, wow. This is kind of right before that, though. I didn't move to LA till 2000.




Yeah. And North Hollywood, just for reference, is Hollywood. Central Hollywood is kind of right in the middle of sort of central la. And then just over the mountains as you go into the valley. That's where North Hollywood is.


Right. And that's where Hank, the Chesneyan gangster in the HBO show Barry is from. That's why they call him Noho.


Hank, I need to do Barry.


You do. It's one of those shows that gets insanely off the rails and yet they still manage to make it work. It's really know.


I watched a little bit of it years ago when it first started and just got distracted and never got back around to it. But I love everyone in that show.


Yeah, I think you should give it another shot.


All right, I'll bury up soon.


It's weird, though. It's deceptively gritty. It's a comedy through and through, and it's just bizarre and all that. But if you really kind of get into the violence, the meat of it, it's pretty hardcore. It's a crazy show. It's hard to pin down, but it's worth seeing.


All right, I'll follow up.


So Friday, February 28, 1997. Larry Phillips and Emile Matticerano walk into a bank of America, and they are covered head to toe in technical gear, ski masks. It turns out Larry Phillips is covered from neck to ankle in body armor that he helped. He apparently sewed it himself and it was really effective. Emil Matasaranu has a trauma plate, basically like a bulletproof plate covering his chest and his vital organs. And they walk in and apparently the first thing they did was started firing into the air from their ak forty seven s. And you would think that that would capture the attention of the police, but that's a moot point because the police watched them walk into the bank from the first moment this started.


Boy. I mean, you can do all the planning in the world as a bank robber, but you can never count or discount bad luck for them, good luck for everyone else, sure. But literally, there was a police cruiser that were, like, sitting there and watched two guys walk into this bank armed like this. And I'm sure they were like, what the. And immediately called. This is at 917. And they immediately called for backup, obviously. And I think once they saw and heard the shots and everything, they all immediately knew that these were the high incident bandits.


Yes. And for those fans of Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre and Ice Cube and NWA, you're well aware that what the police called in was a 211, an armed robbery in progress.


That's good.


So one of the things, a little detail that kind of emerged later on, apparently Larry Phillips and Emil were not drug users whatsoever in any way, shape, or form. But apparently they had taken phenobarbital just before the bank robbery to basically calm their nerves. They were the kind of bank robbers that you see in the movies, but that don't actually exist in real life. These guys existed in real life. They would knock down old ladies and put guns in their faces. They would tell moms that if they didn't shut their kids up, they were going to kill their kids. They fired wildly into the air. They fired wildly into the bank. They just shot everything up everywhere. They were really abusive. They were really tough. They were really scary. And they were also really on point as far as knowing where the money is, knowing who would have access to the money, and just making this whole thing work. They had also figured out that they had about eight minutes before the average response time. They hadn't noticed the cops watching them walk in. And so they had timer stopwatches on during this whole eight minute robbery.


Yeah. Which is what they had in the trunk when the cops pulled them over four years earlier. Yeah, the stopwatch.




So, yeah, I mean, they had this thing planned out, but they also didn't know certain things. Like, they asked the bank manager to open up the atms, and he's like, I can't open the atms. Like, I literally can't do that. So he tried to shoot them open, which did nothing to get into the atm. But of course, know, bullets ricocheted everywhere and injured the bank also, you know, would shoot, I think one of them, Phillips, wasn't it, who literally shot into a safe and shot up a lot of the money that they could have gotten, ruining that.


Out of anger, they learned that the brinks truck that was supposed to be delivering hundreds and hundreds about three quarters of a million dollars, by their estimate, was running late or had been rescheduled to throw off bank robberies. And out of anger, Emile just shot into a safe and basically just ruined a bunch of cash that they could have taken.


Yeah, there was also a cell phone on the scene, which is not the most common thing in 1997 for sure, but it was LA, and they locked a bunch of the. There were about 30 bystanders, or just people doing bank business. They separated them out from the tellers and put them in a vault and shut the door. And I believe one of the women inside had a cell phone. And I'm not sure how much it helped, but she was at least able to be in touch with the cops, sort of describing what she was hearing while all this was going on.


Right. This is at a time before people knew what Lol meant. And one of the cops she was texting with was like, lol, meaning lots of love. But she didn't take it that way.


Lots of love. I thought it was laugh out loud.


Right? That's what it means. The cop didn't know that. He thought he was saying, like, hang in there, lol.


I got you. Okay. I'm a little thick today.


That's all right. I stole that joke from Family guy. Anyway.


In the end, though, they did get a pretty good take. They got about $300,000 worth of cash. And then I guess we should probably take a break here. But then they exited the bank and all he double hockey sticks broke loose.


What up, guys? Ola ketal, it's your girl. Cheekies from the cheekies and chill. And dear cheekies podcasts. You've been with me for season one and two, and now I'm back with season three. I am so excited. You guys get ready for all new episodes where I'll be dishing out honest advice and discussing important topics like relationships, women's health, and spirituality. For a long time, I was afraid of falling in love, so I had to. And this is a mantra of mine, or an affirmation every morning where I tell myself it is safe for me to love and to be loved. I've heard this a lot. That people think that I'm conceited, that I'm a Mamona. And a mamona means that you just think you're better than everyone else. I don't know if it's because of how I act in my videos. Sometimes I'm like, I'm a baddie. I don't know what it is, but I'm chill. It's cheekies and chill.




Listen to cheekies and chill and dear cheekies as part of the Ultura Podcast network on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Hey there, podcast fans. Michael Lewis here, host of the Pushkin show against the rules. I want to tell you about a very special series we're doing called Judging Sam. The Trial of Sam Bankman Freed. SBF was worth tens of billions of dollars before FTX. His cryptocurrency exchange came apart at the seams, and now he's being tried for financial crimes that could send him to prison for the rest of his life. Against the rules is following the trial that decides his fate. Judging Sam is the place to hear trial news and legal analysis with me, Pushkin's Jacob Goldstein, and other special guests. It starts October 2. Listen to judging Sam the Trial of Sam Bankman freed in the against the rules feed on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.


You what does optimism look like? I'm on a quest to find the people who inspire us to dream more and do more. I'm Simon Sinek, and I host a podcast called a bit of optimism. I talk to all sorts of people, from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to a hairdresser on Instagram who gives out free haircuts to the homeless, from the ceos of the world's largest companies to the comedy writer who visited the wreckage of the Titanic. I love talking to leaders, artists, authors, and eccentrics about life, leadership, purpose, mental fitness, human skills, high performance, and other curious things. It leaves me feeling wiser, more inspired, and, well, more optimistic. Because, after all, this is a bit of optimism. The world is full of magic and wonder if you know where to look for it. Listen to a bit of optimism on the iHeartRadio app. Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.




Okay, Chuck? It's about 925, I believe. Eight minutes has passed. The timer's gone off on their stopwatches, and Emil Matasaranu and Larry Phillips are now planning on leaving the bank. They have a duffel bag with about 300 grand in cash, and supposedly, right when they walk out the door, the die packs in the bag go off and completely ruin the cash. So the cash that they thought was going to be there, wasn't there. The cash that they did get was now completely ruined forever because of the die packs. And they come out and realize that the cops have them surrounded, that this eight minute response time thing doesn't count when the cops watch you walk into the bank with ski masks and AK 47s.


Yeah. Like, what kind of surrounded are we talking about here?


We're talking about surrounded on every side with police helicopters hovering overhead. That's what they walked out of the bank into.


Yeah. In the end, there would be more than 300 cops from five different agencies that were engaged in the shootout. So 300 against two. That gives you a little insight into just how much more heavily armed these guys were that it lasted this long. But they walked out to that scene and immediately turned north Hollywood into a war zone. I've watched a lot of video of this stuff, and this is one of the remarkable things, is a lot of this stuff is on video. LA is notorious for anytime something like this is happening, there's six helicopters, news helicopters overhead, like, within minutes, just kind of live streaming, or I guess you wouldn't have called it live streaming then. What would you just say?




Live broadcasting.


There you go.


Oh, man, it's been so long.


You're so 2020.


I am so, yeah, live broadcasting this thing from above so you can watch a lot of this take place, which is horrifying. But again, if you've seen enough movies, you're like, yeah, it looks like a lot of movies I've seen. But a lot of the interviews since then that have happened with cops that were there and taking place basically said, like, these guys just came out and started shooting at everything that moved. Citizens, cars, buildings, police cars at the time didn't have Kevlar siding in their doors and stuff. So hiding inside a police car was no good. Hiding behind a police car was better because a bullet going all the way through it at least, is going know, ricochet around and probably not go, like, straight into was all of a sudden it was like Vietnam out there in North Hollywood.


So here's the thing. When the cops had them surrounded and were waiting for them to come out, number one in the cops mind, they had no idea if the whole place inside had just been massacred, because most robbers don't walk in and start shooting into the air again. That's movie stuff that these guys were influenced by. So they heard, I think, 50 rounds of automatic rifle fire in the bank while they were waiting for these guys to come out. And they didn't know if everyone inside was just completely killed. That was number one. But number two, the cops also presumed, based on experience and history, that when these guys came out and saw they were surrounded not just by cops and cop cars, but also helicopters that they would just put their guns down and put their hands up. So they were surprised at the response that these two guys took on just even just this first initial wave of dozens of cops. And then they were further surprised when the guy's bullets started going right through any Kevlar vests, started going right through their police cars, started going through buildings, through concrete buildings. There was a concrete locksmith, like, kind of like a photo mat in the parking lot that they were taking shelter behind.


The bullets were going through them. It just suddenly turned completely 180 degrees from their expectations. And then even worse than that, they were finding their own guns were having basically just pinging. The bullets were pinging off of these guys because they were wearing so much body armor. So this is about the moment almost immediately out of the gate when the cops were like, this is nothing like anything we've ever experienced before, and we are outgunned right now. Yeah.


And this sounds unbelievable, but it's true. It was so bad right away that the cops realized that and said, if there's any available units, go to the gun store down the street and get everything you can. Like, they literally went to a gun store to rearm, or I guess, what would you call it when you raise your armament level? I guess so they leveled up on their guns, and they did get guns, apparently, according to recovered ammunition and stuff. They didn't actually end up using those in the firefight because I guess the whole thing didn't last that long. And I'm sure it took a while to talk the store owner into giving up these guns and getting the matching ammunition and all that. But they sent for backup for themselves by going to a gun store, which is just crazy to think about. And they were like, we need the SWAT team. We're police cruiser guys, and we have revolvers or 9. Ain't happening. SWAT team is downtown. Took them about 18 minutes to get there. And they got there, though. They finally showed up. And apparently it was such a quick sort of let's get there quick thing that one of the SWAT officers was about to go on a jog, and he shows up in, like, jogging shorts.


Yeah. If you watch the footage of them taking Midasuranu, he's the first one to him. And it's kind of silly looking to be. Yeah. This first wave of cops that they encountered. I don't know how many cruisers there were, but let's say there's probably six and maybe a dozen or so cops. There were also two bystanders who got caught in the crossfire, both of whom ended up getting shot by those ricocheted bullets going through cop cars that they were hiding behind. Cops were getting shot, like, through their kevlar vests. I think a number of cops were injured. And even worse, they were pinned down. They were in what's called the kill zone. Like, these guys were very easily able to shoot any of these people who were fairly close to them. And so these cops had to basically retreat or be pinned down. And some of them were pinned down because they were shot. So if you kind of watch some of the footage or you read about it, that kind of gets left out. And that was something I thought that the situation critical documentary really kind of drove home. There were some people who were in grave, grave danger in the first, like, 1015 minutes of this firefight before backup arrived.


And I also saw it described that Phillips in Matasaranu at one point, especially when they were engaged with that first wave of cops who were totally unprepared and unequipped to deal with them, that they could have made a getaway and that they seemed to have decided that they wanted to stay and fight instead. Yeah, that's unusual.


And I'm curious about the wisdom of that. Like, if they had left, if these guys just would have went and got in their car and tried to get out of there.


I don't know. Who knows? I don't know. The fact that they had a helicopter on them would have made it pretty difficult. But who knows? It could have been way worse. It could have been shorter. Who knows what could have happened? But I think the point was that bank robbers don't try to stick around when they're given the option to try to make a run for it. And these guys.


Yeah, I'm not going to Monday morning quarterback this thing years later in my podcast booth because I wasn't the know getting shot at on the street. So there was one citizen hero among this crowd, which was dentist Dr. Jorge Montes had an office across the street, and two cops that were injured crawled up the stairs to his office. And it sounds like he had saved at least one of their lives. He treated them immediately, and one of the cops had shrapnel in his ankle. And Montez was smart enough to be like, we should leave that in there. Like, I'll treat you, but I'm not taking that out because it could get worse. And that officer later said that he probably saved my life because I probably would have bled out.


Yeah, that's pretty great. So a few minutes before ten, this firefight has been going on for 30 plus minutes. Now Phillips and Mattasaranu decide that this is a really fateful decision and no one has any idea why. Probably we'll never know why. But Matasaranu gets in their white Chevy celebrity, the ugliest gateway car ever. Oh, there's one other thing about that white Chevy celebrity. They had it backed up to the bank in a parking space. And so when they came out and they were shooting at the cops and everybody that moved for 30 minutes with their assault weapons, whenever their assault rifle would, like, run out of ammo or jam or something, they'd just throw it down, go to the trunk of the car and come back with a brand new assault rifle. And they had, like, drums, like hundred round drums as clips. So they were really doing a lot of damage. And at some point they decided, let's head out. Mattisaranu gets in the Chevy celebrity, and rather than get in with him, Larry Phillips decides to walk alongside, just firing at everybody, while Matt Serrano slowly drives with him. And then the really fateful decision is made where they decide to split up.


And Larry Phillips peels off from Matt Serrano and starts walking down the sidewalk of a street, a side street that, a residential street into a residential.


I think I read a lot about this, too. I think he might have thought he was providing some initial cover. And the whole split up thing is just judging from the movies, I think sometimes that's just what they decide to do instead of concentrating everything on us. If we split up, that'll split the burden or whatever.


Yeah, I mean, I get that based on how quickly things happened after that. It also makes me wonder if it was like, I'm just going to go take my last stand.


Well, maybe. I mean, who knows? We're never going to know, basically. And you'll soon find out why. So in the end, Phillips was shot eleven times. He's walking down this side street.


Yeah, he's still walking after most of these shots.


Yeah, he's walking down the side street. He's firing at everything he can. And he gets just like in the movies, like an old western or something, a cop shoots his hand, like shoots the gun out of his hand by shooting his hand. He reaches down, picks it up, puts it under his chin, and in an attempt to kill himself and pulls the trigger. And it was sort of a bang bang thing. No one sure which was the kill shot, but sort of right along that time, either right when it happened or right after he fell, a cop had shot him, true romance style, through the side of his body. Where there was no protection, no protective vest, because that stuff is usually, like, it's on your back, it's on your chest, but kind of not through the side. And he severed his spine, and he was dead immediately from one of the two wounds.


So Larry Phillips is now dead one way or another, either by his own hand or by the cops shot. And that is not the end of things, because Mattosaranu is still on the move. He's in his white celebrity, moving down the street past where Phillips has just died. And here's what's crazy, because as we'll see, the LAPD is very much fetted after this for having saved North Hollywood, taken on these guys who outgun them. But there's a really critical point that I think people just move right past when they were moving up Archwood, this residential street, it was not closed off. So people were driving past Emile Mattesaranu within feet, like a handful of feet of this guy. And they were confused. They didn't know what was going on. And he's strapped with, like, this AK, driving the white celebrity, which now has its tire shut out, looking for another car. And at least three or four pass him before he finally stops and picks one and starts shooting at the car. And that was a huge failure on the LAPD's part, because those guys could have gone anywhere on Archwood street and started taking hostages easily.


What was the failure?


That they didn't close the street off. Like, I don't understand how you had time. Bank robbery. You could close it off somewhere back there. There was through traffic still coming down Archwood, like, right by the bank. If you watch it. It's crazy.


No, I know. I don't know, man. I think that's also Monday morning quarterbacking. I don't know if they could have. They were in the middle of a shootout. I don't know.


I mean, the whole LAPD was focused on this shootout. I feel like they could have shut the street down. It's just crazy to me.


All right, agree to disagree.




At any rate, he's firing at cars. He gets in this guy's jeep pickup truck. And the guy got injured. He was fine. He ran out of there and got away, at least. And he still thinks he can get out of there. I guess he's transferring weapons from that chevy to the truck. And three SWAT guys drive over there. He comes out again, and all of a sudden there's another shootout on the street, movie style, with both of them kind of crouch behind these cars, and the cops do a very smart thing, which is shoot underneath the car at his feet, at his legs, whatever they can hit, and they end up hitting him 28 times and dropped him.


Yeah, man. Can you imagine taking 28 shots in your legs and feet?


I can't imagine one.


He put his hands up, he gave up, he surrendered, and was laying behind the celebrity. I think in the end, when they captured him, twelve officers had been injured, had been shot. Some were in pretty bad shape. Miraculously, all survived. Eight bystanders had been injured. All of them survived. Everyone in the bank survived. And it turned out that the only two people who didn't survive were Larry Phillips and Emil Mattisaranu, who ended up bleeding to death from his injuries lying behind that Chevy celebrity. Isn't that nuts? Yeah, Chuck. I think one, seven or 1800 rounds were fired in this 44 minutes firefight, and only two people died. The bank robbers.


Yeah. And that became a matter of just sort of further scrutiny because, know, he's laying there, he's bleeding, and he know, why don't you put a bullet through my head? And when the EMTs show up, the cops keep them away. They say, don't come over here. Emts never examined him. And he slowly bled out basically over the next hour and died. They were heavily scrutinized. I think there was an attorney that ended up filing a suit on behalf of the kids that said, hey, regardless of whether this guy was a bank robber, you still have an obligation to treat an injured human on the ground as a cop. The cop's response was like, we didn't know if there were other people involved, if they were around, if they had a sniper, if they had explosives on their body. We didn't want to put those EMTs in danger. And in the end, they dropped. I'm sorry. It was a deadlock jury at first, so it was a mistrial. And then they decided not to go further with another case because they might be countersued for malicious prosecution.


Well put. Did you read the LA Times article on that?


Oh, yeah.


They really went to town putting this thing together, and no one came out looking.


It was, you know, the LAPD has always had a checkered reputation. So, like, at first they were heroes because this was all over the news, and this know, a handful of years after Rodney King, when they had probably an all time low opinion rating. So they were like, look at the cops, like, protecting you and putting their lives at risk. So it was good for pr at first, but then they let him bleed out in the street for an hour. I'm sure a lot of people were like, good. And a lot of people are like, yeah, you still can't do that.


Sure. So one of the other outcomes of this was that it changed police forces across the United States forever. The police realized that they were not equipped for something like this to happen in not only Los Angeles, but every other town in the United States. And in the defense spending act, I think of 1997, they passed a section called 1033 that said that the Department of Defense can sell any excess armory weapons material to local police departments. Now, that's a new thing. And it turned into what's been roundly considered the militarization of the police. That's had all sorts of knock on effects, including, according to multiple studies, an increase in death during police shootings. And that's a big criticism of this. That rather than people saying, let's reduce the public's access to things like assault rifles that can kill tons of people and have firefights like this, instead, the push has been to, let's arm the cops equally to these criminals that can be armed to the teeth as well, to make it even, which there's a logic to it, sure. But you could also reduce the public's access to those kind of things as well, and that didn't really happen.


Well, one of the good things that came out of it was PTSD. Counseling for police officers was not such a big thing at the time. And after this, it became much more just sort of implemented across the country.


Yeah, that is a good thing for sure. Anything else?


I got nothing else.


I think there's, in grand theft auto five, one of the heists, the Paletto score, is based on this, too, and there's a movie called 44 minutes that was made for tv on FX, and it's terrible. I bet. If you want to know anything else about the North Hollywood shootout, there's plenty to see and read about that. And while you're reading and seeing about the North Hollywood shootout, I think it's time for listener mail.


I'm going to call this follow up that I feel pretty bad about. We did our podcast episode on Kenton Grua, Grand Canyon river adventurer, not too long ago, and we actually heard from his wife, Michelle Grua, who was. She's not a stuff you should know listener, but someone told her about it. She listened, and she wanted to clear up some things. And so I'm going to read it. It's a little lengthy, but I feel like we owe it to her. Hey, guys. I was surprised to be informed by a friend of your podcast about my late husband factor. Yes, our children and I all called him factor. That was his preferred name. I appreciate that you obtained most of your information from Kevin's book the Emerald Mile, which is for the most part accurate. There are some things that you said that are not accurate and depictions of factor that I'd like to set straight. These things are likely only important to me, our children, and to his two brothers if they were to ever hear your podcast. I can tell that you appreciated his adventurous spirit and the grandiosity of the things he did, but I would gently suggest that you might consider the feelings of those left behind with regard to the way you depict someone.


He's not just some character in a really cool story, he's someone's husband, father, and brother who is sorely missed. I do not expect any kind of retraction, public retraction. I just wanted to let you know about the inaccuracy so you could have a more clear picture of him. He was the most humble, gracious, generous, respectful, considerate, fierce soul I've ever met. Truly one of a kind and the greatest factor in my life. Regarding the description of him really liking booze and hiking out to obtain extra liquor, the passengers on that particular commercial trip are the ones who requested extra booze, and given that there's no delivery into the canyon, he offered to hike out and procure a resupply for them. Regarding the moccasins, he was a purist, and his reasoning was that the ancient weblins who'd lived in the canyon had likely worn moccasins, and he wanted to pay homage to them and not have any unfair modern advantage like hiking boots. He had scouted the route before, and the first through hike attempt had he had placed food caches, caches, caches caches for that hike, as well as doing so the second time as an insight to his character, he hiked back in to remove all of them after the hike, leaving no trace.


You said that he was obsessed. If you can say that about someone who smokes that much pot, I feel like you may have missed a key element of Kenton's character in your reading about him, that he had a fierce intellect, an intense focus, and once he got a hold of an idea, he ruminated on it, turned it over and over in his mind until he worked out all the details, not consistent with the sleepy image you conjure up when thinking about a typical stoner. It also bears mentioning that the original idea was Wally wrists. Wally, Rudy, and Kitten did the original speed one, but Wally was no longer working on the river in 83 and thus not able to partake. This time around, Kitten came up with the idea to put a second set of orlocks on the boat so you could have two rowing stations to tackle the flatwater at the far west of the canyon. As far as the fine, the fine that was imposed is reportedly $500, but I have the canceled check to the Cococino county magistrate in the amount of $250 paid by Kenton. So your assertion that he couldn't afford it is not accurate.


He never mentioned any imposition of community service to me as well, and we are also quite sure of how he died. He died not due collision or impact, but from the spontaneous aortic dissection, not aneurysm. He was found unresponsive on the trail by a hiker while the kids and I were home awaiting his return. He was not dead when the hiker found him. He was taken to the local hospital, where resuscitation efforts failed. He wasn't laying in a peaceful position, the hiker said. He was still astride his bike, and it appeared that he had just tipped over. Indeed, he had a little cut over his ear where his sunglasses dug into the side of his head when he landed. As a physician myself, I can tell you he was probably in significant chest pain, and he died about 200 yards after passing through what would have been a busy trailhead parking area. So he was probably pedaling like hell to get home just a couple of miles away, but dissected and lost consciousness less than a minute after passing through the lot. I only discovered it when he was 2 hours late getting home from the ride and called the hospital where I worked to see if they had any mountain bikers that had come in.


They said yes, but they weren't able to identify him. And that was the last moment of true peace that I had. I am glad you found his story so compelling. I'm sure he's glad people are hearing of it and he doesn't have to do the telling himself. But accuracy is important. Please don't paint him as a caricature. Best Michelle Grua and I emailed her a very long email back, and I felt terrible about all this, and she was very sweet and much more graceful than I would have been in her position.


Yeah, I was going to say. I mean, if you're going to get taken to task by a living relative of someone we profile, it's about as nice as it can get for sure.


Yeah. So thank you, michelle, for that. And just publicly, I'm sorry for anything we did that caused you any upset.


Yeah, agreed. It was definitely not our intent to create a caricature out of him. That's never our intent. So sorry that that happened inadvertently. And thank you for taking the time to write all that. And thank you, Chuck, for reading all of it.




If you want to get in touch with us, like Michelle Grua did, you can use email, as she did as well. Send it off to


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What up, guys?


Ola Catal, it's your girl cheekies from the cheekies and chill and dear Cheekies podcasts. And guess what? We're back for another season. Get ready for all new episodes where I'll be dishing out honest advice, discussing important topics like relationships, women's health, and spirituality. I'm sharing my experiences with you guys, and I feel that everything that I've gone through has made me a wiser person. And if I can help anyone else through my experiences, I feel like I'm living my godly purpose. Listen to cheekies and chill and your cheekies on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Hey there, podcast fans. Michael Lewis here, host of the Pushkin show against the rules. I want to tell you about a very special series we're doing called judging Sam the trial of Sam Bankman Freed. SBF, the former CEO of Crypto exchange FTX is being tried for financial crimes. I'll be following the trial that decides his fate. Judging Sam starts October 2. Listen to judging Sam the trial of Sam Bankman freed in the against the rules feed on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Afterlives is a new podcast about the life and legacy of Lelene Polanco, a transgender Afro Latina who died tragically on Rikers island gel complex. Leleen loved to dance. She loved to sing. She was just happy to be alive. Stepping foot on Rikers island has been widely acknowledged a potential death sentence. Listen to afterlife available on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcast. Bye.