Ugly Reality Checks Mar Los Gatos's Suburban Idyll

A rash of unseemly incidents have made Los Gatos not quite the nice place to live many thought it was

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Damian Trujillo
    Mark Achilli's family members comfort each other

    Los Gatos is in many ways the paragon of the American dream: a quiet, quaint suburban town, with rolling hills, old houses and big money. But there's a dark side to every dream, as the South Bay residents are discovering, with a rash of murders, court cases and other unpleasantries harshing Los Gatos residents' moneyed mellow, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

    In the past week, the townsfolk have had to deal with the sexual assault conviction of homemaker Sara Cole, who was found guilty of molesting her son's 16-year old friend. Before that, prominent real estate developer Imad "Ed" Daou shot his 22-year old son and then himself. And a few months ago, another prominent citizen in Mark Achilli was shot and killed by someone from -- gasp! -- San Jose, where all the world's problems live in isolation from Los Gatos, the newspaper says.

    Sara Cole Found Not Guilty of Most Serious Charges

    [BAY] Sara Cole Found Not Guilty of Most Serious Charges
    The Los Gatos mother was only convicted of one misdemeanor count in a high profile molestation case. (Published Thursday, Aug 4, 2011)

    The townsfolk pronounce the name "Luss Gatuss," and sneer at people who say it wrong, the newspaper says. True-blue locals lord their local status over the less-localized, such as people who have lived in town "for only 41 years," according to the newspaper.

    It's these same locals who blame incidents such as Achilli's death on outsiders from the outside world of Silicon Valley, the wealth of which is turning the kids at Los Gatos High School sour, the newspaper supposes. "Three people died my senior year of high school," pointed out 20-year old Elena Reinhold, whose classmates included a drowning victim, a suicide, and Mikey Halpin, the football player who collapsed and died from a heart attack at school.

    If nothing else, the string of tragedies remind Los Gatos residents that it can happen here, too.