Joseph Wambaugh, a former LAPD detective sergeant, is the bestselling author of 19 works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Choirboys and The Onion Field. In 2004, he was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in Southern California. His new novel Hollywood Hills is out now. Learn more at

Former detective and crime writer Joseph Wambaugh recounts the time he discovered a helpful “troll” living under a bridge in L.A.—and how the media went wild with the story.