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Steven Wayne Knight

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Steven Wayne Knight 19 year law enforcement career included being a police officer in Newport Beach (California), a deputy sheriff in Washoe County (Nevada) and a Deputy Marshal for the Los Angeles County Marshal’s Department.  Steven Knight is the author of 1857 Los Angeles Fights Again and 1853 Los Angeles Gangs.

According to the book description of 1853 Los Angeles Gangs said, “Three men want to rape his good-looking date. Rustlers who murder women and children. Ute Indians working with white men to steal cattle and horses. A murdering gang leader with 160 men. Just a few of the dilemmas protagonist Horace Bell (22) must face as a volunteer Los Angeles Ranger. Can the rangers protect and serve L.A. with its population of 1,600? Or will the criminals overthrow the 100-man force?  A notorious criminal Juan Flores, eludes the rangers from the beginning.  You are shown a word picture of Southern California life 150 years ago. Horace Bell's sidekick is Roy Bean, a colorful character and later Texas judge. The story shows you two major battles.

Meantime, Horace studies law and educates himself into the "semi-gringo" culture of the Mexican-Americans who dominate the pueblo de Los Angeles. Written with humor and sagacity, the story exposes hidden Los Angeles history. Immense ranchos, which today hold 400,000 homes were taken by different means from their Latino owners. We can now learn a timely message from their mistakes. We can also discover insight into how our forefathers handled their criminal problems.”

Raymond Sherrad said of 1857 Los Angeles Fights Again, “I congratulate you on your newest achievement. Your sense of story and your writing have improved immensely. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, but this one has an epic sweep and includes character development that shows your growth as a writer. Given my interest in Los Angeles history, which I was exposed to in the background research for my LAPD book, I was eager to see what you would do with your in-depth knowledge and research in this area. I was not disappointed, as you brought to life many of the individuals, both lawmen and outlaws, and provided a real sense of what life was like in the Los Angeles of the 1800s. I am amazed you were able to skillfully interweave the various ethnic groups and get into their mentalities. Any book that can explore the Chinese, Indians, Anglos, Mexicans, of both sexes, who made up early Los Angeles and show how they participated in real historical events should be required reading for anyone with an interest in where we came from. The French have a saying, "the more things change, the more they remain the same," and your book certainly illustrates that gangs, crime, criminals,, and the Justice system bear great similarities in early and present Los Angeles. This book is an epic sweep of a very violent and fascinating era of American history, and, to me, it was pure reading pleasure. I have mentioned before you have a knack for writing in such a manner that the reader can picture the action as if he or she was watching it on a screen. This bodes well for your interest in bringing this work to the film industry, and I eagerly await the inevitable film.”

1857 Los Angeles Fights Again
Steven W. Knight  More Info

1853 Los Angeles Gangs
Steven W. Knight  More Info

According to the book description of 1857 Los Angeles Fights Again, “If you like a great, epic American true story with realistic action that spans both coasts, read on. Travel back to 1857 where our real hero, Horace Bell, is fearless whether facing villains or fighting for his country in our Civil War. As a Northern army officer he must face the fact that his beloved hails from the antagonist South. The saying, "Go west, young man," leads our hero back to L.A. to fight the war all over again. Brutal gunfights, love, humor, and lust fill the pages from beginning to end. Witness the Chinese massacre, the enslaved American Indians, and the Mexicans loss of title to one-third of California. This story truly is "the last of the Wild West.”

According to Midwest Book Review, “1853 Los Angeles Gangs by Steven W. Knight is an impressively written, historical novel of the lawless gangs of Los Angeles, and the determined Rangers who stood against them. The superbly drawn story of a turbulent "yesteryear" city is populated with such memorable characters as Juan Flores who intends for his grant to dominant a rapidly expanding and ethnically diverse city by first killing off the Chinese, and then the Americans; Don Thomas Sanchez struggling to preserve political power in the face of American land grabs; and Horace Bell with his implacable dedication to the law. Drama, action, bloodshed, love and great courage fill the pages of this exciting and entertaining saga from cover to cover.”

About the Los Angeles County Marshal's Department

In 1923, the California Legislature amended the State Constitution to create a municipal court system as well as the office of Marshal as the court’s enforcement arm.  The act provided for a municipality with a police in excess of 40,000 to have a court.  In 1950, the voters amended the California State constitution and change municipal courts to district courts.  As a result, all of the municipal courts within Los Angeles County fell under a single jurisdiction. Just as the municipal courts were merged into districts, so were the various Marshal offices.


Beginning in 1952, the Los Angeles County Marshal’s Department was responsible for court security, control of in-custody person and the service of bench warrants issued by courts in Los Angeles County.  In 1994, as a result of a study conducted by the Board of Supervisors which found that it would be cost effective to merge the 900 personnel of the Los Angeles County Marshal with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Marshals were merged with the County Sheriff. 

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