Bill Kinsey was a boy that Harry Bosch had known as a child. One year during a heavy rain, Bill was playing on the concrete embankment of the L.A. River when he slipped and fell in. He was carried away by the fast flowing water and drowned despite attempts by rescue personnel and ordinary citizens who lowered ropes and ladders down to him. His body was found 12 miles downstream. Bosch remembered this incident as he was pursuing Robert Backus near the river in April 2004.