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James Allen was a white male transvestite prostitute who went by the alias "Sindy." He frequented the Hollywood area and had a rap sheet for soliciting and drugs. In February and March of 2015 he was staying at the Haven House, a sleazy low cost motel on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. On the night of 8-9 February 2015 he was visited by a client, Da'Quan Foster. A little over a month later on 21 March, Allen was murdered and his body dumped in an alley near Santa Monica Boulevard and N. El Centro Avenue. He had been strangled with a picture frame wire. He was 26 years of age at the time of his death. His murder was assigned to LAPD Homicide Special detectives Mike Stotter and Ali Karim.

Later, Harry Bosch investigated Allen's murder. He found that Allen had been arrested 17 times in a five year period but then no arrests for over a year. This suggested that he might have protection from within the LAPD. Five of the arrests were made by 6-Victor-55 which translates to a two-man undercover vice team working out of Hollywood Division.

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