The winner of this contest first came to my attention on February 17, @ 3:44 PM to be exact. That is when her post under the "Anonymous" rubric first came to my attention. There had been quite a few guesses up until that point and, just like my own desperate attempts, they were mostly improvisations out of not a whole lot of information. This Centinel person had obviously hidden his tracks well. But this particular Anonymous made a post that convinced me that here was a person who knew quite a lot about Pasadena, the newspaper writers there, and its once vibrant blogosphere.
I was always under the impression that Centinel was a journalist or someone closely associated with the City of Pasadena. He/she seemed very intelligent and well informed about the goings on in Pasadena. I thought he/she may have been Todd Ruiz, the former political reporter for the Pasadena Star News. Or he may have been one of the editors or journalists who work for/contribute to the Pasadena Weekly. If Centinel is not a journalist, then I am guessing he is a former City Councilmember, like Paul Little.
Now if you read my response to this informed post, you'll see that I totally bit on the Paul Little angle. I asked some questions, and assumed that I had figured something out. But the next day I received the following e-mail, and it was then that I started to believe we really had our man.
The reason I thought Centinel may be Todd Ruiz is the fact that he stopped blogging at the Foothill Cities blog around the same time he announced he and his wife (significant other?) were moving to Marrakesh. See his blog (here), and the Foothills Cities blog from the same time periods of mid-December 2008 through January 2009. Additionally, Pasadena's Most Electrifying Man, Aaron Proctor made the comment on February 17, 2009 at 9:20 AM, while referring to Centinel, "Last I heard he got on a plane with Big Bopper and Buddy Holly." I thought he was implying that Centinel has left the state/country, not that he was dead in a plane crash in an Iowa cornfield.
Circumstantial evidence? Sure. But the pieces of the puzzle fit quite snugly. Buddy Holly died when his plane crashed. But Centinel? He no longer existed because that guise was dead once its owner hopped a plane to Camelville. And that he would have two blogs would make sense. One was where he hung out with the people who knew him, and on the other he put on his Centinal face and yapped with the lokes about stuff like interstate construction techniques and PUSD school board candidates. And remember that last e-mail I referred to in the original article? The two word response to my inquiry about his whereabouts, "Life happens?" That would certainly fit as well.
And then there is this passage on the Aaron Proctor Effect where Pasadena's now exiled Most Electrifying Man reveals the following:
Former journalistic Superstar and a good acquaintance of mine, Todd Ruiz, is moving to Morocco. Marrakesh to be exact. I guess Todd's a huge Crosby, Stills and Nash fan. Who would have thought it? Seriously though, I wish my erstwhile friend and his lovely female companion (the elusive "Ms. Vanity") good luck.
Aaron Proctor, of course, was the star contributor to Foothill Cities when that site was in its prime.
The final piece of the puzzle can be found be on the Foothill Cities site itself. As you will quickly surmise, it is pretty much doornail dead. There is no vision or drive, just two guys from Monrovia very comfortable with the notion that their city is interesting enough without them having to try and make it actually seem that way. The FC is now empty because the fellow who was the life of the party left it all behind for a new life with his main squeeze in Morocco.
So who is our highly informed winner of a six pack of Modelo Especial? I have not been given permission to reveal her identity here, so I will not. But big props to "Anonymous!" As far as I can tell, you've cracked the biggest local blog mystery of all.