The mystery of the woman in the closet

A West Covina woman found dead in a closet has presented a vexing mystery to investigators.

How did Susan Molina, 44, die?

The Los Angeles Department of Coroner says blunt force trauma, but has deferred a finding until it has a complete toxicology report.

West Covina homicide investigators have taken the case, but released little information.

Those investigators told several witnesses they were looking for a mystery woman and a car in connection with the case. We’re tracking down as much as we can…

If you have any ideas, share ’em.


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South Hills neighborhood targeted by arsonists

Amanda Baumfeld reports:

WEST COVINA – Authorities said Monday police are not certain the firebombings of two homes in the South Hills are linked, despite the fact that both incidents took place within weeks of each other on the same tiny street.

Early Saturday morning, the home of Robert Ho, 51, in the 3200 block of Hampton Drive was practically gutted after several incendiary devices were hurled through windows. Six weeks ago, Ho said he stopped a similar attack on a neighbor’s home.

“We are not 100 percent sure they are related,” West Covina police Lt. Ron Mitchell said. “It’s quite a great deal of stuff to happen in one area. There might be a connection.”

Neither the police nor Ho could provide a damage estimate following the fire.
The West Covina Police department has neither contacted federal officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms nor the FBI, agencies typically charged with investigating firebombings and arsons, Mitchell said.

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Moe chimp news


Esquire ran the definitive Moe story on its Web site today. The tale, by Richard Shapiro, tells the story of Moe through the words of St. James and LaDonna Davis. It’s a touching tale much of it familiar to residents of West Covina and the San Gabriel Valley.

Here’s the final paragraph of the piece titled “St. James, LaDonna and Little Moe: The Worst Story I Ever Heard.”


After all the years St. James and LaDonna shared with Moe and everything they’ve endured, how could he be gone forever? How could they not someday see their boy again?

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Cop Killer’s death sentence upheld

The California Supreme Court Thursday upheld the death sentence of a Valinda man who was high on PCP when he murdered a West Covina police officer in 1983.

In 1984 a jury convicted Michael Anthony Jackson of Valinda and sentenced him to death for killing West Covina police officer Kenneth Wrede. A memorial to Wrede stands

“I’ll give you my upfront opinion,” West Covina police Chief Frank Wills said. “It was a good decision, but franklu it’s way too late. I’m disgusted by the whole criminal justice system. This was a police officer who died face down in the gutter in a pool of his own blood.”

Here’s a link to the opinion.

And a link to a Web site where Jackson is seeking some female companionship:

Here’s a quote from his advertisement:

My name is Michael Jackson, I’m interested in females only.  All human shade of color…Age from 25-50.  A real female that was born one, not act like one.  Someone who is not shy in front of the camera.  I enjoy meditation, poetry, playing all sports and reading about history.  All this give me power, intelligence, awareness, creativity.   Mental stimulation is all I have to offer and if you have an open mind then that will be provide to you.  Straightforward and honesty is a must.  Let refresh in ourselves the faith that all are equal and deserve the love and sympathy of others, irrespective of their position.  Don’t you think its time for you to pick up your pen and let start the process of being each others friend.  


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Mental illness used by defense in bunker slayings

At a preliminary hearing for a West Covina man charged in the brutal slayings of a teenaged couple out in San Bernardino,  Collin Lee McGlaughlin’s attorney called his client mentally unstable and unfit for trial.

Here’s the story from the San Bernardino Sun. Testimony continues today in the case:

Just weeks before he was arrested in connection with the shotgun killings of 19-year-old Christopher Cody Thompson and his girlfriend, Bodhisattva “Bodhi” Sherzer-Potter, 16, Collin Lee McGlaughlin was taken to the doctor by his father to see about getting psychiatric medication, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing in Barstow Superior Court.

During an interview with sheriff’s homicide Detective Robert Alexander, McGlaughlin’s father, Wayne, said his son had become “frightening.” He also said that about three weeks before his son’s arrest he had taken him to the doctor to see about getting medication to treat his erratic behavior, Alexander said during his testimony.

McGlaughlin, 19, and Covina residents David Smith, 20, and Cameron Thomson, 17, have all been charged with the Jan. 5 slayings of Thompson, of Apple Valley, and Bodhi, of Silver Lakes.

Stephan Williams declined to comment as to whether his client’s mental state will be the crux of his defense if the case goes to trial.


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Last suspect in 911 murder captured in Baja

A newspaper in Tijuana reports this morning that the last suspect in the killing of a West Covina woman was captured Monday afternoon in one of the Colonias.

Thanks to a commenter on this blog for pointing out the link.

Here’s a translated version of the story:

Maurtua Victor Manuel, who has an arrest warrant for homicide in Los Angeles, California he was arrested by elements of the State Preventive Police (PEP).

The arrest of the subject of 19 years, the corporation held that police officers at the embassies of the avenue colony Colonial Villa around the 16:20 hours. 

Now the place where he was arrested escandalizando in public and screaming sounding words.

By attempting to be arrested by agents of the PEP, the suspect claimed that he could not do anything for being an American citizen.

In the C4 was confirmed that Victor Manuel Maurtua, with the arrest warrant in the neighboring state of California since last May 15. 

As he was transferred to the offices of the PEP to make it available to the U.S. authorities.


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Five-hour standoff ends with arrest of teen

A teenager suspected in a carjacking incident held off police for five hours Thursday evening, before he ultimately surrendered in El Monte. Here’s the story from reporter Robert Hong:

WEST COVINA – A teenage carjacking suspect was in custody late Thursday, after leading a standoff with police for more than five hours, officials said.

The boy surrendered about 11:40 p.m. after police used tear gas, according to El Monte police Detective Ralph Batres. No one was injured, he added.

An El Monte police investigation lead police to surround an apartment building in the 200 block of North Grand Avenue where they believed to have located two “people of interest” in a pair of carjackings in El Monte and Baldwin Park and a vehicle theft in El Monte.

When police arrived about 6:30 p.m., one teen boy came out peacefully, while the other barricaded himself inside an apartment, police said

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Predator targets teen in West Covina sexual assault

We first heard about this assault this morning. The facts just came in about an hour ago. Hopefully the West Covina PD will develop a composite drawing and release it to the public.

Here’s the top of Dan Tedford’s story:

WEST COVINA – A 17-year-old girl was sexually assaulted on her way to school this morning after a man pulled her into some nearby bushes and attacked her for several minutes, according to West Covina police.

The girl was walking at 6 a.m. on Shadow Oak Drive near Gemini Street where a man in a black-hooded sweatshirt was walking about 100 yards behind her, police said.

About a minute later, the man grabbed her from behind and pulled her into the bushes near Shadow Oak Park, police said.

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Fake cop sought

A guy dressed as a cop, wearing an oval badge stopped a woman in West Covina the other night and made some lewd comments. Now he’s being sought by police as an imposter.

Here’s Brian Day’s story:

WEST COVINA – Officials are seeking a man who pulled over a woman while pretending to be a police officer and made sexual comments before being scared off Friday

The incident occurred just after midnight on a side street near Francisquito and Conlon Avenues, West Covina police Lt. Dan Brooks said.

A woman in her 30s was driving when a man driving a “police-style” car used a white spotlight and loudspeaker system to order her to pull over.

When the man, who was wearing a blue uniform, possibly a police uniform, with no patches and an oval-shaped badge, approached the woman, he began making sexual comments, Brooks said.

The woman became panicked and set off her car alarm, which prompted the police impersonator to flee, the lieutenant said.

The suspect was described as a white man in his 40s with brown hair, a bushy mustache and a muscular build, he added.


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