Famous Crime History of Los Angeles

By Emily Kil- Blogger/Digital Marketing

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Los Angeles:  City of Angels or City of Devils?

Why do people commit murder? Empirical research has proven that there is a direct relationship between population and behavior in laboratory rats. In other words, vicious behavior increases in proportion to the the population. Transfer this theory to humans, and it is understandable that populous metropolitan areas like Los Angeles would suffer from high crime rates.

Almost all murders are driven by a motive, and money is one of the most common. Although it seems incomprehensible that family members would maim and murder one another, history shows that the majority of homicides are committed by an acquaintance of the victim.

Here are some timeless murders that have been committed in the Los Angeles area in the past few decades:

OJ Simpson

In 1995, after leading the police on a several hour long car chase, Orenthal James Simpson stood trial for the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.  Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were found stabbed to death outside of her condominium – with her two children asleep inside the home. The prosecution presented DNA evidence which was relatively unknown to the public at the time.  The defense argued that evidence was planted by a racist detective, Mark Fuhrman, and that the blood at the crime scene was so mishandled that the DNA conclusions were unreliable. In one of the most watched and controversial televised cases in Los Angeles history, OJ Simpson was found not guilty of both murders.

Marvin Gaye

Almost all murders are driven by a motive, and money is one of the most common. Although it seems incomprehensible that family members would maim and murder one another, history shows that the majority of homicides are committed by an acquaintance of the victim.

Pastor Marvin Gay, Sr. (his son had an "e" added to his surname after reaching stardom) allegedly shot his artist son to death with a .38 caliber pistol one day before the singer's 45th birthday at their West Adams, L.A. domicile. Allegedly, an argument between father and son escalated into a physical conflict before father shot son twice in the chest -- ballistics revealed that the second shot entered his chest point-blank. Marvin Gay, Sr. served very little actual prison time for the murder after taking a plea bargain that was ameliorated by evidence showing that Marvin Gaye had been under the influence of drugs and that the Marvin, Sr. had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Gaye, Sr. lived his final years in a nursing home before dying at age 84.(1)

Phil Hartman

On May 28, 1998, and just 37 miles northwest of L.A. in Encino, California, comedian and actor Phil Hartman, who had successful roles on Saturday Night Live, News Radio, and The Simpsons was murdered by his third wife, Brynn. It seems that their 11-year marriage had apparently become more rocky and volatile than people realized. The morning of May 28, Brynn contacted a friend and stated that she had shot her husband twice in the head and once in his side with his .38 while he slept. Shortly thereafter, she then crawled into the bed next to him, put the same pistol into her own mouth, and ended her life. Brynn had been through drug rehabilitation twice and was currently taking the prescription anti-depressant, Zoloft. Their two children and estate later sued pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, claiming two wrongful death suits against them. Pfizer settled out of court.

Infamous Charles Manson

Few people have never heard of the murder of 8-month-pregnant Sharon Tate by cult leader Charles Manson back in 1969. This cult-driven "parlay" of terror left such a mark on history that an entire collection of various productions developed in its wake: "Helter Skelter" a novel by Vincent Bugliosi that was published in 1971, followed the Manson cult and the multiple murders that resulted from his fiendish psychological hold over his victims.(3)

The Menendez Brothers

Wealthy socialite brothers Erik (22) and Lyle (19) Menendez were said to have murdered both their parents in cold blood as they slept in their Beverly Hills home in 1989. The consensus is still out on whether they were truly abused and molested by their parents, or if they had been influenced by the 1980's "Billionaire Boys Club" and their ringleader Joe Hunt.

Specific Crime Locales

How about particular locations in the Los Angeles area that seem to have a black curse upon them? The Cecil Hotel is one of the grandest in history.

The Cecil Hotel

The infamous "Hotel Cecil" was finally sold to a retail developer in 2014 after enduring a plethora of creepy murders and unexplained deaths. In 2013, a 21-year-old Canadian tourist's body was found in the hotel guests' water supply. The high rise has also seen multiple suicides over the years. The "hexed" hotel has since been renamed the "Stay on Main," and ironically has been voted by the L.A. Council to become a historical monument for the city.

Emily Kil is a professional blogger that writes about small business, family, and digital marketing.
She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son and two dogs.


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