The Locations of L.A.’s 100 Most Memorable Crimes by Neighborhood

The neighborhoods, streets, and addresses that forever hold some of the city’s darkest moments
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These are crimes both solved and unsolved, killers and victims both famous and unknown. They span more than a century and run the gamut from bank shootouts to insurance scams, gangsters on the lam to murderers so sadistic judges are devoid of words to describe their actions. Unlawful acts occur in and around Los Angeles every day, too numerous to recount, but what follows are those that have most seared into our memories, and where they happened.

Alhambra

Lana Clarkson
Music producing legend Phil Spector was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of actress Lana Clarkson, with his trials revealing a long pattern of troubling behavior that reached a deadly end in the foyer of Spector’s Alhambra castle.
Year: 2003
Location: 1700 Grand View Drive
Read about it: In the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times archive
Photos: New York Daily News
Book: Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector
Watch: Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege, and Justice

An evidence photo of the Colt revolver found near Lana Clarkson’s body at the crime scene is displayed on a screen during the morning session of Phil Spector’s murder trial at Los Angeles Superior Court June 6, 2007 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Fred Prouser-Pool/Getty Images)

Bakersfield

The Onion Field Murder
Two thugs kidnapped the police officers who pulled them over in Hollywood and drove to an onion field in Bakersfield, where they killed one officer while the other escaped. As a result of the crime, the LAPD formally changed its procedures of what to do (and not to do) when approaching a vehicle.
Year: 1963
Location: Field off Route 99
Read about it: 
In the Los Angeles TimesKCET, and KPCC
Book: 
The Onion Field by Joseph Wambaugh
Watch: 
The James Woods/Ted Danson movie The Onion Fieldand the documentary about the film Ring of Truth

Baldwin Hills

Three Little Inglewood Girls
WPA crossing guard Albert Dyer lured three little girls (ages 7, 8, 9) from Inglewood to his Baldwin Hills home, where he raped and strangled them and left their bodies in a ravine. Their murders shocked and devastated 1930s Los Angeles.
Year: 1937
Location: Baldwin Hills
Read about it: In the Los Angeles Times

Albert Dyer on trial for the murder of three Inglewood girls, Los Angeles, August 1937

Los Angeles Daily News Negatives, UCLA Library

Benedict Canyon

The Gangster’s Daughter
Susan Berman was born into the mob, and she wrote about the mafia. But the most dangerous man in her life may have been a former classmate of hers with no mob ties: Robert Durst. He is currently awaiting trial for her murder.
Year: 2000
Location: 1527 Benedict Canyon Road
Read about it: In Los Angeles magazineNew York magazine, and People
Book: Berman’s 1981 memoir Easy Street
Watch: The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

Beverly Grove

Rebecca Schaeffer
The 21-year-old star of the TV show My Sister Sam was shot on her doorstep by an obsessed fan. Rebecca Schaeffer’s death at the hands of stalker Robert John Bardo led to tougher anti-stalking laws. Before Schaeffer, Bardo had tried to meet with singer Debbie Gibson, and he once visited the spot in New York City where John Lennon was killed by Mark David Chapman.
Year: 1989
Location: 120 North Sweetzer 
Read about it: In the Los Angeles Times here and hereand People

Beverly Hills

The Ned Doheny Greystone Mansion Murder
In the words of Curbed writer Tess Barker, “Greystone Mansion was paid for with oil. Its value endures because of a murder.” That would be the murder of oil baron Ned Doheny (yes, he’s the same the Doheny they named the street after) inside his residence, at the time the most expensive home in L.A.
Year: 1929
Location: 905 Loma Vista Drive
Read about it: In CurbedKCET, and The Lineup
Book: Dark Side of Fortune: Triumph and Scandal in the Life of Oil Tycoon Edward L. Doheny

The Extortion of Clara Bow
When Hollywood’s first sex symbol, Clara Bow, refused to be extorted by her former secretary Daisy DeVoe, the secretary used the subsequent trial to humiliate her old boss. Shattered by the trial, Bow retired from the film business to a Nevada ranch.
Year: 1930
Location: 512 North Bedford Drive
Read about it: In Los Angeles magazine
Book: Clara Bow: Runnin’ Wild
Watch: Clara Bow: Discovering the It Girland the BBC’s Hollywood’s Lost Screen Goddess Clara Bow

Circa 1928: American actress Clara Bow pauses with a spoonful of pudding halfway to her lips. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

The Murder of Bugsy Siegel
He was the most infamous celebrity gangster in Los Angeles, and he was shot and killed through the window of his Beverly Hills home. The killer was never found—though one family claims they now know who did it.
Year: 1947
Location: 810 North Linden Drive
Read about it: In Los Angeles magazine, and the Los Angeles Times

Johnny Stompanato’s Untimely End
Bombshell actress Lana Turner’s 14-year-old daughter, Cheryl Crane, came to her mother’s defense by stabbing Turner’s mobbed-up boyfriend to death at home. A jury called it a justifiable homicide. The Los Angeles Times took Turner to task for putting her daughter in such a dire position. “Cheryl isn’t the juvenile delinquent,” the Times said. “Lana is.”
Year: 1958
Location: 730 North Bedford Drive
Read about it: In the Los Angeles Times
Books: Lana: The Lady, the Legend, the Truth by Lana Turnerand Detour: A Hollywood Story by Cheryl Crane
Watch: Mysteries and Scandals, and Born Famous

The Manson Murders
It’s been said that the brutal cult murders (which included actress Sharon Tate, who was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with Roman Polanski’s son) marked the end of the 1960s. The Manson murder spree is still terrifying to contemplate today.
Year: 1969
Locations: 10066 Cielo Drive (Tate), and Los Feliz (LaBianca home 3311 Waverly Drive)
Read about it: In Manson: An Oral History, from Los Angeles magazine
Book: Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi, with Curt Gentry
Watch: The Dianne Sawyer documentary, CNN’s Faces of EvilBiography here and here, and numerous movies

Charles Manson under arrest in 1969 (left) and in prison in 2009

Photograph courtesy Michael McGann

Man Overboard
After attorney Rex DeGeorge was rescued from his sinking $3.7 million yacht, he was charged, and ultimately found guilty of, insurance fraud. In fact, while DeGeorge’s charges relate to the one yacht, it was the fourth heavily insured yacht he’d lost and part of a string of insurance claims involving stolen art, car wrecks, lost luggage, and brain seizures, earning him a place in the Hall of Shame by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.
Years: 1970-99
Location: Kept an office in Beverly Hills
Read about it: In Los Angeles magazine

Samantha Jane Gailey
Following a photo shoot for a French magazine at Jack Nicholson’s home on Mulholland Drive, director Roman Polanski was charged and convicted of drugging and raping 13-year-old Samantha Jane Gailey. (Nicholson was not home at the time.) Polanski fled to Europe before sentencing and still lives in countries that won’t extradite him to the U.S.
Year: 1977
Location: 12850 Mulholland Drive
Read about it: Los Angeles Times, and Fusion
Book: Samantha Gailey (now Geimar) wrote a book about her ordeal entitled The Girl: A Life In The Shadow of Roman Polanski
Watch: Larry King interview

The Billionaire Boys Club
It was a Ponzi scheme masquerading as a social club, highlighting all of the excesses of the 1980s, and its publicity may have inspired the Menendez Brothers to kill their parents. When the “BBC” money got tight, people started dying.
Years: 1983-84
Location: Beverly Hills
Read about it: In People, and the Los Angeles Times here and here
Watch: The 1987 TV movie starred Judd Nelson, and it’s a forthcoming Emma Roberts/Kevin Spacey movie

Joe Hunt, ringleader of the Billionaire Boys Cub

The Menendez Brothers
Were Beverly Hills rich kids Lyle (age 22) and Erik Menendez (age 19) abused sons who fought back against their parents? Or something more sinister? The brothers were convicted of murdering their parents and became a national sensation.
Year: 1989
Location: 722 North Elm Drive
Read about it: In the Los Angeles Timesherehere, and here (photos), Rolling StoneTime, and the New York Daily News
Watch: ABC News, and 48 Hours, and the 2017 two-hour ABC documentary Truth and Lies: The Menendez Brothers—American Sons, American Murderers

Christian Brando, the son of actor Marlon Brando, arrives at court in 1997 in California. (Photo by Newsmakers via Getty)

Fall of the House of Brando
A fatal turn for a troubled family. Cheyenne Brando’s boyfriend Dag Drollet was shot by Brando’s son Christian, which Christian claimed was an accident, in their father Marlon Brando’s hilltop home. With prosecutors unable to prove the case was premeditated, Christian pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
Year: 1990
Location: 2840 North Beverly Drive
Read about it: In the Los Angeles Times, and People

The Hollywood Madam
Heidi Fleiss claimed to have many famous and wealthy clients, and in the 1990s she became a household name when she sidestepped a pandering charge but was convicted on federal counts of tax evasion.
Years: 1990-93
Location: 1270 Tower Grove Drive 
Read about it: In the Los Angeles Times archives
Book: Pandering by Heidi Fleiss
Watch: The Jamie Lynn-Sigler TV movie Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss, and her interview on the Late Late Show

The Beverly Hills Loan Sharks
Former record promoter Joseph Isgro and two other men operated a loan-sharking business outside the Le Grand Passage shopping center in Beverly Hills for six years before they were busted. It wasn’t the first or last time Isgro’s name was in the papers.
Years: 1994-2000
Location: 350 North Canon Drive
Read about it: In the Los Angeles Times

The Fashionista
At 33, Anand Jon Alexander had already dressed Janet Jackson and Paris Hilton. In the spring of 2007, the fashion designer was set to star in his own VH1 reality series when he was arrested in Beverly Hills for raping and sexually assaulting models, some as young as 14.
Years: Arrested in 2007, with accusations going back to 2002
Locations: Beverly Hills, and New York City 
Read about it: In the New York TimesABC NewsThe Observer, and the Los Angeles Times
Watch: ABC News

Ronni Chasen
The Hollywood publicist was shot repeatedly while driving her Mercedes home from a movie premiere in Beverly Hills. Authorities said it was a botched robbery, but questions have been raised about the initial investigation.
Year: 2010
Location: Sunset and Whittier
Read about it: In The Hollywood Reporter, the New York Times, L.A. Weekly, and the Los Angeles Times
Watch: ABC News and CBS

Brentwood

The “Trial of the Century”
Did football legend O.J. Simpson murder his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman? The so-called “Trial of the Century” found O.J. Simpson innocent, though many people believe Simpson was guilty (including the jurors from his civil trial, who punished Simpson with $33.5 million in damages). It was a crime, trial, and media circus like no other. The murders remain unsolved.
Year: 1994
Location: 879 South Bundy Drive
Read about it: In the New York Times archive and the Los Angeles Times archive of O.J. Simpson trial coverage, and in Vanity Fair
Books: If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer by Fred Goldman and Kim Goldman, The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin, and Without a Doubt by Marcia Clark
Watch: ESPN’s O.J. Made in America, and The People v. O.J. Simpson

Bronson Canyon

The Head in Bronson Canyon
The judge who presided over Gabriel Campos-Martinez’s murder trial called it “so inexplicable, so depraved … it defies description.” The severed head, belonging to Campos-Martinez’s boyfriend Hervey Medellin, made headlines when it was discovered by a dog walker.
Year: 2011
Location: Trail by the Hollywood sign in Bronson Canyon
Read about it: In Los Angeles magazine, and the Los Angeles Times

Burbank

The Murder of Widow Mabel Monohan
Mob-style hits in Burbank aren’t an everyday occurrence—especially with 64-year-old widows as their victims. How did Mabel Monohan end up in the crosshairs?
Year: 1953
Location: 1718 Parkside Avenue
Read about it: In Los Angeles magazine

Chinatown

Haing Ngor
The only Asian actor to win an Academy Award (in The Killing Fields), Haing Ngor was shot and killed in an alley behind his Chinatown apartment. Three gang members were convicted in what authorities believed was a random street robbery. Some suspect the killing was the doing of genocidal dictator Pol Pot, but no link was ever uncovered.
Year: 1996
Location: 900 block of North Beaudry Avenue
Read about it: In the Los Angeles Times
Watch: Haing Ngor win Best Supporting Actor

Coldwater Canyon

Lisa Ann Mather
Nightclub killer Edmund Arne Matthews (nicknamed “The Count” because he wore a black cape to clubs) lured 18-year-old Lisa Ann Mather from Sunset Boulevard to a remote campsite above Coldwater Canyon, where he killed her. A year before that, according to court testimony from two women who described separate incidents, he tied them them up, raped them at the campsite, and released them.
Year: 1985
Location: Coldwater Canyon 
Read about it: In the Los Angeles Times here and here

Commerce

The Sleepy Lagoon Murder
José Gallardo Diaz was killed on the way home from a birthday party near a local swimming hole called the Sleepy Lagoon. Police used Diaz’s death to crack down on the growing Mexican population in the city, which led to race riots throughout the city (the Zoot Suit Riots). His murder remains officially unsolved.
Year: 1942
Location: Somewhere around 5500 Slauson Avenue
Read about it: In PBS, and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Compton

Terry Carter
Music executive Suge Knight will stand trial for the death of Terry Carter, whom Knight allegedly killed in a fatal hit-and-run at a burger stand in Compton, which was captured in this shocking video.
Year: 2015
Location: Tam’s Burgers at East Central and Rosecrans in Compton
Read about it: In the Los Angeles Times

Covina/West Covina

The Santa Claus Massacre
Dressed as Santa Claus, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo killed nine people at his former in-laws’ Christmas Eve party in Covina and set their house on fire. His attempt to get away was stymied when the firebomb he detonated melted the Santa suit into his flesh. If it hadn’t, authorities say the list of victims would have been longer that day.
Year: 2008
Location: 1129 East Knollcrest Drive, Covina
Read about it: In the Los Angeles TimesNew York Daily News, and CNN
Watch: CNN

The Doctor and The Mistress
Bernard Finch was a handsome doctor working in the San Gabriel Valley. Carole Tregoff was the beautiful assistant who became his mistress. When Finch’s wife was murdered, it set in motion one of the most sensational trials the country had ever witnessed.
Year: 1959
Location: 2750 Lark Hill Drive, West Covina
Read about it: In Los Angeles magazine

Crenshaw

The Black Dahlia
The most famous unsolved murder in city history is that of 22-year-old actress Elizabeth Short, whose face was mutilated and whose body was found cut in half and drained of blood.
Year: 1947
Location: Norton Avenue, south of Coliseum Street 
Read about it: In Time magazine, the Los Angeles Times Black Dahlia archives, and Los Angeles magazine
Book: Black Dahlia Avenger, and The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy (fiction)
Watch: 48 Hours

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