LaBIANCA HOMICIDE REPORT

FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT DR 69-586 381

  DECEASED:                                                 LA BIANCA, Leno A. (CC #69-8859)

 DATE AND TIME OCCURRED:                                    August 10, 1969, 0200/2230 hours 

 TO:    Lt. P. B. LePage, Supervisor of Investigations, Robbery-Homicide Divn.

RESUME OF THE CRIME

 On August 10, 1969, during the early morning hours, the victims, Rosemary LaBianca and Leno A. LaBianca, were  stabbed to death at their residence located at 3301 Waverly Drive by suspect or suspects unknown. The weapons used were a kitchen steak knife and carving fork belonging to the victims. Both victims were repeatedly stabbed and were found with pillowcases over their heads. Leno LaBianca's hands were tied behind his back with leather thongs. There-e was no evidence of forced entry and no indication of a struggle. The residence was not ransacked, but Mrs. LaBianca's purse had the appearance of being rifled and the wallet and contents are missing. 

INVESTIGATORS AT THE SCENE.

 On August 11, 1969,0015 hours, Sergeant D. Galindo, 3434, Robbery- Homicide Division, was notified of the double homicide occurring at 3301 Waverly Drive. Sergeant Galindo and Officer T. Taketa,11091, Detective Headquarters Division, immediately responded to the scene, arriving at 0100 hours. Officer R. E. Miller, 11651, Detective Head- quarters Division, subsequently arrived to assist in the investigation.

 The crime scene was the residence of the victims, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. It is a one-story single-family dwelling located in a quiet high-income residential neighborhood. Directly west of the scene is the old estate of Earl C. Anthony; on the east and across the street are residences similar to the LaBianca's. On the north and directly to the rear is a sloping hillside with no immediate structures. The victims met their demise as the result of multiple stab wounds. Mr. LaBianca's body was located on the living room lying face up diagonally by the south couch. His hands were tied behind his back with leather thongs and his head was covered with a pillowcase. It appeared that he had been throttled with a lamp cord which was still attached to a massive lamp located beside the couch. A throw pillow from the couch was over his face. Mr. LaBianca had bleed profusely  

 2 DR 69-586 381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT                        LA BIANCA, Leon A. 

 from the many stab wounds onto the seat cushions of the couch and floor immediately to the body. He was attired in pajamas with the button-up shirt partially open, exposing his rather large stomach.

 There were four stab wounds in the abdomen. Inscribed by slashes on the exposed stomach area were the letters "WAR". Sticking out of the stomach, near the navel, was a bi-tined carving fork which had been pushed through the abdominal flesh to the bifurcation of the tines. On the coffee table, directly by the couch, was a freshly-printed version of the Sunday morning Los Angeles Times (8-10-69). In particular- , the Sports section appeared to have been read. Mr. LaBianca's eye glasses were also located on the coffee table, indicating that he was sitting on the couch reading the Sports section. There was no indication of a struggle in the living room or dining room portion of the residence, and nothing appeared to be disturbed except for a tapestry that had been removed from the north wall in the living room and placed resting perpendicular against the same wall. Where the tapestry had hung and above several paintings were the words, "DEATH TO PIGS," printed in blood. On the south wall of the living room directly to the left of the front door, the word "RISE" was printed in blood. On the kitchen refrigerator door were the printed words, "HEALTER SKELTER, " with helter being misspelled.

 A raveled piece of paper was found in the dining room, stained with blood and frayed on one end, indicating the paper was probably used as the instrument to print the above words. There were no obvious blood spatters located within the home, but there were traces of blood in the kitchen sink and in the rear bathroom located by the rear door. Mrs. LaBianca's body was located on the master bedroom floor, lying face down, parallel to the bed and dresser. She had bled profusely from the many stab wounds onto the floor immediate to the body. Directly by her feet on the floor was a large blood stain leading from the torso, indi- cating that she had crawled approximately two feet. There were no blood spatters in the room. A pillowcase was also covering her head, with the electrical cord from one of the two toppled bedside lamps wrapped around her neck. This indicated she crawled until the electrical cord became taut, causing both the mutually-connected lamps to fall. She was attired in a nightgown and peignoir. Both the nightgown and peignoir were up over her shoulders and head, exposing her buttocks and back. There were numerous stab wounds observable on the buttocks and back. There was no evidence of ransacking or obviously missing property. 

The only indication of missing- property was Mrs. LaBianca's purse standing open on top of a liquor cabinet located in the dining room, and the contents appeared to be disheveled. It was later established that Mrs. LaBianca's wallet containing California drivers license and numerous credit cards was missing. Through questioning the first police units at the scene, it was established that the east side door leading from the living room-dining room area to the outside was standing ajar. The front door was closed, 

3. DR 69-586381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT                       LA BIANCA, Leon A.

 but unlocked. The rear door was locked and there was no evidence of forced entry. The rear door lock can easily be shimmied from the outside. The bed in the master bedroom had been turned down, and the two pillows were minus pillowcases.

CHRONOLOGICAL NARRATIVE

 Prior to the time of occurrence, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca had returned to Los Angeles after a day of boating on Lake Isabella with Suzan Struthers (female Caucasian, 21, 5-6, 130, brown/blue) , who is the daughter of M1rs. LaBianca from a previous marriage. All three had visited with Frank Struthers, Jr., (male Caucasian, 15, 5-9, 140, brown/blue) , Suzan's brother, who had been vacationing at Lake Isabella with a friend, Jim Saffie (male Caucasian, 15,5-1, 120, brown/brown) , and Jim's mother, Mabiha Saffie.

 On August 10, 1969, after arriving in Los Angeles, Suzan Struthers was immediately driven to her apartment, 4616 Greenwood Place, by the victims and dropped off at approximately 0100h0urs. Suzan's apartment is located in the same neighborhood as the LaBianca's residence. This was the last time that Suzan was to see them alive. Following Mr. LaBianca's usual habit, they then drove to the corner of Hillhurst and Franklin where the LaBianca's had a conversation with a newspaper vendor, John T. Fokianos, (male Caucasian, 35, 5-7, 150 brown/brown). Mr. Fokianos sold them a copy of the Los Angeles Times, Sunday edition, and a racing form (8-10-69). They then drove away. Mr. Fokianos observed no other persons in the vehicle. This was apparently the last time the victims were seen alive.

 On August 10, 1969, at approximately 2030 hours, Frank Struthers, Jr. was driven home from Lake Isabella by the Saffie family and dropped off in front of 3301 Waverly Drive, his home. He noticed that the family car, a 1968 Thunderbird, was parked on the street directly west of the house, and that the speed boat was still attached to the car. He felt this was irregular because his stepfather, Leno LaBianca, never left the car and speedboat out on the street overnight. As Frank walked up the driveway and past the kitchen windows, he noticed that the window shades were drawn, which was very unusual and he had never seen this done before. He noticed a light on in the kitchen and from habit went to the rear door leading to the kitchen and it was locked. He knocked on the door, but there was no response. He noticed his mother's 1955 Thunderbird parked by the garage and the water skis from the boat were lying on top of the fender. This indicated to him that his parents arrived home late Saturday night and had taken the skis out of the boat to lessen the risk of theft. They normally would put the boat away the following morning and this had not been done.

 Frank then went to the northwest side of the house and found the louvered windows open. He called for his mother and stepfather loudly through the window, but still received no response. He became alarmed and frightened 

4. DR 69-586381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT                   LA BIANCA, Leon A. 

 and walked several blocks to the Char burger hamburger stand located on Hyperion Boulevard near Rowena Avenue and attempted to telephone his sister, Suzan, through her place of employment, the Great Scot Restaurant. Suzan was not working on that particular night, and her boss telephoned her at home and gave her the message that Frank was concerned about their parents. Suzan telephoned Frank at the hamburger stand telephone booth and he explained the situation and his concern.

 After their conversation, Suzan telephoned her fiancé, Joseph Dorgan (male Caucasian, 25, 5-9, 150, brown/blue) ,and requested that he drive her to the hamburger stand where Frank was waiting. Suzan arrived at the hamburger stand with Joseph Dorgan and they picked Frank up and the three of them drove to the LaBianca residence. They arrived at the residence at approximately 2225 hours and Suzan noticed from the outside of the house that the closet light to the master bedroom was on, and that the kitchen light was also on. They found the keys to the residence in the '55 Thunderbird, a condition which has existed in the past. Mrs. LaBianca had a habit of leaving her keys in the ignition of the older car when it was parked to the rear of the house. 

Frank Struthers unlocked the rear door and he and Joseph Dorgan entered the premises and walked into the kitchen area. They entered the living room area through the kitchen and found Mr LaBianca lying on the floor with "something protruding from his stomach." He was lying motionless and they assumed that he was dead. At this moment, Suzan entered through the rear door and into the kitchen and sensed something was wrong. Joseph Dorgan stopped her from entering the living room and she never saw the body, but did notice some printing on the refrigerator door, later determined to be "HEALTER SKELTER." Mr. Dorgan attempted to call the police from the kitchen wall phone, but became alarmed about the possibility of disturbing the scene. All three immediately removed themselves from the premises. They attempted to borrow a neighbor's telephone to notify the police, but the neighbor apparently thought they were pranksters.

 A neighbor, Doctor Merry J. Brigham, residing at 3306 Waverly Drive, consented to the use of her telephone, but because of the nervous and flighty condition of all three, M1rs. Brigham completed the telephone call to the Police Department, repeating the information supplied to her by Joseph Dorgan that somebody had been stabbed. At 2235 hours, Unit 6A39 was dispatched to 3301 Waverly Drive regarding an ambulance cutting (Communications ticket No. 1-732). Unit 6A39, Officers W. C. Rodriguez, 14171, and J. C. Toney, 14673, received the radio call and immediately responded. The officers were met in front of the location by Suzan and Frank Struthers and Joe Dorgan. The situation was briefly explained by the three persons to the officers. The officers tested the front door and found it to be closed, but not locked. Officer Rodriguez opened the front door and immediately observed the body of Mr. LaBianca. The officer retreated and called for a back up unit, a supervisor and an ambulance. Officer Toney stood by the rear 

5. DR 69-586381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT                         LA BIANCA, Leon A.

 door and the scene was secured. Ambulance unit G-I arrived at the scene at approximately 2240 hours. They pronounced Mr. LaBianca DOA at 2240 hours. Sergeant E. Cline, 7290, Unit 6L40, discovered LaBianca's body in the master bedroom, and the ambulance crew pronounced her DOA at 2243 hours. Mr. LaBianca's body was located on the living room floor lying face up, diagonally by the south couch. His hands were tied using a double square knot behind his back with leather thongs measuring approximately 42 inches in length. His head was covered with a pillowcase taken from the pillow in the master bedroom where Mrs. LaBianca's body was found. It appeared that he had been throttled with a lamp cord which was still attached to a massive lamp located, beside the couch. A throw pillow that is normally kept on the couch was over his face. Mr. LaBianca had bled profusely from the many stab wounds onto the seat cushion of the couch directly to the right of the body and on the floor area immediate to the body.

 He was attired in pajamas with the button-up shirt partially open, exposing his rather large stomach. The shirt appeared to have been ripped open because of a loose button still remaining in the button hole. There were four stab wounds in the abdomen. Inscribed by slashes on the exposed stomach area were, the letters, "WAR". Protruding from the stomach near the navel was a bi-tined carving fork belonging to a carving set that is normally stored in 'the kitchen ,drawer . It was subsequently determined at the Coroner's Office that Mr. LaBianca had a kitchen knife embedded in his throat and this was undetected at the scene because of the pillowcase over his head. There are many polygraph interrogation keys, but this appears to be the outstanding one. The knife was from a different carving set than the fork, but is kept in the same kitchen drawer. The knife has a 5-inch serrated blade with a 4 1/2-inch wooden handle. There was no indication of a struggle in the living room or dining room portion of the residence, and nothing appeared to be ransacked. Located on the north wall of the living room and above several paintings were the printed words, "DEATH TO PIGS" in blood. On the south wall of the living room directly to the left of the front door, the word "RISE" was printed in blood. On the kitchen refrigerator door were the printed words, "HEALTER SKELTER," with helter being misspelled.

 Investigation revealed that the singing group, The Beatles', most recent album, No. SWVBO 101, has songs titled "Helter Skelter," and "Piggies" and "Blackbird." The words in the song "Piggies" make reference to knife and fork in the bacon. The words to the, song "Blackbird " frequently say "Arise. Arise," which might be the meaning of "Rise" near the front door. There were no blood spatters in the house but there were traces of blood in the kitchen sink and on the rear bathroom floor. Mrs. LaBianca's body was located on the master bedroom floor lying face down, parallel to the bed and dresser. She had also bled profusely from 

6. DR 69-586 381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT              LA BIANCA, Leon A.

 the many stab wounds onto the floor immediate to the body. She had been stabbed 41 times in the back, chest and buttocks. Both victims had entry wounds through their clothing. There were no blood spatters in the room. A pillowcase was also covering her head, which was taken from the pillow located on the bed. The electrical cord from one of the two toppled bedside lamps was wrapped around her neck. This indicated she had crawled until the 'electrical cord became taut, causing both mutually-connected lamps to fall.

 There was no indication of ransacking. Several items of jewelry, for both male and female, were still within the premises, including a man's ring with a large diamond of approximately 1. carat weight and two lady's rings with many small diamonds all of which would have been accessible to anyone. 

Several unloaded rifles, shotguns and handguns remained on the premises, as did a small metal case full of coin collector's items and a gallon jar full of coins. Most of these items were in full view. The LaBianca's have three dogs, all of whom bark at strangers. Investigating officers have been unable to locate witnesses who heard the dogs barking or any other noises of distress.

 From information received from Frank and Suzan Struthers, it was Mr. LaBianca's inflexible habit to read the local paper each evening prior to retiring and that he invariably read the sport section first. They both stated that he never sat anywhere but in the dining room and den to read the paper. 

On the night in question, the physical evidence indicates that Mr. La Bianca was reading the paper on the couch because of the location of the newspaper and his eyeglasses. .Neither victim showed signs of being beaten or bruised, but both bodies had bi-tined marks, indicating that they had been punctured several times with a fork. There was no sexual connotations, and Mrs. LaBianca had not been sexually molested.

 The only indication of missing property was Mrs. LaBianca's purse standing open on top of the liquor cabinet located against the north wall of the dining room. The contents of the purse, including a checkbook and several blank checks, were disheveled. It was later established that her wallet, containing driver's license and numerous credit cards, was missing. Through questioning the first police officers at the scene, it was learned that the east side door leading from the living room-dining room area to the outside was standing ajar. The front door was closed but unlocked. 

Subsequent investigation into the business dealings of Mr. LaBianca revealed he had been misappropriating money from his own company's treasury. The bookkeeping records of the Gateway Markets showed a deficit of approximately $200,000 since 1964. This deficit was discovered in June, 1969, by other family board members. To the family's astonishment, it was learned after Mr. LaBianca's death--he owned nine

                                                                                                7.

                                                                                      DR 69-586381

  FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT                                   LA BIANCA, Leon A . 

thoroughbred race horses, including Kildare Lady, one of the more prominent horses. Mr. LaBianca was a chronic gambler, particularly a horse better. It would not be uncommon for him to wager $500 a day. Every racing day he frequented the various racetracks and it is not known at this time if he used the services of a bookmaker.

 The information regarding Mr. LaBianca's misappropriation of company funds and gambling habits were supplied by the company bookkeeper, Ray Norwood, (male Caucasian, 60, 5-11, 170, brown/blue) and Pete DeSantis (male, Caucasian 47, 5-9, 160, brown/brown) brother-in-law and co-board member. Further investigation also revealed Mr. LaBianca had outstanding personal loans amounting to approximately $30,000. 

PERSONNEL AT THE SCENE

 On August 10, 1969; 2226 hours, Communications Division dispatched Unit 6A39 to 3308 Waverly Drive, "See the man, 415 juvenile." unit 6A39 subsequently received an additional call at 2235 hours regarding an ambulance cutting at 3301 Waverly Drive. The original 415-juvenile call was from a frightened neighbor when Suzan and Frank Struthers and Joseph Dorgan were shouting for someone to call the police after they had discovered Mr. LaBianca's body. Doctor Merry-Brigham, 3306 Waverly Drive, was responsible for placing the second call to the Complaint Board- upon the request of Joseph Dorgan. 

Inspector K. J. McCauley, Detective Bureau, arrived at scene on August 11, 1969,0100 hours..

 Hollywood Division Units W. C. Rodriguez, 14171, & J. C. Toney, 14673, 6A39

 Sgt. D. Smith, 7736, 6L60

 Sgt. E. Cline, 7790, 6L40 

 Monzo, '14148, & Hanna, 13539, 6A15

 Hunter, 14313, & McCarthy, 14721, 6A51

 Sgt. Lawson, 11314, 6L20 

 Lueth, 13559, & Parino, 14403, 6Z11

 Michael, 14377, & Malonev, 13943, 6A52

 Hartwell, 14377, & Pelch, 13942, 6X7 

 Ruskow, 12924, & Oliveri, 1~481, 6A1

 Carranza, 13645, 6L39 Thorne, 11177, 6L71 

 Sgt. Schillo, 67.08, 6L20

 Hollywood Detectives Captain W Whitaker, 2471

 Lt. T. H. Cornwell, 5092

8. DR 69-586 381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT.               LA BIANCA, Leon A.

T. Pierce, 10382 D. F. Williams, 6629 

Detective Headquarters Division. 

Lt. K. Casey, 7592 J. W. Cook, 12113

 R. E. Miller, 11651 T. Taketa, 11091

 B. Fowler, 7602 

 D. G. Davidson, 3396 

 Robbery Homicide Division

 Sgt. D. Galindo, 3434

Scientific Investigation Division

 H. King, J8398,

Photo Lab.

 Sgt. H. J. Dolan, 10246,

Latent Prints 

J. Clayborn, 6023, 

Latent Prints

 Granado, 7692,

Lab Technician Ambulance Unit G-l

 Driver: McCuistion

 Attendant: Immermal

 Coroner's Office Mr. Vondra

VICTIMS

 LA BIANCA, Leno A. --No criminal record. Male Caucasian, 44, 6-0, 220 brown/brown Mr. LaBianca was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. He was the son of the founder of State Wholesale Grocery Company, Antonio LaBianca, and has been active in this business since completion of his education. He has been president of Gateway Markets, a family-owned and controlled corporation since 1952. 

Gateway Markets operates four retail super- markets located at following addresses: 11007 Cypress Avenue, L.A., 3322 Verdugo Road, L.A. , 5449 North Rosemead Bld. , San Gabriel, and 2619 North Figueroa, L.A. Mr. LaBianca has been described by relatives and friends, as quiet and conservative by nature, never discussing personal or financial matters. Investigation revealed that since 1964 he had misappropriated approximately $200,000 from the company treasury. This apparently was to finance his chronic gambling habits, thoroughbred horse racing in particular .

9. DR 69-586381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT                      LA BIANCA, Leon A.

 He frequented the local racetracks every racing day and it would not be uncommon for him to wager $500 a day. Mr. LaBianca was the owner of nine thoroughbred horses, including Kildare Lady, the most prominent. The LaBianca's have frequented Las Vegas, the most recent trip being March 15 and March 16 of this year. Subsequently to this trip, he applied for and received a personal lean of $5,000 from the Bank of America, Highland Park Branch.

 Even though the LaBianca's lived expensively, their properties were extensively mortgaged and had personal loans totaling $30,000. The only connection between the LaBianca's and the underworld is Mr. LaBianca's previous association as a member of the board of directors of the Hollywood National Bank, 6225 Hollywood Boulevard. According to LAPD and LASO Intelligence, the bank was backed by "hoodlum money. " Investigation at this time has not substantiated the connection between the underworld and the bank, although three board members were indicted and convicted of a kiting scheme. 

 Mr. LaBianca was the father of:

Anthony LaBianca (male Caucasian, 19, 5-10, 160, brown/brown) ,

Corine LaBianca (female Caucasian, 21, 5-2, 120, brown/hazel) , and 

Alice Findley (female Caucasian, 44,5-6, 160, brown/blue) 

The marriage was terminated in 1956 under a mutual agreement. In 1959, Mr. LaBianca married Rosemary LaBianca, formerly Rosemary Struthers. Suzan and Frank Struthers, Jr., children of Rosemary LaBianca from a previous marriage, lived with the LaBianca's. Mr. LaBianca was a member of the "Sons of Italy," but was not active in the organization. He also was a coin collector of some magnitude and at one time his collection was valued in excess of $20,000. He had approximately $100,000 in life insurance from various insurance companies, but the amount is equally divided between the five surviving children, named as beneficiaries on the policies.

LA BIANCA, Rosemary --LA 379 344-S (Misd. traffic warrant, 1957) Female Caucasian, 38, 5-5, 125, brown/brown Mrs. LaBianca was born in Mexico and raised in Arizona. She moved to the Los Angeles area at the age of 16 years. Her primary occupation prior to marrying Leno LaBianca was as a waitress at the Burl Room and the Los Feliz Inn in Hollywood. In her previous marriage to Frank Struthers, Sr., (male Caucasian, 45,6-0, 170, brown/brown, LA 139 898S), she had two children, Frank and Suzan Struthers. Frank Struthers, Sr. has an arrest record for a misdemeanor traffic warrant, and is known around town as an alcoholic and a heavy gambler. In the last two years, Mrs. LaBianca has been the owner of a woman's dress shop and recently opened the Boutique Carriage, 2625 North Figueroa Street, Los Angeles. According to relatives and friends, Rosemary had no adverse characteristics and was well liked in business and society. Mrs. LaBianca had no life insurance policies. 

10. DR 69-586 381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT               LA BIANCA, Leno A. 

INJURIES

 On August 11, 1969, at the Los Angeles County Morgue, Deputy Coroner D. M. Katsuyama, M.D., performed the autopsy upon the remains of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Sgt. S. Nuckles, 7656, Robbery-Homicide Division, was in attendance. 

LENO LABIANCA , Coroner's Case No. 69-8859: The autopsy commenced at 1330 hours and the cause of death was multiple stab wounds penetrating the vital structures of the right carotid artery, trachea, small bowel and colon. The total number of wounds were 10 plus 14 tine punctures (7 pair of fork wounds) , 9 anterior, plus 7pair of tine wounds, one posterior. Though there were numerous wounds, Doctor Katsuyama classified 6 wounds as major: 1. Anterior neck, severing right carotid artery. Recovered from this wound was a 5-inch serrated blade with a brown wooden handle. This was removed by Doctor Katsuyama. 2. Anterior left side of neck penetrating trachea. 3.-6. Anterior abdomen area penetrating mesentery (fat attaching bowel), small bowel and colon. The major wounds at approximately a 45-degree angle were from decedent's left to right in direction. There were no defensive wounds noted; however, decedent's wrist were tied together behind his back with leather thongs causing abrasions and skin slippage.

 The tine marks (7 pair) appeared to be from a two-pronged fork. On the decedent's abdomen area there appeared to be inscribed the letters "WAR." The wounds on-above decedent were similar and consistent with those of co-decedent, Rosemary LaBianca. The knife recovered from his throat appeared to be the weapon used in both homicides. The autopsy was concluded at 1430 hours. 

ROSEMARY LA BIANCA , Coroner's Case No.69-8860: The autopsy commenced at 1150 hours and the cause of death was multiple stab wounds penetrating vital structures. The total number of wounds were 41.

36 posterior (22 upper, 14 lower), 3 anterior chest, 2 on posterior neck. Though there were numerous wounds, Doctor Katsuyama classified 8 wounds as major :

 1.) 9 inches from crown of head, posterior penetrating cervical spinal cord 

 3.) Posterior left chest, 11 1/2 inches from crown of head, penetrating left lung 

11. DR 69-586 381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT                 LA BIANCA, Leno A.

 4.) 13 inches from crown of head, posterior left chest, penetrating left lung. 

 6). II inches from crown of head, posterior right chest, penetrating right lung 

 8.) Anterior left chest, just above left nipple, penetrating left lung. The direction of all the major wounds was downward at approximately 20-degree angle, decedent's right to left. There were defensive wounds noted. The autopsy was concluded at 1330 hours. 

SUSPECTS :

 DORGAN, Joseph Thomas, LA778 843D, CII 2 945 008 Male Caucasian, DOB 8-24-44, 5-11, 150, brown/blue . Subject has an arrest record for 10851 V.C. (DWOC); 11910. H.& S (Possession of Dangerous Drugs) and a conviction in July, 1968, of 487.3 P.C. (GTA). He is Suzan Struthers's fiance and one of the individuals who discovered Mr. LaBianca's body. Investigation disclosed that Mrs. LaBianca did not approve of Suzan's relationship with Dorgan. A polygraph examination was administered by England, S.I.D., on August 14, 1969, tape No.32233. The examination proved negativ3, even though he admittedly smoked marijuana two hours prior to the examination. The subject's prints were taken for elimination. 

 STRUTHERS, Suzan, aka Suzan Rae (no criminal record) Female Caucasian, DOB 2-27-48, 5-6, 130, brown/blue. Subject has had many disagreements with the victims over her relationship with Joseph Dorgan. She was a suspect in the fraudulent use of a credit card in January, 1968 (DR 68-429642) , involving Dorgan. Sgt. McRobbie, Van Nuys Forgery, investigated the case, but criminal prosecution was not sought because Mr. LaBianca made restitution. A polygraph examination was administered by Funk, S.I.D., on August 21, 1969, tape No- 32286. The examination proved negative and her prints were taken for elimination. 

 STRUTHERS, Frank Lynn, LA 960 851S Male Caucasian, DOB 4-19-54, 5-9, 135, brown/brow. Subject was arrested in May of this year for 602 W.I.C., 10851 V.C., 

12. DR 69-586381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT                       LA BIANCA, Leno A.

 (DWOC), where he was a passenger in a stolen car. Subject was at the crime scene approximately two hours before the bodies were discovered. A polygraph examination was administered by Sgt. Howe, S.I.D., on August 14, 1969, tape No.32234. The examination proved negative and his prints were obtained for elimination. 

O'BRIEN, Orval Alan, LA 972 485 Male Caucasian, DOB 6-29-55, 5-6, 115, red/blue. Subject is an acquaintance of Frank Struthers, Jr., and in the past has expressed animosity towards the LaBianca's. Interviewed and eliminated August 14, 1969, because of his detention at Sylmar Juvenile Hall during the commission of the crime. 

NEGRINI, Gian-Carlo, LA 960 849N Male Caucasian, DOll 12-19-54, 5-6, 110 brown/blue. Subject is an acquaintance of Frank Struthers, Jr., and in the past has expressed animosity towards the LaBianca's. He was interviewed and eliminated August 14, 1969, because of his detention at Sylmar Juvenile Hall during the commission of the crime. 

NEGRINI, Vittoria , LA 96.4 628N Male Caucasian, DOD 8-8-53,6-1, 165, brown/blue. Subject is an acquaintance of Frank Struthers, Jr., and in the past has expressed animosity towards the LaDiancas. He was interviewed August 19, 1969, and eliminated through investigation. He was printed for elimination purposes.

 LUEY, Dexter (no criminal record) Male Caucasian, DOB 6-20-53,5-6,150, brown/brown. Subject was in company of Vittoria Negrini. He was interviewed on August 19, 1969, and eliminated through investigation. His prints were obtained for elimination purposes. 

FLAHERTY, Michael Timothy, LA 960852 0 . Male Caucasian, DOB. 10-8-56, 5-6, 130, brown/brown. Subject is an acquaintance of Frank Struthers Jr., and the Negrini brothers. He was interviewed on August 13, 1969, and eliminated through investigation. His prints were obtained for elimination purposes. 

IBUSUKI, John Hiroshi, LA 956 423I Male Japanese, DOB 3-2-51, 5-6, 160, brown/brown. 

13. DR 69-586381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT                        LA BIANCA, Leon A .

 Subject has past arrest record for possession of dangerous drugs. His father, Roy Ibusuki, was the LaBianca family gardener until a business dispute terminated that arrangement. He has worked with his father at the LaBianca residence and was familiar with layout of the house. He was interviewed August.15, 1969, and prints were obtained for elimination purposes. 

IBUSUKI, Roy (no criminal record) Male Japanese, DOB 4-10-201 5-6, 165, brown/brown. Subject was the LaBianca family gardener until a business dispute terminated that arrangement. He was interviewed on August 18, 1969, and eliminated through investigation. His prints were obtained for elimination purposes. 

DODD, Richard Ervin, LA 526 704D, CII 1 730 915 Male Negro, born 1946, 5-11, 165, black/brown Subject is a known narcotics user and residential burglar operating the Hollywood Division. There is no physical way to connect subject to the scene of the crime and investigators have been unable to locate him for interview. Subject's prints not same as at scene. 

JONES, John Reese, LA 520 331J, CII 1 700 993 Male Negro, born 1935, 5-8, 170, brown/brown. Subject is a known narcotics user and residential burglar operating the Hollywood Division. There is no physical way to connect subject to the scene of the crime and investigators have been unable to locate him for interview. Jones and Dodd have been known to work together. Subject's prints not same as at the scene. 

MC NALLY, Michael Carlyle, LA 618 426M, CII 2 158 306 Male Caucasian, DOB 5-29-43, 5-9, 130, brown/green. Subject is an ex employee of the Gateway Markets and was dismissed for theft. He has an arrest record for using narcotics and is reportedly a user of heroin. He frequents the area surrounding the LaBianca residence. Investigators have been unable to locate subject for interview. There was a no make on fingerprints, but palm prints needed for elimination. 

POSELLA, Leonard, LA 189 324P, CII 973193 1-1ale Caucasian, DOB 8-26-34,5-11, 185, brown/brown. *Felony Warrant No. A05 6027, bench warrant for 4390 B & P (Forged Prescription) issued,6-2-69, State Narcotic investigators handling. Subject has resided with his mother, Julia Posella, at 3267 Waverly Drive. 

14. DR 69-586381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT                       LA BIANCA, Leon A.

 This residence is directly east of the LaBianca residence. He has had mental problems in the past and claims he blacks out for periods of time and is not responsible for his actions. He has threatened his ex wife with a knife and has stated that he will cut her head off. He has been convicted of 245 p.C., ADW, and has many Drunk arrests. He is currently being sought on the felony warrant for Forgery of a Prescription, and investigators have been unable to locate him. No make on fingerprints; but need palm prints for elimination. 

DAVIS, Rodney, aka KIRCHKNOPH, Rodney, LA 864 844D, CII 3 3593 35 Male Caucasian, DOD 1-29-40 6-1, 190, brown/blue. Subject is acquainted with Joseph Dorgan and has been arrested numerous times for 487.3 P.C. , (GTA). Dorgan was staying with subject the night of the homicides. He was interviewed August 19, 1969, but claimed no knowledge of the LaBianca's. His prints were obtained for elimination purposes .

WEAPONS : Knife, steak type, 5-inch serrated fixed blade, 4 1/2-inch brown wooden handle. Fork, carving type, A-tined, white plastic handle, 10 inch. Above items were owned by the victims and were normally stored in the kitchen utensil drawer located on the east side of the kitchen. 

VEHICLE USED : Unknown. 

EVIDENCE Numerous items were confiscated, but only items of evidentiary value relating to the crime are enumerated below: 

 1.) 1 paper, white in color with apparent blood stains 

 2.) 1 cigarette butt, white in color with inscription "Spring" 

 3.) 4 hair particles, brown in color 

 4.) 6 hair particles, brown in color 

 5.) 10 hair particles, brown in color

 6.) 1 towel, pink in color, with dark stains 

 7.) 1 knife, steak type, serrated blade

 8.) 1 fork, bi-tined, white plastic handle, 10 inch

 9.) 2 thongs, rawhide, 42-inch lengths Item 1 found in the dining room by the dining table and was probably used by the suspect(s) as the instrument to print the words in blood, on the walls and refrigerator door.

15. DR 69-586381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT                   LA BIANCA, Leon A . 

                                                                                LA BIANCA, Rosemary.

 Item 2 recovered in the kitchen underneath the sink, but later investigation revealed that Rosemary LaBianca smoked that particular brand of cigarette. Item 3 was recovered from the left hand and the left chest area of Mrs. LaBianca. Item 4 was recovered from the right hand of Mrs. LaBianca. Item 5 was recovered near the right foot of Mrs. LaBianca. Item 6 recovered underneath the chest of Mrs. LaBianca. Item 7 recovered at the Coroner's Office after being removed from Leno LaBianca's throat by Doctor D. M. Katsuyama and given to Sergeant Broda, Robbery-Homicide Division. Item B was removed from Mr. LaBianca's stomach by Sgt. Dolan, S.I.D., at the scene. Item 9 removed from Mr. LaBianca's wrists by Doctor D. M. Katsuyama. Items 1 through 6 were recovered by sergeant D. Galindo, 3434, Robbery Homicide Division, at the scene on 8-11-69, 0100 hours. Item 7 recovered by Sergeant Broda, 10719, Robbery-Homicide Division, at the Coroner's office on 8-11-69, 1130 hours. Item 8 recovered by Sergeant Dolan, 10246, S.I.D., at the scene on 8-11-69, 0300 hours. Item 9 removed at the Coroner's office and recovered by Officer Granado, 7692, S.I.D., on 8-11-69. The hairs mentioned above were analyzed by Officer Granado and found to be animal hairs, probably belonging to a dog.

 Numerous latent prints were lifted at the scene but after an extensive elimination process the remaining available prints are as follows : 

 1.) Palm print, left side of closet door in Frank Struthers' bedroom.

 2.) Palm print, on top of file cabinet inside the closet of the den.

 3.) Palm print, right side of closet door in the master bedroom.

 4.) Fingerprint, bottom liquor cabinet in the dining room.

 5.) Palm print, left door of lower linen closet in dining room. Prints were lifted by Sergeant Dolan and Sergeant Claborn, S.I.D., Latent Prints, on 8-11-69. 

The only property noted to be missing at the scene is as follows :

 1.) Wallet, woman's, natural brown, fine textured leather, secretary type with strap over snap, gold crest design on outer surface.

 2.) California driver's license, B280307, Rosemary LaBianca.

16. DR 69-586381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT                     LA BIANCA, Leon A.

                                                                                 LA BIANCA, Rosemary

 3.) social Security Card, Rosemary Rae or Rosemary Struthers or Rosemary LaBianca, number Unknown at this time. 

 4.) Credit card, Bullocks, Mr. and Mrs. L. A. LaBianca, #4701051205.

 5.) Credit card, Master Charge, Leno A. LaBianca, #0960330196.

 6.) Credit card, Robinson's, Mrs. L. A. LaBianca, #52000761. 

7. Credit card, Mandell Shoe Store, Mrs. L.A. LaBianca, #5155725.

 8.) Credit card, Broadway, Leno A. LaBianca, #0560080361.

 9.) Credit card, Nay Co., Mrs. L. A. LaBianca, #35-4997-1681.

 10.) Credit card, Union Oil Co., Gateway Markets, #38536530.

 11.) Credit card, Webb's Department Store, Leno A. LaBianca, #35-4997-6805.

 On 8-28-69, at approximately 0915, Dolan, S.I.O., Latent Prints Section, informed Sergeant Barone that they had discovered four additional prints on miscellaneous papers that had been taken from the LaBianca home. They are as follows: 

 1.) Left palm print was found on the Hollywood National Bank deposit slip.

 2.) An envelope with Great Books of the Western World written on it, one fingerprint found.

 3.) An envelope with Insurance Advisors, with the initial "A DR. 90027, one fingerprint.

 4.) On the back of an unmarked envelope, one print. 

WITNESSES :

 STRUTHERS, Suzan, 4616 Greenwood Place, Apt. 5, Los Angeles, telephone 666-0328, business address, Great Scot Restaurant, 2980 Los Feliz Boulevard, telephone 664-0228 (tape Nos. 32216 and .32286)

 STRUTHERS, Frank Lynn, currently residing with father, Frank Struthers, Sr. , 112 North Normandie, Apt. 10, telephone DU3-2946, student lO th Grade, John Marshall High School (tapes No. 322l3r 32234 and 32224).

 DORGAN, Joseph, 46164 Greenwood Place, Apt. 5, Los Angeles, telephone 666-0328, unemployed (tape No.32233).

 Above subjects discovered the bodies and their statements are essentially the same as indicated in the Chronological Narrative. Tapes of complete recorded statements are stored at S.I.D.

17. DR 69-586 381 FIRST HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION PROGRESS REPORT                     LA BIANCA, Leno A.

                                                                                   LA BIANCA, Rosemary

 DE SANTIS, Peter J., 2835 Avenel Street, L.A., telephone 662-2574, business address, Gateway Markets, 2623 North Figueroa, telephone 225-2361 (tape No.32220). 

 SMALDINO, Peter, 621 West Wisteria Ave., Arcadia, telephone 445-0137, business address, Gaytime Liquor Chain, telephone 573-2121 (tape No. 32220).

 LUCARELLI, Roxie, 1460 Bellwood Road, San Marino, telephone 287-7167, or 287-1520, business address, Sergeant of Police, Highland Park Division, LAPD, telephone 624-5211, Ext.2562. 

SIVICK, Ruth, 5418 Willowcrest, North Hollywood, telephone 762-0249, business address, Boutique Carriage, 2625 North Figueroa, Telephone 222-7605.

 The above subjects have pertinent information regarding habits, back- ground and business dealings of Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca. Tapes of complete recorded statements are stored at S.I.D. Approximately 150 additional persons have been interviewed, including neighbors, friends, relatives and business associates. They essentially corroborate pertinent information previously mentioned in this report. Statements of all interviews are kept in Robbery-Homicide Division files.

COMMUNICATIONS :

 Copies of all communication tickets relative to this case are stored in Robbery-Homicide Division files. Copies of teletypes APB 1 Det of 8-18-69, and APB 16 Det of 8-19-69, describing missing property are stored in Robbery-homicide Division files. ADDENDUM Diagram to scale is forthcoming. Investigative aids such as M.O. runs, automated vehicle F.I. runs, traffic citation check, reports and calls regarding crime in the general area, financial background reports, are stored in Robbery- Homicide Division files.

 APPROVED: ________________________________________ 

G. L. BRODA , 10719

           ROBBERY-HOMICIDE DIVISION

Visit forums to discuss the 1969 murders

CrimeShots © is a digest compiled from a broad spectrum of opinion, news, and media resources.

 

CrimeShots © care about victims. Oftentimes, after a murder is committed, the killer is arrested and all the attention suddenly focuses solely on him/her. The victim is soon forgotten. Most of us know the names of many notorious killers, however, it is quite likely that we could name only a very few of their victims. To forget them is heartbreaking, especially for their families.

--May we ALL remember the victims ALWAYS--

and

--May they all rest in peace, FOREVER-


It's the action, not the fruit of the action,
that's important. You have to do the right thing.
It may not be in your power, may not be in your time,
that there'll be any fruit.
But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing.
You may never know what results come from your action.
But if you do nothing, there will be no result.
Gandhi

 

 

CrimeShots ©  2004