Lead Story West Edition

Triple homicide shocks Leimert Park

From Staff and Wire Reports

LEIMERT PARK — Neighbors expressed shock and sadness May 23, the day after two people were shot and killed and a third person was bludgeoned to death in a Leimert Park house.

A woman who may have been a caretaker of a man found dead with his parents inside the house was being questioned by police while people who lived in the neighborhood talked in hushed tones about the victims.

“Nothing like this has ever really happened in the neighborhood as long as I’ve been here,” said Paige Morikawa, who has lived in the neighborhood her whole life. “I was shocked. I was surprised and saddened because I had just seen Phillip [White] on Monday.”

“I’ve known him for over 40 years, but not well, but [he] was very neighborly, very kind. We’d always say hello and talk a little bit. … I didn’t know him personally, but he was a very kind man.”

White, his mother, Orsie Carter, 77, and her husband, William Carter, 82, were found around 8:20 p.m. Mau 22 inside the home in the 3900 block of South Bronson Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Police said the bodies were found by a relative who went to check on the man who lived at the home, identified as Phillip White, 62.

“Without being too vivid, it’s a case where you have three bodies piled on each other in some way,” LAPD Capt. Peter Whittingham said. “It’s just a sad way to spend your last days or your last breath.”

According to police, all three victims suffered blunt force trauma to the head, while White and his mother had also been shot.

Police said they wanted to talk to a woman named Nancy Amelia Jackson, 55, who may have been a caretaker for White, who was described as being severely disabled. Reports from the scene indicated that Jackson may have been romantically linked to White and had been living in the home.

Police only referred to her as a person of interest or possibly a material witness, not a suspect. Whittingham even suggested that investigators feared she might be in danger.

Officer Tony Im of the LAPD’s Media Relations Section said Jackson was being questioned by investigators, but no details were immediately available about when or where she was found.

According to police, a neighbor called one of White’s relatives — possibly his son — after noticing that Orsie Carter’s car had been parked at the home for an unusually long time. When the relative came to the home, he spotted the bodies when he looked in a bathroom window.

White’s niece, Nashun Carter, told the Los Angeles Times that White’s parents lived in Baldwin Hills, and White was trying to evict a woman who lived with him.

“His father and his mother came to try to help him … get the lady out of the house, and I guess it went bad from there,” Carter told The Times.

Friends told the paper White was a retired probation officer and said he had let a friend move in with him because she was down on her luck, but then she refused to leave. Friend Ralph Tilley told The Times that White’s mother called him May 19 to ask about the woman, but she called again on May 21 and told him the woman had agreed to move out of the home.

“Everyone said [Phillip] was a nice man and that he was tired of that girl [Jackson],” said Ingrid Goosby, who had lived around the corner from White for 13 years. “It’s really sad. … Nothing like this has ever happened around here.”

Maxwell Kim, who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years, said he thought he heard gunshots May 22.

“I would see [White] out there [in front of his house], but I didn’t know him,” Kim said. “I heard he lived here for a long time. … All the neighbors say they always saw him out there standing.”

A woman named Dorothy (she wouldn’t give her last name), who has lived in the neighborhood for 36 years, said her son had gone to school with White.

“I was there last night when all of this was taking place,” she said. “We were just devastated. Mr. White was a very nice man. I knew his wife, she passed away a few years ago from cancer.

“I was surprised when I saw a woman [believed to be Jackson] coming out of his house a couple of days ago. Before he got sick, he was always walking in the neighborhood as a neighborhood watch. He’d always come to Tak’s [Coffee Shop] every morning for breakfast.

“It’s just devastating what happened. We just can’t believe it. … We’re just saddened and shocked.”

Dorany Pineda contributed to this story.