It was then that she heard the first reports of the death of Barbara Jean Finch. She hung up and turned to Patti. Higher means more crime, U.S. average is 274.0. There is always a reason or explanation to why we act the way we do. Tarango was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:25 p.m., according to coroner's records. One lieutenant said, “When I arrived, to describe it as apocalyptic would be accurate.”. For example, I know that victims are not separated from the crime scene at such an early stage, as I was, and are given time to adjust. West Covina Police officers began searching the area that evening after family members received an anonymous call saying Millan had been killed, according to coroner's records. Police believe he didn’t initially plan to kill himself, as he left no note. It is also a story of naive courage and the faith of uncomplicated innocence. in West Covina, Chronicle of the Finch-Tregoff Case She had just checked on the children she watched. They’re burning down someone’s house.”. As I reached the library entrance the damp circles on the sidewalk had joined into one long, clear, shimmering film, pushing to the walkway’s edges. We’d love your help. The only Ortega family members police could locate was Leticia, who had managed to escape the fire with her husband and 8-year-old daughter and make it to a neighbor’s house. story. City-data.com does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information on this site. . The long heel of her right shoe came off. Police also found another bullet hole in the ceiling, and they believed there might have been a second shooter at the scene. The two went to the sliding door that led across a patio to the garage. Her right hand was at the side of her head. “Qualifications for membership: the prospective member of this organization must possess an uncanny ability to bother people.” Soon, she would be in the desert. The reel whirled to Monday, July 20, 1959. His accomplice was his 18 year old paramour, Carole Tregoff. Police believed Bruce had been planning on escaping to Mexico after his killing spree. Click here for a printable pdf file of Pages 1-25. Homicide for the Holidays airs Saturdays at 6/5c on Oxygen. This saddened the young girl. The pass was the traditional eastern “end” of the Los Angeles basin. Mostly, thanks to the people of West Covina for sharing their story.

With a “Do It Yourself Murder Kit,” they stalked out the house until Barbara returned from an evening at the local tennis club. WEST COVINA, CALIFORNIA She turned to look outside, listening to the shot reverberate through the dark hills surrounding the house, each echo rumbled from farther and farther away. In a way, I almost knew that someday someone was going to put all the material together and write a documentary of the Finch-Tregoff murder trials. “What happened?” Patti was crying. TABLE OF CONTENTS, Prologue: The Cardinal…………………………………………………………………………………..2, PART I The Death of Barbara Jean Finch, the Preliminary Hearings and Grand Jury Indictments…………………………………………………………………………………………………..5, One: The Death of Barbara Jean Finch………………..……………………………………..5, Two: The Library………………..………………..………………..………………………………12, Three: Investigation Begins, Freeway Pursuit, and Prior Fame…………………………..14, Four: Finch Arrest in Las Vegas and Statement of Carole Tregoff Pappa……………… 41, Five: Booking for Murder, Second Statement of Carole Tregoff Pappa, and Visit to the Crime Scene…………………………………………………………………………………….61, Six: Arraignment and Preliminary Hearing of R. Bernard Finch, Arrest of Carole Tregoff Pappa……………………………………………………………………………………………68, Seven: Carole Tregoff Pappa Booked for Murder Pappa Preliminary Hearing..……….103, Eight: Arraignment in Superior Court, Securing of Assets…..……………………………123, Nine: Information from Las Vegas and Minnesota, Bail for Carole Tregoff Pappa.……128, Ten: Grand Jury Indictments, Motions to Separate and Move Trial.……………………139, PART I1 The First Trial……………….……………………………..………………………………145, One: Jury Selection, Pretrial Motions……………….…….……………………………….145, Two: Opening Remarks of the Prosecution…………….…………………………………168, Three: Court Visit to Larkhill Drive……………….…………………………………………179, Four : Testimony of Marie Anne Lidholm……………….…………………………………….184, Five: Testimony of Patti Daugherty and other witnesses…………………………………198, Six: Testimony of Donald Williams, James Patrick Cody, and others…………………..225, Seven: Exhibit 60, Second Testimony of Marie Anne Lidholm…………………………..258, Eight: Opening Remarks in Defense of R. Bernard Finch………………………………290, Nine: Testimony of R. Bernard Finch……….…………………………………………………..296, Ten: Witnesses for the Defense of Carole Tregoff Pappa……………………………………392, Eleven: Testimony of Carole Tregoff Pappa……….…………………………………………396, Twelve: Final Witnesses and Summation of Clifford Crail…………………………………..428, Thirteen: Summation of Defense Counsel for Carole Tregoff Pappa……….………….450, Fourteen: Summation of Grant B. Cooper.………………………………………………………461, Fifteen: Summation of Fred Whichello.……………………………………………………………480, Sixteen: Jury Deliberations………….……….……………………………………………………..499, PART III Subsequent Trials………….……….……………………………………………………………….508, One: The Second Trail……….……….………………………………………………………………508, Two: The Thrid Trail………….……….………………………………………………………………519, PART IV………….……….…………………………………………………………………………………………532, One: Chino, California……………………………………………………………………………………532, Two: Long Beach, California…………………………………………………………………………….535, Three: “Carl’s Junior” and Other Places………………………………………………………………539. Lillian Biermann Wehmeyer, Ph.D. MURDER in WEST COVINA My only interest in this case comes from the stories my parents told me when I was younger, about our neighbors...the Pappa's. After putting out an APB on the car, police started sifting through the Ortegas’ scorched home. And the bulletins said police were looking for the man she loved, Dr. R. Bernard Finch. I was about to look into the past, to a time when a tidal wave of world attention washed onto West Covina.

Officers found Millan's body in a little camp, where it appeared he had been dead for some time, said Lt. Travis Tibbetts. Police didn’t think their deaths were purely coincidence, and they believed their suspect was still at large.

But in 1959 West Covina was a farming community of less than eight thousand people. As it turned out, this rain signalled an end to California’s longest drought in recent memory. Bruce’s getaway car was also parked about 500 feet from the house of Scott Nord, Sylvia’s divorce attorney. Homicide for the Holidays Preview 203: Christmas Mourning. The ratio of all residents to sex offenders in Covina is 604 to 1. It was the man she worked for, the physician. “You go back to the house and wait for me there.” Patti ran back and locked the patio door behind her; she stood watching.

Dr. R. Bernard Finch had murdered his wife, Barbara Jean. Edited by Nita Kennedy had filled in “Kissable.” And next to “Stupendous” was just one name, Bernie Finch. 2648 E. Workman.

“Best high school tennis player in the valley” many had said. Inside the vehicle, police found a Santa suit and thousands of rounds of ammunition. There would be few cars and no radio stations for the next four hours. She staggered to the driver’s door of the convertible, passing her dazed mistress, who still lay on the garage floor. His arms were raised out to the sides for balance as he fought the Boston ivy grabbing at his shoes. The doctor had moved out three weeks earlier after his wife announced she was filing for divorce. Part 1, The Death of Barbara Jean Finch, She knew how the children would suffer.

Blood was coming from wounds on her cheek and temple. Anyone who has lived here long has something to say about the Finch murder, and usually knew someone close to it. She spoke slowly, telling what had happened. Tomorrow the air would be clear enough to see the San Gabriel Mountains to the north and even the more distant buildings of Pasadena, twenty miles to the west. He opened the door and pushed her down onto the front seat. This portrayal of facts is for strictly literary purposes and is not intended to defame, libel, or otherwise injure any person’s character. From the Joplin Independent Book Review: A Murder in West Covina subtitled Chronicle of the Finch-Tregoff Casebills itself as “a based on fact dramatization.”It is written by James L. Jones, M.D. WEST COVINA, Calif. (KABC) -- One person died after two were shot at a house party in West Covina Friday night, police said. “We must go outside and look for your Mama.” They walked onto the home’s asphalt driveway, looking into the night. The radio was playing. In 1959 one of the most publicized crimes of the century took place in this then-rural community. Her glasses clattered onto the concrete floor. In June 2008, Bruce Pardo was ordered to pay $1,785 a month in spousal support.

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