A masked killer shot to death a 60-year-old woman, a descendant of pioneer Agoura-area families, at a horse corral in Woodland Hills on Tuesday afternoon.
Judy Kanan was shot four or five times, apparently with a pistol, when she arrived at the corral for her regular morning visit to feed her horses, police said.
A neighbor heard shots and saw a person in a yellow raincoat, black ski mask and fishing hat flee in a late-model brown car that had been parked at the corral before Kanan arrived, Detective Stan Miller said.
Miller said robbery did not appear to be involved, but he would not speculate further on a motive for the shooting. The victim's purse and jewelry were found at the scene, police said.
Kanan was apparently shot as she stepped from a car, Miller said. The vehicle belongs to the victim's sister, Patricia Kanan, 62, who lived with her in Hollywood, he said.
Judy Kanan had come to the corral, in the 22900 block of Collins Street, every morning for the last 18 months to feed six horses she and a relative stabled there, Miller said.
The Kanan sisters are descendants of the Waring family, which settled in the Agoura area in the 1860s. Kanan Road, which connects the Ventura Freeway to Pacific Coast Highway, is named after their family, which sold Los Angeles County the land for the road.
Judy Kanan told an interviewer last year that she had been born in the same house on De Longpre Avenue in Hollywood where she lived at the time of her death. As a child, she lived on a ranch in Agoura but moved back to the Hollywood area to go to school.
The victim commuted daily with her sister to Agoura to work at the Kanan Village Shopping Center, which they developed 10 years ago on family-owned land just south of the Ventura Freeway at Kanan Road. There they operated "The Honey Bunny," a fast-food restaurant that specializes in roast rabbit.
The sisters were involved in several lawsuits involving various business deals on the family property near Kanan Road.
Relatives of the victim said she returned frequently on weekends to ride horses on land the family once owned, now the site of the County Animal Shelter at Agoura.
The victim's brother, Richard, 74, said she began to take care of his Arabian horses after he grew tired of them about 15 years ago. He called her "an aggressive, strong-willed woman who wasn't afraid of anyone."