The bodies of Vincent Zazzara, 64, and his wife Maxine, 44, were found by a business acquaintance in their ranch-style Whittier home on the morning of March 29. Zazzara, who was shot in the head, was found lying on the living room couch with a bullet in his head. His wife was found in a bedroom. She had been stabbed to death. The assailant apparently entered through an open door sometime between March 27 and 29.
The Zazzaras had lived in the neighborhood, which abuts the 605 Freeway, for eight years. A retired investment counselor, he was owner of Circus Foods, a Whittier pizza parlor only blocks from his home. He had two daughters, three sons and four grandchildren. Mrs. Zazzara, a Downey attorney, had one daughter. She belonged to several civic organizations and was a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Downey, where she sang in the choir.
"They were very friendly, outgoing people," one neighbor said.
"He was always planting trees. After he moved in, he must have planted 75 of them around his house. He used to laugh about it with me and say he did it 'cause he liked to dig the holes," a friend said.