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Grandson Held in the Slaying of Palisades Recluse : Crime: Police thought at first that 73-year-old Angelica Emma Oser was a hit-and-run victim.

May 10, 1990|JOSH MEYER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

After finding the battered corpse of an elderly woman at a Sepulveda Pass construction site April 20, police considered the case an ordinary hit-and-run.

But now they believe the woman's death was the result of what they describe as one of the more "bizarre" murder cases to hit the upscale Pacific Palisades in some time.

No one could identify the elderly "Jane Doe," dressed in a red top, blue pants and straw sandals. But sometime around May 2, the police determined, after getting a missing persons report, that she was a widow who had lived alone in a ramshackle Palisades home infested with rats and piled to the ceiling with old newspapers.

The family that filed the report found itself in the midst of a double tragedy. Police have charged a family member, Andy Zacarius Geon, with the murder of his reclusive and eccentric grandmother.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday May 13, 1990 Home Edition Westside Part J Page 2 Column 1 Zones Desk 2 inches; 50 words Type of Material: Correction
Slaying of woman--In Thursday's Westside edition, a word was inadvertently dropped from a story about the death of an elderly woman. The sentence should have read: Geon, 23, allegedly told police the slaying was provoked when his grandmother, 73-year-old Angelica Emma Oser, attacked him and made racial and other remarks about his girlfriend, who is black.

Geon, 23, allegedly told police the slaying was provoked when his grandmother, 73-year-old Angelica Emma Oser, attacked and made racial and other remarks about his girlfriend, who is black.

"A horrible thing has happened," Geon's mother said in an interview. "She is my mother. She raised me. And he is my son. I raised him."

The elderly woman had been stabbed repeatedly with a knife and battered with a portable copier, and her body was run over twice by a car while being dumped at the work site at 1200 Getty Center Drive near Sepulveda.

On Monday, Geon pleaded innocent to the charge of murder. But Detective John Rockwood, of the Los Angeles Police Department's West Los Angeles bureau, said Geon had made "incriminating statements" regarding the case. Geon is being held without bail pending a May 17 court appearance.

"We are convinced he is the one" who murdered Oser, Rockwood said.

"It's kind of bizarre, really," said Rockwood. "We thought this was a traffic accident initially."

By all accounts, Oser was a recluse with a history of psychiatric problems. Geon's mother, who asked that her name not be used, said her family had drifted apart from the old woman, who the missing persons report described as a German immigrant, extremely psychotic and a light drinker in poor mental condition.

"She was just a crazy little old lady. She had her idiosyncrasies," said Geon's mother, who said Oser was under psychiatric care for "many, many years."

According to interviews with family members and his girlfriend, Geon was a doting grandson who faithfully visited Oser at her Bestor Boulevard home each week, despite the decrepit condition of her house and her eccentricities.

"She was odd, I guess," Geon's 14-year-old brother Steve said of his grandmother. "She never cleaned up the house, and there were rats and newspapers all over the place."

"And she thought that her parents were secret agents for the German police," said the youth. "She was an outright bigot."

Still the youth said of his grandmother, "She didn't seem like the type" that would attack her grandson with a knife.

In statements to police, Geon said he visited his grandmother at her home on April 19 and took her shopping and to the bank, where she withdrew $2,300, and gave $2,000 of it to Geon to buy a car. When Oser began pressing him for details, Geon told his grandmother the money was actually needed to pay for an abortion for his girlfriend, according to the police report.

Geon told police that his grandmother became enraged and came at him with a knife. Geon, 6 feet, 2 inches and 185 pounds, punched the woman in the face, wrestled the knife from her and stabbed her in the neck, a police report said.

"He said he thought it would be like on television and she would die right away," said the report, "but she didn't so he stabbed her several times until the knife broke."

Geon then "picked up a copier machine she had there and began hitting her in the head with it until she was dead," the report said.

Geon stuffed the body in the trunk of the woman's Volvo and dumped the corpse at the work site, and then drove the car to a house he shares with his girlfriend, the report said. He did not tell his girlfriend or his family what had happened, and he began using his grandmother's checkbook because he was "still mad at his grandmother for what she said," according to the report.

Police questioned Geon after his mother reported Oser missing May 2. They became suspicious after finding blood inside the trunk of the Volvo and what appeared to be "fresh traffic accident damage," the police report said.

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