A North Hollywood man, once known as "The Count" because he frequented Sunset Strip clubs in a black cape, was convicted last week of raping and murdering an 18-year-old West Los Angeles woman after tying her to a tree.
Edmund Arne Matthews, 33, was found guilty Feb. 14 by a San Fernando Superior Court jury of first-degree murder and rape. He was also found guilty of murder during a rape, a special circumstance that qualifies him for the death penalty during the sentencing phase of the trial, which began Wednesday. Matthews was convicted of killing Lisa Ann Mather, who was last seen alive Jan. 12, 1985, talking with an unidentified man outside the Whiskey A Go Go on the Sunset Strip. Her bones were discovered nearly two years later by a hiker in the hills of Sherman Oaks, just west of Coldwater Canyon Avenue.
Police questioned Matthews, who is serving a 10-year term for raping a North Hollywood woman after picking her up on the strip and taking her to the same site.
After his arrest, Matthews maintained that Mather had voluntarily gone with him to the remote site to have sex and that she allowed him to tie a rope around her neck. She strangled when she slipped off the muddy hillside with the rope around her neck, he said.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Rosalie Morton said Matthews' "fantasy was to keep someone there for months as a sex slave."