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Upholsterer Slain in Shop; Area's 3rd Recent Killing

October 18, 1994

VAN NUYS — The body of a man who had been shot to death was found Sunday evening by the owner of a small upholstery shop in Van Nuys, police said, the third homicide in that community in less than two weeks.

A body identified as that of Thomas Lamb, 33, was found just after 5 p.m. at the Upholstery Room where he worked in the 16400 block of Vanowen Street, police said. He had been shot in the upper chest, said Detective Stephen Fisk of the Los Angeles Police Department.

No motive for the crime was known, Fisk said.

Neighbors of the business said they were shocked that Lamb, whom they described as a quiet man who occasionally bought cigarettes and Gatorade at the neighboring Alta Dena Dairy or a hamburger at Lumber Jack, was brutally killed.

"This business has been here 45 years and it is a good area," said Jennie Kim, owner of the Lumber Jack hamburger stand, which shares the lot with the upholstery business and dairy. "Nothing like this has ever happened before."

Last week, two elderly women were killed in separate attacks in Van Nuys, police said. Aliza Levi, 72, was killed when she startled a burglar in her home on Norwich Avenue Tuesday, Fisk said. A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of her killer.

Two days before, Berneda McMackin, 77, was set afire in her home after she was fatally beaten and stabbed. Police said they do not believe the slayings are connected.

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