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VALLEY NEWSWATCH / A SPECIAL REPORT: LOVE IN THE VALLEY

February 13, 1995|David Wharton

BAD LOVE: Last Valentine's Day, a Reseda man named Charles Lovinggood died while fighting over a woman. Police doubt that crimes of passion are any more or less prevalent on this particular holiday. But more than a few Valley romances have ended violently. . . .

LOST LOVE: In 1941, actress Peggy Shannon died in her Studio City home, an empty glass beside her. Once touted as Hollywood's new glamour girl, she had a brief career followed by hard times. . . . Shortly after her death, her husband sat at the same table and shot himself. "I am very much in love with my wife," his note read. "So in reverence to her, you will find me in the same spot."

TABLOID LOVE: A case that came to a grisly conclusion in North Hollywood was one for the National Enquirer. In 1982, Vicki Morgan, above, filed an $11-million palimony suit against Alfred Bloomingdale, a Ronald Reagan confidante. Claiming to have been the retail heir's mistress, she said she helped him overcome a "Marquis de Sade" complex. Before the suit reached trial, Bloomingdale died and Morgan was beaten to death in her condominium by a roommate, Marvin Pancoast, who said he killed her because she treated him like a "slave boy."

DOUBLE LOVE: David Russell Miller, former Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce president, was a man of multiple talents and, it turned out, multiple wives. Dorothy lived in the Valley, Jayne in Florida. When Jayne found out, he shot her. Miller was convicted of murder in 1993. Said Dorothy: "David did a lot of things nobody can explain."

PRISONER OF LOVE: Being convicted of criminal activity does not always spell the end of a relationship. Van Nuys Municipal Judge Michael S. Luros occasionally performs marriages for people he is sending to jail. "Having someone out there motivates them to do their time without getting in trouble," he said. "I tell them, 'I'm giving you two years followed by life. And there are no appeals from that sentence.' "

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