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Shooting Victims Were Friends, Motorcycle Buffs

September 04, 2002|RICHARD FAUSSET | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two men whose bodies were found in a burning sport utility vehicle in Studio City were good-natured buddies who bonded over their passion for racing motorcycles, friends and colleagues said Tuesday.

The bodies of Christopher Monson, 31, of Culver City and Michael Tardio, 35, of Los Angeles were discovered Monday morning in the 11600 block of Woodbridge Street by firefighters responding to a call. The men, each of them shot in the torso, were in a black Mercedes that one of them had rented in West Hollywood on Saturday, authorities said. Police believe both men were killed in the car while it was on Woodbridge Street, said LAPD police spokesman Jason Lee.

Investigators also believe the fire was set by the assailant or assailants in an attempt to cover up the shootings, Lee said.

Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's North Hollywood Division had not arrested any suspects Tuesday, Lee said.

Friends and relatives said they had no idea why anyone would shoot either man.

"He did like to live life on the edge--he raced motorcycles, you know," said David Judaken, owner of the Garden of Eden nightclub, where Tardio worked as a bouncer. "And he always took it as far as he could go. But I don't know what he could have been involved in. He was a very stand-up guy."

Like Tardio, Monson often raced motorcycles at the Willow Springs Motorcycle Club in Rosamond, said his friend, David Osokow.

Monson's father, also named Chris Monson, said his son ran several family-owned self-storage facilities in Arizona and California.

"He loved life," said Monson, who arrived in Los Angeles on Tuesday from his home in Arizona. "He was a great family member and a great friend."

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