Police arrested a suspect Monday in the deaths of two neighbors who were found slain in their homes after an airline ticket agent reported hearing a commotion while one of the victims booked a flight.
Keven Lee Graff, 27, was arrested near the gates of Paramount Studios, about 2 miles from the victims’ homes. He was believed to have stolen a Mercedes-Benz belonging to one of the men.
Morley Hal Engleson, 67, a retired physician, was arranging a flight Sunday when an agent for Southwest Airlines overheard a disturbance before the phone went dead, police said.
Officers who arrived in the Hollywood neighborhood found Engleson dead in his house. In the rear of the residence, they also found the head of Robert Lees, a 91-year-old screenwriter who lived in a home behind Engleson’s, where the rest of his body was discovered.
Police said the killings appeared to be related.
“This is one of the most horrendous crime scenes that I have seen during my 33 years as a police officer in this city. Very bloody,” Detective Brian Tyndall said.
Graff was believed to have stolen Engleson’s black Mercedes-Benz, which was recovered nearby. Some items taken from Lees’ house were found in Engleson’s home, authorities said.
Lees also wrote under the name J.E. Selby, according to the Writers Guild of America, and had several film and television credits, including episodes of “Rawhide” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”
Lees, who was blacklisted during the Communist scare of the 1950s, spoke in April 2002 at an event held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to cap several months of exhibits about the blacklist, said John Pavlick, an academy spokesman.