Postscript: When a search for an old friend leads to The Homicide Report

LA Times Homide Report
Posted May 30, 2014, 7:54 p.m.

Jeff Little was searching for an ex-girlfriend.

But instead of finding her Facebook page, he came across her entry on the Homicide Report.

He couldn’t believe what he was reading: Louise Savior, 31, had been beaten to death in a van in Historic South-Central L.A. in August 2011.

He called me on a Wednesday in March, and his voice shook as he asked me if the suspect was still in custody. He also wanted to know how he could get in touch with Savior’s sister, who had left a comment on the Homicide Report. I wrote an email to her with Jeff’s contact information while we were on the phone.

But the question lingered for Jeff: Where did the case stand?

I’ve been writing for the Homicide Report for about a year and have, sadly, seen many cases of people entering a name into Google and finding a loved one among the dead. We receive several requests a week from readers wanting to know more information about a person who was killed. A cousin, a friend from school, a mother. Sometimes, families don’t ever speak of the details of a homicide, and children grow up never knowing the circumstances.

In all too many cases — our database goes back to 2007 — inquiries like those don’t go anywhere. Sometimes detectives don’t respond to requests for information. Other times, the investigator has transferred to another department or retired, or the file is stored away somewhere, the case cold.

Jeff and I talked for about 45 minutes that Wednesday in March, and afterward, I e-mailed Kelle Baitx, a detective in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Newton Division, where Louise was killed.

I told Baitx I was looking for the name of the person who was arrested in the case and for any updates. The next morning, Baitx sent me the suspect’s name: Johnnie Kemp.

Read more here:

Posted by on May 31 2014. Filed under Policing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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