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Pasadena culinary instructor, wife stabbed to death

A relative is suspected in the killing of Lawrence Bressler and his wife, but he has not been booked

A respected instructor at a Pasadena culinary school and his wife were fatally stabbed early Monday inside their apartment in the city's historic Playhouse District.

A short time later, police said, they came in contact with a bloodied man who authorities said they believe is responsible for killing Lawrence Bressler and his wife.

Bressler, 50, was an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu and the director of operations at Chefs Center, a restaurant incubator that helped launch new eateries and provided kitchen space for upcoming chefs. His wife was not identified by police, but friends said her name was Denise Bressler.

The stabbings were reported about 6:20 a.m. in the 200 block of North Madison Avenue, said Lt. Tracy Ibarra, spokeswoman for the Pasadena Police Department. Officers and paramedics who arrived at the scene found Bressler and his wife in critical condition, suffering from stab wounds.

Both died later at a local hospital, Ibarra said.

The man alleged to have killed the couple is believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s. Authorities said they found him almost 500 feet from the apartment near East Walnut Street and North Madison Avenue, bloodied and with a cut to his left arm.

He has not been booked because he is being treated at the hospital for what authorities said are "additional medical concerns." He was not identified.

But David Katzberg, a co-worker at Chefs Center, identified the man as one of Bressler's relatives.

Bressler called 911 moments after being stabbed, Ibarra said, and was able to speak with detectives briefly before being rushed to the hospital.

"We don't know why the suspect would've acted the way he did," Ibarra said. "There was some information we obtained from Mr. Bressler before he passed away, but that has yet to be worked out by detectives."

Detectives also found a knife at the apartment that they suspect was used in the attacks, authorities said.

Bressler, known in Pasadena's culinary circle as Larry, was mourned Monday by those who knew him as a chef and instructor. Katzberg said Bressler helped a number of companies get off the ground.

"Larry was a wonderful person and great friend who will be truly missed by the countless people he touched as a chef, teacher and music lover extraordinaire," Katzberg said.

adolfo.flores@latimes.com

joseph.serna@latimes.com

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