Reward offered in killing of artist on Blue Line platform

$10K reward offered in fatal beating of artist at Blue Line station

Authorities announced a $10,000 reward Tuesday for information in the fatal beating of a 65-year-old artist on a crowded Blue Line train platform.

John Wayne Whitmore was standing on the platform in the 1000 block of Willowbrook Avenue about 1 p.m. on June 13 when two women approached him, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

A brief argument started, then the women began beating Whitmore, who was on his way home from running errands, according to the department.  

The two women blended into the crowd at the station, according to surveillance footage released Tuesday. Whitmore died a week later.

Whitmore was a painter and sculptor who donated money to help other art students attend college, said Corey Aldridge, Whitmore’s brother-in-law.

Art was Whitmore’s life, Aldridge said, and became a way for the introverted man to express himself.

Aldridge, who lived next door to Whitmore, said he began worrying about Whitmore when he didn’t come home that night. Aldridge filed a missing persons report and eventually found Whitmore at St. Francis Hospital three days later.

“I got to say goodbye and I got to pray with him before he passed,” Aldridge said.

Aldridge said he and Whitmore would drink coffee together each morning and talk about life, politics and Whitmore’s frontyard, where he had planted various flowers and plants.

“He had no enemies,” Aldridge said.

Detectives are seeking more witnesses and information about the killing, and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ office has approved a $10,000 reward leading to the conviction of the people responsible.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

For more homicide news follow @nicolesantacruz

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