Advertisement

Ex-Officer, ‘Homicide Kit’ Linked in Plot to Kill Dancer

A former police officer, who last month was convicted in the contract murder of a Northridge businessman, had planned to use a “homicide kit” to kill an exotic dancer, prosecutors said.

Testimony about the kit came Tuesday during the penalty phase of Richard Herman Ford’s trial for participating in the killing of businessman Thomas Weed in 1983 in exchange for $20,000 from Weed’s ex-wife.

Ford, 48, and Robert Anthony Von Villas, 44, also a former officer, were convicted by separate Van Nuys juries of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in Weed’s death.

Los Angeles Police Sgt. Ray Lombardo testified Tuesday that he found the kit--a briefcase containing ski masks, daggers, ropes, sedatives and lubricating jelly--in a van with Ford just before he was arrested July 7, 1983, for the attempted murder of dancer Joan Loguercio of Granada Hills.

Advertisement

Deputy Dist. Atty. Robert P. O’Neill on Monday told jurors that Ford planned to drug Loguercio, tie her up, rape and sodomize her. He then planned to burn her with cigarettes and mutilate her body to make it look like an attack by a “sex fiend,” O’Neill said.

The killing, which was never carried out, was part of a plot by Ford and Von Villas to kill Loguercio to collect a $100,000 insurance policy for which Von Villas was the beneficiary, O’Neill told jurors.

The two former officers were convicted earlier this year and sentenced to 35 years in prison for attempting to kill Loguercio, who later died of cancer, and for robbing a Northridge jewelry store.

They face death or life in prison without possibility of parole in Weed’s death.

Advertisement


Advertisement