Jury Calls for Life Term in 1985 Rape, Murder

A jury recommended a life prison sentence without parole Friday for a North Hollywood man convicted of raping and murdering a woman who disappeared from the Sunset Strip.

The San Fernando Superior Court jurors could have recommended the death penalty for Edmund Arne Matthews, 33, who they found guilty last month of first-degree murder and rape.

Judge Ronald S. Coen scheduled formal sentencing for Matthews on April 19.

Matthews, who was once known on the Sunset Strip as “The Count” because he frequented nightclubs wearing a black cape, was convicted of killing Lisa Ann Mather. She was last seen alive Jan. 12, 1985, outside the Whisky A Go Go nightclub.

Nearly two years later, Mather’s bones were discovered by a hiker near Coldwater Canyon Avenue in the hills of Sherman Oaks.


Matthews became a suspect in the case because he had been convicted of raping a North Hollywood woman after picking her up on the Sunset Strip and taking her to the same area where Mather’s body was found. He is serving a 10-year sentence for rape in that case.

After being accused of the slaying, Matthews maintained that Mather had voluntarily gone with him to the remote site and that she allowed him to tie a rope around her neck. He claimed she was strangled when she slipped off the muddy hillside with the rope around her neck.