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Suicide Note Tells Why Man Killed Daughter

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Frazier Park man who shot his 19-year-old daughter to death and then committed suicide was angry at his ex-wife for marrying another man and at his daughter for having a gay friend, according to a suicide note Los Angeles police summarized Tuesday.

James Andrade, 63, drove to his ex-wife’s Sherman Oaks home in a rental car Monday night and waited inside the house until his daughter, Diana Andrade returned home.

“It would appear that the stepfather and the mother were doing everything they could do to encourage a continuing relationship between the daughter and her father,” said Det. Stephen Fisk, of LAPD’s Van Nuys homicide unit.

When Diana Andrade came home, she and her father sat down on a living room couch and began talking, Fisk said. Her stepfather was watching television in the same room, with his back turned to them. Her mother was in her bedroom.

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“He was sitting on the couch talking with his daughter and then, for no apparent reason--there was no argument, no harsh words--he shot her and then turned the gun on himself,” Fisk said. Andrade shot his daughter twice in the upper body and then himself in the head with a semiautomatic handgun, police said.

“It happened very fast,” and by the time the stepfather or mother could react, “it was done,” Fisk said.

Investigators searched Andrade’s compact car and found a shotgun and an empty vodka bottle. Coroner’s officials who inspected the body found a second handgun and a suicide note in his pants pocket, Fisk said.

“The note indicated that he was trying to get even with the fact that the marriage was broken up--he needed someone to blame that on,” Fisk said. “And his daughter had befriended a gay man--it was just too much for him.”

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Diana Andrade’s parents split up 10 years ago and she had been living with her mother and stepfather in the 5400 block of Norwich Avenue for about three years, according to neighbors and police. Neighbors said they had never heard any arguments at the house, which sits on a tree-lined street with tidy lawns and spacious homes, and often they saw Diana Andrade playing basketball in the driveway.

“She was an exquisite young lady,” said a next-door neighbor who declined to identify herself.

Police said she had been attending beautician school.

“She was a nice quiet young girl with high aspirations,” said Joseph Tishkoff, a family acquaintance who lives across the street. Tishkoff said he had never seen Andrade at the house before or noticed any tension at the home.

“We are a typical L.A. neighborhood,” Tishkoff said. “Everyone just waves and smiles when we get our newspapers, everyone’s so well hidden behind their closed doors.”

Fisk said the mother and stepfather are lucky they were not killed, but it appears their slaying was never part of James Andrade’s plan.

“Maybe he did this so they could live with the agony for the rest of their lives.”


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