Suspect in Pasadena double-killing was victim’s cousin, police say

The man accused of stabbing a Pasadena culinary school instructor and his wife to death in their apartment early Monday has been identified by police as Jacob Mallory Bersson, 29, a cousin of the slain husband.

Bersson was found bloodied about a block away from where he allegedly fatally stabbed 50-year-old Lawrence Bressler and his wife, Denise Bressler, 64, at their apartment in the city’s historic Playhouse District.

Lawrence Bressler was an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu and the director of operations at Chefs Center, a restaurant incubator that helps launch new eateries and provides kitchen space for up and coming chefs. Police also confirmed the identity of his wife Tuesday morning.

Police said Lawrence Bressler implicated Bersson in the crime in a frantic 911 call. Still, Bersson has not given a motive for the attack nor admitted to being involved, police said.


He was booked Tuesday morning into Los Angeles County jail on suspicion of two counts of murder and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

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.

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

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. David Katzberg, a co-worker at Chefs Center, 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.

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