A year after Joseph Gatto slaying, LAPD again asks for public’s help

A year after Joseph Gatto, a local artist and the father of a state assemblyman, was killed inside his Silver Lake home, the 78-year-old’s family and LAPD officials repeated their pleas for the public’s help in solving the case.

Gatto, a retired teacher and jewelry maker who was well-known in his community, was found inside his Bright Lane home on the night of Nov. 13, 2013. He was slumped over a desk with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.




A previous version of this post gave the date of Gatto’s death as Nov. 13, 2012. It was Nov. 13, 2013. 


His death rattled the quiet Silver Lake neighborhood he had long called home, marking the neighborhood’s first homicide in more than a year.

On Wednesday, Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese told reporters that detectives had recovered physical evidence connected with the unsolved case, but declined to say what the evidence was. He said investigators had not identified any suspects but believed whoever was responsible for the killing had fled the Los Angeles area.


He urged anyone with information, no matter how small, to contact police at (213) 486-6890 or anonymously at (800) 222-TIPS. The city has also offered a $50,000 reward for information in Gatto’s death.

“When we get the right tip, we’re going to put it together and somebody’s going to go to jail,” Albanese said. “But we need the public to help us with that.”

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), who was joined by his two sisters, said his father’s death “rocked my family.”

“This is one of the rare times where the public’s help in solving a murder is crucial. In fact, it might be the only thing that can solve this case at this point,” he said. “Please, please come forward. Help my family.”

In the weeks after the slaying, Los Angeles Police Department investigators issued an alert asking for information about custom-made jewelry that may have been taken from Gatto’s home. The elder Gatto was known for his unique pieces that were each engraved with “J A Gatto” and a circular design.

On Wednesday, Albanese declined to say whether detectives had recovered anything from Gatto’s home, citing the ongoing investigation.

Also on Wednesday, part of the 10 Freeway was dedicated in Joseph Gatto’s name. The dedication ceremony was held in front of a mural of Gatto at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, which he helped found.

Follow @katemather and @LAcrimes for more Los Angeles crime news.


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