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Life and Arts

La Cañada History: Local couple kidnapped, murdered in February 2000 case that went cold fast

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Joni and Skip Tillman were abducted from their La Cañada home on Feb. 6, 2000 in a mysterious murder case that went cold shortly after their bodies were discovered in Yucaipa.
(File Art)

Ten Years Ago

Five people, including two from La Cañada Flintridge, were ordered to stand trial on charges they tortured, beat and kidnapped two loan modification agents over a financial dispute. LCF resident Daniel Weston, who eventually agreed to a plea deal, was sentenced in 2014 to six years in state prison while his partner, Mary Ann Parmelee, pleaded no contest and was ordered to five years of formal probation.

Twenty Years Ago

Investigators with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department were tracking down leads after the bodies of La Cañada residents Joni and Skip Tillman were found in 3-foot-to 4-foot-deep graves in the Yucaipa area. It appeared the couple had been kidnapped from their Bramblewood Road home, along with their pet dog, who was also found dead. The graves the Tillmans had been buried in had apparently been dug before they were killed, in preparation for the crime. The Tillmans were said to have been involved in three different civil disputes at the time of their murders. Detectives said the crime was not amateurish and could even have been a contract killing, but the case went cold quickly.

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Thirty Years Ago

La Cañada Elementary School sixth-grade student Noel Ryan, then 12, won in his age group the 1990 Pepsi-West-L.A. County Parks and Recreation Basketball Competition. He defeated a 12-year-old Alhambra boy by 16 points during the finals, held at halftime during an L.A. Clippers game.

Forty Years Ago

Gale force winds of up to 75 mph caused power outages and left a path of fallen trees and downed signs in La Cañada. Descanso Gardens reported losing three large oak trees in its main lawn area and numerous trees from other sections of the property during the windstorm.

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Fifty Years Ago

Calling rock music “propaganda with a beat,” the Foothill TACT Committee, an adjunct of the John Birch Society, sponsored a speaker for a public program held at Lanterman Auditorium titled “Rock Music — Youth, Drugs and Brainwashing.”

Sixty Years Ago

A grand-opening ceremony was held for Lorne’s Market, a small grocery store in the 900 block of Foothill Boulevard owned by Lorne and Philomena Leclair. Today, there is a Le Petit Vendome wine and spirits store there.

Compiled from the Valley Sun archives.

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