Podcast: Investigating the deaths of Lorenzen Wright and Kevin Ellison

The Clippers drafted Lorenzen Wright with the seventh overall pick in 1996. He played 13 seasons in the NBA.
The Clippers drafted Lorenzen Wright with the seventh overall pick in 1996. He played 13 seasons in the NBA.
(Vince Compagnone / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times sports enterprise reporter Nathan Fenno (@nathanfenno) discusses his coverage of the tragic deaths of athletes Lorenzen Wright and Kevin Ellison on the latest episode of the podcast “Arrive Early, Leave Late,” with host Beto Durán.

Back in September, Fenno wrote about Wright, a former first-round pick of the Clippers whose ex-wife will be standing trial in connection with his 2010 killing:

“Sherra Wright guided the silver Cadillac SUV through the darkness on a mild night, seven years after search and rescue dogs found her ex-husband’s body in a Memphis field.

“The remains of Lorenzen Wright weighed 57 pounds. The coroner needed dental records to identify the man the Clippers had picked in the first round of the 1996 NBA draft. Five gunshot wounds were visible in the withered corpse. Two in the head. Two in the torso. One in the right forearm.


“The killing remained unsolved, but by last December a long-dormant police investigation had taken on new life. And a task force of federal marshals and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies was tracking the Cadillac on Interstate 15 near Norco.”

Last month, Fenno wrote about Ellison, a former USC safety who died in October at age 31:

“Chris Ellison said his brother was walking along the 5 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley at the time of his death.

“’He was disoriented and didn’t know where he was at,” Chris Ellison said. “I’m sure he was trying to come home and find his family. We love him so much.’

“Records from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office show Kevin Ellison died on a freeway. No cause of death was listed. An exam is pending.”

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The Times launched “Arrive Early, Leave Late” last month to take listeners closer to the action of L.A.’s home teams. Hosted by Durán and featuring The Times’ award-winning reporters and columnists, the podcast combines in-depth interviews, the best moments from the games and a look inside the front offices.