Murders of Whites during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots
For those who lived through the 1992 L.A. (Rodney King) riots, the devastation and death count may be distant memories; unless you owned a business in Koreatown or are a family member of one of the many victims.
Of the nearly 60 deaths that occurred during the riots, many were homicides. Here is a list of the outcome of those homicide cases as of 2017.
During the 6 days of the riots, many Latinos and some Asians were murdered. There were 50 homicides in all related to the riots. Below is a list of the white people murdered by African-American rioters. Most of the black victims were killed by other blacks. Most of these whites have never had justice since half the murders are unsolved and most of the others were acquittals or very light sentences; none given the justice that the law would normally prescribe for a homicide.
This list is only known homicides and doesn’t list the hundred of people; white, Asian and Latino, who were assaulted; in some case’s critically and permanently injured. One of those was trucker Reginald Denney.
Edward A Travens, 15, White: Shot five times on April 29, 1992 while driving to a video store with his brother Allen, who held him in his arms as he died.
UNSOLVED – John H Willers, 27, White: Shot dead after going outside the motel he was staying in on North Sepulveda Boulevard to watch injured drivers be taken to the hospital after a car accident.
Wallace Tope, 54, White: Remained in a coma for a year and nearly seven months after preaching to a group of looters to find their faith. Two men who kicked him repeatedly in the head plead no contest and were sentenced to jail on May 9, 1994. Fidel Ortiz, 22, was given an 11-year prison term and Leonard Sosa, 24, was given six years in prison.
UNSOLVED – William Ross, 33, White: Determined to have died on May 1, 1992 and was discovered the next day inside a market that was firebombed.
Patrick Bettan, 30, White: The security guard was accidentally shot and killed by a co-worker while a mini-mall was being looted in Koreatown on April 30, 1992.
UNSOLVED – Nissar Mustafa, 20, White: Originally characterized as John Doe #172 due to the decomposition it experienced after not being discovered nearly four months after the riots on August 12, 1992. He was found in the rubble of a burnt retail shop on South Western Avenue in Harvard Heights.
UNSOLVED – John Doe #80: Suffered a head wound and died of smoke inhalation at a Pep Boys on South Vermont Avenue on May 2, 1992. Identified days before the 25th anniversary of the riots by Cold Case Detective Luis Rivera – who is still searching for the man’s family.
UNSOLVED – Howard Epstein, 45, White: Shot while driving to check on a business he owned in the riot area on April 30, 1992. A crowd gathered after his car then crashed into the parking lot of a liquor store, and applause broke out when it was announced that the victim was white.
UNSOLVED – Kevin A Evanahen, 24, White: Fell through the roof of a store while trying to put out a fire on Braddock Drive and Inglewood Avenue on May 1, 1992.
Aaron Ratinoff, 68, White: Strangled by the manager at a supermarket following an argument about corn husks, which Ratinoff dropped on the ground, angering the manager on May 1, 1992
UNSOLVED – Ira M McCurry, 45, White: The army veteran was shot while trying to stop looters from setting fire to a liquor store that was next door to his home on April 30, 1992.
Matthew D Haines, 32, White: Beaten and shot in the head after being pulled off of his motorcycle in Long Beach with his nephew. Three men, two of whom were teenagers, were acquitted for his murder and found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to assault, loot and rob.
Lucie R Maronian, 51, White: Stabbed in her home after confronting a group of teens who were chasing her 14-year-old son. Two Altadena teenagers who were accused of her murder were given five years’ probation – but charges related to her killing were dismissed after a mistrial.