A woman has been charged with three counts of capital murder in connection with the brutal killings of a man and his elderly mother and stepfather in Leimert Park earlier this week.
Nancy Jackson, 55, appeared in court for arraignment Friday afternoon. She did not enter a plea and the arraignment was continued until July.
"What I saw was pure evil," said Capt. Peter Whittingham of the Los Angeles Police Department. Whittingham oversaw the investigation, which began Tuesday when a family member discovered the three victims in the Bronson Avenue home of Philip White, 65. He died along with his 79 year old mother, Orsi Carter, and her 83 year old husband, William Carter.
"They were beautiful, loving, gracious, generous people," said Terry White, Philip's brother, speaking for family members who attended the arraignment, and then went to LAPD headquarters for the media briefing conducted by Whittingham.
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Phillip White worked as a probation officer until he was disabled with multiple sclerosis. He lived in the same home four decades, well liked and becoming a neighborhood fixture, said those who knew him. His mother and stepfather often came by to visit, and after his illness progressed, to check on him.
Jackson was a longtime acquaintance. In recent weeks, facing homelesness, she had been staying in White's home.
"She used that opportunity to manipulate Mr. Phillip White...and take advantage of his kindness," Whittingham said. "Nobody was going to get between her and a good thing." But White's mother, his legal caretaker, "was clearly aware of what (Jackson) was trying to do, and insisted that she leave." On Monday, when White's parents came by the house, "something happened there that made (Jackson) perhaps believe that, well, she was going to be forced out."
All three victims suffered blunt force trauma to the head and were shot to death. Their bodies apparently were moved to the bathroom, where they were found.
"Without being too vivid, it's a case where you have three bodies piled on each other in some way," LAPD Capt. Peter Whittingham said. "...It's just a sad way to spend your last days or your last breath."
Early on police identified Jackson as a person of interest, possibly as a witness, and expressed concern she might be in danger, but came to the conclusion she was the perpetrator. Afterwards, it's believed she left the house by car sometime late Monday, and was arrested by police Wednesday in Culver City.
At the time, Jackson was on bail release, facing an unrelated charge of battery stemming from an incident last July, and due in court in June, NBC4's iTeam discovered in court records. She previously had been charged with battery in 2003 and with grand theft in 1995, but both of those cases were dropped.
According to police, a neighbor called one of White's relatives Tuesday after noticing that the mother's car had been parked at the home for an unusually long time. When the relative came to the home, he spotted the bodies when he looked in a bathroom window.