Accident or Murder?

Thank you for writing the article on this subject. I have always been a supporter of the police and yet have not been impressed with the investigation process or their integrity. I’ve always contended that this is not a reflection of all the police because many are good in both their motives and effort. I would always assume that both department leadership and upper management including the chief would always be supportive of his organization but the reality is that to do otherwise would only lead to de-motivation or moral issues including potential suits on the part of the public.

I’m not always confident that Internal Affairs including CPCC efforts are always addressed. The fact that Internal Affairs did not necessarily pick up on the quality of the effort brings into question their political posture in matters such as these. Since I don’t have all the facts, I will not pass judgment as to the final outcome. Thanks again for the article and thank Beachcomber for permitting you such a large write up on this matter.

Antonio Loya


Thank you for publishing Stephen Downing’s column about the death of my sister, kitchen designer Dana Jones. There’s no doubt in my mind that she was murdered by her husband. I told this to Long Beach Homicide Detective Todd Johnson on the phone at around 1:58 p.m. on March 10, 2014. I noted the date and time because the call was so disturbing that I sent a memo about it to my dad’s lawyer. The next day, I filed a complaint with the CPCC.

Detective Johnson conducted a shoddy search of Dana’s house on the night of March 4, 2014. That night, he informed my dad – bleary-eyed and heartsick from standing at his daughter’s deathbed – that Dana’s husband was “totally innocent.” We believed otherwise, and we didn’t take Johnson too seriously because he hadn’t had time to investigate. Still, why would a detective lie to us? When I followed up with him on March 10th, Johnson told me that there would be no further investigation because the husband’s story was corroborated by home-surveillance video.

I’ve reviewed the video, and I now know that Johnson was dead wrong. At the time, however, I assumed that he was working in good faith. I couldn’t understand why he sounded lazy, dismissive and disdainful on the phone. Was it an act? I now know that Johnson didn’t even bother to file a report about Dana’s case until just after we spoke – on March 10 at 4:32 p.m. In that report, Johnson misrepresented the facts of the case.

My dad’s lawyer repeatedly called Johnson to get a meeting. Johnson rebuffed us for months. Johnson’s scornfulness about Dana’s case made no sense to us. At last, on September 16, 2014, my dad, his lawyer and I met with Detectives Johnson and Shea Robertson and then-Sergeant Erik Herzog. They insisted that Dana had died in a yoga accident.

Johnson showed me a photo taken by the coroner of my sister’s scalp wound. The surgical staples had been removed, and it was a deep, gaping laceration at least as big as my thumb. “From a fall,” Johnson said blithely. “Off a roof?” I asked. I asked other things, too, such as: “Are you idiots?” It devolved into shouts between the sergeant and me. He ended the meeting by saying that they had real work to do; they had spent enough time on Dana’s case.

If it sounds as if I’m suggesting that the LBPD passively allowed my sister’s husband to get away with murder, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that they actively helped him to get away with murder. They reported and repeated demonstrably false statements as if they were facts. They looked the other way when I and others pointed out blood evidence that they had ignored at the scene. And more. For documentation of their blunders and intentional omissions, please visit

Thank you for your efforts to reveal the rot in the Long Beach Police Department and to hold them accountable.

Lisa Jones


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