Accident or Murder?

The recent two-part story by Stephen Downing about Dana Jones’ death was interesting and a good read. Thanks for providing this story for your readers. If there is incompetence in the LBPD homicide bureau, heaven help us. Who can we rely on? All I could think of was “What if I were the victim?” and the case wasn’t thoroughly investigated giving a wrong conclusion? What if it were my best friend who was the victim, or a sibling, or my husband? The police department in our community is an institution we have to rely on but if incompetence reigns, then something has to be done to rectify the situation within the department.

Daphne Ching Jackson


I’m a Long Beach resident and a 20-year veteran of the Air Force. I was a criminal investigator for many years during my years of service. After reading Stephen Downing’s article about the death of Kathleen Jones in March 2014, and the efforts of her sister Lisa Jones to have the case reopened, I would definitely agree that this case be opened by another agency such as the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, who have an outstanding homicide unit.

I would suggest that she appeal to the mayor of Long Beach to have this done and if that doesn’t work, write a letter and provide all the facts to the congressman/woman covering the city of Long Beach as they’re required to look into all matters and provide a response.

Ray Klinedinst


I just finished “Part 2” of your article on the untimely death of Dana Kathleen. It would make entertaining fiction reading, but as a news article, it is the height of irresponsible reportage. Shame on you.

The decedent’s sister is obviously and quite understandably continuing to have difficulty in grieving the loss of her sister. What isn’t understandable is her mean-spirited crusade to cast her former brother-in-law as a murderer, when there is not a scintilla of admissible evidence (as in a court of law) to support her insinuations. Her theories as to what occurred are not evidence; her wild speculations and ceaseless conjectures are not evidence.

What does constitute evidence is that the Los Angeles County Coroner determined the cause of death to be accidental. What also constitutes evidence is that there was no history of domestic violence involving the decedent and her husband, and there was a lack of evidence recovered at the scene to prove otherwise.

I live in the neighborhood and personally observed a substantial number of police personnel enter the decedent’s home, where they remained for many hours. They removed various items of potential forensic value, including video tapes, all of which were ultimately returned to the decedent’s husband when the coroner signed off on the death certificate, characterizing it as due to fatal head trauma caused by an accidental fall.

Of course, your article doesn’t mention the decedent’s husband’s name, or the full name of the decedent, because you and the Beachcomber are no doubt aware of your liability in a potential libel suit. While it is certainly true that there is no statute of limitations on the crime of murder, there is a requirement to prove such a crime was committed. This is not a cold case; it is a closed case; a closed case involving an accidental death which occurred more than four years ago.

Marcia Goodman

Editor’s Note: Mr. Downing is a columnist, not a news reporter. Intelligent people know the difference by reading our masthead and noting the online “opinion” banner. He is entitled to express his opinion under the First Amendment after examining the evidence, which is bolstered by a few decades of experience at the LAPD, overseeing homicide investigations in South Central LA for five years as a command officer and retiring as a deputy chief.


[Response to Goodman letter]

I remember that night, with all the police cars on the street. I remember that you offered your condolences. Dana was not particularly close with any of her neighbors, but I know that she liked most of them. I know she liked you.

Did my sister ever call the police about domestic violence? Not to my knowledge. It was nonetheless an abusive relationship, which Dana tried to hide. Marcia, you don’t know the details of Dana’s deeply unhappy marriage. You simply do not know.

Your willingness to vouch for Dana’s husband is sadly familiar to me. Many times, I saw my sister vouch for him, only to be betrayed and humiliated by him, again and again. Why don’t I use his real name? He has changed it so many times that I’m not sure what his real name is. Are you?

While you’re satisfied that the police did a great job, and foul play is out of the question, I hope you can understand that I honestly disagree based on documented facts and actual experiences, not mere feelings.

Lisa Jones


As a former neighbor and very close friend of Lisa’s sister, I too am 100 percent convinced that her husband is responsible for her death. Dana and her husband (who I’m sure by now has changed his name as he had done several times in the past) lived just a few doors down in a Long Beach condominium complex. I had repeated *first-hand* views into his rage, mental abuse, attempts to control and outrageous lying.

I beg anyone reading this: if you have any way to help Lisa and her family in their search for justice, please come forward. Never in my life have I been so in fear of a man I personally knew. I have no doubt this man is capable of murder and he will do it again.

Bobbi Palmer


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