LOS ANGELES – Police arrested a suspect Monday in the deaths of two neighbors who were found slain in their homes after an airline ticket agent reported hearing a commotion while one of the victims booked a flight.
The man was arrested near the gates of Paramount Studios (search), about 2 miles from the victims' homes, after a studio guard recognized his picture from a televised news conference that had just aired, police said.
One of the victims, Morley Hal Engleson (search), 67, a retired physician, was arranging a flight Sunday when an agent for Southwest Airlines overheard a disturbance before the phone went dead, police said.
Officers who arrived in the Hollywood neighborhood found Engleson dead in his house. In the rear of the residence, they also found the head of Robert Lees (search), a 91-year-old screenwriter who lived in a home behind Engleson's, where the rest of his body was discovered.
"This is one of the most horrendous crime scenes that I have seen during my 33 years as a police officer in this city. Very bloody," Detective Brian Tyndall said.
Keven Lee Graff, 27, arrested Monday, was believed to have stolen Engleson's black Mercedes-Benz, which was recovered nearby. Some items taken from Lees' house were found in Engleson's home, authorities said.
Residents of the wealthy, close-knit neighborhood said Lees' home was filled with Hollywood memorabilia.
"He is the guy you want for the neighbor next door," neighbor Jeff Mesino said. "He would say, 'Take the tools from my garage whenever you want."'
Lees also wrote under the name J.E. Selby, according to the Writers Guild of America, and had several film and television credits, including episodes of "Rawhide" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."
Lees, who was blacklisted during the Communist scare of the 1950s, spoke in April 2002 at an event held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to cap several months of exhibits about the blacklist, said John Pavlik, an academy spokesman.