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 • Rancho Palos Verdes
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Rolling Hills Theater Murders
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Birth: unknown
Death: Feb. 11, 1973
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Here is a newspaper account of the murders, dated 4/30/73:

Torrance police said today the mass murder of four Rolling Hills theater employees last February and the execution slaying of a Torrance store manager in the following month were committed by one man " and that man is now dead. Lt. James Foster identified the suspect as John Roy Mahew, 29, who died of an overdose of barbiturates April 3 in the Torrance jail. "From evidence carefully collected concerning this suspect since his death, the Torrance police are satisfied that he was solely responsible for the theater massacre and for the murder at the Torrance TG&Y store," Foster said.

Mahew was arrested April 2, when officers went to his Torrance residence to pick him up on outstanding traffic warrants. Because of a past record of more than 20 arrests as an adult, officers said, several units were sent to make the arrest. Foster said the officers had been warned by a tipster that Mahew was armed and had vowed he would not submit to arrest.

THE ARRESTING force was refused admittance on arrival at the residence, Foster said, and Mahew refused to come out. When the police threatened to use tear gas, the suspect finally emerged after a long stand-off. Lt. Foster said that as Mahew was being placed under arrest, he grabbed for his boot but was restrained by arresting officers. A small pistol later was found in the boot, Foster said. On the following morning, the lieutenant said, Mahew was found unconscious in his cell and was pronounced dead a short time later. An autopsy revealed the death was caused by an overdose of barbiturates, presumably taken hurriedly by the suspect on the previous afternoon before he emerged from the house and surrendered, police said.

Lt. Foster said Mahew had been under suspicion in the Rolling Hills theater murders and in the TG&Y slaying before police went to make the arrest on traffic warrants. "But it took this intervening time to check out all the tips we had received and collect the physical evidence necessary to mark the case closed," he added. Foster said traces of blood on a butcher knife found at Mahew's home and some of the suspect's clothes matched the blood type of two of the Rolling Hills theater victims. Mahew's boot also matched a bootprint found by the body of one of the theater victims, he said. Bloodstains found in Mahew's car matched the blood type of Jack K. Sweeten, assistant manager of the Torrance variety store, who was found with his hands bound and his throat cut in a storeroom early on Mar. 28, police said.

THE FOUR theater victims " Lynda R. Freeman, 32, Clyde Felts, 55, Guy D. Brown, 35 and George Cernick, 18 "were found in the theater office early on Feb. 12. Their hands had been bound behind their backs and their throats were slashed. Foster said Mahew, unemployed and behind on all his bills prior to Feb. 12, suddenly began spending money immediately after the theater robbery, and again exhibited affluence following the TG&Y robbery-slaying. 
Green Hills Memorial Park
Rancho Palos Verdes
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Created by: Anonymous
Record added: Feb 03, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 104566507
Rolling Hills Theater Murders
Added by: Anonymous
Rolling Hills Theater Murders
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Warren Weimer
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- Lance
 Added: Feb. 24, 2013
I will never forget this. Very sad. Rest in peace my friends.
- Tinkebell
 Added: Feb. 3, 2013

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