De­cap­i­tated body in In­gle­wood

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the slay­ing of a man found in his apart­ment.

Los Angeles Times - - LOS ANGELES - By An­gel Jen­nings an­gel.jen­nings@latimes.com

Ev­ery day, 75-year-old Robert Hol­lis walked the court­yard of the Villa Glen apart­ment com­plex in In­gle­wood, us­ing a dec­o­ra­tive wooden cane to nav­i­gate the path he could not see be­fore him.

Though legally blind, he lived alone, shopped for his own gro­ceries and sang in a church choir. On Wednes- day, Hol­lis asked a neigh­bor for a ride to Smart & Fi­nal. He never showed up at the park­ing lot where they had agreed to meet.

Hol­lis’ son found his de­cap­i­tated body in­side his apart­ment Thurs­day af­ter­noon af­ter the neigh­bor called out of con­cern, said Rene Jones, the as­sis­tant prop­erty man­ager. Hol­lis’ head is still miss­ing, his cousin Tony Love told re­porters Fri­day.

The grue­some dis­cov­ery stunned the work­ing-class res­i­dents of the 44-unit apart­ment com­plex. They won­dered who would want to harm the el­derly man they af­fec­tion­ately called Mr. Bo.

Love said jew­elry, money and other per­sonal items were left un­touched, leav­ing fam­ily mem­bers to won­der whether Hol­lis knew his killer. The build­ing ’s front door re­mains locked and the buzzer is bro­ken. Visi­tors have to call res­i­dents to gain ac­cess.

“He wouldn’t an­swer the door un­less he knew you,” Love said. “He won’t hurt a f ly. No en­e­mies. I guess he had one.”

The In­gle­wood Po­lice Depart­ment is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the slay­ing and has not yet re­leased any de­tails about the crime or a po­ten­tial sus­pect. The Los An­ge­les County coro­ner would not con­firm a cause of death.

Neigh­bor Doris Smith, 45, said Hol­lis was known for his art­work, par­tic­u­larly for paint­ing flashy pin­stripes on the ex­te­rior of cars. On Face­book, Hol­lis ad­ver­tised his sig­nage busi­ness, Mr. Bo Jan­gles Cus­tom Signs in Car­son.

“He was a real as­tute man,” Smith said. “A true artist known for his gold leafy de­signs on lowrid­ers.”

Smith, who lived one apart­ment down from Hol­lis, said she could not sleep last night know­ing that her neigh­bor had been killed. She cleaned her apart­ment and eyed the backgam­mon set she bought from Hol­lis at a yard sale this month.

Hol­lis also dab­bled in mu­sic. He gave Kevin Deane, another res­i­dent who lived on the floor above him, a melod­ica, an in­stru­ment that’s a cross be­tween a key­board and an ac­cor­dion. They would of­ten chat about the mu­sic in­dus­try and the craft of mak­ing mu­sic. Deane, who worked from home, won­dered how some­one could com­mit such a hor­rific crime.

“What do you need with the man’s head?” he asked. “This is like a bad hor­ror movie.”

NEIGH­BORS of Robert Hol­lis, 75, who was blind and lived alone, were stunned by his slay­ing.

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