December 10, 2009

Subprime: The Sequel

From today's LA Times, more Tarantinoesque events in LA's expensive suburbs:
Authorities declared the death of a prominent L.A. attorney shot in the head outside his Rolling Hills Estates home a homicide and said they were now scrutinizing his casework for potential clues.

Detectives have already interviewed Jeffrey Tidus' family and business partners at Baute & Tidus, a downtown Los Angeles law firm specializing in civil litigation, to help them identify any cases or incidents that could have spurred conflict.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Dave Dolson said that the motive for the Monday evening shooting remained unclear and that his investigators had not ruled out anything from a targeted killing to an unplanned confrontation [which happens all the time in Palos Verde].

"At this point we are certain it is a murder," Dolson said.

Tidus, 53, represented many high-profile corporate clients, including New Century Financial, a subprime lender that saw three former officers charged this week with securities fraud. Tidus and his wife also own several toy stores.

The toy store business is notoriously cut-throat, especially this time of year, so I'm sure that's the real story here.

Jill Stewart of the LA Weekly has a more vivid description:
Rumors gripped the Los Angeles legal community today after the shocking fatal shooting Monday, in posh Rolling Hills Estates, of attorney Jeffrey A. Tidus. He was killed just hours after top executives at a firm Tidus represented, New Century Financial, were accused of fraud by federal regulators.

The bizarre timing has powerful attorneys in Los Angeles buzzing about why and how Tidus died. ...

Tidus was discovered by his wife about 8:30 pm on Monday, after she heard a single gunshot. She found him slumped behind a Prius outside their home in the 4600 block of Sugarhill Drive in Rolling Hills Estates, a leafy suburb of Los Angeles in which violent crime is rare and horse trails crisscross the pricey estates and neighborhoods.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

It's like Goodfellas -- Maury's wigs don't come off!

Robert said...

He owned a Prius??! I wonder if his will specifies that the hearse should have a low carbon footprint? Hey, there's a growth industry - electric hearses! They don't have to worry about keeping up with traffic.

keypusher said...

Between Wal Mart and the Chinese, the toy business is pretty cutthroat.

Anonymous said...

"slumped behind a Prius outside their home in the 4600 block of Sugarhill Drive"

Not to laugh at a man's murder, but this is the kind of stuff David Chase made a career out of putting onto TV.

Anonymous said...

> The toy store business is notoriously cut-throat, especially this time of year, so I'm sure that's the real story here. <

The Keystone Kops should bring in Santa's elves for questioning.

anony-mouse said...

Tarantino-esque? How about Chandleresque? Apparently this is how LA has always been.

Relax, Steve, this is Chinatown.

Anonymous said...

I live in Manhattan Beach - this story is attracting a lot of interest here because our neighbors in Rolling Hills frequently brag about how they are living in the safest part of Los Angeles, I think until now crime of this sort was just unheard of in Rolling Hills.

josh said...

He drove a Prius???

kudzu bob said...

Our Father who art in Heaven, all I ask is that You in Your mercy and wisdom don't let me be found dead behind the wheel of a Prius. An Audi or Lexus, sure. Maybe even a Cadillac. But never a Prius. Amen.

sj071 said...

'...slumped behind Prius..'
Never have I so enjoyed true crime report.

Anonymous said...

It could be done as a straight documentary and still retain a great deal of comic effect.

I think people would have a hard time following Tarantino's treatment of subject matter like this because he'd use characters sprouting lingo to provide the exposition, and Im not good at making hide-from-hair of ghetto-english, Spanglish, and double-entendre-internationale-arms-dealers-over-the-cellphone-speak (words like "wetwork" mean something quite different to those people).

The subject matter and plot are quite funny enough.

Really dirty idea: Tarantino could use subtitles superimposed at the bottome of the screen just like a foreign movie while the sleazebag lingo is being sprouted so us suburbanites could understand it. I apologize to any subprime lenders who seen their "financial-ese" being subtitled in pictures forewinth.

Anonymous said...

This isn't crime. It's a hit. The hit man didn't even worry enough about detection to use a silencer. He wanted the murder reported quickly.

I suspect somebody got the message besides the corpse.

Helene Edwards said...

"has powerful attorneys in Los Angeles buzzing ..."

Nah, it doesn't happen like that. First of all, this guy was basically a nobody in the L.A. legal biz. Firms with a solid client list typically avoid working for outfits like New Century, so this guy wouldn't have been on many folks' screens. And anyway, the legal culture's way of dealing with a sudden fall is to avoid talking about it. I was working in law firms when
Enron/Arthur Anderson went down, when Bill Lerach was exposed, and when a big Clinton contributor/SF lawyer named Duane Garrett killed himself. The response is always a yawn.