Story Summary

Manhunt for Former Cop Christopher Dorner

dorner-bgAuthorities have positively identified the remains found in a burned cabin in the Big Bear area as those of fugitive former cop Christopher Dorner.


The identification brought to and end the intense manhunt for the quadruple murder suspect.

Dorner is believed to have penned an angry manifesto saying he was unfairly fired from the LAPD and was seeking vengeance.

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BIG BEAR, Calif. — The Big Bear couple tied up and held captive by ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner are staking their claim to the $1.2-million reward offered for his capture.

In letters sent to the city of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, an attorney for Karen and Jim Reynolds says the couple’s phone call to police after Dorner fled in their car was the “only information provided to law enforcement” that led to the end of the manhunt.

Dorner was tracked to Big Bear, where he holed up in the Reynolds’ home. He tied them up and stole their car. He crashed it and carjacked another man, Rick Heltebrake, and was eventually chased by authorities to a cabin, where he shot himself as sheriff’s deputies closed in and the cabin burned to the ground.

Dorner was wanted for killing an Irvine couple and two law enforcement officers and wounding others in a nine-day rampage across five Southern California counties, for the sake of revenge. Dorner said in a manifesto police believe he posted online that he wanted to clear his name and hunt down those responsible for his firing from the LAPD.

Heltebrake also has filed a claim for the reward. The Reynolds claim in their document that Heltebrake has no right to the reward and that it should be theirs alone.

More than two dozen donors -– including local governments, police departments, civic organizations, private groups and individuals -– contributed money for information leading to Dorner’s arrest or capture.

It’s unclear if or when the money would be given out. More than 20 jurisdictions and entities are involved so any decision would have to be collectively approved.

Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — L.A. city officials have reached a settlement with two newspaper delivery women wounded by LAPD officers during the pursuit of Christopher Dorner that will provide them with money to replace their bullet-ridden truck.

dorner-truckThe move comes several weeks after the women were promised a new truck — and two days after they publicly complained through their attorney that they had not received a new vehicle.

City Atty. Carmen Trutanich will hold a news conference Thursday afternoon to announce the deal.

Sources said the women would be given an undisclosed amount of money, enough to purchase a new truck.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck pledged to provide the truck to Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, who were delivering newspapers in Torrance on Feb. 7 when LAPD officers riddled their blue Toyota Tacoma with bullets. Dorner was believed to be driving a gray Nissan Titan.

Hernandez was shot twice in the back, and Carranza was injured by broken glass.

Beck called the shooting “a tragic misinterpretation” by officers working under “incredible tension” hours after Dorner allegedly shot police officers.

He promised to provide a truck from a donor regardless of potential litigation by the women.

Officials stressed that this deal was to compensate the women for the loss of the truck and is separate from any discussions regarding potential litigation involving the LAPD shooting incident in Torrance.

Earlier this week,  Glen Jonas, the women’s attorney, complained the women still had not received the truck.

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case was on going, said negotiations have been under way for several days. They did not reveal the amount but said it was enough to purchase a new truck.

Jonas said this week the women were first offered a used truck, then a non-four-wheel-drive Ford to replace their four-wheel-drive Toyota. The women also had to agree not to sell it for a year. His clients agreed to that truck, he said.

But then the dealership and LAPD officials said the truck would be considered a prize for tax purposes, Jonas said. “Essentially, they’d have to pay taxes like they won it on a game show.”

Jonas said the situation is all the more difficult because the women haven’t been able to work since being injured.

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the department, working with a car dealership, was able to secure a new truck for the women and even covered the taxes and fees.

But, he said, the dealership has advised that the vehicle must be legally declared for tax purposes. “We are trying to work it out,” Smith said.

The seven officers involved in the incident are assigned to desk duty during an internal investigation into the shooting, which also left holes in several homes on the cul-de-sac.

The officers were protecting the home of a high-ranking LAPD official named in a threatening manifesto authorities said to have been written by Dorner, and they believed that official could have been a potential target.

Dorner at the time had already killed the daughter of an LAPD captain and her fiance — a USC police officer — and a Riverside police officer, officials said.

-Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — A camp ranger who called 911 after being carjacked by Christoper Dorner is seeking the entire $1.2 million reward that was offered in the case.

heltebrake-picRick Heltebrake, 61, of Angelus Oaks, filed a claim to collect the reward through a law firm.

Heltebrake, who is a scout ranger at Camp Tahquitz, was on Glass Road heading toward Highway 38 on Feb. 12 when Dorner carjacked his pickup truck.

In the claim, he says his subsequent 911 call helped police track Dorner to the cabin where the fugitive former cop killed himself during a fiery standoff.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck says that decision about the reward won’t be made until the investigation is complete.

Dorner killed four people during a rampage to exact revenge for his firing from the LAPD years earlier.


LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The six-day manhunt for Christopher Dorner will cost the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department more than a half-million dollars.

Some 125 deputies searched for the fugitive ex-cop, who killed four people to avenge his firing from the LAPD in 2009.

dorner-latestSheriff’s department spokeswoman Jodi Miller said the initial estimate for the search and investigation is $550,000.

Ten other agencies were involved in the manhunt. The LAPD says it has not yet determined its costs related to the search for Dorner.

Dorner was found dead in a burned cabin after a gun battle on Feb. 12.

Meantime, wounded Riverside police officer Andrew Tachias is out of the hospital.

Tachias and his training officer, Michael Crain, were ambushed by Dorner as they sat in their patrol car at a red light in the predawn hours of Feb. 7.

Crain, a 15-year veteran of the force, was killed in the attack.

Dorner’s first victims were an Irvine couple, Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence, according to police.

Quan’s father, a former LAPD captain, was involved in the review process that led to Dorner’s termination.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s Deputy Det. Jeremiah MacKay was killed in the final gun battle with Dorner at a cabin in the Big Bear area.

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — In the wake of the Christopher Dorner case, the Los Angeles Police Department’s disciplinary procedures are now under a microscope.

Dorner, a former LAPD officer, killed four people and injured three others this month in a revenge campaign for being fired from the department.

He claimed in an online manifesto that he had been railroaded by a discipline system that he described as capricious and racially biased.

The LAPD now says that it wants to make sure the process officers go through before being fired is transparent and fair.

A former cop tells KTLA that he’s glad those procedures are under review.

“We tried for years going the legal route and trying to get the police commission involved and my wife sending letters, and basically it got brushed to the curb,” Derek Sykes claims.

Sykes is a former veteran LAPD officer who believes he was wrongly terminated from the department in 2009.

Now that Dorner’s case is getting a review, Sykes may want the same consideration.

“No matter what I said, no matter what evidence was presented, their minds were already decided from above them,” he said.

Sykes doesn’t want his job back at the LAPD. He says he just wants his name cleared.

“I just want to have my name cleared up and have it to be where I left the department on my own terms,” he said.

At an afternoon news conference on Wednesday, the LAPD brass said it welcomes as many as a half dozen reviews that could follow the Dorner case.

The departments says that it wants justice through transparency.

“The system works. The system is designed to do what it does,” said Deputy Chief Mark Perez.

“It’s designed to weed out the bad ones and to make sure that we don’t find guilty the innocent ones. And it’s doing a very good job,” he said.

It’s that stigma of a “bad cop” that Sykes wants to escape.

“I did everything to show them that I was a good officer and that I was a hard-working officer,” Sykes says.

Some 70 officers have been fired by the LAPD over the last three years. At least six fired police officers are now calling for their disciplinary cases to be reopened.

It was nearing midnight when Terie Evans called police in Irvine with a hunch: An ex-Los Angeles police officer named Christopher Dorner might have killed a young Irvine woman and her fiance a few days earlier.

dorner-bgEvans, an LAPD sergeant who had trained Dorner, conceded that her theory was a long shot.

But Dorner’s name had suddenly surfaced the day before in a strange phone call. And she knew he had a connection to the woman who had been killed. It seemed too much to dismiss as a coincidence.

It wouldn’t take long for Irvine detectives to realize just how valuable Evans’ tip was.Before dawn they were looking into Dorner.

An investigator uncovered a rambling manifesto Dorner allegedly posted online, that expressed fury over his firing years earlier and laid out his plan to exact revenge by killing officers he blamed for his downfall and their family members.

The discovery sent Evans and about 50 other LAPD officers and their families either into hiding or under the protection of heavily armed guards as a massive manhunt for Dorner unfolded across Southern California.

For the eight days that Dorner eluded capture, Evans remained silent and laid low, while Irvine and Los Angeles police officials kept secret her role in identifying the suspect.

Evans had been Dorner’s training officer and was at the center of the incident that led to his dismissal from the force.

Authorities worried it might enrage Dorner further if he knew she had once again played a lead role in determining his fate.

On Thursday, Evans spoke to The Times about what happened, and police confirmed her account.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he believes Evans’ actions saved lives, helping detectives identify Dorner before he carried out more surprise attacks.

It began for Evans on Monday, Feb. 4 — the day after the bodies of Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence had been found riddled with bullets in their car.

Evans, 47, received a message that an officer from a small department south of San Diego was trying to reach her.

When she returned the call, the officer told her that he had found pieces of a large-sized police uniform, some ammunition and other items discarded in a dumpster that appeared to belong to an LAPD officer with the last name Dorner.

Evans’ name and other items were written in a small notebook found with the other things. The officer asked: Did Evans know this guy Dorner?

She did know him. Several years earlier, Evans and Dorner, a rookie cop, had been partners. The pairing had ended badly when Dorner accused Evans of kicking a handcuffed man.

Evans denied the allegations and an investigation cleared the 18-year veteran of wrongdoing. LAPD officials went on to fire Dorner after concluding he had fabricated the story.

“Just hearing his name was enough to make me feel sick,” Evans said.

Evans hadn’t been able to shake the uneasy feeling when she went to work the following evening.

Before beginning her night shift, she stopped in the police station’s parking lot to talk with some other officers.

The conversation turned to the Irvine killings. Evans had heard about the case, but knew no details.

The dead woman, one of the officers said, was the daughter of Randy Quan, a former LAPD captain-turned-lawyer who represented LAPD officers in disciplinary hearings when they ran afoul of the department.

The hair on the back of Evans’ neck stood up. Another wave of the shakiness she had felt on the phone washed over her.

She struggled to make sense of her thoughts. Quan. Dorner. The belongings in the dumpster.

Through her night shift, a “nagging, sinking feeling” dogged her. “I have to call Irvine PD,” she recalled thinking.

“In my mind, it felt like such a long shot,” Evans said. “But my gut feeling made it a lot stronger than that. I just knew. Something told me that there was some kind of a connection.”

Evans called the Irvine Police Department and told a supervisor her theory: Quan had represented Dorner at his termination proceedings.

What if Dorner had killed Quan’s daughter and her fiance as part of a vendetta and then tossed his belongings in the dumpster before escaping across the border to Mexico?

About 1 a.m., an Irvine detective called back and Evans repeated her suspicions. A few hours later, her shift ended and Evans went home to sleep.

When she awoke, a message from another Irvine detective, left early that morning, was waiting for her.

Investigators were pursuing her lead and were on their way to San Diego to examine Dorner’s belongings.

“At that point, I was absolutely sick,” Evans said. “I thought, ‘Oh my god, it really is him.’ I knew no one knew where he was … I thought, ‘What am I going to do?’”

“At the time Mr. Dorner was terminated, I had a very uneasy feeling,” she said.

“I knew he was very upset and I had concerns that at some point he may try to contact me. So, this was just validating the bad feeling I carried with me for years. I was scared to death.”

About 1:30 p.m., Evans said she was on her way to watch her teenage son play soccer when her phone rang again. They had discovered the manifesto. “I was told my family and I were not safe.”

After making sure her son was with his father — a retired cop — Evans drove around aimlessly, fearing that Dorner could be waiting for her at her home or police station.

Within 20 minutes, she recalled, someone from the LAPD called to make plans for protecting her and her family.

Police say Dorner killed two officers as well as the Irvine couple, and injured three more officers in gun battles, before apparently killing himself last week in the basement of a Big Bear cabin as authorities closed in on him.

Evans has not yet returned to her home. She and police officials said Evans has continued to receive threats. In addition, someone tried to break in to her home, police said.

“I honestly don’t think my life will ever be normal the way it was before.

This was such an extraordinary circumstance, I don’t know if I’m ever going to feel safe in my home again,” Evans said. “Years from now, my family could potentially still be at risk.”

-Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The LAPD held a news conference on Tuesday morning to provide an update on the Christopher Dorner case.

It was the first time that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has spoken since the standoff in Big Bear last Tuesday that ended with Dorner’s death.

beck-presserDorner, a former LAPD officer who was fired in 2009, is believed to have killed four people in a revenge-fueled rampage, outlined in an online manifesto.

His victims included a young Irvine couple, a Riverside police officer and a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy.

“Even though much of this is about the discussion of Christopher Dorner, we have to remember the victims,” Beck said on Tuesday.

He also spoke about the 50 LAPD officers and their families who were named in Dorner’s manifesto, and who were under protective details during the manhunt.

“Yes, we’re police officers. We all sign up for some degree of risk,” Beck said. “Our families don’t sign up for that. Our children don’t sign up for that.”

He said that the LAPD is making its psychologists available to all the families “so the kids can have some sense of normalcy, some sense of security.”

Beck then addressed the LAPD’s re-examination of the process that led to Dorner’s firing, as well as the claims he made in his manifesto.

He said his special assistant for constitutional policing, Gerald Chalef, has been working “non-stop” on the review.

“I have great confidence in Mr. Chalef, and I know the police commission will do what is right with this, and so will the Los Angeles Police Department,” Beck said.

Beck also commented on the more than $1 million reward, saying it’s the largest in local law enforcement history.

He said it’s also the most complicated, with over 31 donors involved, including many municipalities that have their own rules for giving rewards.

The LAPD has put together a commission to review the various investigations and make recommendations on who the reward should go to.

“It had its desired effect,” Beck said, noting that the reward generated over 1,000 tips.

“It should be paid out. But it has to be done fairly,” he said. “It has to be done according to the rules that govern these things.”

IRVINE, Calif. (KTLA) — One of the first victims of former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner was remembered on Sunday.

irvine-coupleA private funeral was held for Monica Quan, 28.

Quan and her fiance, 27-year-old Keith Lawrence, were found shot to death on Super Bowl Sunday atop the parking structure of their Irvine condo complex.

They had gotten engaged only days before.

Quan was the assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at Cal State Fullerton, and Lawrence was an armed public safety officer at USC.

Quan was the daughter of former LAPD captain Randy Quan, who was mentioned for Dorner in an online manifesto.

Randy Quan had apparently represented Dorner in the process that led to his termination from the LAPD.

In his manifesto, Dorner railed about being unfairly fired and promised to exact revenge, saying he had to kill in order to clear his name.

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KTLA) — A Big Bear resident who was allegedly carjacked by Christopher Dorner spoke to KTLA on Sunday evening.

Rick Heltebrake said he recognized the former LAPD officer on a road in the Big Bear area on February 12.

Dorner then approached Heltebrake’s car with a gun and ordered him out of the vehicle.

Dorner told him he wasn’t going to hurt him, Heltebrake said.

Once Heltebrake felt he was out of harm’s way, he alerted authorities of the carjacking.

Heltebrake told KTLA he felt qualified for some of the reward money offered by the city for the capture and conviction of Dorner.