Proprietor of automotive buried at Bay Space mansion collected $87,000 insurance coverage cost


Days after a automotive was discovered buried within the yard of a San Francisco Bay Space mansion, authorities are persevering with to seek for human stays as questions mount in regards to the property’s former proprietor and his violent previous.

On Monday, San Mateo County Dist. Atty. Steve Wagstaffe advised the Mercury Information that Johnny Bocktune Lew, who died in 2015, reported the Mercedes-Benz stolen in 1992 and picked up $87,000 in insurance coverage on the car.

The district legal professional described the case as having the weather of a real crime novel, however with lacking components.

“This e book has 15 chapters in it and we’ve solely acquired two chapters,” Wagstaffe advised the Mercury Information. “I don’t know if we’re ever going to get the opposite chapters, however I certain hope we do as a result of it’s an fascinating story.”

The Occasions couldn’t attain Wagstaffe for touch upon Monday.

Landscapers discovered the automotive on Thursday, buried within the yard of a $15-million mansion in Atherton, a small city of about 7,000 individuals with a median revenue above $250,000, based on U.S. census knowledge.

The automotive was found 4 to five toes deep within the floor behind the house within the 300 block of Stockbridge Avenue, based on the Atherton Police Division. Unused baggage of concrete had been discovered inside.

Cadaver canine had been introduced in to scour the scene and “made a slight notification of attainable human stays,” police mentioned. However up to now no stays have been discovered.

Including to the questions across the automotive are sordid particulars from Lew’s previous.

Neighbors advised the Mercury Information that Lew, who offered the property in 2014, had a historical past of violence. Courtroom paperwork revealed he was convicted of second-degree homicide within the Nineteen Sixties in Los Angeles within the deadly capturing of his ex-girlfriend, Karen Gervasi. The California Supreme Courtroom reversed the conviction in 1968.

He was later convicted on two counts of tried homicide within the Seventies, however particulars in that case weren’t available.

Within the Nineties, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Lew was arrested once more, this time for insurance coverage fraud after he tried to rent individuals — who later turned out to be undercover brokers — to sink his $1.2-million twin-engine yacht off the Golden Gate, claiming it belonged to an Asian crime mob.

In Atherton, authorities spent a number of days excavating the Mercedes earlier than towing it to the San Mateo County Crime Lab on Saturday for evaluation, police mentioned.

“On Sunday … ground-penetrating radar was used to look at the scene,” police mentioned. “This examination didn’t reveal something uncommon or suspicious on the scene and no human stays had been positioned. This concluded our on-scene investigation.”

Wagstaffe advised the Mercury Information that the shortage of a physique doesn’t imply no crime was dedicated.

“For all I do know, he may need killed someone and disposed of the physique,” he mentioned. “However why wouldn’t you then do away with the automotive someplace else? It’s unusual.”

A number of cadaver canine have indicated for attainable human stays on the web site, Wagstaffe advised the newspaper, including that he regarded ahead to seeing whether or not a forensic examination of the Mercedes yields any DNA or different proof.

In the end, insurance coverage fraud wouldn’t clarify why the automotive was buried or why the cadaver canine continued to point for the presence of human stays over the weekend, he mentioned.

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