Man dismembered in ‘ritualistic killing,’ L.A. prosecutor tells jury by Maria Gerber
The call came into Herbert Tracy White’s cellphone after midnight.
White, a former cocaine addict turned Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous sponsor, had a soft spot for people in need, so he hopped out of bed, put on some clothes and his Lakers cap and said goodbye to his wife, telling her some people he had met needed help.
She was used to late-night phone calls from people asking her husband for favors.
Early on Nov. 28, 2010, White picked up Edward and Melissa Hope Garcia, whom he met days earlier at a Chase bank in Hollywood, and suggested that they call him if they were ever serious about getting sober. He drove them to skid row and paid to check them into the Continental Hotel, Room 66.
“What proceeded that night,” a prosecutor told jurors Wednesday, “was truly dark and sadistic.”
When a maid came to clean the room the next day, she found a backpack and the bed stripped of sheets. She asked her manager to take a look.
Inside, he found White’s severed arms still bound by duct tape. Under the bed was White’s torso covered in scratches and small punctures. Positioned in the center of the bed was the Lakers hat — “like a tombstone,” Deputy Dist. Atty. John McKinney said.
During opening statements Wednesday in the murder trial of Edward Garcia, McKinney told jurors that the couple killed White, 49, as part of a “long-held fantasy of dismembering” a body in what he called a “ritualistic killing.
“Blood-shedding and bloodletting was part of the motivation for this crime,” he said, saying that White’s body was almost completely drained of blood.
But Edward’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Haydeh Takasugi, described a more complicated scene for jurors, saying that her client had used two baggies of meth — which, she said, White brought to the hotel — at the time of the killing.
When he encountered the couple again after meeting at the bank, she said, White had offered a proposition of sorts.
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Today I was able to go to the trial for Tracy White, a lovely sweet guy who was a friend to my husband and I knew him as well. He was tricked by these two alleged killers that they wanted help getting sober.
Im so tired. I feel so bad for his mom Elizabeth and his wife Annie. The story is brutal. They cut him up and drained his blood.
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