June 3rd, 1982. The Los Angeles Times published an article about the unsolved cases of two murders with similar methods of killing, but with no physical evidence of connecting the murders. Officers interviewed friends, relatives, ex-boyfriends, acquaintances of the girls, checked the alibis of criminals and mental patients, and checked large amounts of physical evidence. Each lead ended in frustration.
The 1980 murder of Brenda Maloney '83 had remained a mystery until Hawthorne police Detective John Beerling uncovered information while investigating an unrelated case. The suspect confessed to the murder when questioned by police. He was tried and convicted, and then sentenced to a California Youth Authority facility until the age of 25.
Nancy Maloney '72 has posted two messages on our website. One was to thank us for remembering Brenda. The second was to share with us how Leuzinger Teacher Walt Kaplan made a difference in her life.
Nancy wrote a letter to the L.A. Times in March of 1981. I found a copy of that article. Nancy writes:
'I want to thank you for the article on the girl (Laura Lesinski) who was murdered last year in Torrance. The family and friends of that young girl have not forgotten her and it was good to see the follow up...' and the letter continues and talks about her sister Brenda, about how life in the neighborhood has resumed but in reality it hasn't, and about an offer of a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of Brenda's murderer.
But... what happened in the murder case of Laura Lesinski? Has her killer ever been apprehended?
Laura Lesinski, age 17, attended South Torrance High School - Class of 1981. She stayed home from school on the morning of March 27, 1980... the day before she was to take a trip to Las Vegas.
She intentionally or accidentally missed her morning school bus. About an hour and a half after missing her bus, she was seen walking on Crest Road with a young man, near the family's home. Around 11:30 AM, she arrived at the Parker Travel Agency in the Rolling Hills Shopping Center.
At the travel agency, she purchased an airline ticket to Las Vegas, where she was planning to spend Easter Vacation with friends of the family. Employees of the agency said that a goofy young man entered a moment after Laura. He then stood around reading travel folders while Laura ordered and paid for her tickets.
He left the building within a minute of Laura's departure. It was assumed at first that the two were together since they entered at nearly the same time, but the employees said that Laura gave no sign that she knew the man or was aware of his presence.
At some time around midday, she was stabbed to death in her South Torrance home. Police found no signs of forced entry. There was plenty of evidence for a conviction if the killer could be apprehended.
Torrance Homicide Detective Rick Lout who back then investigated Laura's murder said that they followed up on 275 to 300 leads and interviewed 150 people, of which 50 were considered possible suspects. Investigators gave 25 lie detector tests, but all suspects were cleared.
I 'googled' Laura Lesinski's name yesterday. The google search lead me to South Torrance High School's alumni messageboard. On August 14, 2002 someone had typed in that the murder case was finally solved. That someone even named the person who was arrested for her murder. This rumor was originally talked about in a private conversation, but made it's way to the messageboard with approximately 15 posts following it.
On the following day, the Torrance Police Department had this to say on the alumni website...
'Hello everyone! Let me introduce myself. I am Detective Walt Delsigne with the Torrance Police Department. The postings on this web site regarding the Laura Lesinski murder case was brought to my attention this afternoon. In reading these postings, I was quite amazed. Amazed of how rumors can sometimes start and then take on a life of their own. I don't fault anyone for this because, after all, it is human nature. I know that the tragic murder of such a young girl must have affected many of you, including those who really didn't even know Laura and I'm sure everyone would like to see this case solved, with the exception of course of the person who is actually responsible for Laura's death. As much as I would love to announce that we have finally solved this case, I cannot. The fact is we have made no arrest in this case. The information that is being spread on this web site is not true and it would be unfair at this point to single out any one individual and naming that individual as the person responsible for such a horrific crime. This case is still considered 'open' and we have been, and will be, conducting further investigation into Laura's death. I invite anyone who feels they have viable information that might help us solve this case to contact me directly. My desk telephone number is (310) 618-5584.'
It has been 6 years since Detective Wal Designe's posting. There is no further information on the case out on the world wide web. It can be said that Laura Lesinski's murder remains an unsolved mystery.
Thank you Terrence for that because not more than a few months ago when we wrote of Brenda, I thought of this other girl Laura, who I did not know, but clearly remember during the time of Brenda's death the rumors surrounding the two and that they were saying that their deaths were connected.
I have wondered over the years If they had ever found who did that to her and remember with sadness that she would be around our age today, and that her little sister found her when she came home from school that day.
Thanks Terrence. I remember both cases. I was a friend of Brenda's Brother Pat back in My LHS days. And, I lived near where Laura lived and used to frequent the Parasol Restaurant where she worked. I am sad to hear that it is still unsolved.
I was just thinking of Brenda the other day when I drove by the old neighborhood. She and my sister had been good friends since grade school. They used to walk to and from school together since we lived around the block from them. Super nice girl with a very bright future and always took the time to acknowledge people. She could have gotten very far in life. She was taken so young to be one of God's angels.
A Memorial for Laura is posted here so that family, friends, classmates and teachers of this popular South High School junior are aware that The Olympians of Leuzinger High School have not forgotten either Brenda Maloney or Laura Lesinski.
Laura Jeanne Lesinski was born December 14, 1962 in Torrance, California. She was the third of four children and second daughter of Jerome Edward Lesinski and Margaret Lorraine Theeringer. She was brutally stabbed to death in her home on Lofytyview Drive in Torrance Ca. on March 27, 1980 by an unknown male. As of this date the case is unsolved.
Thinking of Laura today on our Mom's 80th B-day also close to her B-day 12/14 and how it probably will not come to pass that this will ever get solved so I googled her name and was surprised to see this posting . Keep praying this guy is somehow caught