LAPD: Parker Center Cop Shop Files

June 16, 1974, Michael Lee Edwards

Several weeks ago, I was given a box of material that was cleaned out of the old press room at the LAPD’s Parker Center headquarters, sometimes called “the cop shop.” The box was a jumble of press releases, photographs, artists’ sketches and other items dating from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. I am organizing and cataloging the material and I’ll be posting selected items on a weekly basis.

The majority of the material is from the LAPD, but there are a few items from the Sheriff’s Department, the Fire Department and other agencies. The photos, showing police officers, suspects and victims, are particularly challenging because many of them are undated and unidentified. Some police officers only have badge numbers or serial numbers. Some victims and suspects are only identified by a DR number or a booking number. And some have nothing.

I’m starting with the 1974 killing of Michael Lee Edwards (DR 74-553-835), the only unsolved murder of a Los Angeles police officer.

Here is 2002 story on the case by former Times reporter Anna Gorman.

And the “77th Street Requiem” by Wendy Hornsby sounds suspiciously like the Michael Lee Edwards case. (Sorry, I originally had “99th Street Requiem.”)

Surely there must be at least one gun enthusiast among the Brain Trust who can tell us what kind of 9 millimeter pistol has six lands and grooves with a right-hand twist.

w 89th St., where Edwards' body was found

The changing neighborhood in the 100 block of West 89th Street, up at the corner, where Edwards’ body was found, via Google Street View. Apparently the property has since been demolished.


Map from body to car dump
A map showing the distance between (A) where Edwards’ body was found and (B) where his car was dumped, via Google Street View.


1034 w/ 186th St., Michael Lee Edwards Case

1034 W. 186th St., where Michael Lee Edwards’ Ford Pinto was found, via Google Street View. 


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About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1974, Cold Cases, LAPD, Parker Center Cop Shop Files and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to LAPD: Parker Center Cop Shop Files

  1. Santos L. Halper says:

    ’74, right hand twist i’d wager the 9mm was a browning.

  2. Zabadu says:

    Never sure if these go thru – you have a typo on your link to Hornsby’s book. It says “99th”, not “77th”.

  3. Gary Martin says:

    It’s an interesting confession by an officer than a plumber’s death and an officer’s death are investigated differently, although I suspect we’ve always known that. It is also interesting that the investigation of an officer’s death is unclosed as the literature, Ellroy, et al, always implies that there will be no rest until the case is closed. Perhaps, under the influence of Ellroy again, perhaps this case is unsolved for a departmental reason?
    In regard to your investigations, you see the prejudice under which we the public consider these cases. Imagine the obstacles to be overcome were we to take up pen!

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