Saturday, July 16, 2011

Don Ray Exclusive! A crime scene nightmare in Glendale.

By Don Ray
Staff Writer

GLENDALE — It was a dark and windy night in 2002. Glendale Police officers responded to a silent alarm coming from an upscale house in an upscale hillside neighborhood. By the time they arrived, the wind had blown away all of the electricity in the neighborhood.
The front door was wide open. Nobody responded to their knocks or calls of  "Anybody here?" So, with flashlights in hand, they entered the living room and quickly discovered a gruesome scene.

 The bullet hole in the center of the man's forehead made two things obvious:
Whoever it was was dead, and there had to be foul play involved — murder. Before they could secure the crime scene, they had to search the place, just in case the killer was still there. Where they had to, police officers broke down doors and anything else that kept them from getting to any place a killer could hide.
While they awaited the Los Angeles County Coroner's investigators, they were careful to not destroy any evidence. Of course, they left the body as they had found it.

A while later, the house's owner, Jerry Quist, returned home to flashing red and blue lights, police cars and the coroner's van. But moments before he arrived, the police or the coroner investigator had solved the mystery.

There was no need for a crime scene. There was no crime. There were no suspects. And there was no dead body.

Today Jerry Quist laughs about the incident. In one sense, the incident was a tribute to his professional skills. Without meaning to, he had fooled the police.

"If the power hadn't gone out, they may have had enough light to see that it was a movie prop," Quist says.
"I had made it for a film called Gigli with Ben Affleck.That's Jerry Quist sitting next to his gruesome creation below.

He says that, following the shooting of the film that was released in 2003, he had kept the body in his Glendale house.

"You never know when they might need to re-shoot a scene or something," Quist said.

When they released the movie, he says it was now OK for him to disassemble the mock murder victim.

The veteran make-up artist and make-up department head has worked in a slew of films including "Red," "Fast and Furious," "Tropic Thunder" and "The Sixth Sense." But he never envisioned that one of his creations would star in the unfolding of a real-life drama.

"It was my fault for not closing the front door when I went out that night," he says. It seems that the wind had blown open the door, which triggered the alarm, and eventually blew out the power before the police would arrive.

Following the debacle, Quist says the police and coroner investigator quickly packed up their things and left him there to repair all of the damage that officer had done looking for a killer.


davidseville said...

whatta riot !!! {{:>))

Ernest said...

My question is; how was this incident reported at the police station?
Just like the peace officer that showed up: I though this was a real!

Just an Average Guy said...

Oh yeah, I definitely would have thought that was a murder victim, especially using flashlights!!!!! No wonder that guy has produced pieces for all those big movies. Talented!!!

Don Ray said...

Aha, Ernest! My plan worked.
Gotcha! :-)
I'll have to ask one of my Glendale Police friends about how they wrote up the incident report. Thanks!

Wizard said...

Only in the LA area!!!

Anonymous said...

Great story and very funny.

Wm Prather said...

Keep em comin

Anonymous said...

You always find interesting things to publish!

Don Ray said...

It's true, I'm always on the prowl for interesting stories. A lot of times my friends tip me off (hint, hint). I'm hoping that more people actually subscribe to my blog. If enough people subscribe and make comments, it increases the chances that someone may want to sponsor the site and enable me to post even more great stories. I have quite a few backed up. Stay tuned.

Holotka said...

That goes to show you how bright cops are- lol!! Holotka