Stanwood Fred Elkus Blames Botched Surgery 21 Years Ago for Killing of Dr. Ronald Franklin
Stanwood Fred Elkus fatally shot Dr. Ronald Franklin Gilbert in a Newport Beach examination room because the Lake Elsinore barber was angry the urologist botched prostate surgery 21 years ago, according to a jailhouse interview.
"I'll admit what I did was a terrible thing," the 75-year-old murder suspect reportedly said.
Elkus was described as wearing an orange jumpsuit and speaking into a phone from behind glass with a Los Angeles Times reporter during visiting hours at Theo Lacy Jail Facility in Orange.
Not much more was revealed during the 10-minute chat, which included Elkus supposedly saying he was unfairly portrayed as cranky and violent by neighbors and that he was upset at missing a Theo Lacy meal--perhaps the first time in history anyone has said such a thing.
Reporter Lauren Williams' story has attorney Ed Susolik, who represents the family of the late Dr. Ronald Franklin Gilbert, saying that while the urologist did work at the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital where Elkus had his operation, there is no record Gilbert performed the surgery that plunged the patient into a deep, seething depression.
Susolik surmises Elkus confused Gilbert with another VA doctor whose last name is similar to the slain 52-year-old's--making this tragedy ever more tragic.
Though Elkus surrendered his weapon to a staffer of the medical office near Hoag Hospital after the Jan. 28 shooting and gave up without incident to arriving police, he pleaded not guilty to murder at his arraignment.
In civil court, the Gilbert family has filed a wrongful death claim against Elkus and blocked him from transferring property and other assets to relatives.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.