In the late 1980s, Larry Altman and I worked at the Ontario Daily Report. I left for Orange County daily journalism in 1989, Larry left for Los Angeles County daily journalism the following year (he's been the Torrance Daily Breeze cop reporter since 1990), and the "Daily Repeat" or "Daily Distort" as it was not-so-affectionately called later merged with the Pomona Progress-Bulletin to become what is now the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. An Ontario case that long haunted Altman is among the last he worked in the Inland Empire: the March 22, 1990, slaying of a 24-year-old transvestite prostitute. Now, 25 years later, the reporter wrote that DNA evidence points to the killer as being someone I wrote about on Navel Gazing six years ago: a Santa Ana murder suspect whose last name is tatted in large letters on his neck.
Richard Reil is the suspect from this case:
Five to 10 people were drinking in front of a home in the 1700 block of West Flora Street, just south of Warner Avenue, in Santa Ana around 12:30 a.m. on June 26, 2009, when Alex Camacho, 35, got into an argument with parolee Reil. Detectives say Reil pulled out a gun, shot Camacho and fled before police and parole officers conducting surveillance caught him on July 7, 2009, and arrested him on suspicion of murder and for two warrants for parole violations. Reil has been in custody in Orange County ever since awaiting trial for murder.
Meanwhile, detectives in Ontario working the cold case murder of transvestite prostitute Lyle William Foster entered evidence into the DNA database three years ago, got a hit on Reil and have been linking him to the crime ever since, reports Altman, who also tweeted, "I stood at this homicide 25 years ago. Now detectives say they have solved it and I got the chance to write it, again."
The body of Foster, who was living her life as "Kathy" and had sought to leave drugs and prostitution behind her in Hollywood, was found by passers-by in a vacant field in Ontario. She was wearing women's clothing–a black velvet jacket, pink pants and pink socks, her long hair dyed red–and she had been shot three times and left feet from a curb as if someone had pulled up, dumped the body and sped away. Cocaine and methamphetamine were in her system, according to authorities.
Ontario detectives are mum on the specific evidence against Reil or any statements he made to them, saving that for court. Orange County prosecutors filed the case in May because even though Foster's slaying occurred in San Bernardino County, it is being linked to the Camacho murder in Santa Ana. Two cases, one trial, as a homicide cop put it. Reil, who already pleaded not guilty to the Santa Ana killing, is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 18 for the Ontario slaying.
"Unlike other cases where family members push homicide detectives for years to solve cases, none did on Foster's behalf," Altman writes of the victim buried in San Bernardino County. "Detectives have not located any family members to tell them about Reil."