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Bodies Found in Trash Were Those of Engaged Couple

Suspect captured in Encino remains in custody; arraignment set for Nov. 7.

Oletta Jean Williams would have been 29 on Friday. She was planning a future with fiancé John David Lee, 41.

Instead, they died together, killed by multiple gunshot wounds and their bodies dumped in a Lassen Street trash bin. Their decomposing bodies were found Aug. 12.

Los Angeles police and the county coroner's office only released the names of the victims after repeated requests by Chatsworth Patch.

Police have identified a suspect in the killings, Brent D. Zubek, 43, one of the so-called "Hole in the Wall Gang" of bank robbers of the early 1990s, whom police officers cornered on an Encino rooftop near on Aug. 22. Zubek, who was arrested and remains in custody, was wounded in the hip after allegedly firing a gun at the officers as they closed in on him. He still reportedly had the gun when police surrounded him after a seven-hour dragnet.

But Zubek has only been charged with shooting at the police, and has not been charged in the slayings. He is scheduled to appear Nov. 7 in a San Fernando courtroom for arraignment on the shooting charges.

“The [homicide] case remains under investigation,” Los Angeles police Detective Ruben Arellano told Chatsworth Patch.

Williams and Lee each died from multiple gunshot wounds, Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey confirmed in an email.

“She reportedly had gunshot wounds to head and torso, and he only indicates torso,” Harvey said.

Although the bodies were discovered in August, authorities believe the two were killed in July at a house in the 20400 block of Lassen Street in Chatsworth. All three had been living there as squatters, officials said.

There have been three mysterious fires at the house. The fire department is investigating them as possible arson. The house burned twice after the bodies were discovered. Firefighters also responded recently to a third call there that a van was burning.

Perhaps someone thought fires would destroy evidence, Jim Dellinger, field deputy for Councilman Mitch Englander, speculated Wednesday. Dellinger said a city building inspector ordered the house boarded up and secured. Dellinger, a former policeman, said he has been assisting in cleanup of the site.

Arellano said that police were still gathering evidence and, with a suspect in custody, detectives were taking time to build a strong case.

Williams, a 2000 graduate of Chatsworth High School, listed Lee as her fiancé on her Facebook page.

At the time of his death, Lee was on probation after pleading no contest to a felony grand theft charge in August 2010, according to court records. Lee was also convicted on two counts of spousal abuse in 1997, spent 45 days in jail and was ordered into a counseling program, according to court records.

Arellano said Williams also had a brush with the law in the 1990s, but did not have immediate access to the details.

There was an outpouring of sympathy following their deaths.

Tom Coylar, who said he was friends with the couple, wrote in an email that they were “two of the most careing [sic] people I have ever met. They would go out of there [sic] way to help you out no matter what it was you were doing, and if you had a computer problem you wouldn't find any better computer tec[hnichian] than John, and they didn't have to know you either [be]cause they would help a complete stranger. I could go on and on, but the people that knew them know what I am talking about… they will be missed.”

Frankie Greenstone, a Facebook friend of Williams, said in an email that “they were good people.”

Saul Daniels contributed to this report.

Devon Rémy October 08, 2011 at 05:27 PM
Very sad that this lowlife Zubek took from the world two kind-hearted people.
Reenieshouse December 04, 2011 at 06:39 PM
Even though Brent Zubek hasn't been charged there is still heavy scrutiny - public opinion already has him sentenced and hanged, yet we are supposed to have a just system and believe in "innocent until proven guilty". Interesting how he is considered a lowlife, even though to others, being a car thief AND spouse abuser would be one as well.....
Kent Metcalf December 04, 2011 at 07:28 PM
Devon Rémy.. Did you not read the entire article? Or is a spousal abuser considered to be a kind hearted person to you? Do you feel its ok to abuse your spouse? Or, and I hope not, are you jut insane?
betty Yvonne Slack September 26, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Mr. Metcalf, I don't want to come off being rude to you -BUT.....You really need to check yourself with your comments,Sir.Have a little compassion for the families and friends of John and Oletta !!! I personally knew the couple-we were close like family.This was a GOOD MAN and frankly I don't see why any of those things about Johns past were brought up for public judgement anyway-!?! What does any of that crap have to do with these two amazing people being murdered and disregarded in trash cans to rot like some sort of ' human garbage ' ?? NOBODY has the right to do such a thing to ANYBODY!!!! The people involved in this crime/MURDER are the definition of the word UGLY!!!!!!!! Wastes of skin!! Accidential Birthed Malfuntions/MISTAKES!!!!! I have faith that these people well be held accountable for their crime*(s)against John Lee and Oletta Williams and all that shared life with them because GOD DOESN'T LIKE "UGLY" and it's time for the REAL HUMAN GARBAGE to be taken to the DUMP and disposed of so as never to have a chance to do this ever again-THE SOONER THE BETTER!!!! If you knew John and Oletta I'm certain you would have loved them as did everyone that did know them.

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