The old Fox movie ranch served as the backdrop for many well-known films, including MASH.
Now deeded to the state and called Malibu State Park, the area witnessed a real life mystery over the weekend, as a Ph.D. scientist married to an Asian woman, also a Ph.D., was gunned down in a tent. His two daughters, ages 2 and 4, were also in the tent, but were unhurt.
First, the story, then we’ll play amateur sleuth.
California police are investigating the mysterious death of a 35-year-old man shot while camping with his two young daughters in Malibu Creek State Park.
Lt. Rodney Moore of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said the victim, Tristan Beaudette of Irvine, California, was shot at least once in the upper torso in the early hours of Friday morning.
Moore told The Los Angeles Times that Beaudette may have been shot while he was inside a tent with his two daughters, ages 2 and 4.
“The theory we are working with is he was shot inside the tent,” the officer said. “The children were inside the tent, too.”
Moore said the case was being treated “as a homicide at this point.” The two children were not hurt in the shooting, he added.
Beaudette has been remembered by friends and family as a devoted father and husband, a lover of the outdoors, and a “brilliant” chemist who worked in the pharmaceutical industry. He is survived by his wife, Erica, and his two young girls.
A GoFundMe page set up by Beaudette’s family members expressed horror at “the senselessness of this crime.”
“Words cannot express the absolute devastation and sorrow we feel from the loss of someone so dear to our family,” the page said.
Police told CBS Los Angeles on Saturday that no leads, no suspect and no motive for the shooting had yet been identified.
As the homicide investigation continues, at least 60 campsites in Malibu Creek State Park, a popular hiking and camping spot in the Calabasas area, have been temporarily closed to the public, reported NBC4. Hiking trails in the area will remain open.
Two TV news reports, embedded below allow you to see the area.
Let’s speculate, without censoring ourselves, what might have gone down.
1. When a wife is killed mysteriously, the police always try to build a case against the husband. Let’s be fair and ask if the marriage between the white man and the Asian woman (Chinese?) offers any clues.
By marrying Tristan a foreign woman would ensure herself of being able to stay in the USA. Perhaps he outlived his usefulness to her. Or perhaps he got over his yellow fever and was looking for a new life away from the yellow woman.
Believe me, the police will be looking at his life insurance and marriage situation.
2. He worked for Big Pharma. Did he find out something about a drug that he wasn’t supposed to know. Did he threaten to blow the whistle?
I hope that police have the intelligence to follow that angle, but I doubt it.
3. Working as an academic myself, I can tell you that people with Ph.Ds are sometimes insanely jealous of colleagues and ruthless in trying to eliminate them. It rarely comes to murder, but it has happened.
The police had better take a close look at Tristan’s colleagues.
4. MS-13 and other gangs infest the Los Angeles area. They have cars. They can travel to parks. Tristan may have witnessed something he shouldn’t have witnessed.
5. An illegal alien nutjob, or any other mentally disturbed person may have been in the area. Would a nutjob have killed the girls too? The police would know. They are witnesses to a murder. Why leave them alive?
6. A new Charles Manson?
Hopefully, for the sake of the alt-right, the killer is not a Trump supporter who has Nazi tattoos and white supremacy tats.