“Are you crazy?” was one of the first questions officers asked 41-year old Leo Lewis after he’d shot his estranged wife Blanche, 47, in the stomach and then shot his 15-year old stepdaughter, Miranda, in the head, killing both during a meeting at an attorney’s office.
Leo had walked into the meeting expecting to finalize his divorce, but was told he was going to be charged with sexually molesting Miranda, and that they wanted him deported. Leo, a Polish immigrant, was furious, saying the charges were bogus, and he pointed to a secret in his wife’s past to help bolster his argument. Here are the excerpts from police files, which also revealed the couple had a fast and furious relationship, meeting and marrying within two weeks.
Detective Richey: What got into you today? Are you crazy?
Leo: No, no, no, I am not crazy. I could be… when a man is pushed to the wall.
Detective: What do you mean by that.
A neighbor: Explain it Lewis, just like you told us.
Leo: It happened recently, just in a short time. I have a business. I have two cars. I be very happy, ask in the neighborhood, like a happy family.
Detective: Now wait a minute, You say until recently you were very happy. What happened since them.
Leo: They decide to destroy me. My wife.
Detective: Tell me what you mean.
Leo: Blanche has 2 kids from a previous marriage and I have a little son from a previous marriage whose mother died when the boy was born and Blanche and I have together a little girl 2 years old.
Detective: Ok, let’s go back, and keep going here as to what led up to this thing today.
Leo: I work hard, I try to provide nicely, I build up a food drive-in on 18th and Pico. Leo’s Drive-in. We sold it. I buy a liquor store. She wants more things. She threatens to deport me. She did the same thing to her first husband. But he didn’t fight back, he hung himself.
Detective: What happened with you and Blanche and Miranda?
Leo: Miranda was drinking highballs, I told her no, she hit me with a shoe. I slap her, she fall down bleeding and call police. Then Miranda accuse me to have sexual things with her.
Leo went on to explain that Blanche had served him with divorce papers, and he complied, giving her everything she wanted, including the house. He said he never fought back because, “I am a healthy man, I can begin again.” (Apparently so, police found this unused condom in his pocket.)
Blanche died instantly after taking a bullet to the stomach. Miranda, shot in the head, was taken to the hospital where she died half an hour later. Lewis ended up in prison the rest of his life, “They take a man and destroy him. And they destroy themselves too. I never expected to kill. I know I am guilty, I want to tell this, they pushed me to the wall.”