Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Love Means Nothing to Tennis Official Accused of Murdering Husband

Alan Goodman. ID photo.

It was only a month before their 50th anniversary and to the outside world, Lois and Alan Goodman seemed to be a loving couple in their winter years. Alan had run an auto parts business, while his wife – nicknamed “Lolo” continued to work as a tennis official. When Alan was found dead in his apartment on April 17, 2012, Lois told police she thought he had injured himself falling downstairs. A police investigation revealed a darker story.

Lois Goodman, 70, called police to their Woodland Hills condo, where 80-year-old Alan was found dead in his bed – a trail of blood led from the stairs into the bedroom. Lois explained that she found her husband’s dead body after coming home late after officiating a tennis tournament. She assumed that her husband – who suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure – must have been holding a coffee cup when he fell and hit his head, but remained conscious enough to climb the stairs and get in bed before passing away.

At first, police believed her story and so Alan’s body was sent to a mortuary without an autopsy. However, when a coroner’s investigator performed a routine check on the body, he noted cuts on the head and ears, and reported signs of “deep penetrating blunt force trauma… consistent with being impacted with a sharp object.”

So police took another look. LAPD Lt. David Storaker told the New York Times, “there was an awful lot of blood… it just didn’t match the fact that he had just fallen down the stairs.” When the autopsy found pieces of the coffee mug embedded in Alan Goodman’s scalp and concluded that his head had suffered multiple impacts, LA police executed several searches of the Goodman home.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the police found a motive for murder in Lois Goodman’s e-mails. Goodman apparently wrote e-mails about “terminating the relationship” and pursuing “alternate sleeping arrangements.” However, the state of the Goodmans’ marriage is not clear at this point.

The NY Daily News offered different motives for the murder. An unnamed source told the paper that Lois Goodman may have been put off by her husband’s failing health and creeping depression. Another theory offered is that Alan Goodman became excessively clingy in his declining years, calling his wife 15 times a day when she traveled to tennis tournaments.

Earlier this week, California authorities filed a felony complaint for arrest warrant (below) charging Lois Goodman with the murder of her husband by bludgeoning him with a coffee cup. Goodman was in New York where she was planning to serve as an official during the upcoming US Open. NYPD officers arrested her at her midtown hotel in the early morning before she could make the journey to the USTA National Tennis Center in Queens.

Yesterday, Goodman was brought in to a Manhattan courtroom for the first time in connection with the charge. She walked into court wearing her US Open officiating gear and handcuffs. Against the advice of her attorney Allan Farbman, Goodman waived her right to fight extradition. Goodman will soon be transported back to Los Angeles where she will be arraigned in preparation for trial.

Prosecutors intend to ask for $1 million bail to secure Goodman’s release. If she is ultimately convicted of her husband’s murder, she faces a life sentence.

 

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