Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jesse James Hollywood

A Fugitive & A Funeral

More than 300 mourners attended Nick's memorial service at Eden Memorial Park chapel in Mission Hills in 90-degree heat, stunned that a 15-year-old boy had been killed over his brother's drug debt. People packed the chapel and spilled outside, listening to the service over an intercom.

"There are deaths such as this when we can't shake an angry finger at God and say, 'Why?' We can only look at ourselves," Rabbi James Lee Kaufman told the crowd.

Sheriff Jim Anderson of the Santa Barbara Police Department
Sheriff Jim Anderson of the Santa
Barbara Police Department

Six young pallbearers, three of them sobbing, carried the casket up a grassy hill to the grave site, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"You were always a call away when I needed you," Zach Winters, 16, told the assembly. "Things aren't going to be the same without you. All I can say is, I love you, man. We'll always be friends for life."

Ben Markowitz skipped the funeral out of respect for his stepmother, he told KNBC-TV Channel 4.

"I wish I was the one who was gone," he told the news station. "I couldn't even fathom anyone doing that (to him), especially people that I grew up with, laughed with, cried with," he said, struggling to compose himself. "I mean, these are, like, my friends."

Later, police learned that on August 22, Hollywood was driven from Colorado to California by a childhood friend, whom they did not identify. On the morning of August 29, Santa Barbara sheriff's detectives confiscated several bags of evidence from the home of Hollywood's parents. That evening, a Los Angeles SWAT team surrounded Hollywood's house in a quiet San Fernando Valley neighborhood, blocking streets and using bullhorns to warn neighbors to stay locked inside their homes. Police helicopters buzzed the rooftops as police called out for Hollywood to surrender.

At one point, a drunken man stumbled out of the front door with his hands over his head. It was not Hollywood, but one of his acquaintances, who was crashing at the house.

"This is nuts, just nuts," one neighbor told the Daily News, as she waited several hours behind a police barricade. Her two teenage sons were trapped inside their home half a block away.

Police fired tear gas into the house at sunset and forcibly entered it, but found it empty. They did, however, discover the white 1991 Chevy van they believed was used to kidnap Nick.

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