The Ninja Murder Case
In 1976, Gerald's hard charging ways caused him to suffer a heart attack. He stopped coming to work. His sons offered him a $2 million buyout, but he refused. Gerald decided to dissolve the business rather than have his sons run it without him. When Neil and Stewart balked, Gerald sued them. Each side pointed fingers at the other, claiming that the other side was unfit to run a business. Five years later, a judge ruled that the business was to remain operational but that Gerald was to be awarded $675,000 for his share.
Neil and Stewart paid Gerald the money, fired him and their brother Wayne, and renamed the company Manchester Products. Then they cut their parents off from seeing their grandchildren. Not used to being on the losing side, Gerald started a competing business to lure clients away from his sons, but it ultimately failed. Eventually Gerald and Vera were driven into bankruptcy and forced to sell their $1 million home near Bel Air. They moved in with their youngest son Wayne, with whom they were living when they died.
Once Gerald left the business, the brothers began to live it up. Both had houses in the nearby San Fernando Valley and wives who dressed in the latest designer fashions. The women had a monthly flower allowance of $1,500. Stewart's wife received $45,000 a month in play money while he partied in Las Vegas, driving a Rolls Royce with $20,000 stashed in the trunk. It seemed they had more money than they would be able to spend.
All that luxury came with a price. By the time their parents were killed, Neil and Stewart were millions of dollars in debt, and the company was floundering.