Manfred Schockner

This will likely be one of my shorter blogs, and for those of you who know, and sometimes get frustrated with my "books" this may be a pleasant surprise.  Not only is there not an extreme amount of detailed information about this case, but really there are few things that have drug out or were extraordinary.  

On the surface this looks like your "run of the mill" (that sounds horrible) spouse kills spouse because they do not want to lose money in a divorce case. Even the fact that the husband was eventually convicted because he had hired someone to kill his estranged wife is not that unusual. But this case made headlines and not for the standard reasons, such as the fact that the husband was a millionaire, although that would have done it too.  This case became "sensational" because while Lynn Schockner was being murdered in her backyard police officers were waiting at the gate to her yard for her to unlock it.

On November 8, 2004 in Bixby Knolls California (near Long Beach) a resident in Lynn's neighborhood had called the police just before 11 am to report seeing what appeared to be a prowler in the area.  Police indicate there were approximately six officers in the area search.  They had made their way to Lynn Schockner's home and she answered the door without appearing to be in distress.  She appeared that way because she wasn't.  Officers told her of the prowler report and asked if she could unlock the gate to her backyard so they could have a look around.  She agreed and said she would get the key and meet them there.

As Lynn went back into the home, leaving the officers outside, she retrieved the key and headed out her back door onto her patio. It was there that she was met by Nicholas Harvey, a body builder and steroid addict.  Harvey proceeded to stab Lynn Schockner several times and slit her throat.  He hurried inside the home, not knowing officers were all around, and began to turn over furniture and ransack the house to make it look like a burglary had occurred.  He then ran out the back door and over a fence where he was promptly met by officers. He was carrying the bloody dagger he had just used in his pants.  

Through an investigation that included wire taps, phone records, bank statements and even surveillance and other police maneuvers and tactics authorities were able to discover that Harvey had been hired by a man named Frankie Jaramillo.  Jaramillo had met Manfred Schockner at a local gym at some point.  When Lynn and Manfred were looking at divorce Manfred had given Jaramillo $50,000 to murder his wife.  In turn Jaramillo had hired Harvey who had been willing to do it for a mere $5,000.

Of course, as usual Manfred pleaded his innocence and even after being convicted continued to do so.  At his sentencing hearing in 2007 he spent his opportunity to speak talking about poor jail conditions and blaming the police for his wife's death, feigning grief.  Prosecutors had argued, and apparently proved, that Manfred had decided he was not going to give his wife half of his $7M fortune and that he would see her dead first.  The judge obviously agreed with the prosecution because as he sentenced Manfred to life without the possibility of parole that even half of his fortune was more than a vast majority of citizens will ever see in their lifetime.  Jaramillo and Harvey were both also given the same sentence.

Lynn and Manfred had a son, Charlie, who was fourteen at the time of his mothers murder.  The judge had also admonished Manfred at his sentencing for in essence making him an orphan.  Apparently Charlie had always had a difficult relationship with is father.  Charlie and Lynn's family maintain that Manfred had been abusive to both his wife and son.  Lynn's brother, Terry Jicha and his wife took Charlie in after Lynn's murder and raised him.  Terry first had to fight Manfred every inch of the way to be able to obtain Manfred's millions for his son.  In 2010 Terry was there again when there was an issue with retirement accounts that Lynn had set up.  Apparently there were several and by normal standards a surviving spouse would receive them.  There is no federal "slayer" law (one in which prevents someone who has caused a death to benefit from it) but a judge determined that while it is not an actual law, it is common law to follow.  The judge ruled that the monies would go into Lynn's estate in which Charlie was the beneficiary.  

Charlie has grown up amazingly well considering what he has endured during his lifetime.  When he turned eighteen he decided to take his mother's maiden name, Jicha, and the name of the couple who raised him.  At last check he is excelling at life.


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