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Times coverage: Grandmother of eight shot to death at her Lynwood check-cashing business

October 9, 2009 | 11:25 am


The Times' Esmeralda Bermudez covers the slaying of Esperanza Serrano, a 66-year-old Latina who was shot and killed at her check-cashing business in Lynwood on Wednesday:

She could have quit the business 20 years ago when her husband passed away, closed down the storefront when her children offered to care for her. Or Esperanza Serrano could have quietly slipped into retirement when she turned 62.

But at 66 years old, she loved running her check-cashing business. From behind her glass window along the 3000 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Lynwood, she greeted a loyal clientele that she built over three decades.

Buenos dias, DoƱa Esperanza! customers called out, and she cashed their checks, sometimes for free. She lent them money and, now and then, helped them find work.

As customers pulled up in front of Century Check Cashing on Thursday morning they were shocked and saddened to find her window shut, her office closed.

Inside, homicide detectives combed for clues in the shooting death Wednesday of Serrano, a grandmother of eight.

Read more of Bermudez's story: Customers mourn slain Lynwood merchant

[An earlier version of this post incorrectly gave Serrano's age as 62 in the introduction to the excerpt.]

Follow The Homicide Report on Twitter @latimeshomicide.

Photo: Rudy Simmons of Palmdale makes the sign of the cross after lighting a candle at a memorial for Esperanza Serrano at Century Check Cashing in Lynwood. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

The comments to this entry are closed.

Comments (4)

Rest In Paradise Esperanza, The earth lost a beautiful person and Heaven gained a beautiful Angel.
My heart goes out to her family and pray that they find the animals who did this.

To the Serrano family wow-wow-wow that this shi* is still going on, it broke my heart and it brought me to tears to hear about ur momma god when is this gonna end. I also had my mother killed in Lynwood 2006 63yrs old at the time. I could honestly say to u guys that i know how it is, till this day i cant believe that my mami my ama went bye bye, ay ama como te necesito. All u guys need to stay strong and with eachother, i lived in lynwood 25yrs my entire life im still 25 but now im in Lancaster living a much slower pace life. I will pray for all of u. necesitan estar unidos i mas por las hijas/o de Esperanza, only time only time and Jesus of course.

this is actually my nephews aunt, from his other side of the family. I dont really keep in touch with them but I send my respect to the family for their loss.

My heart goes out to the Esperanza Family. Their are no words to express my condolence. To lose your baby to murder is the worse. There is nothing worse. If there is anything Justice For Murdered Children can do to help you threw this then email me at or go to our website or look us up on facebook at justice for murdered children.

This is horrible.


About the Reporters
The Homicide Report is compiled using information from the Los Angeles County coroner's office, local law enforcement agencies and the Los Angeles Times. It is written by Times staff writers.

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Please visit the Homicide Report at its new location |  January 25, 2010, 10:32 pm »
Database and interactive map coming soon |  January 12, 2010, 4:19 pm »
L.A. County homicides: Jan. 4-11 |  January 11, 2010, 1:18 pm »
Koreatown: Bennett Bradley, 60 [Updated] |  January 5, 2010, 11:07 pm »
Palmdale: Eugene Harrington Jr., 23 |  January 5, 2010, 11:04 pm »

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