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Venice Beach murder mystery endures: Who buried a man in the sand?

The area at Venice Beach where Nathan Morgan was found beaten and half buried in the sand in March 2008. Credit: Anthony Pesce / Los Angeles Times.

One year later, Los Angeles Police Department detectives are still trying to sort out a murder mystery on Venice Beach.

Who killed a man found buried in a mound of sand along the boardwalk? The Times' Homicide Report has taken a new look at the case:

Nathan Morgan, who was found beaten to death March 10, 2008 in Venice. Credit: Family photo

Nathan Alan Morgan was found beaten to death and buried under a mound of sand shortly before 8 a.m. on March 10, 2008. Morgan’s battered body was discovered by a Parks and Recreation employee in an area of Venice Beach known as the drum circle. Paramedics called to the scene pronounced him dead. More than a year after his killing, the circumstances surrounding his death remain hazy. Morgan's body was discovered just hours after he had been treated in Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center's emergency room for an injury to his left elbow. Coroner’s records show that he told hospital officials he had hurt himself while “doing gymnastics drunk.”

Read the full story here.

-- Anthony Pesce, in Venice

Photo: Anthony Pesce / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (7)

If this is solved, it will likely be because someone who is trying to cut a deal with the Police volunteers information about who was involved.

Venice Beach is not a high crime area but there are some things that make it possible for this kind of crime to go unsolved for a long time.

First of all, since crime rates are low the L.A.P.D. assigns only one car to cover the beach front from Washington to the Santa Monica City line after 10 p.m. ( the start of the high crime time for the City overall).

Second, there are lights along Ocean Front Walk but there is no illumination from the Walk to the waves. Anyone who has ever ventured out there after dark can tell you that people can do anything out there unobserved.

Third, most of the people who live outdoors along the beach ( and who might have observed someting) are alienated and anti-social (which is why they are there) and are very selective about what they disclose to others, especially the Police.


There is one thing that the City could do that would improve the situation. Install an array of video cameras along Ocean Front Walk connected to a computer driven system in the Pacific Division Police Station to monitor the Beachfront and to help Police Officers patrol it. It would be nice if video cameras with infrared viewing ability could be included in the array and directed towards the sand and other poorly lit locations.

Curmudgeon is volunteering to donate money out of his pocket for thess infrared cameras.. me in the other hand am not willing to put my tax money on a project like that.

i hope he didnt have alcohol on his system when this happened..probably provoked the "incident"???

very sad, hopefully they will get the answers they need.

mess with the bull...get the horns.

"Third, most of the people who live outdoors along the beach ( and who might have observed someting) are alienated and anti-social (which is why they are there) and are very selective about what they disclose to others, especially the Police."

that is retarded

All I have to say about this is that after being on the SAME beach for 7 months living on the streets i've heard the story from some of the people that were on the beach at the time....he was beaten and killed from about 4 or 5 homeless kids...there are different kinds of street kids...there are the gutter punks, train hoppers, drunk punks, and juggalos. The kind of kids that did it were the Train Hoppers.


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