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Grisly details released in death of tennis umpire's husband

August 23, 2012 |  9:12 am

Shards of a coffee mug were found in the head of an 80-year-old man who authorities believe was bludgeoned to death by his wife, a top tennis umpire.

Lois Ann Goodman, 70, allegedly smashed Alan Frederick Goodman's  head with a coffee cup and, when the cup shattered, continued to stab him with the sharp edges of the broken handle, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

Goodman -- known as "Lolo" -- initially told detectives she came home April 17 from working at a tennis event around 7 p.m. to find him dead in bed with a bloody head wound. She believed he had fallen down the stairs, hitting his head on the cup, and then climbed the stairs and got in bed. 

She said she reached that conclusion after following a trail of blood to their bedroom. She called 911 and told responding officers it was an accident. 

But an autopsy found he suffered multiple lacerations to the right side of his head with "sharp force injuries" not consistent with a fall, coroner's officials said. According to several sources, blood was found in several places in the Woodland Hills town home during subsequent search warrants. Neighbors said in the aftermath she had her house cleaned, including the rugs.

Detectives found no signs of a break-in or any intruder. Lt. David Storaker said Lois Goodman showed virtually no emotional reaction to her husband's death in subsequent interviews. 

Goodman was taken into custody Tuesday at a hotel in New York City, where she was preparing to work at the U.S. Open tennis tournament. Goodman has worked as an umpire for decades, officiating matches of some of the sport's top players.

She waived extradition in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday and was held at Riker's Island, where she refused to answer a reporter's questions.  Jane Robison, a Los Angeles County district attorney spokeswoman, said Goodman is slated to return to Los Angeles on Friday but would not appear in court until next week.

Storaker said it "was a suspicious death from the onset," adding that Alan Goodman's head injuries seemed more consistent with an attack.

Storaker said detectives believe they have a motive for the killing, but they declined to release those details. They are asking the public to come forward with any relevant information about the couple in the months leading to Alan Goodman's death.


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— Richard Winton