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Body of writer's daughter found off Mulholland; bidding war for Alcindor, January 2, 1969

January 2, 2009 |  9:00 am


1969_0105_habe Elizabeth Marina Habe was home on Christmas vacation from the University of Hawaii and staying with her mother, actress Eloise Hardt, at 8962 Cynthia Ave., in West Hollywood. Her parents were divorced and her father, author Hans Habe, lived in Switzerland.

Elizabeth had been on a double date with John Hornburg, 22, a longtime family friend, and left the Hornburg home, 13326 Sunset Blvd., about 3:15 a.m. Dec. 30, in her sports car.

About 3:30 a.m., her mother was awakened by a car with a noisy muffler. She looked out the window, saw a man run toward a black car and yell "Go!"

They found Elizabeth's car in the driveway with the handbrake set so firmly that police doubted she had the strength to do it.

A couple walking on a fire road off Mulholland Drive discovered Elizabeth's purse about 2 p.m. on New Year's Day. Investigators found her in heavy brush 30 feet down a slope in the 8800 block of Mulholland near Bowmont. She was wearing brown capris, a white turtleneck and a brown coat. Elizabeth had been stabbed repeatedly in the chest, but not raped, police said. Her killing was never solved. She was 17.

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1969_0102_sportsThe bidding war for Lew Alcindor has begun.

"If Lew Alcindor comes to the American Basketball Assn. it will guarantee the success of the league," said Rick Barry, who jumped from the NBA to play and part-own the Oakland Oaks. "But if he goes to the NBA it will make it a long, tough haul."

Alcindor figured to be the top pick in the NBA draft, but the ABA was going to change its rules to try and get him to sign. The Times ran a AP story on Jan. 28 that said the ABA would let Alcindor pick his own team.

Commissioner George Mikan said most of the teams were in favor of letting the UCLA star choose where to play and most teams favored pooling resources so the league could afford his salary. The story suggested that New York might be his first choice because he grew up in New York City. But the Nets were playing in "a drafty arena in Commack, Long Island, about 40 miles from Manhattan." They hoped to move into a new arena being built in Long Island.

So what might have happened if Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) had picked the Nets? Might he have teamed with Julius Erving, the league's biggest star who was traded to the Nets in 1973. Interesting to imagine how good that team might have been. Maybe good enough to help the ABA survive.

--Keith Thursby