Saldivar later recanted his confession during an interview on the ABC
news program "20/20." He said he invented the tale of the "mercy
killings" in a scheme to get the death penalty because he wanted to die
but was afraid of committing suicide.
In 1990, the city suffered one of the worst fires in its history when
a blaze swept through the College Hills area and destroyed 64 homes and
caused $18 million in damage. Imagine the shock residents and city
officials felt when John Orr, a Glendale arson investigator, was accused
of setting the disastrous blaze.
Orr was convicted of the crime two years later and sentenced to life
In a crime that stunned the city, Jorjik Avanesian is accused of
setting fire to his Harvard Terrace apartment in February of 1996,
killing his six children and his wife. Gasoline-soaked towels and pots
filled with a flammable liquid were found in the apartment. The
unemployed electrical engineer, who had moved his family from Iran, has
said the fire was an accident caused by drug dealers who knew his wife.
Avanesian spent 14 months at Patton State Hospital undergoing
psychiatric evaluation before being declared fit to stand trial. He was
tried and convicted on seven counts of murder, but the jury deadlocked on
the sanity phase of the trial. He is scheduled to be retried on that
phase this month.
The Police Department mourned the loss of one its own when Officer
Charles Lazzaretto was slain in the line of duty in 1997. Lazzaretto and
his partner had gone to a Chatsworth pornography warehouse searching for
attempted murder suspect Israel Gonzalez. Police say Ronald Davey, who
also worked at the warehouse, lied to the officers, telling them Gonzalez
was not present. As Lazzaretto walked through the warehouse, Gonzalez
shot him and then took his own life. Davey pleaded no contest earlier
this month to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to three years
probation for his role in Lazzaretto's death.
1992 -- The Glendale Police Department purchases a turbo-powered
helicopter. The new helicopter is quieter and faster than the old model.
1995 -- Former Police Chief Dwayne Baker dies.
1996 -- Jorjik Avanesian allegedly sets fire to his Harvard Terrace
apartment, killing his wife and six children.
1997 -- Glendale Police Officer Charles Lazzaretto is shot to death by
Israel Gonzalez at a Chatsworth warehouse. Gonzalez then kills himself.
1999: Ronald Davey, who police say lied to police about whether
shooter Israel Gonzalez was present, pleads no contest to involuntary
manslaughter for his role in the death of Lazzaretto. Neonatologist Kevin
Paul Anderson is charged with murdering Glendale pediatrician Deepti
Gupta and pushing a car with her body down a steep embankment in the
Angeles National Forest.