The Death Of L.A. Hustler Jimmy Lee Casino
Who are these people. Where do they come from.
As Lee from the Starwood stated from his own experience growing up within the L.A. night life culture, the 70s and 80s in Los Angeles were filled with half-ass middle aged night club hustlers who preyed on young people to get what they wanted. History has shown that L.A. is a magnet for starstruck kids, as well as career criminals, ex-cons, sociopaths, psychos, perverts and other less desirable types in society.
These baby-boom aged strip club hustlers and wannabe “Mickey Mouse Mafia” guys are mostly all dead due to the profession they chose to pursue. However, some are living on borrowed time, whether legally or physically.
Like the Vic Weiss and Horace McKenna murders, the murder of Jimmy Lee Casino was an unsolved cold case for many years. Whereas McKenna’s murder was solved by a hit man’s guilt, due to his confession and later cooperation with police in the trial of Mike Woods, Jimmy Lee Casino’s murder was solved by DNA. It takes a long time to process DNA from old cases, but oftentimes a hit will come back. That is what happened here.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen…
A 59-year-old man convicted in May of slaying the owner of a Santa Ana strip club and of raping the club owner’s girlfriend in their Buena Park condo in January of 1987 was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
–Matt Coker, Orange County Weekly. Sept 3, 2013.
James Lee Stockwell, aka Jimmy Lee Casino. Jimmy was a smooth-talking salesman, businessman, hustler, entrepreneur. It’s said that his murder was for unpaid debts, just like what happened to sports promoter, Vic Weiss.
Nick Schou from OC Weekly tells us more about Jimmy and the Mickey Mouse Mafia, affectionately named because of their dim-witted, coke fueled crimes, as well as their operations being in proximity to the Disney theme park. The coked out 80s in Orange County were really something else:
As reporter Nick Schou observes in his well researched article, the attempted murder of Carroll and murders of Avila and Mustang owner Jimmy Casino (real name James Lee Stockwell) were part of a string of assassinations, professional and otherwise, that occurred over a short period in the ’80s, “spotlighting the city’s status as a playground (and killing field) for shady businessmen, drug kingpins and organized crime figures affiliated with what cops dubbed the ‘Mickey Mouse Mafia,’ who reveled in Newport Beach’s glamorous lifestyle and coke-fueled nightlife scene.”
Here’s how Schou described the hit on Casino, who possessed a three-decades-long rap sheet and heavy debts to the Mickey Mouse Mafia:
On Jan. 1, 1987, 48-year-old Jimmy Lee Casino, the owner of the Mustang Topless Theater, a Santa Ana strip club, returned to his Buena Park home after attending a New Year’s Eve party with his 22-year-old girlfriend. As the LA Times later reported, two “masked and armed intruders were waiting. The intruders tied up and raped his girlfriend and dragged Casino downstairs. They ransacked the condo, taking jewelry, furs, credit cards and two cars.” Then they shot Casino three times in the head.
The case went cold for decades. Then, in May 2008, Richard C. Morris Jr. was arrested in Hawaii for drunken driving and DNA evidence was taken from him. A crime database found a match to evidence collected in the Casino murder. Morris was arrested at his home in Oahu in 2008 and extradited to Orange County in connection with the shooting.
Morris was also implicated in the murder/robbery of restaurateur, Joe Avila.
The scene of the crime. Jimmy Lee Casino’s Buena Park condo after his murder. Note the new Rolls Royce and crime scene tape: