CA CA - Jana Carpenter-Koklich, 41, Lakewood, 17 Aug 2001 *B. Koklich guilty*


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Aug 13, 2003
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This woman's murder echos of Scott and Laci: their marriage/life/family.. be sure to read it the full article at the link

Bottom Line? Husbands murder wives.


NORWALK - A successful real-estate agent was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison Friday for killing his wife.

Despite repeated claims of his innocence, Koklich was convicted last October of killing Jana Carpenter Koklich, the daughter of Paul Carpenter, whose dying wish was that his son-in-law be charged with murder.

Jana's body still has not been found, and prosecutors tried the unusual case without a body, murder weapon or motive facts that now form the basis of Koklich's appeal.

I lost my only child when she was in the prime of her life,' said Janie Carpenter, Jana's mother, reading from a prepared statement. "There is a permanent hole in my heart. It will be there for the rest of my life.'

Janie Carpenter told the judge how much her daughter had loved Bruce Koklich, and how her heart would have broken if she had known about Bruce's ill intentions toward her.

"Before she died,' Carpenter said, "did she realize that her husband was committing the ultimate betrayal?'

Janie Carpenter was one of many friends and relatives who initially came to Koklich's aid when he reported his wife missing in August 2001. At the time, the couple ran a Long Beach real-estate business together, and had not displayed any outward signs of strain in their marriage, many said.

But, over time, Koklich's previous infidelity came to light, as did evidence that he had brought his 18-year-old niece to Lakewood to have sex with him just three weeks after his wife disappeared.

I didn't want to believe at first that the defendant had anything to do with (my daughter's) disappearance,' Carpenter said. "But it soon became apparent that he was responsible.'

One person who suspected Bruce Koklich all along was Jana's father, who had divorced Janie Carpenter and retired from politics years ago. Suffering from colon cancer at the time, Paul Carpenter urged authorities to arrest his son-in-law, which they eventually did. Morrow promised Paul Carpenter that she would see the case until the end.

Prosecutors allege that Koklich killed his wife during the early morning hours of Aug. 18, 2001, after she returned from a concert to their Lakewood Country Club home. She missed several appointments that morning despite being known as a meticulous appointment- keeper and failed to return several concerned phone calls over the weekend.

Koklich, who claimed he and his wife spent a quiet weekend at home, reported her missing the following Monday morning after she failed to turn up to work. Jana's Nissan Pathfinder, whose cargo hold was stained with her blood, was later found in a high-crime area of Signal Hill ; prosecutors contend that Koklich planted it there.

Read the full article Here
Casshew said:
This woman's murder echos of Scott and Laci: their marriage/life/family.. be sure to read it the full article at the link

Bottom Line? Husbands murder wives.



Read the full article Here

Hi Cass

That is unbelievable!! I think that, much more than "shades" of Scott, it's almost like a blueprint!! I'll go read the full article now, but just a question: when did Koklich commit the murder? I'm just wondering whether SP may have used it for inspiration. This is truly eerie - twilight zone stuff!
Everyone, please read the article at the link Cass has posted; that DOES sound like Scott Peterson!! Read this snip from the article:
Koklich appeared largely unemotional throughout Friday's hearing, even when his wife's mother and two of her close friends read from passion-filled statements, at times addressing the defendant directly.

"I lost my only child when she was in the prime of her life,' said Janie Carpenter, Jana's mother, reading from a prepared statement. "There is a permanent hole in my heart. It will be there for the rest of my life.'
Cockiness throughout the trial; joking with his attorneys; etc. Something is VERY wrong with people like this.
Casshew said:
This woman's murder echos of Scott and Laci: their marriage/life/family.. be sure to read it the full article at the link

Bottom Line? Husbands murder wives.

Read the full article Here
this is so good- i am glad he was charged and convicted- and it is going to happen to ISP as well

I edited mine to - save space as well.
Casshew said:
This woman's murder echos of Scott and Laci: their marriage/life/family.. be sure to read it the full article at the link

Bottom Line? Husbands murder wives.


Read the full article Here

OMG!! Made me wonder if this 'husband' is not some long-forgotten half-brother of Scott! I highlighted your comment above, Cass! This is no addiction and I hope the prosecution PLAY AND PREY on that ridiculous self-styled term. It's a cold-blooded, lethal murder-phenomenon growing amid a particularly lethal strain of psychopaths!

That's exactly what it is! To think people actually have the gaul to preach to us that it's an understandable problem their 'kid' has in keeping his apendage in check.

shdbepaintin said:
Great find Cass, sorta dejavue isn't it. All I could think when I was reading it was OMG there is two of them.

Hi there.. yes OMG the whole time I was reading it - was so easy to insert Laci's name, scott's name, Sharon or dennis ~ the story fit, the same words, emotions... hopefully the same result - but 15 years is tooooo light!
His cocky behavior seems just like Scott.

Only difference here is that evidently there was even less evidence and no body, yet he was convicted. He had a mistress shortly after the death, but did he have one during the time of the murder? Also, I guess she wasn't pregnant.

The amazing things is how these women seem to be adoring wives, who overlook any flaws in their husbands. (Remember how the Yoga instructor said Laci didn't participate in any husband-bashing or joking around with the others in class?)
Can you believe this? I can't! It's like a mirror image! It's so hard to imagine that this case is NOT the Laci case as you're reading it. I wonder if Scott had ever heard of it.....what a coincidence!

And yes....I too kept thinking...there can't be two of him!

Lord, what a terrible shame that animals like that are allowed to live, and the good are taken....don't understand it.
is that Korlich's first trial resulted in a hung jury. Fortunately the La County DA went for another trial.

I read in the LA Times that her parents and friends wanted him to reveal where the body is. But he didn't. Her mother hopes he will in time. She mentioned maybe when he was applying for parole.

So he's eligible for parole eventually. He wasn't given a lwop sentence.

  • jana_carpenter-koklich_1.jpg
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  • carpenter-koklich_jana5.jpg
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Jana, circa 2001
  • Missing Since 08/20/2001
  • Missing From Lakewood, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 01/01/1960 (63)
  • Age 41 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'7, 130 pounds

  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A blouse and skirt.

  • Associated Vehicle(s) White 1996 Nissan Pathfinder SUV (accounted for)

  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Jana has a half-inch scar above her right eye. Her ears are pierced. Some agencies may spell Jana's last name "Carpenter Koklich." Some agencies may refer to her as Jana Koklich and/or Jana C. Koklich.

Details of Disappearance​

Jana was last seen by her friends after an Eric Clapton concert on August 17, 2001. Her husband, Bruce Koklich, told authorities that his wife returned to their home in the 2200 block of Lewis Street in Lakewood, California late that evening. A photo of Bruce is posted with this case summary. Jana's friends stated that she did not drink alcohol during the concert, as she had an early morning appointment with her personal trainer on August 18.

Jana's trainer said that she never called to cancel the appointment and never arrived as scheduled. She had not missed an appointment with her trainer in two years. Her mother said that she called Jana during the day on August 18 and left several messages on her answering machine at home, but Jana never returned the calls, which was very uncharacteristic of her.

Jana and Bruce worked together as realtors with RE/MAX International Inc.'s Seal Beach Office in California. Bruce claimed that Jana was extremely busy from August 18 - 20 and overlooked the calls and appointment with her trainer. He said that he last saw his wife when he departed from their residence between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. on August 20.

Bruce said he looked at several properties and arrived at their office in the 3900 block of Atlantic Avenue at approximately 8:30 a.m. He said he attended a funeral from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. when he returned to the office.

Bruce stated he became concerned about Jana when she did not arrive at work by 11:00 a.m. and called her cellular phone, which she normally kept turned off, and their residence. He drove to their home after she failed to answer his call; a coworker insisted on accompanying them and noticed Bruce had to deactivate the burglar alarm before going inside. They realized Jana was missing.

Bruce said he summoned an unidentified friend from the Long Beach Police Department and called the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department at approximately 3:00 p.m.

An extensive search produced no evidence as to Jana's whereabouts. Her white 1996 Nissan Pathfinder SUV remained missing until August 27, when authorities discovered it was parked in a vacant garage in the 2400 block of California Avenue in the Signal Hill area of Long Beach, California, approximately four miles from the Kokliches' residence, in a predominantly African-American neighborhood. The backseat of the vehicle was soaked in her blood.

A group of teenagers said they found the SUV unlocked and abandoned at approximately 8:00 a.m. on August 20, with the front windows rolled down and Jana's purse, cellular phone, keys, and a gun lying in plain sight. They took it for a joyride and also rifled through Jana's personal belongings in the vehicle, including her cellular phone, purse and wallet.

The teens threw Jana's purse and phone on top of an apartment building; both were later recovered. They sold the gun. They did not realize the SUV was involved in a possible murder investigation until a week later, when they came forward with their evidence.

A local minister advertised for the return of the gun, no questions asked, for a $100 reward, and someone gave it to him anonymously. He turned it over to the police.

Bruce and Jana's employees stated that they did not believe Bruce was connected to Jana's case. They described the the couple's marriage as a good relationship and said he would never have harmed his wife.

Bruce said a group of his co-workers searched the surrounding areas for signs of Jana on August 20 and spoke to a witness who claimed to have seen a woman in the back of an SUV earlier in the day. Authorities said they were unable to locate the witness for questioning. Bruce also stated that he believed Jana may have been the victim of a possible carjacking, a scenario investigators dismissed.

Bruce had two polygraph examinations scheduled with authorities, but he never arrived for either appointment. He stated that his attorney and friends in law enforcement recommended he avoid the lie detector tests, calling them unreliable.

Jana's family said that it's extremely uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning. Her father, former California Democratic state senator Paul Carpenter, was ill with prostate cancer and died in late January 2002.

Jana was very close to both of her parents, who were divorced; she was their only child. Jana's stepmother said that she and Jana's father believed that Jana had been murdered sometime after August 17. They pretended to support Bruce publicly until December 2001 in the hopes that he would divulge information concerning Jana's whereabouts.

Carpenter told reporters in 2001 that he believed Bruce murdered Jana because she wanted a divorce and he did not want to split their marital assets. He would have lost 51% of their jointly owned business in a divorce. He had also taken out a $1 million insurance policy on her life.

Bruce was arrested and charged with Jana's murder on January 31, 2002. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in court in early February 2002. Authorities said that a small amount of Jana's blood was discovered in the bedroom of the couple's residence, and a pillow and sheet were missing; they believe Bruce shot her there.

According to prosecutors, Bruce had visited prostitutes throughout his marriage and didn't support Jana's wish to adopt a child. After her disappearance he solicited several female acquaintances for sex, including his own eighteen-year-old niece; he asked her to model Jana's underwear and invited her to live with him.

The trial began in February 2003, but the jury deadlocked and a mistrial was declared in March. A new trial began and Bruce was convicted of second-degree murder in October 2003. He was sentenced to fifteen years to life in prison.

Jana's body has never been located, and authorities said that they have not located any evidence to suggest that it ever will be. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency​

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department 562-866-9061

Source Information​

Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated December 12, 2018; picture added.
Nov 30, 2021


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