Support for LAist comes from
Made of L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Farmers' Market Murderer Goes On Trial

Our June member drive is live: protect this resource!
Right now, we need your help during our short June member drive to keep the local news you read here every day going. This has been a challenging year, but with your help, we can get one step closer to closing our budget gap. Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership.

I'm glad to see that the trial of 89-year-old George Russell Weller is finally getting underway. Like a lot of people you might be asking, who's George Weller? Though he hasn't gained the notoriety he so richly deserves, he's the genius who plowed his Buick LeSabre through the Santa Monica Farmers' Market killing 10 people and injuring 60 others in July 2003.

I'm not normally a hang-'em high kind of gal, but there's something about this case that infuriates me and makes me long for the days when scumbags like Weller were dragged through the streets and hung in the public square.

Maybe it's that I find it impossible to believe this was an accident. Maybe it’s because it has taken three long years to bring George Weller to trial. Maybe it's because for so long it seemed as though Weller wasn't going to be charged with any crime at all. But mostly it's because Weller has been treated like a sweet, doddering old man instead of the murdering bastard that he is. Imagine if a 30-year-old had caused this "accident." The perpetrator would have been vilified in the local media, and the D.A. would have already thrown the book at him.

Support for LAist comes from

I don't care how old George Weller is. I don't have an ounce of sympathy for him. All my sympathy rests with the families of the people George Weller killed:
Theresa Bregalia, 50, of New York
Brendon Esfahani, 7 months, of Los Angeles
Molok Ghoulian, 62, of Los Angeles
Cindy Valladares, 3, of Los Angeles
Gloria Gonzalez, 35, of Venice
Movsha Hoffman, 78, of Santa Monica
Leroy Lattier, 55, a transient
Diana McCarthy, 41, of Mar Vista
Kevin McCarthy, 50, of Mar Vista
Lynne Ann Weaver, 47, of Woodland Hills

The details of what happened on the afternoon of July 16, 2003 will come out at trial. My hope is that the jury doesn't buy the cockamamie "pedal error" theory that Weller's lawyer, Mark Overland, is pushing. Imagine the fun we could have if we extrapolate the it-was-an-accident-as-a-result-of-pedal-error defense. "Oops. My hand got stuck on the handle of the knife" or "Sorry about that. I'm a little prone to trigger finger error."

George Weller did not have a stroke or some other major medical malfunction that could account for his behavior. According to a recent article in the Daily Breeze, George Weller drove for approximately 1,000 feet at speeds of 40 to 60 miles per hour ignoring the wave of screams around him, steering away from parked cars and back towards people in the street, hitting onlookers with such force that they were literally knocked out of their shoes and finally coming to a stop only because the body of a woman was wedged under his car. I guess he's never heard of a parking brake.

It strains credulity to believe that the Farmers' Market crash was an accident, but even if it was that doesn't change the fact that GEORGE WELLER KILLED 10 PEOPLE. His age is no defense nor should it be an incentive for the legal system to show him any mercy. George Weller should spend the rest of his miserable life rotting away in some wretched prison. It's better than he deserves.

Most Read