News Releases

May 15, 2014: Man Found Guilty in Decades-Old Slayings of Two Redondo Beach Men

Greg Risling, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A 46-year-old man was found guilty today of kidnapping and murdering two Redondo Beach men two decades ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jurors deliberated for about four hours before deciding Howard Bloomgarden was guilty of two counts each of first-degree murder and kidnapping for extortion.

The jury also found the special circumstance of murder during the course of kidnapping to be true, making Bloomgarden eligible for the death penalty. The penalty phase of the trial is expected to begin Tuesday.

Deputy District Attorney Geoffrey Lewin of the Organized Crime Division said Bloomgarden orchestrated the kidnapping and murders of Peter Kovach, 26, and Ted Gould, 29, in October 1994.

The two victims were abducted from a Torrance telecommunications store where they both worked. They were taken to a motel room in Lawndale where they were killed by Kenneth Friedman. Their bodies were later discovered in San Diego County.

Bloomgarden, who ran a drug ring, ordered the murder of Kovach, a one-time drug dealer, over a fallout between the two, Lewin said. Gould also was killed to ensure there wasn’t a witness to the crimes, the prosecutor said.

Friedman was convicted and sentenced to death. He died on Death Row in August 2012. Three others also were convicted and are serving state prison terms.

The case was investigated by the Torrance Police Department.