Orange County murders horrify friends and neighbors

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Another incidence of marijuana psychosis and family violence?

Camden Nicholson, age 27, allegedly killed his parents and their housekeeper in a gated community of Newport Beach on February 13-14.  These killings follow a string of homicides perpetuated by marijuana and sudden violence leading to murder families and friends.  In many cases, but not all, the perpetrator exhibited signs of mental illness.

In Louisiana on January 26, Dakota Theriot shot and killed his parents,  after first shooting his girlfriend, her father and brother.  A long-time marijuana user and had heavy user, Theriot had severe mental health issues.

That shocking incident occurred one week after a killing of four in Oregon.  Mark Leo Gregory Gago brutally slayed his mother, stepfather, girlfriend and their 9-month-old baby on January 19.  He may have used an axe.  Gago was a 42-year-old marijuana farmer, just like Kevin Neal who killed his wife and four neighbors in California, November 2017. Neal had been psychotic for several years, but marijuana was the only drug in his system at the time of the killings.

On January 24, a Virginia college student Luisa Cutting stabbed her roommate, Alexa Cannon, 30 to 40 times. They became best friends freshman year, although social media reveals some dark sides to the friendship.  Police found evidence at the apartment: a brown chalk-like substance, grinders, pills and multiple smoking devices.  

Before they were killed, Newport Beach couple had hired a private eye to track their son

By Alejandra Reyes-Velarde

(excerpted from article published in the Los Angeles Times, Feb 21, 2019)

Camden Nicholson has been charged with three counts of murder in the deaths of his parents and their housekeeper in their home. (Orange County district attorney’s office)

The Newport Beach couple killed in their home last week had hired a private investigator five days before their deaths to find their son, fearing he would hurt himself, the investigator said.

Richard and Kim Nicholson told Michael Youssef on Feb. 8 that they worried their 27-year-old son was suffering from mental illness, and they wanted the investigator to find evidence their son was incompetent so they could obtain a conservatorship, Youssef said.

During his five-day investigation, Youssef said he found that Camden Nicholson smoked excessive amounts of marijuana, took steroids and was addicted to porn. The private eye scoured laptop and phone records as well as other materials but never located Nicholson during that time.

Nicholson has been charged with three counts of murder in the Feb. 13 deaths of his parents and their housekeeper, Maria Morse. In court last week, Nicholson delayed entering a plea until March 8 and was being held without bail.

Photo from KTLA 5 Morning News on Twitter

Police have not released details about how his parents and their housekeeper were killed. An autopsy was expected to be completed Thursday, said Larry Esslinger, a supervising deputy coroner in Orange County.

Nicholson’s history and his life in Denver

Nicholson left his parents’ home in mid-December without notice, Youssef said, and he believed they didn’t see him again until the day they were killed.

“Nobody ever thought they were in danger,” Youssef said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. “It was always about him. They always were worried.”

Nicholson was also extremely paranoid, Youssef said. When he lived in Denver, he claimed his landlord was watching him and “poisoning him with oyster shells.”  Weeks before the killings, the investigation found that Nicholson had used a credit card belonging to his father during a hotel stay. He charged excessive tips and in one instance spent $15,000 on one transaction, Youssef said. The man’s parents paid for all his expenses, according to the report. On the night of the deaths, Irvine police spoke with a man later identified as Nicholson in the emergency room of Irvine Medical Center. Based on that conversation, t​​he Newport Beach Police Department was asked to perform a welfare check at the home on Palazzo road, said Heather Rangel, a public information officer with the agency.

When Newport Beach police arrived at the home, they found the three people dead inside.

“The parents were very nice,” Youssef said, “very, very nice people. It’s very devastating. I pray for them.”

(Nicholson killed his parents on February 11, and he killed the house-keeper on the next day.  In another Orange County incident, pot-obsessed Ashton Sachs,19, killed his parents and tried to kill two siblings. )

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Also in the news

In Great Britain, a  website, attackersmokedcannabis.com reports of cannabis-induced violent events in the UK and Ireland. 

Gary Martin shot and killed 5 at a plant in Aurora, Illinois, on February 15.   A neighbor described him as a loner, but said they sometimes smoked weed together, as reported in the Daily Beast. We don’t know how long and how much.  

As our Senator, Kamala Harris, and other candidates laugh about the “joy” that comes from marijuana, we mourn many victims. We should find a presidential candidate who will speak the truth about marijuana, mental illness and violence.

Stop Pot is a non-partisan grassroots campaign started by citizens concerned about the damaging health effects, both physical and mental, of marijuana. We are also concerned about the impact of marijuana on the environment.