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Jeffrey Tidus, Prominent Corporate Lawyer, Killed Outside His California Home

By Pete Kotz in homicide, unsolved
Friday, December 11, 2009 at 12:20 pm
jeffrey-Tidus.jpg
Police believe Jeffrey Tidus may have been targeted for death
UPDATE: Police confirm Jeffrey Tidus was murdered. See update after the jump...

According to his wife, Jeffrey Tidus went out to get a laptop from his car at around 8:30 p.m. Monday night. She heard a shot and ran outside to find him bleeding on the ground behind his Toyota Prius. He would be dead by the following morning.

At the moment, police don't seem to know if Tidus was executed or he committed suicide. All they'll say is that it's highly suspicious and could be an execution slaying, but they have yet to rule it a homicide.

Friends and family aren't aware of any specific enemies. He was a lawyer who specialized in corporate litigation, working for clients like
Isuzu and New Century Financial, a bankrupt predatory lender. He's also a former board member of the California State Bar Association...

With that kind of resume, he's bound to have enemies he never even knew about, ranging from disbarred lawyers to home owners screwed by his clients. Police are now searching his past looking for clues.

But detectives seem sure it wasn't a random shooting. His laptop was still on the ground when Tidus was found. And his wealthy Rolling Hills Estates neighborhood outside LA is so quiet, according to one neighbor, that you can hear the flowers grow. 

Fellow attorney Brian Hennigan is among those who don't believe Tidus killed himself. "The speculation about suicide makes no sense on any number of fronts," he told the Los Angeles Times. "The location and the timing make this highly unlikely speculation. From numerous conversations with Jeff over the past few years, I can say that it is inconsistent -- and contradictory -- with everything that I know about my friend."

UPDATE: Police now believe Jeffrey Tidus was murdered.

It seemed a little weird that they were hesitant to make this ruling in the first place, since no gun was found at the scene to indicate suicide. But no one saw a shooter, and it's not unusual for guns to disappear before police arrive, so our guess is they were just being careful.

Police now say Tidus was slain with a bullet to the head, and they believe he was targeted. Detectives aren't sure if it was an orchestrated hit, but it sure looks that way.

According to LA Weekly, Tidus was killed just hours after federal regulators accused his clients, top executives at New Century Financial, of fraud. Whether that case is related to the killing is anyone guess. But since the predatory lender ruined so many lives, it can't be ruled out.



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