Police are investigating whether legendary rock producer Phil Spector murdered a B-movie actress in the foyer of his hilltop home just hours after meeting her at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip where she had worked for a few weeks as a hostess.
Lana Clarkson was found early Monday morning in a pool of blood in the marble foyer of Spector’s castle-like home in Alhambra. Clarkson, a tall blond who idolized Marilyn Monroe, starred in such films as “Amazon Women on the Moon” and “The Barbarian Queen.”
Spector met Clarkson at the club Sunday, where a concert headlined by Rob Halford, former lead singer of British heavy metal band Judas Priest, was held. Spector’s driver brought the couple to Spector’s 10-bedroom, eight-bath house and heard gunshots inside. Police were called to the scene at about 5 a.m.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said an autopsy was being conducted on the body of Clarkson, 40. That examination was expected to reveal whether she had been under the influence of alcohol or drugs, among other details.
Police and prosecutors obtained a search warrant for Spector’s mansion, built in 1926 and known as the “Pyrenes Castle,” and spent Tuesday combing it for evidence.
His brand-new Mercedes, still bearing the paper dealer plates, was towed away, covered in the powder used by forensic technicians to detect fingerprints.
Sources close to the case said Spector, who could not return home until the premises were released by police, was staying with friends.
A source close to the case said Spector refused to talk to police about what happened and quickly called his longtime lawyer, Robert Shapiro, who helped successfully defend O.J. Simpson against murder charges.
Spector was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder but was free by Monday night after posting $1 million bail.
Creator of the “Wall of Sound” style of making records, Spector created hits with the Ronettes, Darlene Love, the Righteous Brothers and the Crystals before working in the 1970s with George Harrison, John Lennon, Leonard Cohen and the Ramones. He also produced the Beatles album “Let It Be.”
Marvin Mitchelson, a high-profile Los Angeles attorney, who described Spector as his “best friend” of 13 years, said the producer was a regular at the House of Blues.
“We used to go there all the time and go to the VIP room,” Mitchelson said. “Apparently that’s where he met (Clarkson).”
Mitchelson said that despite Spector’s hard-living reputation, the rock producer had mellowed in recent years and was working hard on a prospective film of his life.