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Final note leaves detectives with more questions

Investigators still seek answers in double-murder-suicide on Bridgeport cul-de-sac

Posted: August 12, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: August 12, 2011 1:30 a.m.
 

A suicide note from the local dentist who shot his wife’s elderly parents, then himself, fails to answer all questions for homicide detectives anxiously waiting to talk to his wife, an investigator said Thursday.

Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau said he still wants to know about Martin Fred Strassner’s state of mind when the 64-year-old dentist sat in the driveway of his Bridgeport home a week |
ago and shot his in-laws, Leo and Jean Moss, in the head.


Strassner then shot himself.

He left a handwritten suicide note addressed to his wife, Susan, inside the car with all three bodies. It is one full page in length but short on supplying all answers, Corina said.

“The note said he was getting older and was not looking forward to old age,” Corina said.

“We still want to interview his wife to find out his state of mind,” he added. “Right now, she’s not cooperating. I get the impression she’s not had to deal with police a lot in her life and she’s told us she wants to talk to an attorney before she talks to us.

“She doesn’t feel comfortable talking to us.”
Friends and coworkers say Susan Strassner is dealing with a lot of grief and still in shock. She’s not talking to anyone, a woman at the Strassners’ Bridgeport home said Thursday.

Funeral service
A funeral was held Thursday for Strassner, who had a local dental/orthodontic practice.


“He loved his wife; he loved his family,” said a woman who worked with the dentist and who attended his funeral. “His wife is in shock. A lot of people who knew them tried to make her feel better.”

Susan Strassner, 61, is the woman detectives identified as having found her husband and parents shot in the car. She attended the funeral, sources said.

About 100 were on hand for the service at Groman Eden Mortuary inside Eden Memorial Park on Sepulveda Boulevard at Rinaldi Street in Mission Hills.

Martin Strassner’s former coworker denounced reports from some former patients who called Martin Strassner humorless and miserable.

He was well-loved and well-respected, she said.

“He wasn’t miserable and he wasn’t humorless,” the former coworker said. “He had a quirky sense of humor and you had to know him.

“I like to think of it as — he gave a lot of people beautiful smiles but it wasn’t his job to make them laugh.”

Respected dentist

Strassner, 64, ran his orthodontics business out of an office in Canyon Country on Camp Plenty Road and at an office in Granada Hills.

Corina told reporters on the day of the shooting that Strassner suffered from depression.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner confirmed that all three victims of the murder-suicide died as a result of gunshot wounds to the head.

Strassner shot his mother-in-law Jean Moss, 90, as she sat in the front seat of the Strassner car and shot her husband, Leo, age 95, as he sat in the back seat. He then shot himself in the head with a handgun found in his lap.

Besides expressing dismay at the prospect of growing old, Strassner’s suicide note also indicated he wanted to leave his wife financially secure.

Corina noted, however, that the Strassners did not appear to have financial problems. Similarly, the Moss couple lived in an upscale hotel in West Hollywood.

“Some of these questions could be answered by the wife,” he said. “It would be nice to know why he did what he did.”

A woman who answered the door Thursday at the Strassner home on Bay View Court in Bridgeport said the widow was coping with a great deal of stress.

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