By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
When police finally returned four handguns that were registered to him, Kalberg initially brought them back to the station, claiming he didn’t want them (he later reclaimed them), and then called the police incessantly for weeks afterward, often just to make small talk.
“His story is fathomable, but personally, I didn’t buy it completely,” says Detective Fields of Kalberg’s statement. “My gut feeling was that in the back of his mind, he had a gun for a reason.”
After repeated queries, Haskell’s older brother Mark, a nutritional consultant in Washington, D.C., eventually received a one-page letter from Deputy Thomas P. Higgins of the District Attorney’s Office that stated, “The suspect removed your brother’s possessions from the suspect’s residence and placed them in the hallway. Upon discovering this, your brother confronted the suspect and, according to the suspect, tried to choke him. As a result, the suspect shot your brother in apparent self-defense.”
Except that when police arrived, Haskell’s possessions were still inside the loft — including his computer, which was booted up and running. According to Detective Dugger, “There was nothing in the hallway but a desk and a chair.”
When the toxicology report was finally released a day after Halloween, it confirmed that Haskell was, in Coroner Ed Winter’s words, “double-drunk,” with a mean blood-alcohol level of 1.6 percent, twice the legal limit.
Reached by phone, Deputy Higgins says that some time after their initial assessment, he ordered investigators to look into “troubling aspects about the case.” Additional interviews have been conducted with Kalberg, Wojciak and others, but, Higgins says, the report is not yet complete and he is unable to determine a course of action until it is. “If we feel at that time, after additional investigation, there is sufficient evidence to file a homicide murder case, we will do so. But I can’t prejudge it, because I don’t know what that material is going to be.”
For his part, Ed Colver is clearly torn between protecting two of his oldest friends and making sense of an unfathomable event. In the living room of his Highland Park Craftsman, amid three decades of punk and fine-art detritus, he claims Haskell was “drinking like a fish” after his return to L.A., something he hadn’t seen before, and he recalls a night in late August, when Haskell got into an argument with someone he’d just met and put his hands around the guy’s neck.
As recently as mid-March, Colver also reports, Kalberg called and “rambled for about an hour” about the shooting, fixating on certain words that Colver jotted down on a notepad — “synesthesia,” “palimpsest,” “trepology” (possibly a variation of “trepanation,” the practice of drilling a hole through the center of the forehead to alleviate depression or enhance psychic aptitude). “He just seemed really distraught or upset or flipped out over it,” Colver says.
During that conversation, Kalberg also related a version of the assault that contradicts both what he had told Colver previously and what he told the police in his initial statement. “I’d heard [from Wojciak and others] that since they kicked Pete out of there, he had started living on the roof of the building,” Colver says. “[Bruce] had gone up onto the roof armed with a gun that he said he fired off in front of Haskell, then reloaded in front of him with one more bullet. He told him he would have to leave the building. And then he said that he went back down to his loft and Haskell came breaking in there and knocked his bedroom door open and jumped on him and was banging his head into the concrete saying he wanted to kill him. [Haskell’s body was found in Wojciak’s bedroom, not Kalberg’s.] Bruce said that he managed to get the safety off the gun when [Haskell] was on top of him, and shot him. Then last week when he called, he said that Peter had gotten up off him or something and that he had reached behind his back and was laughing and then Bruce shot him then. ...Which story is true? Was he on top of you when you shot him, or was he standing in front of you, laughing?”
Actually, technology can place Haskell inside the loft more than four hours before he allegedly broke into the apartment and was shot in self-defense.
On the morning of September 11, Haskell sent three e-mails: one to Zuade Kaufman at 9:51 a.m., inviting her on the Downtown L.A. Art Walk that evening; one to Roberto Fonseca at 10:10 a.m., inquiring after a mutual friend; and one at 10:16 a.m., to Dara Gorelick, an old friend with a prospective spare room. According to the unique IP address contained in the message headers, the originating address is registered to “Clean Advertising,” the name of Kalberg and Wojciak’s small business. Haskell used a Yahoo e-mail account he accessed through the Web site. (Police used the same technology to apprehend the recent craigslist killer.)