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 Thompson next talked to Haskell on Tuesday, September 9, he reported that Kalberg was finally leaving for Mexico to work on his next novel. “I said, ‘Our problems are over,’” says Thompson. “And Peter said, ‘Well, if he goes.’”
By this time, Haskell had already left the loft and gone to stay with his friend the Spanish Guitarist. Showing up on Tuesday evening, he spent the night in a hammock in the courtyard.
“He expressed repeatedly that day that he needed a place to stay,” the Spanish Guitarist recalls. “He was confused about going back. The guy had screamed in his face four times. He said the guy was dangerous, or he was crazy. I think he also felt humiliated by the guy. He said something like, ‘Oh, his wife is on my side.’ I said to him, ‘You see, now you’re talking to his wife. You’re talking to my wife, I’ll be angry with you, too.’ Haskell was calling [Kalberg] repeatedly, because he was angry.
“But then there was a last call. When they started talking, they became friends again, and then at the end, he said, ‘Oh, we’re okay now.’ But then he said, ‘If he screams in my face again, I don’t know what’s going to happen.’ That moment is when I said, ‘You know what? If it’s going that way, don’t go there.’ He was drunk. He gets hectic when he drinks — he can bump into something he’s going to regret later. And then he stayed and talked, drank some beer, and he started to mention how depressed he felt. He looked kind of suicidal. And things he mentioned, like ‘what life was about’ and ‘being tired,’ ‘I don’t know what’s worth living’ — things like that. And then he took off.”
Later, on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 10, at 4:51 p.m., the day before the shooting, Wojciak left a message on Haskell’s cell phone. Her tone was tentative, distracted, as if there was something central that was being left unsaid: “Hey, Peter, it’s Ewa. It’s, I don’t know, close to 5, I think. I was wondering if you had a chance to go over there and get your stuff yet, because I’ve gotten a couple more messages and I don’t know if you have or not. [Deep sigh] All right, I’m going back to my class now, so if you haven’t gotten your stuff, you should, and if you leave anything behind or whatever, I will help you with that. Okay, ’bye.”
This was followed at 6:33 p.m. by a message from Kalberg. He seems conciliatory, although there is still an implicit threat — or, if not a threat, at least leverage — close to the surface: “Peter, this is Bruce. There’s one big problem here. The problem isn’t us. We have a few items to work out, a few little arguments to have, and we can put our business in the black. So if you want to argue it out, hash it out, come over tonight and we’ll work it out. But other than that, you’re out of here. I’m all for working it out. I still think you’re the right guy for the job — and I don’t think it’s an easy job. So let’s try to work it out, all right?”
“I called Peter [Thursday] morning after he left because I was concerned,” the Spanish Guitarist says. “Apparently [Haskell and Kalberg] had contact for a whole day. He said they’re not okay. He doesn’t like what he sees. He said, ‘We’re still having some sort of a conflict.’ And that’s when I said, ‘My friend, just get out of there.’”
On the Saturday following the shooting, Beth Thompson called Wojciak at the loft and asked if she could come by to get the tapes of the music video she and Haskell had been working on. “Ewa told me that Peter had attacked Bruce and slammed his head into the ground, and that if I didn’t, I should know that he was acting really crazy,” says Thompson — destroying things, dumping cat litter on her bed. “Well, I had talked to him two days before, and he wasn’t acting crazy.”
When Thompson arrived at the loft the next day, Wojciak told her that Kalberg had called her twice the day of the shooting — once to report that Haskell was on his way over, and then again to say that he had killed him. She said she told Kalberg to call 911. Thompson adds that as she went through Haskell’s things, Wojciak recounted the incident to two female friends who were helping her to clean and organize the loft. “The feeling I got was that she was solidifying her story,” Thompson says.
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