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Porn Machete Murder 

Mopes and mayhem in the Valley

Thursday, Feb 24 2011
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Page 4 of 5

"Tom was a good performer and he recommended Steve, so I took him on," Jover says.

But over time, the working arrangement began to fray. Jover blamed it on Hill's "true self" becoming apparent.

"He was notorious for owing people a lot of money," Jover says. "He owed a buddy of mine quite a bit of money and he'd been dodging the guy for a while. There was one time when my friend — the guy he owed money to — visited the studio and Steve thought he was trying to sabotage him. Out of nowhere, Steve just ran into the room and punched the guy in the face. Tom and I had to hold Steve back. I had to try to talk to my friend to not call the cops."

click to flip through (8) ILLUSTRATION BY MATT MAHURIN
  • Illustration by Matt Mahurin
 

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Hill's apparent learning disability also may have presented a stumbling block. "I had him updating some of our Web pages, creating galleries for us," Jover says. "Everything he did had to be reworked."

Hill's greatest failing, and one that was absolutely detrimental in his line of work, was a lack of personal cleanliness.

Female porn actor Charley Chase recalls, "I only worked with him once. It was a boy-girl scene and it was terrible. Mainly from bad hygiene." Chase pauses for a moment before trying to put a chirpy spin on things: "But he was really polite."

Chase's friend and fellow porn actress Cece Stone says Hill once gave her a ride to a shoot. "He picked me up because I didn't have a car. I got in and the whole inside smelled like body odor. We were about a mile away from where he picked me up, and I just got out at the next light and walked off."

Jover tried to remedy the situation by installing a shower in the studio. "It had hot water, cold water. We just couldn't get the funk out. Everyone that worked with him on camera was uncomfortable. He was dead weight."

Finally, Jover asked Hill to leave. "I gave him two weeks' notice and I also gave him some money so he could find a place," Jover says.

But Hill wasn't ready to leave.

"I asked him to call his parents or an old roommate or something," Jover recalls. "I gave him two more weeks and those two weeks passed. Three days before the incident I said, 'You're going to have to leave or I'm going to have the police come and escort you out.' "

Hill's life was disintegrating. Several weeks before the attacks, he was involved in a disturbing incident on the campus of California State University, Northridge, which eerily echoed the 1998 threat at the University of Maryland.

Detective Joel Price of the Los Angeles Police Department's West Valley Division says Hill was on campus but not a student. "His father became concerned for the safety of those on the campus and ended up calling LAPD and said his son was making crazy statements about killing people," Price says.

David Hill explains, "I received an alarming e-mail from Stephen in which he threatened suicide, saying if he was going, he would be taking a lot of people with him. I notified the police immediately and they shortly picked him up at the Northridge campus, where he often pretended to be a student to use the computers in the library."

When police found Hill, he had swords in his vehicle. Price says of the Northridge incident, "He didn't harm anyone, but he was locked up for 72 hours for a mental evaluation."

Price also notes that, even after being turned in by his father, Hill stayed in contact with him. "When he last spoke to his father," Price says, "it was in an e-mail exchange several weeks before the incident in regards to his 34th birthday."

David Hill says of the e-mail conversation with his son, "I offhandedly remarked that I was 34 when he was born. This must have depressed him a bit, since he replied indicating that he felt bad about not having a wife and family of his own. 

"A few days later, I got a call from my brother saying he had seen a news report about a porn actor who attacked his fellow workers with a Japanese sword. He hoped it wasn't Stephen, but I knew it must be."

Moments after Hill attacked that June night, Jover, Wong and businessman Drell raced to the room to try to calm the situation as Rachal lay bleeding on the floor. Seeing the men dialing 911, Hill lunged at them.

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