The victim of a rare Fairfax District murder, 42-year-old Erik Poltorak, appears to be a man who identified himself as the "executive vice president" at a sex-clothing company called Roleplayfashion.
We called LAPD detectives ...
... to ask if Poltorak also lived a role-play lifestyle, and whether this information might be a lead in their investigation, but no one was answering.
Poltorak stated he worked for author Zecharia Sitchin for 10 years. The writer's claim to fame was a theory that space aliens came to earth many centuries ago and created humanity. Poltorak has spoken to Sitchin fans as an expert.
This website describes Poltorak:
By day, Erik Poltorak is a successful stock broker in Los Angeles; by night, he is the webmaster for www.sitchin.com, the official website of author, Zecharia Sitchin.
On his Facebook page Poltorak posted photos of what appears to be himself posing with his daughter. (In a post he mentions his "girls.")
Roleplayfashion.com's site indicates the business was in the same block as Poltorak's residence. It also appears the company is run out of a house.
The company says on its site that ...
Our goal is to increase self-esteem, romance & love in the world. Life is tough enough with work, traffic, family, friends and all the other little things that require our attention. So we believe that time away from all of that should be held dear and enhanced by role play, sexy lingerie, toys and anything else that increases desire ...
When we called the company today, no one answered.
Cops say Poltorak, 42, was found dead yesterday morning on his front porch in the 300 block of North Laurel Avenue, the victim of multiple gunshot wounds.
[Added at 4:14 p.m.]: Janet Sitchin sent out a letter lamenting Poltorak's passing. Via Paranormal Utopia:
Erik was an important supporter of Zecharia's work, speaking to groups and on radio and on a recent television show about Zecharia's theories and helping to spread the ideas and message.
Erik leaves behind a young daughter whom he loved dearly, and many friends. My condolences to his family and close friends. We will all have an empty space in our hearts without him.
[Added at 4:36 p.m.]: Janet Sitchin returned an email requesting an interview but said she didn't feel she knew Poltorak well enough to speak to us.
LAPD West Bureau Homicide detectives were out of the office today, an official told us. LAPD Media Relations was unable to answer the question of whether Poltorak's work might provide some leads for the investigation.
[Added at 5:23 p.m.]: Friend Nikki Wall, who knew Poltorak through her work on the board of MUFON-LA (Mutual UFO Network), told us that Poltorak was a regular in a small circle of L.A. "UFO nuts and ancient astronaut theorists."
Asked about his work in sex clothing, Wall said he didn't seem to mix that side of his life with his enthusiasm for extraterrestrial topics:
We know that's what he did and how he made money. But in our circle we're usually talking UFO business.
She said his devotion to a daughter who's about 10 now was a main focus of his life. "I know that he really liked spending time with her," Wall said:
It's sad that she has to be without a dad now. They were each other's world.
I'm feeling guilty now for not taking more time to know him. He was well loved by a lot of people.
[Update at 5:58 p.m.]: A friend who has known Poltorak for several years told the Weekly that Poltorak was robbed last year and had to identify the suspect in court. The friend said that some of Poltorak's associates were wondering aloud if that had anything to do with the murder.
The friend said he did not believe Poltorak had been robbed during yesterday's attack.
A co-worker or partner in the clothing business discovered the victim "in a pool of blood" yesterday morning, according to the source, who got a call from the associate about the death that day. The fashion associate told the friend some of the company's clothing was in Poltorak's house at the time.
Poltorak and the source bonded over their research of "ancient cultures."
The source said it appeared Poltorak was divorced and that his daughter did not live full-time with him:
Eric was a very energetic person, and he was very passionate about spending time with his daughter. I hope they figure it out soon. It was way too early for him. And he had a daughter he cared a lot about.
-With reporting from LA Weekly staff writer Tessa Stuart.