75-year-old is accused of killing his wife in Del Rey murder-suicide attempt

A 75-year-old Del Rey man is suspected of killing his wife — Donie Vanitzian, the author of a weekly column about homeowner associations for the Sunday business section of the Los Angeles Times — in what investigators believe to be an attempted murder-suicide.

Thomas Foster has been charged with murder and use of a handgun and remains in custody in lieu of $3 million bail, according to a statement by L.A. County Deputy District Attorney David Berger. Foster faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty and returns to the Westchester Courthouse on Jan. 18.

On Dec. 28, in response to a request by family members, LAPD officers conducted a welfare check at a home in the 4000 block of Corinth Avenue in Del Rey (near the Culver City DMV), where they found 67-year-old Vanitzian dead of a gunshot wound and Foster nearly unconscious.

LAPD Pacific Division Capt. James Setzer, who responded to the scene, said paramedics transported Foster to a local hospital because he appeared to have ingested several different medications.

“It was determined to be a murder-suicide attempt,” said Setzer, describing the situation as “a tragic evening.”

Another LAPD official told the LA Times that Foster had left a suicide note detailing plans to kill his wife and himself.

“Donie Vanitzian helped frazzled homeowners navigate the minefield that can be living within a homeowners association,” states her obituary in the LA Times, which ran her columns for more than 16 years.

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