The Cold Case of Thomas Chan

Statute of a grieving angel / Thomas Chan This year is the 15th anniversary of Thomas Chan’s murder. There is hardly anything online about this case that why we made it the Case of the Month for December 2016.

On December 14, 2001 Thomas Chan (July 11, 1965 – Dec 14, 2001) was killed. Thomas was a computer expert engaged to be married. He was sitting in his car just off Manhattan Avenue at 217 11th St, Manhattan Beach, California. Together with a friend, he had dropped off a another friend. The three had spent the evening bowling.

Just after midnight, people heard gunshots. Some heard three, some heard four shots. What they were able to tell police was that two or three men, relatively young (in their early 20s) robbed Chan and his friends. One of the friends complied with the robbers orders, one did not, a gun came out, and shots followed. After that the robbers all fled in different directions. One thing people noticed was that one robber wore a bulky black jacket.

Police believe that one or more of them escaped in either a blue four-door Hyundai or a dark Toyota Camry that was parked on Bayshore Drive.

Chan was rushed to County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Harbor Gateway, where he was pronounced dead at 12:45 a.m.

It’s a senseless murder,” said city Detective Sgt. Tony DiGenova. “Hard to understand why he shot him. Obviously, the robbery motivated the contact. But what led to the shooting? Is it that easy for someone to take somebody’s life? This one’s really hard for me to understand.” The victim was truly a victim of circumstances. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. In most cases in Manhattan Beach, the murdered party was known to the victim.” DiGenova said. ”

The shooter was described as an African-American man in his early 20s, 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds, goatee with a short haircut.

There is hardly anything online about this case. If you have any links to newspaper articles please contact me. If you have photography of Thomas or just wish to share memories, do let me know. He deserves to be remembered. As soon as I have a photograph I will put it up. For now I just posted my generic angels.

If you have any information please call the Manhattan Beach Police Department at (310) 545-4566 There is a $25,000 reward.



Los Angeles Times

Obituary LA Times

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In the series “Case of the Month” I highlight old cold cases. These posts are not an in-depth analysis. Often more information can be found online or in newspaper archives. The goal of these posts is to get the cases back in the spotlights, to get people talking again, and if anything to make sure that we do not forget the victims. Just because their cases are cold does not mean that we can forget about them.

If you have any thoughts about this case then I encourage you to post them on your own social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, etc.) Every time that we mention Thomas Chan online we enhance his digital footprint.

We must make sure that Thomas keeps up his web presence if we ever wish to find answers in their case. You can help by linking to or sharing this post.

Thank you for remembering Thomas Chan with us.