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Suspect in 2 killings was ‘nice, quiet’

Santa Clarita man accused of shooting wife in their Canyon Country condo, sister in North Hills

Posted: December 13, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 13, 2013 2:00 a.m.

In the short time Lance Holger Anderson lived at the Claudette Street condominium complex in Canyon Country those they met knew his life centered around his wife, Bertha.

Friends, family and acquaintances at the complex remain stunned that the man described as caring, quiet and polite would be charged with allegedly killing his wife at their Canyon Country home and his sister while she lay in a convalescent home in North Hills this week.

“I’m shocked,” said one woman who was befriended by the 60-year-old man who moved to the complex five months ago.

“He changed my tire a month ago,” said the woman, who did not want her name published. “I told him ‘No, I have AAA,’ but he changed my tire anyway.”

“He was a nice, quiet man” added Marianela Solis, who works for the condo association on Claudette Street, through a Spanish interpreter Thursday.

But despite his pleasant disposition, Solis, who does cleaning work for the condo association, distinctly recalls two occasions when Lance Anderson became angry over the noise she made while cleaning.

“He said the noise bothered his wife,” she said. “He told me to be quiet.”

According to the woman with whom he reportedly talked almost daily, the Andersons moved into the condo when his wife asked to be near people.

“He told me had to give up his career and that he wanted to be a pharmacist,” she said. “His wife wanted to move into a condo so she could be around people, but I never saw her.”

Everything Lance Anderson did was for his wife. “He was pretty much taking care of his wife 24-7,” said the woman, who did not want her name published.

“He was very concerned about his wife. He hoped she would get better,” the woman said.


Anderson’s wife died of an apparent gunshot wound, Lt. Holly Francisco of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office identified her as Bertha Maxine Anderson, 68.

According to a statement released Wednesday by Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the LAPD Mission Detective Division, Lance Anderson walked into a North Hills convalescent hospital Wednesday and shot his 58-year-old sister, Lisa Florence Nave, as she lay as an invalid in her bed.

When Nave’s husband, son and daughter first heard what happened from hospital staff, he said, their first thought went to Anderson’s wife, who was suffering from medical issues as well.

“Lisa’s husband told me over the phone that he wondered, if Lance were under arrest, who would care for his wife, or worse, did he shoot her, too?” Vernon said Wednesday. “So the family called the sheriff in Santa Clarita to conduct a welfare check, and responding deputies did find a dead woman, presumed to be Lance’s wife, at the Anderson home in Santa Clarita.”

Local sheriff’s deputies checking on the welfare of Anderson’s wife found her dead inside the couple’s rented Claudette Street condo.


On Thursday, The Signal talked briefly to the Nave family on the doorstep of their Saugus home, north of Copper Hill Drive off of Seco Canyon Road.

Nave’s son, Michael, told The Signal he refutes statements made by Vernon Wednesday.

Nave’s husband, Marcus, who appeared sullen and quiet, said he was unable to talk about the ordeal.

“I just lost my wife and my mother-in-law,” he said at the doorway of the family home. “I’m not doing too well.”

Lance Anderson, meanwhile, remains in custody at a Los Angeles Police Department jail in Van Nuys with bail set at $1 million. He was booked into custody at 5 p.m. Wednesday, charged with murder.


Anderson was born in Los Angeles on Feb. 1, 1953.

Once he married his wife, Bertha, the couple never stayed in one place very long.

About 10 years ago, they lived in a one-level house they purchased on Church Street in Castaic. But, in 2009, the home became the property of a loan company.

Before that, in the mid-90s, Lance and Bertha Anderson lived at a couple of places in Oregon including the communities of Wood Village, Gresham and Beaverton, according to online address databases.

The couple also lived in Saugus on Guadilamar Drive and, for a while, in a rented home on Copper Hill Drive. They also lived in Sylmar and Newbury Park, near Thousand Oaks.
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