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News Release

Monday, October 18, 2004

Media Relations

Homicide Investigation


Los Angeles: On Sunday, October 17, 2004, at about 7:45 p.m., officers from Hollywood Division, responded to a radio call of a citizen who had found a dead body inside an apartment in the 1400 block of Vista Street. The citizen directed the officers to where the body was lying on the floor of the apartment. Paramedics from the Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to the location and pronounced the victim dead.

Detectives from Hollywood Area Homicide Unit responded and assumed responsibility for the investigation. The detectives learned that the victim was renting the apartment and had recently allowed a guest to stay with him. Since the discovery of the crime, the guest and the victim’s car are missing. The car is a bluish-green, 1993 Cadillac Seville with Texas license plate number J04GHX. The motive for the crime is under investigation.

The victim has been identified as Sam Kellerman, 29 years of age.

Anyone with information that may help in this investigation is urged to contact Detectives from the Hollywood Area Homicide Unit at 213-972-2910 or 213-972-2912. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour, toll free number at the Detective Information Desk, at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).


James "The Harlem Hammer" Butler, professional light, heavy weight boxer, described as a male Black, black hair, brown eyes, 6’00", 180 lbs, 31 years of age, is wanted for questioning in connection with the death of Sam Kellerman. Butler may by driving the victim's vehicle.

UPDATED Homicide Investigation

On October 20, 2004, at about 3:00 p.m., in the West Los Angeles Area, Hollywood Homicide Detectives took James "The Harlem Hammer" Butler into custody without incident. Butler was booked for murder and the investigation is continuing.

This news release was prepared by Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.