Suspicious Arson Homicide Investigation in Devonshire Area – Update

August 20, 2001

Panorama City: On Thursday, August 9, 2001, at approximately 5:00 a.m., Devonshire Area officers responded to 9510 Van Nuys Boulevard on the report of a death investigation at the scene of a fire. Upon arrival, the officers met with Los Angeles Fire Department Arson Investigators. A 49-year-old female Caucasian was found dead inside of her apartment in the living room. The precise cause of her death has not been determined. Members of the Devonshire Homicide Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Arson Unit of the Los Angeles Fire Department are conducting the investigation of this incident.

***Press Release Update, August 20, 2001***

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s investigation revealed the victim’s cause of death was a result of having been choked to death, and the death was classified as a Homicide. On August 15, 2001, the victim was identified as Linda Kennison. Further investigation revealed that the Van Nuys Boulevard apartment was her residence, which she shared with one adult son, identified as Michael Oelschlaeger, 24 years old. Following the discovery of the victim within the burning apartment, the son’s whereabouts were unknown and Homicide investigators began efforts to locate him for questioning.

On August 15, 2001, Mr. Oelschlaeger surrendered himself to members of the Phoenix, Arizona, Police Department. Mr. Oelschlaeger was booked for murder and detained in Arizona. The case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on August 15, 2001, and an arrest warrant alleging murder and arson was secured. Devonshire Homicide personnel traveled to Phoenix and assumed custody of the suspect, who had waived extradition. Mr. Oelschlaeger was returned to California on August 19, 2001, and booked at Van Nuys Jail. He was transferred to the Los Angeles County Twin Towers Facility on August 20, 2001, pending arraignment on the murder and related charges. The motive for the murder of Mrs. Kennison by her son remains under investigation.

This information was provided by Detective Mike Oppelt, Devonshire Operations Support Division.

This updated press release was prepared by Public Information Police Officer Eduardo Funes, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.