CALIFORNIA – Longtime L.A. Times contributor Donie Vanitzian remembered as champion of homeowner rights
For more than 16 years in her Sunday Los Angeles Times column, Donie Vanitzian helped frazzled homeowners navigate the minefield that can be living within a homeowners association.
The columns often focused on alleged wrongdoing by board members, management companies and other people in positions of power.
A pugnacious advocate for homeowners, she would contact legislators on HOA-related bills and even respond to readers seeking guidance, regardless of whether she wrote about their experiences in print, one colleague said.
“She had quite the following,” said her sister Alysia Vanitzian. “She would get tons of email and mail from people living in HOAs wanting to send her gifts and money, because she was so helpful.”
Vanitzian, 67, died Dec. 28 at her house in Del Rey, the victim of an alleged homicide.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has charged Vanitzian’s husband of 35 years, Thomas Foster, with one count of murder.
Los Angeles Police Lt. John Radtke said Foster, 75, left a note detailing his plans to kill Vanitzian and then commit suicide. Foster was found at the home nearly unconscious, authorities said.
Radtke said some evidence has emerged that Foster had a degree of mental illness.
He pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
“It’s a tragic situation,” said Michael Krieger, a friend and occasional co-author of the Times column. Read more: