Report: Bruce Kalberg freed after Peter Haskell killing.


After former No Mag publisher and “Sub-Hollywood” author Bruce Kalberg was held four days in connection with the shooting of artist Peter Haskell, prosecutors, finding that Kalberg acted in self-defense, opted Monday to bring no charges against him, according to a friend of Kalberg. Kalberg, 59, was expected to be released today.

The friend said that Haskell, having been evicted from the downtown Los Angeles loft where Kalberg lived, broke in and attacked Kalberg on Thursday, September 11. Kalberg, who had been carrying a pistol to guard against Haskell’s repeated threats, pulled out the gun during the scuffle and shot Haskell, killing him. Kalberg immediately called the police, and was held on $1 million bond pending an investigation by the coroner, whose findings supported Kalberg’s account of the incident.

Haskell, 51, had done illustrations for the Knitters album “Poor Little Critter on the Road,” and was an aspiring filmmaker.

Read my previous brief post on the matter here.

WEDNESDAY 9/17 2PM UPDATE: Sandi Gibbons, public-information officer for the L.A. City District Attorney's office, confirmed, "We determined that there was insufficient evidence to sustain a charge of murder or manslaughter." She added that the decision was influenced by Kalberg displaying marks around his throat.

FRIDAY 9/19 9AM UPDATE: Detective D.W. Fields of the Hollenbeck Division, who was on the scene of the Main Street incident on September 11, said that the single wound to Peter Haskell came from a .25 caliber weapon at point-blank range. He said that the evidence the District Attorney's Office had at its disposal included the physical circumstances, the recovery of a shell casing, and the coroner's report; a toxicology report will not be finished for some weeks. Detective Fields said that the District Attorney's Office had not requested further police investigation, and that the final determination on whether to proceed rests with the D.A. rather than the police.

Comments (21)

Hey, if anyone is looking for more info about Peter's life, or wants to contribute something, please see my memorial page: Thanks, Gretl
phaedra harris:
i am shocked! i have been looking for pete for the last 15 years, after i moved from la to sf...this is how i find me dear friend...we had many a great time drinking pbr's, singing songs and listening to his old, (often) bizarre cassette tapes...loved the man...this hurts to read...bob moss, tyler waxman, ralph g, elizabeth b, it's me from downtown (ex of paul oberman) and a local of the onyx cafe...415 407 3451
rosetta mason:
I have known Pete for nearly 30 years, and am still trying to get used to the idea of him being gone-forever. I had never before even considered that. I thought we would be friends forever. i knew him well enough to say I have Never seen him violent- i would have too, because i drove him nuts most of the time. we went on 2 cross country road trips together and anyone else would have killed me and left me on the side of the road. he just said that being in a car with me was like being in a squirrel cage.*** I know bruce and he's a creep. I don't believe a word of his story.*** I think about you every day Pete and I miss you.
Christine Gaffney:
I am deeply sad to have heard that one of our brothers in the arts community has died. Baltimore-mid 80's, everybody knew Peter Haskell. He had stinky damn feet and he was ever so smart. My sympathy to his family and to all that loved him as a friend. He will be missed.
Thomas :
This loss is absolutely devastating as for the past 15 years, Peter was like a brother to me as well as my best friend. He was the most open minded individual and one of the most gifted people i have ever met, whose artistic judgment i valued, respected and trusted more than anyone else's.*** I was in a band with Pete, i recorded with Pete, i lived with Pete and as some brothers do, we got into many a wall shaking argument throughout these times.*** I would even go so far as to claim that each one of us was the world's foremost expert at driving the other close to apoplectic seizures - but NEVER and i repeat, NEVER!! did Peter raise a hand against me, nor did he resort to any other form of violence beyond loud words and the occasional slamming of doors.*** This means i absolutely do not buy the Bruce Kalberg story!!!
joshua mason:
Does anybody know who the judge was? Does anybody have the police report?*** Pete and I had been talking before he left back to LA and I was hoping he was going to stop by here (Kentucky) on his way back. He wanted to show us some videos and pictures he had of us. What happened to all his stuff? I hope the family got it and it's not siting in impound.*** As far as the murder goes, I reflect the opinions of everybody else in this thread, Pete may piss you off at times but not enough to shoot him. He was a talented guy and a lot of fun to be around. I sent a CD he was working on to Bob Moss and I hope he played it at his wake.*** I dont believe in Karma but in Bruce Kalbergs case, I hope it's real.*** You will be missed brother. What a waste.
This is all so sad. Peter was super talented and creative.
Richard Koepsell:
Peter was my stepson who lived with his mother, Ann Haskell, and me for months at a time. He was a kind and gentle soul who used to move praying mantises out of the way of danger. Does this sound like someone who could attack another human being? I think not. The police need to do a more thorough investigation.
Elizabeth Balogh:
Well the LAPD sure has changed. Now a man that shoots an unarmed person is released after 4 days because he has concocted this story that is repeated as if it is fact that Peter Haskell was threatening him? This is a very convenient story since, Peter is not with us, so as to refute it. This makes absolutely no sense.
Amanda Sherren:
There is a memorial service being held at my home in conjunction with Bob Moss and Tyler Waxman. The memorial service will begin at 4:00 on Saturday. The address is 1543 Curran St. The cross street is Echo Park Ave in Echo Park. Anyone who knew and cared about Pete is welcome to attend. I would, however, like to take this moment to state that I am aware of certain facts in the case that not everyone is going to want to hear. Please come prepared to celebrate the life of a beautiful but troubled soul. Amanda Sherren 323-661-9120
what other facts are out there? bring them to the table. peter haskell was a rare individual, a dear friend, a father, a son, a human with all rights intact.
I have known Pete since 1990, and I would consider him a brother. I echo everything that his other friends are writing here. Since I received this awful news on Saturday, I’ve felt terrible. For those of you who haven’t received info from the emails circulating among his friends, let me also take this opportunity to say that on Monday I dedicated an art/poetry event that I co-hosted to Pete. Now things are going from really bad to worse. I believe that Pete was a gentle soul, who valued ALL LIFE.
Mac Lore:
Peter was one of my closest friends. From seventh grade, through high school, and later when he joined my circle of art school friends in Baltimore, I spent an enormous amount of time with him. I saw deeply into his character, and knew him well. He had great intelligence, many talents, and a penetrating wit. I never saw in him a molecule of darkness that could result in him ever physically threatening or attacking anyone, or in him escalating a conflict to a degree that would require killing him to resolve it. I can only wonder where the source of darkness lies, and if Bruce Kalberg's story is a great work of fiction being acted out in reality.
Gina Lamb:
I'm an old friend of Peter's - I have known him since 1977 in Baltimore. We both moved to the SF area soon after that and then to LA. And I am shocked dumbfounded. In all the years I knew him he was a friend and I have never known him to threaten anyone. There are some inconsistencies in the Police Homicide blog and the story above - does anyone know more about what really happened? And...will there be a memorial for Peter here in Los Angeles?
I am appalled that this man has been freed! I knew Peter for about 4 1/2 years and found him to be a kind, rare talent and unique human being.
Heather Haley:
Peter and I were married for three years, friends and kindred spirits until Sept. 11, 2008. I am still reeling and in shock.
Ann Haskell:
Peter was my gentle, funny, talented, loving son, whom I will never see or laugh with or marvel over anything with again. I am mourning and making arrangements for Peter's lifeless body today and Bruce Kalberg, with no one to refute his incredible story, is breathing the air and continuing with his life as if nothing but a four-day hiatus had occurred.
Peter was my brother, and Bruce Kalberg knew him for the better part of 30 years, and must have known perfectly well that Peter was not the type to do anyone violence.
charlie brennan:
From someone who knew Peter as a kid and teenager, I just want to say he was a rare human being and I'm sad that he came to this end. Peter, I'm holding you in the light.
I also knew Peter very well (I lived with him for 4+ years) and Kalberg's story sounds ludicrous. Call the police if you are being harassed.
I knew peter very well and I know he was not the type who would threat anybody, even tho he could have broke in the apartment it is still a murder. You don't shoot somebody with a gun and then after call the police, call the police first and don't use guns. It's a murder case, not a self defence.