Elderly Woman Killed in California Home of ‘Tarzan’ Actor Ron Ely, Suspect Killed by Deputies

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
October 16, 2019 Updated: October 16, 2019

Officials are investigating a homicide at the California home of “Tarzan” actor Ron Ely, 81, according to the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday.

Deputies with the sheriff’s office shot and killed a homicide suspect at Ely’s home on Tuesday evening, reported The Hollywood Reporter, adding that officials got a 911 call at around 10 p.m.

CBS Los Angeles reported that deputies were originally called to the property in Hope Ranch over a family dispute.

When the deputies arrived on the scene, they found an elderly woman stabbed to death. Neighbors were then told to stay in their homes and lock their doors.

The suspect in the stabbing was found hiding in the home. The man then allegedly threatened deputies with a weapon before officials opened fire, killing him, according to the report.

Ely, who played Tarzan on the hit 1960s show, wasn’t harmed, the report said. However, CBS Los Angeles reported that an unnamed, disabled elderly man was taken into the hospital in unknown condition.

Deputies said that they don’t believe Ely was involved in the shooting.

Epoch Times Photo
The shooting and stabbing reportedly took place around the 4100 block of Mariposa in Hope Ranch, California. (Google Street View)

The identities of the suspect and the slain elderly woman were not revealed. Officials are working to establish the relationship, if any, between the victim and the suspect.

Ely also had roles in “The Love Boat,” “Wonder Woman,” and a reboot of “Sea Hunt” in the 1980s, according to IMDB. He also hosted the Miss America pageant in the early 1980s.

Other details about the case are not clear.

Facts About Crime in the United States

Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (pdf).

The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.

The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.

The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.

While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.

Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.