Police Investigate Truck Belonging to Jeffrey Lash on Coastline Drive in Sunset Mesa
By ALEXANDRIA BORDAS, Reporter
The Palisadian-Post obtained new information today regarding the bizarre life and death of the Highlands man whose decomposing body was discovered in a car near his condo on Palisades Drive where 1,200 guns were recovered.
Jeffrey Alan Lash, identified by attorney Harland Braun as the deceased man, was known to neighbors as “Skinny Bob.” In addition to the Highlands condo, he lived in an apartment on the 18000 block of Coastline Drive in Sunset Mesa for 10 years before he was asked to leave four months ago by his female roommate, according to the apartment property manager.
Paul Aguilar of Coastline Property Management said the lease was under the roommate’s name, “Jocelyn.” The two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment on the Sunset Mesa hillside near the Getty Villa rents for $3,700 per month and boasts an oceanfront view. (Note: The Sunset Mesa area has a Malibu zip code but is considered by neighbors to be part of Pacific Palisades.)
“He lived with a roommate, Jocelyn, and they seemed to get along well,” Aguilar told the Post. “But in the last few months when his health was disintegrating, he could barely get up and down the stairs. I would help him all the time with his groceries and suggested he find a more accessible place to live.”
Aguilar said Jocelyn had no idea Lash had died until earlier today when Aguilar called her to make sure she was okay.
“She had no idea, which I found strange because it’s been all over the local news,” Aguilar said, adding that she was very upset to learn of Lash’s death.
When Lash first moved into the apartment 10 years ago, he introduced himself simply as ‘Bob,’ Aguilar said.
Aguilar said that Lash told neighbors ‘Bob’ was a cover name since he worked in the CIA and could not reveal his true identity.
“We added the ‘skinny’ onto his name when he started losing tons of weight due to his illness,” Aguilar added.
Aguilar described Lash as friendly but added that he primarily kept to himself. He also mentioned that every time he saw his tenant, Lash was always dressed in black. Lash seemed a bit paranoid, always darting his eyes left and right before walking into his apartment, Aguilar said.
Like many others who knew Lash, Aguilar heard stories about Lash’s time in the CIA.
“He told everyone that during his time in the CIA, he had been shot in the head and was in a coma for a very long time,” Aguilar recalled. “He said that after he came out of the coma, he was paid by the CIA and laid off but still needed to remain anonymous in the public’s eyes.”
It took over nine years for Aguilar to finally learn Skinny Bob’s real name.
“I remember one evening around six months ago, right when his health was getting really bad, he took off in one of his trucks and smashed into four cars parked on our street,” Aguilar explained. “He must’ve been on something, meds or alcohol, because when I called him on his cell phone minutes after the accident he wasn’t making any sense.”
Aguilar said neighbors who witnessed the accident were planning on calling the police and their insurance companies.
“Lash panicked and begged for no one to call the police. I demanded to see his ID,” Aguilar recalled.
Aguilar said Lash begrudgingly handed over his ID and after Aguilar took note that his name was Jeffrey Alan Lash, he handed it back.
“The next morning Lash came back and desperately didn’t want the insurance companies called so he took care of all of the damages without outside involvement,” Aguilar said. “I think he paid them all off in cash.”
Over the years Aguilar noticed that nearly every month Lash was driving a new vehicle, trucks specifically, of all different colors and they never had license plates.
“This story is definitely strange, especially when I heard about the guns, but for me the strangest thing of all is where did he get all of this money?” Aguilar asked.
Before Lash officially moved out four months ago and cleaned everything out of Jocelyn’s apartment, Aguilar said he left one truck in the garage and refused to move it.
“He was always driving these monster trucks and he tried leaving one on the property after he wasn’t a resident anymore. It was this big black Toyota with a tire in the back,” Aguilar described. “I told him he had to move it or I would tow it and he refused until I just about threatened him.”
Aguilar said that Lash moved the truck and started parking it full-time on Coastline Drive, moving it each week to a new location so he would not get a ticket.
Over the 10 years Lash was a resident, Aguilar said there was always one prominent blond woman at Lash’s side. Now, Aguilar suspects the woman was Catherine Nebron.
“A woman who was apparently his girlfriend or fiancée was always with him and especially these past four months when they would come over and move the car to a new spot, I always saw her with him. But we never spoke and I never actually met her,” Aguilar said.
Earlier this morning after watching the news and recognizing Lash as “Skinny Bob,” Aguilar called detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department to investigate the seemingly abandoned truck on Coastline Drive.
“It dawned on me this morning that the man from the Highlands in the Palisades was Skinny Bob and that he had finally passed away from cancer or whatever he had. I immediately called the detectives since his car was still sitting out on the street,” Aguilar said.
Detectives from LAPD were seen taking photos of the black Toyota and according to Aguilar were planning on towing it as soon as possible.
Despite Lash’s odd behavior, Aguilar said he too believed that Lash was in the CIA.
“The CIA story sounds really stupid but you just never know,” Aguilar said. “With all of his money and the mystery surrounding who he was, I have to admit I slightly believed him.”
Editor-in-Chief Frances Sharpe and Intern Matt Ursin-Smith contributed to this story.