Kimberly Fattorini was just 30-years old when her lifeless body was discovered by paramedics “lying supine on the floor with no vital signs” on July 21, 2017, at her friend Monica Maass‘ West Hollywood apartment.
As CelebMagazine previously reported, pretty much immediately after news of Kimberly’s tragic death was made public, the trolls crawled out of their caves and hit the keyboard—spreading rumors and unsubstantiated claims on various gossip blogs that Fattorini was a “hard-partying drug addict”.
Claims that her supposed friend, Maass reinforced during her interview with the first responder who had determined Kimberly was dead. So, it’s little surprise that the authorities took that narrative and ran with it— along with the coroner who ruled Fattori≠ni’s death as an “accidental overdose”.
However, on July 19, 2019, Fattorini’s parents filed a “wrongful death” civil lawsuit, against a slew of different people, including Maass, club promoter Elias Wehbe, ex-NFL player Shawne Merriman, and a mysterious man named “J.P. Castro” and the details revealed in the accompanying documents were shocking, to say the least.
It soon became apparent that something was completely “off” about the whole case—and that Kimberly Fattorini’s death was way less ‘accidental’ than claimed—so was there a cover-up or was it just simply down to cop incompetence?
From Maass’ initial statement during the investigation (or lack of) by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to the coroner’s ruling, and last but definitely not least, the involvement of Wehbe, Merriman, and “J.P. Castro” in the events leading up to Kimberly’s death, there are glaring red flags all throughout.
Fatal change of mind
The big night out that resulted in ultimately being Kimberly Fattorini’s last night ever, very nearly didn’t happen at all.
Fattorini had arranged to go away with her parents for the weekend, so when Monica Maass texted her to go out on Thursday night, Kim turned her down, explaining that she wanted to get ready and pack for the family trip.
Monica was persistent though, she sent repeated texts begging Kim to go out, and eventually, after reminding Fattorini that her birthday was coming up, Maass managed to change her friend’s mind.
Maass and Fattorini started out at The Highlight Room where they were ushered straight to Wehbe’s VIP table. The champagne and cocaine were flowing there until the early hours of Friday 21st July, at which point Wehbe decided to take the party to his—inviting Kimberly, Monica, and a couple of other (presumably hot) chicks back to his house—Oh, but not before ordering a ton more coke to be delivered first.
Despicable douches and truly terrible texts
A few hours after the women arrived at Wehbe’s—around 6am— the texts started flowing even more than the champagne and coke—both of which were clearly starting to run dry by then.
First, Wehbe texted Castro asking him to bring more coke, and the messages are absolutely shocking and disgusting—we’ll go into details more fully in our next post—but here’s one example:
“These 4 girls are hot as fuck
Only one is weak putting her to sleep tho Coke dealer can bang her
He gets the scum”
Two hours pass by and Wehbe’s back to texting again, this time messaging Merriman—he kicks off with:
“Omg I’m weak
Got 3 whores over
Stefanie kim and Valerie”
The great Shawne Merriman arrives
Wehbe asks Merriman to come over and take some of the “scum” off his hands because he’s “trying to get rid of them and they won’t leave”.
After settling on Stefanie for himself, he decides that Castro can “have” Maass and Merriman can “have” Fattorini—and Merriman doesn’t need any persuading—he’s in….like Flynn.
When Merriman rolls up at Wehbe’s, sometime around 8.30 am, he doesn’t arrive empty-handed—a witness states that they noticed he had “some kind of bottle with him filled with a liquid.”
Wehbe promptly slips off with Stefanie and leaves Fattorni alone with Merriman, and that’s when shit starts to get real–real fast.
Kimberly fires off a series of texts to Wehbe (who’s hidden away somewhere else in his house at this point) telling him Merriman has just poured “G” in her drink and begging him not to go to sleep but to come and help her.
Wehbe doesn’t bother to reply though—he’s way too busy getting it on with Stefanie somewhere in his (seemingly) massive mansion.
Meanwhile, after being accused of pouring GHB in Fattorini’s drink, Merriman slides off as well, to yet somewhere else in Wehbe’s palatial pad. He pops up again around 9.45 am, texting Kim to ask for her address so he can order them an Uber. Her replies to his messages become ever-increasingly incoherent–presumably as the GHB starts kicking in.
Merriman gets what he wants though, as usual, and he orders an Uber to supposedly drop Maass off at her apartment, then take Kim to her place and then drive him and Castro on to some other location.
However, once they’re in the car Maass apparently has a change of heart, and supposedly suddenly becomes concerned about leaving Kim alone with Merriman and Castro, so she decides to invite all three of them to hers to “drink some Bacardi rum she had there”.
So much for the initial statement that she made to the cops—directly after Kimberly was determined dead— insisting that it was just her and Fattorini at the apartment that night and that they both went straight to sleep.
I don’t want to touch her…Ewwww!
Then there’s the 9-1-1 call that Maass made, during which she was asked to move Kimberly onto the floor, but refused, saying, “No, I don’t want to touch her to be honest.”
With friends like that…….
The 9-1-1 operator manages to finally talk Maass into moving Fattornini, which she does—apparently— on her own, without making any noise at all, all while still on the phone talking.
Merriman and Castro disappear
By the time the authorities arrive, Maass is on her own in the apartment with Fattorini—Merriman and Castro had just mysteriously disappeared.
Paramedic Ryan Fogg from the West Hollywood Division of LA Fire Department was first on the scene, followed by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Detective Troy Ewing.
According to the case report, signed by the LA Forensic Science Center’s Deputy Coroner James Blacklock, on the 22nd of July, 2017, there were a whopping total of seven “investigative photos taken at the scene”. Seven photos in total. Seven.
The report’s synopsis reads:
“The descendant is a 30-year-old female white who was discovered unresponsive on a couch by her friend on 07/21/17. 911 was called and the decedent was pronounced dead at the scene by responding LA County Fire department paramedics at 1530 hours.
“Per the friend, the decedent had been out the night before drinking alcohol and snorting cocaine. Per family, the decedent suffered from mild asthma but had no other known medical conditions and was not known to use illegal drugs. No obvious signs of external trauma were discovered and foul play is not suspected.”
Tunnel vision narrative
According to the investigator’s narrative report, also compiled and signed by Blacklock, the LASD Homicide Bureau called Gisella Grey, a Senior Clerk at the LA County Coroner’s Office, at 1636 hours, to inform her of an “apparent drug related accidental death”.
Detectives called back at approximately 1720 hours to say that Fattorini’s body was ready to be collected, and LASD’s Lt. Brian Kim assigned Blacklock to the case—he arrived at the scene at 1818 hours.
Blacklock states “I concluded my investigation and departed at 2010 hours.” He goes on to share details of what he refers to as a “paraphrased witness statement” told to him by Ewing.
In the statement, it’s claimed “paramedics found the descendant lying supine on the floor of the apartment with no vital signs” and that Fogg determined Fattorini dead.
According to the report, Maass told Fogg that she and Kimberly had “been out drinking and doing cocaine the night before at a friend’s house and at a local nightclub.” She went on to state that they had returned to her apartment alone together at 0500 hours and both went straight to sleep–Maass in her bedroom and Fattornini on the sofa.
Maass then told Fogg that at approximately 1515 hours she left her bedroom and “noted the decedent was still lying prone on the couch and did not appear to be breathing.” Maass claimed she “immediately” called 911 and after being advised to do so by the dispatcher, “placed the decedent supine on the floor” then “stood by the decedent until the arrival of emergency personnel”.
Maass also claimed that Kimberly “had a history of illegal drug use with cocaine and MDNA [sic] being her substances of choice”.
However, Fattorni’s father vehemently denied the claim. It states in the report that after he was told of Kimberly’s death and Maass’ allegations, he insisted his daughter didn’t have a history of taking drugs and that “she kept herself in peak physical condition.”
After searching the property and finding no signs of “forced entry or evidence of a struggle” Ewing concluded no foul play was involved. He also noted that during the search there were no “empty alcohol containers, paraphernalia, prescription medications or illicit drugs” discovered.
Meanwhile, Blacklock wrote that nothing was collected from the scene for examination and that Kimberly was discovered wearing a black bra, underwear, and black pants.
There’s no mention in the report of the fact that, according to the Fattorinis’ lawsuit, Kim’s pants were unzipped and down around her hips—like somebody had attempted to dress her in a hurry—or any mention of the expensive Christian Louboutin heels that Kimberly had been wearing on that fateful night—two separate sources have alleged to CelebMagazine that Maass stole Kim’s shoes before authorities arrived.
Blacklock finished the report by stating that “no exam notification was requested by law enforcement personnel”.
The Preliminary Examination
The preliminary examination was carried out by Deputy Medical Examiner Christopher Rogers on the 23rd of July, 2017, two days after Kimberly’s death.
On the autopsy check sheet included in the report, after examining Kimberly, Rogers’ determined everything as being “normal” aside from discovering “glucose and ketone” in her bladder, which, according to ReasearchGate.net is typically found in the bodies of either alcoholics or diabetics—neither of which were relevant to Kimberly, as all of her other organs showed no signs of damage or decay—or when “acute” levels of Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (more commonly known as the date rape roofie drug of choice, GHB, or just “G”) has been consumed.
Rogers also noted four separate contusions on Fattorni’s legs—which he sketched on the body diagram included in the report.
The autopsy of Kimberly Fattorini, who had now become “case number 2017-05435”, was also carried out by Rogers on the 23rd of July. In the autopsy report, he determines:
- There were “no defects of the septum” (unusual when it comes to habitual and long-term cocaine users, who usually display at least some signs of damage or deterioration to the nasal wall)
- “no signs of jaundice in the eyes” (people with a history of long term alcohol consumption often have some degree of yellowing in the whites of their eyes)
- “The liver is of average size” and a regular, healthy color of “red-brown” (yet again, unusual when it comes to somebody with a supposed history of alcohol, cocaine and MDMA use)
- The pancreas is “normal and without any necrosis” (unusual if a person has a history of “hard partying and drinking” as they will usually, at least, have a pancreas that’s swollen slightly)
- The kidneys are in a healthy condition with a “smooth and red” surface (repeated exposure to toxins, especially MDMA, cocaine and alcohol is one of the primary causes of kidney damage in some way, shape or form)
Given the aforementioned, it seems incredible for a coroner to state as fact (which he does in the anatomical summary on page one of the report) that the decedent had a “history of alcohol, cocaine and MDMA use”.
It appears to be more of a total assumption, than a fact, stemming from the LASD’s conclusion that was formed by Maass’ allegations, and fueled yet further by countless lies from anonymous trolls online.
On page 16 of the report, Rogers states that no “criminalistic” tests were requested to be undertaken and that no photos of Fattorini’s body were taken (not even of the contusions that were noted, once again, to be on her legs—this time on page 3 of the autopsy report).
The legislative rulebook for autopsies performed within the state of California, instructs coroners to take “Frontal and lateral facial photographs with the scale indicated” in addition to ensuring “intermediate and close-up photos are taken of all wounds (including defense wounds) before and after cleanup. Consider numbering multiple wounds.”
Rogers also didn’t bother to carry out a rape kit, or even to take any kind of relevant samples that could be used at a later date to determine if a sexual assault had occurred.
Rogers concludes, “Toxicology reports show potentially fatal blood concentrations of cocaine and gamma-hydroxybutyrate, as well as alcohol.”
According to the toxicology report, the samples from Kimberly that were taken two days after her death—still displayed high enough levels of GHB to render a person unconscious for days.
To add some context, according to DrugRehab.com:
“GHB has a half-life of 30 to 50 minutes, meaning that half of the dose taken will be eliminated in less than an hour. At that rate, most of the drug is broken down and eliminated within a few hours.
“Within 2 1/2 to four hours, GHB is barely detectable in blood. Urine screens for GHB typically can’t detect the drug past a 12-hour window.”
Unanswered questions and yet more disappearances
After numerous (unsuccessful) attempts to reach Blacklock, CelebMagazine was finally told he no longer works for the Department of the Medical Examiner-Coroner LA County, nor at the LA Forensic Science Center.
So, we contacted the LA County Department of the Medical Examiner’s public information officer instead and asked them to answer a few vital questions—including:
- According to the wrongful death lawsuit, James Blacklock did not take any x-rays or photographs of Fattorini’s body. Can you verify this, and explain why?
- Blacklock noted in his reports that there were multiple contusions on Kimberly’s body but didn’t take any photos of them. Can you explain why?
- Why was a sexual assault test not conducted on Fattorini by Blacklock? Or samples taken to conduct one if needed at a later date?
- The wrongful death lawsuit states that following the completion of the autopsy a detective from the LASD Homicide Bureau requested a sexual assault test be conducted, but Blacklock said this was no longer possible. Can you verify this, and explain why?
- Do you have any comments about the extremely high levels of GHB discovered in the deceased’s system—that were still detectable two days after Kimberly Fattotrini had died—yet the cause of death was still ruled as ‘accidental’.
- Why does James Blacklock no longer work for the Department of the Medical Examiner-Coroner LA County?
The PIO, Sarah Ardalani, replied, “The examination report speaks for itself and the office has no additional comment. James Blacklock retired last year.”
CelebMagazine also tried to track down first responder Fogg to question him about what he found at the scene, but we were told that he no longer works at the West Hollywood Division of the LA Fire Department.
Countless calls to different divisions and departments eventually resulted in a spokesperson telling us they don’t know where he is, and that we need to obtain a subpoena in order for any questions to be answered.
We also contacted the LA Sheriff’s Department with a formal request submitted under the Public Records Act, asking to be given access to all police investigative files and photos relating to the case—showing how police investigated the incident and who was interviewed, particularly in relation to any statements given by Shawne Merriman, Monica Maass, and Elias Wehbe.
In addition, we asked for answers to the following questions:
- What is the status of the case and are there any plans to re-open it, especially in light of the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Fattorini’s parents?
- Were there only seven crime scene photographs taken by police at the residence where Fattorini died? If so, why were so few photographs taken?
- Why was a rape kit test not performed on Fattorini? What are the usual LASD protocols for performing a rape test on a 30-year-old woman found dead in unusual circumstances?
Deputy Trina Schader replied, “Good Morning, you will need to send your request to [email protected].”
So we did.
At the time of posting, we have yet to receive a reply.
Be sure to keep checking back to read the third of CelebMagazine’s series of five stories relating to Kimberly Fattorini’s death.
Next time, we dig deep into Merriman and Wehbe’s checkered pasts and highly questionable behavior and detail our investigation into the mysterious Mr. Castro.
Meanwhile, we’ve started a petition via Change.org: #JusticeForKim—Get LASD to re-open the Kimberly Fattorini case
PLEASE sign and share it as widely as possible. We need signatures and lots of them…