An elderly man who killed himself was upset that the life savings he spent on worthless junk bonds from Lincoln Savings and Loan never would benefit abused children he wanted to help, a friend said.
Although some elderly people who had invested in the bonds were left in desperate straits, the death of Anthony Elliot, 89, was the first suicide blamed on the scandal, Burbank police Sgt. Don Goldberg said Wednesday.Marion Lovelace, a Los Angeles real estate agent, said his friend was despondent that the $160,000 he had bequeathed to a national child-abuse group was lost when Lincoln collapsed.
"That was his greatest job, knowing he was doing something for those children," Lovelace said. "When he lost his money, it took all his joy away. He lost his reason to live."
Since 1980, Elliott had been a benefactor to Woodland Hills-based Childhelp USA, a national non-profit group formed to prevent child abuse and help victims.
Elliot, a retired accountant, was found Monday by his part-time housekeeper. His wrists and forearms had been slashed, police said.
"There is no doubt in my mind that he committed suicide over the loss of his savings," Goldberg said. He said Elliott "had talked with neighbors and his housekeeper who say he had become bitter and cynical about the S&L scandal. It appears that the loss of $200,000 pretty well represented his life savings. This is a very tragic, very sad, very pathetic death."
In a note found by authorities, Elliott blamed federal regulators for the loss of his savings.
"There's nothing left for me of things that used to be," Elliot said in the note. "Government is supposed to serve and protect, but who? Those who can gather the most savings from retired people. It takes billions to fill the pockets of `spendocrats.' "