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Five People, Including Two Sons, Held in “Ninja” Slayings

March 12, 1986

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Two sons of a couple gunned down by men dressed in Japanese warrior costumes have been arrested in the deaths, which authorities described as murder-for-hire killings to collect on a $500,000 insurance policy.

Neil Woodman, 41, Stewart Woodman, 36, and three other men were booked Tuesday for investigation of murder in the September slayings, Police Chief Daryl Gates said.

Steven Homick, 45, a carpenter, and his brother, Robert Homick, 35, an attorney, were arrested in Los Angeles, and Michael Dominguez, 27, was already in custody in Las Vegas, Nev., on an unrelated charge, Gates said.

The Woodman brothers allegedly hired the three other men to kill their parents, Gates told a news conference.

As Gerald Woodman, 67, and Vera Woodman, 63, were returning home Sept. 25, men clad in black martial-arts outfits similar to those worn by Japanese ninja warriors opened fire on their car.

During the arrests Tuesday, black clothing was recovered, along with weapons and drugs, Cmdr. William Booth said. But there was no known link to any martial arts group.

″These people are assassins, good old American assassins, and there is nothing Oriental about them,″ Booth said.

The ninja, a secret society of Japanese warriors in feudal times, mixed stealth and violence.

Money was apparently the motive in the slayings, Gates said.

The Woodman brothers were the beneficiaries of a $500,000 life insurance policy on their mother. Another factor in the killings, Gates said, was a dispute between the sons and their parents over a family business.

Police questioned the Woodman brothers last October, but they were not arrested.

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