New York Parolee Convicted of Killing 82-year-old Hollywood Pen Pal
Ex-convict Scott Kratlian faces another round in prison for the 2014 killing of Hollywood High School teacher Harry Major.
Scott Kratlian was convicted on Wednesday of strangling and killing his 82-year-old pen pal in Hollywood just months after being freed, the L.A. Times reports.
Letters were exchanged between Major, in Hollywood, and Kratlian, who was imprisoned outside of Syracuse at the Marcy Correctional Facility. Detectives say the two exchanged letters for months, possibly years, after meeting through a pen pal network created for soap opera fans.
Kratlian was released from prison in November 2013. By Feb. 1, authorities said Kratlian had moved to Los Angles, briefly living with Major before strangling him in his Hollywood apartment on Feb. 10.
Major’s friends called the police after he did not show up for brunch the morning after he was killed. Police discovered Major’s body at this apartment on Feb. 12.
"He was a man of kindness and brilliance. To see one’s kindness repaid by one’s life is beyond unfair," said Major’s former student Norman Goldstein to the LA Times.
Previously, Kratlian served 20 years in prison for murdering a man in 1992. According to parole board records, Kratlian beat and burned the victim after tying his hands and feet together.
Kratlian was known for having a "horrendous" disciplinary record in prison. Records show that due to violations Kratlian’s early release had been delayed for more than four years.
After Major’s body was found, friends of Major told police about his relationship with Kratlian.
On Feb. 14 police identified Kratlian as a suspect and New York then listed him as a fugitive.
According to records from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department, a task force composed of the LAPD and FBI, arrested Kratlian at a mental health and substance abuse treatment center in Pasadena on Feb. 18.
Kratlian faces 56 years to life for the killing. A sentencing is scheduled on Nov. 18.