By Day 2, the Phil Spector case was beginning to seem like the opening of a Hollywood film noir.
The victim found shot to death in the marble foyer of the reclusive pop music producer's mansion was identified as Lana Clarkson, a beautiful, just-over-the-hill actress with a long list of credits in B-movies such as "Vice Girls" and "Barbarian Queen."
According to local reports, Spector had met the 40-year-old actress on Sunday at the House of Blues, a rock-and-roll club on the Sunset Strip, where she worked as a hostess. That night the club hosted a concert by Rob Halford, the lead singer of Judas Priest. The management of the House of Blues issued a statement saying that it was "deeply saddened to learn of the death. . . . Her presence will be missed."
An acquaintance of the actress who asked not to be identified said today that Clarkson had recently completed a screenplay about the music industry and was actively seeking to sell it.
Police said they were called to the medieval-style mansion in Alhambra, east of downtown Los Angeles, about 5 a.m. Monday. A 911 call reporting gunshots was made by a limo driver who had chauffeured the couple from the club to Spector's house. Officers found Clarkson's body in the foyer, as well as Spector and a gun.
The legendary music figure, who had made millions from producing musical hits from "To Know Him Is to Love Him" to the Beatles' album "Let It Be," was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder, released on $1 million bail Monday and will be arraigned March 3.
Spector's attorney, Robert Shapiro, known from his role on the O.J. Simpson defense team, declined to comment on the case.
The day after the Monday shooting a few details began to emerge about the victim. Clarkson, a blond, six-foot-tall actress, had something of a cult following. She had appeared in several movies made by Roger Corman, the famed impresario of lurid, low-budget features; among her films were "The Haunting of Morella" and "Barbarian Queen," which Clarkson had called the template for the hit TV series "Xena: Warrior Princess."
She had small roles in "Scarface" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," and many appearances in commercials and television shows from the racy "Silk Stalkings" on cable to NBC's "Knight Rider."
On her Web site, www.livingdollproductions.com, Clarkson said she worked in stand-up comedy and volunteered in a meal delivery program for people with the AIDS virus.
On Saturday Clarkson spent several hours signing autographs at a comic book convention in Pasadena.
Spector, 62, was known for creating a "wall of sound" effect in the 1960s that led to dozens of hits by groups like the Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers. He had a reputation for an erratic and volatile personality, but for many years he had become reclusive and had all but bowed out of the music business.
Today police combed the 33-room estate on Grandview Drive for clues and towed away Spector's gleaming new black Mercedes, which was in the driveway at the time of the murder. Spector was not seen at the house today.
Speaking on "Good Morning America," Spector's ex-wife, Ronnie Spector -- who in a book accused her former spouse of psychotic and abusive behavior -- said she was confused by the shooting.
"He never hit me," she said on television. "I'm still in shock. I'm baffled by the whole thing. I don't think he would murder anybody."
Spector was eligible for $1 million bail based on a California bail schedule that sets specific amounts for crimes such as murder. Only in cases of special circumstances, such as risk of flight, do police seek higher amounts. "If there were extenuating circumstances where [we] felt bail needed to be increased, I'm sure we would have it," said Deputy Richard Jones of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "Just because he can make bail is not a reason to jack it up."
Lana Clarkson, 40, was found shot to death at the California home of music producer Phil Spector.