Four people killed in a house where screams were so commonplace that neighbors ceased to notice were beaten in a struggle that left "blood all over the floor," coroner Thomas Noguchi said yesterday.

Several neighbors said they had heard screams, moans and cries of "Please don't kill me" early Wednesday, but had paid no attention.

A 25-year-old woman who survived the attack lay in the house for 12 hours before neighbors became curious enought to call for help.

She was in intensive care at Cedars Sinai Hospital in critical condition, her head and neck torn and bruised and the tip of of one finger cut away in what hospital spokesman Larry Baum called "a classic defense wound."

A spokesman for the district attorney's office said one of the dead women had been charged earlier with possession of illegal drugs, including heroin and cocaine.

Twenty-nine hours after the slayings, the coroner's department began to remove the bodies of two men and two women from the three-story stucco house nestled against the edge of trendy Laurel Canyon.

Deputy Coroner Richard Wilson said the bodies remained in the house so long because there was much to investigatge at the scene.

Noguchi said no gunshot wounds were found, and police said that initial reports that an ax had been used were wrong.