Louis R. Payne sits with his face in his hands at his inquest for the murder of his mother and brother. His father, Lucius F. Payne, sits at his side.Louis Rude Payne, 21 years of age, used a camping axe to kill his mother, 45-year-old Carrie L. Payne, and 15-year-old brother Robert in their Westwood mansion home. Payne turned himself in for the killings of four to five days after their deaths, at a Huntington Beach police station. When he turned himself in, detectives found on his person both a letter and a telegram addressed to his father Lucius Payne, a St. Louis businessman, confessing to the crime, apologizing for his actions, and explaning that he did not know what impulse it was that drove him to the murders. Although he was questioned repeatedly, no motive for the murders was ever discovered, save for what Payne termed a force stronger than himself that compelled him to commit the crimes.Payne was convicted of the two murders, but found to be insane at the time of the crimes. He was confined to psychiatric treatment at the Mendocino State Hospital at Talmadge, in Mendocino County, CA. His father stood by him throughout his trial and conviction.
William E. MacFaden (1913-1992) became the youngest judge in the state of California when he was sworn in as Redondo Beach city judge on July 1934. After he was admitted to the California Bar in 1936, MacFaden opened a family law practice in Redondo Beach, where he served as city attorney from 1941 to 1947. He also was Hawthorne's city attorney from 1944 to 1946. In 1960, MacFaden became a judge in South Bay Municipal Court. Gov. Edmund G. Brown elevated him to the Superior Court bench in 1963. Over the years, he served as presiding judge of the county's juvenile court, family law and mental health departments, and the Torrance Superior Court.