The Real Murders of Los Angeles is examining the murder of Harry Major, a retired English instructor who was murdered by Scott Kratlian in his home in the Hollywood area of LA.
Kratlian had been serving time in New York for manslaughter when he became a pen pal with Major. On his release, the 43-year-old moved to LA and lived with 82-year-old Major for a brief time.
The pair allegedly had a sexual relationship; however, things soured following an argument with another man who had come to visit Major.
On February 12, 2014, a concerned friend of Major asked the landlord to check on him. The landlord discovered an apartment in disarray with “blood everywhere.” They also found Major’s remains in an upstairs bathroom.
An autopsy revealed Major had been strangled with a belt or a strap. He had also suffered blunt force trauma to the head and had lacerations on his face, head, and neck.
His arms showed injuries consistent with being tied up with rope or cord. He was probably killed on February 10.
Police believe Scott Kratlian robbed Harry Major after killing him
The investigators learned that on February 10, Kratlian had used Major’s credit card to withdraw $200 from a 7-Eleven. Surveillance footage captured him leaving the grocery store. He also used the card to withdraw $100 from a liquor store.Watch the Latest on our YouTube Channel
Kratlian was arrested on February 18. The cops found a speck of blood on his sneakers that matched Major.
The killer admitted to having an argument with Major that turned violent, but he denied killing him. He claimed he did not remember using the victim’s credit card.
At his subsequent trial, the prosecution referenced Kratlian’s 1992 killing of 66-year-old Salvatorre Caggiano in New York. The prosecutors noted the similarity between the two cases; both victims were about 40 years older than Kratlian, and both men were found in their bathrooms either naked or semi-naked.
Kratlian’s defense team argued that the evidence was largely circumstantial, and none of it placed their client as the clear murderer.
Scott Kratlian was convicted of killing Harry Major
A jury sided with the prosecution, finding Kratlian guilty of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 56 years to life in prison.
The parole board has set a tentative date for consultation on the prisoner’s status for February 2034.
A longtime friend of Major, Susan Emmanule, described him as a “fabulous guy” and added, “He was sweet. He was loving. He was generous.”
The Real Murders of Los Angeles airs Fridays at 9/8c on Oxygen.