San Diego Police Investigating Angel Investor’s Death as Homicide

6/19/10Follow @bvbigelow

San Diego police have launched a homicide investigation into the death of John G. Watson, a retired biotech executive and board member of the San Diego Tech Coast Angels, according to members of the startup investment group who were close to Watson.

Watson’s body was found in the bedroom of his La Jolla Apartment on June 8th when he failed to appear for a regular TCA board meeting and dinner event at the UC San Diego faculty club, said Steve Flaim, who is current president of the TCA’s San Diego chapter. Flaim says he notified TCA members by e-mail yesterday that Watson’s death “appeared suspicious” to San Diego police and that Watson also “was the subject of fraud and embezzlement.” Flaim says his e-mail prompted Frank Peters, a TCA member in Orange County, to report that Watson had been murdered in an item published on his website yesterday.

San Diego police have made an arrest, Flaim told me, although I was unable to confirm that with the police last night, and it isn’t clear whether the arrest is related to the fraud or murder investigation—or both.

“We’re all angry and shocked and upset that something like this could happen to one of us,” Flaim said in a phone call last night. He described Watson, who was 65, as “a happy bachelor” who had retired in La Jolla, and was active with Connect, San Diego’s nonprofit group for technology and entrepreneurship, and as an angel investor.

Two TCA members found Watson’s body on the floor of his bedroom 11 days ago, Flaim said. Watson had missed the group’s afternoon board meeting, and was expected to serve as master of ceremonies during the dinner event, which included presentations by several entrepreneurs. Watson also had failed to respond for several days before the event to e-mails from … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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  • http://www.commonangels.com James Geshwiler

    How horrible and tragic. Boston sends its condolences to our friends in San Diego.