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Irvine Orange County Now  ©  May 8, 2000 http://www.ocnow.com/community/your_town/south/irv_news.html

Allegations of sex and drugs by dead researcher unfounded, police say

• Some of the more bizarre allegations contained in documents in support of a warrant to search an Irvine doctor's home after an attack on his business partner were never substantiated, Irvine police said Friday.

The department got information from various witnesses about the possible poisoning of individuals by Dr. Larry Ford-- who killed himself within days of being questioned about the shooting attack--and the drugging of unwitting victims by Ford and his alleged mistress, Valerie Kesler, Irvine police Detective Victor Ray said.

The warrants that authorized searches at Ford's home at 19 Foxboro were obtained, in part, based on those statements, Ray said.

But the department found no credible evidence that Ford and Kesler gave drugs or poison to any person with or without their consent during any sexual activity or that such group activities ever occurred, Ray said.

According to documents the court released, an anonymous witness told police that Ford and Kesler drugged people with whom they were having sex, and that the two referred to the supposed victims as ``white chimpanzees.''

But Kesler attorney John Kremer said that his client denies that any such sexual activity took place.

The court documents were the first public indication that police had almost immediately suspected Ford, a co-founder of Biofem Inc. with CEO James Patrick Riley of masterminding the attack on Riley.

Authorities had said little about any role Ford might have played in the shooting, calling him only a ``possible suspect.''

Ford, 49, killed himself on March 2, three days after the Feb. 28 attack on Riley, and after police searched his home.

The search warrants provide no further details about a possible motive, nor do they outline a conspiracy against Riley, 58.

But Riley told police the company achieved a major research breakthrough just before the shooting, and that he and Ford were planning to create a company that would be worth far more than Biofem.

Prosecutors contend that at least three people were involved in the plan to kill Riley as he arrived for work the morning of the attack: a gunman, a getaway driver and the mastermind. They left open the possibility that others played a role.

Authorities charged Los Angeles businessman Dino D'Saachs, 56, with driving the gunman to and from the scene. D'Saachs, a close friend of Ford for 20 years, has pleaded not guilty.

The gunman remains at large, according to police, and there have been no other arrests.

Dead researcher was "mastermind" of botched hit, court documents indicate
• Investigators for the first time have named Biofem Inc. co-founder Larry Ford, who committed suicide, as the mastermind behind the attempted slaying of his partner.

The allegations were made in court documents that were released Wednesday, according to reports.

Authorities had said little about any role Ford might have played in the shooting of Biofem CEO James Patrick Riley, calling him only a ``possible suspect.''

Ford, 49, committed suicide in early March, a day after police searched his Irvine home in connection with the attack a few days earlier.

More than 170 pages of search warrants unsealed by a judge indicate that detectives quickly concluded that Ford ``masterminded the assassination of the victim for financial gains related to the business activities of Biofem.''

The search warrants provide no further details about a possible motive, nor do they outline a conspiracy against Riley, 58.

But Riley told police the company achieved a major research breakthrough shortly before the shooting and, using the data, he and Ford planned to create a new company that would be worth far more than Biofem, according to reports.

Prosecutors contend that at least three people were involved in the plan to kill Riley as he arrived for work on Feb. 28: a gunman, a getaway driver and the mastermind. They left open the possibility that others played a role.

Authorities charged Los Angeles businessman Dino D'Saachs, 56, with driving the gunman to and from the scene. D'Saachs, a close friend of Ford for 20 years, has pleaded not guilty. The gunman remains at large, and there have been no other arrests.