Man who killed parents feared psychiatric commitment

NEWPORT BEACH, California (AP) — Kim Nicholson’s troubled son disappeared last year, but he sent his parents disturbing text messages and they learned he had placed a 911 call.

Fearing he might have died, they hired a private investigator in early February to track him down.

Just days later, on February 13, police found Nicholson, her husband and their housekeeper dead in the family’s home in a gated community in Southern California’s Newport Beach. One of the women’s eyes appeared gouged.

Authorities had been summoned by the Nicholson’s missing son, Camden, who had gone to a hospital, called police and confessed to the killings, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

He said he killed his parents because he did not want them to send him to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation, Newport Beach Detective Richard Henry wrote in an affidavit for a warrant to search the family’s cars and home.

Camden Nicholson, 28, is to be arraigned today on three counts of murder for the deaths of his mother and father, Richard Nicholson, and their housekeeper, Maria Morse. His attorney, Jessica Ann Watts, did not return messages seeking comment.

The case shocked the affluent community where the Nicholsons lived and volunteered at a nearby Mormon temple. Some who knew the couple said they were unaware of their son’s troubles.

Police documents and a lawsuit filed by Morse’s husband and adult children describe Camden Nicholson as a disturbed man apparently fuelled by drugs.