Action star Jess Lapid, in the peak of his colorful movie career, was shot dead inside a nightclub in Quezon City. Here's the full account of that fateful incident in the early morning of July 13, 1968 --- from the front pages of The Manila Times.
JESS LAPID SLAIN IN QC
By Cecilio T. Arillo/ The
Manila Times/July 13, 1968
By Cecilio T. Arillo/ The
Movie actor Jess Lapid was shot dead at the Lanai nightclub on Quezon blvd. ext.,
, shortly before 3 a.m. today. Lapid was gunned down during a heated discussion between two groups of movie actors and actresses. Quezon City
The killer, believed to be also a movie star, fled in a Blu-Car taxicab. He left the fatal gun, a 9 mm pistol, at the scene of the shooting. The shooting occurred during a birthday party. With Lapid were Vilma Valera, Clarita Rivera, Miriam Jurado, and other movie celebrities. Lapid was hit four times in different parts of the body. He died on arrival at the
. National Orthopedic Hospital
Witnesses said Lapid had a quarrel with the killer who was seated at another table. The man just whipped out a gun and fired at the actor, hitting him in the body. Lapid, who was then seated, tried to stand up, but the gunman fired four more shots in rapid succession. Jess Lapid used to play movie roles as a gunman. He started out as a movie “badman” but had lately been starring in action pictures.
A nephew, Manuel Lapid, 30, of 1340 P. Guevarra, Sta, Cruz, figured in a shooting incident Thursday night at a Zurbaran restaurant where one man was killed and two others wounded. Police were looking into the possibility that this morning’s killing arose from the Zurbaran shooting.
MAN HELD IN LAPID GUNSLAYBy Cecilio T. Arillo/ The
Manila Times/ July 14, 1968
Caloocan City businessman yielded at the police headquarters early this morning for questioning in connection with the gunslaying of movie actor Jess Lapid. The suspect, Mario Henson, 30, a father of seven and son-in-law of the Quezon City mayor, showed up with his lawyer, Alfonso Cruz. Earlier reports said Henson was picked up by the QC detectives in his home in barrio Bagumbong, Caloocan City , at 7:25 last night. Caloocan City
As Henson was being brought to the detective bureau, he was met in the lobby by Rufo Lapid, nephew of the victim, who promptly identified him as one of two gunmen who allegedly shot the actor. Henson, looking tired, worried and red-eyed, refused to talk as he referred reporters to his lawyer.
At press time, he was closeted with QC Police Chief Tomas B. Karingal, Capt. Ernesto San Diego, chief of detectives, and Lieutenants Leonardo San Jose and Conrado Arabit. The suspect earlier tagged by the police as the alleged mastermind, was scheduled to be paraffin-tested for possible powder burns at the NBI this morning. A confrontation with vital witnesses was also being arranged by the police at press time.
When he showed up at the QC police headquarters, Henson was wearing a yellow balon T-shirt and dark pants. Witnesses had earlier told police that a man wearing a yellow banlon T-shirt had confronted Jess Lapid shortly before the actor was shot at the Lanai Nightclub on Quezon blvd. ext.,
, at about 3 a.m. yesterday. Diliman, QC
Two gunmen participated in the shooting, witnesses said. The second, said to be a hired killer from
, remained at large at press time. Reported to be armed with a .357 magnum revolver, the gunman was being hunted by two teams of QC detectives in a Angeles City Central Luzon province.
Lapid, 35, married and father of three, was hit five times and died on arrival at the
. His last words to a taxi driver who rushed him to the hospital were: “Dalhin mo ako sa pinakamalapit na hospital” (Bring me to the nearest hospital). Witnesses said Lapid was seated at a table talking with friends when the first gunman suddenly shot him from a table in front of him. Although hit in the left arm, Lapid swiftly stood up and drew his own gun. But the second gunman cut him down with two more shots in the back. Lapid spun around and tried to snap a shot at the other gunman, but the one in front of him shot him again, hitting him in the stomach. National Orthopedic Hospital
Amancio Mirasol, 30, the taxi driver whose Blu-Car cab was used by the gunmen in getting away from the nightclub, was picked up yesterday afternoon for questioning. Mirasol told Lt. Conrado Arabit, chief homicide section of the QC police, that the two men boarded his cab in front of the nightclub and directed him to proceed to
. On reaching Morong and Speaker Perez sts., Manila , the triggermen got of the taxicab after paying the driver 1.30. Mirasol said they walked toward the west of Speaker Perez st. and boarded a waiting car painted green and blue. The same car was seen by witnesses leaving the nightspot with two persons on board shortly after shots rang out. Sta. Mesa Heights, QC
Yolly Aquino, 34, a nightclub hostess, said the gunman-mastermind approached the actor after the former had paid his chits. Aquino said the actor had apparently sensed danger because he wanted to get out the club right away. In fact, police said, Lapid had sent out two nightclub hostesses to summon the actor’s friends who were at the Philamlife compound some half a kilometer away from the nightclub.
Margarita Gonzales, 21, one of the two hostesses, said Lapid had whispered to her that the men in front of their table were his enemies. “I cannot back out anymore,” Lapid had said in Tagalog to Gonzales. Gonzales and the other girl, Sylvia Naporada, 21, went to the Philamlife compound. But before they could reach there, the gunmen had already shot the actor. Paquito Diaz and other movie bit players were in the Philamlife comopund playing cards. They rushed to the nightclub only to learn that Lapid was dead.
Dets. Pablo Pascual and Marcos Viñas traced the movements of the victim yesterday. The actor with six companions, four girls and two men, went first to the Patio Flamenco nightclub on Roxas blvd., Parañaque, where they spent less than one hour. Lapid told three of his companions to go ahead to Lanai Club. After 30 miniutes, Lapid followed the group in his car, with Rufo Lapid, a nephew, driving. A guard, Simplicio Lubreza, 21, said the victim entered the club past 2 a.m. Detectives Pascual and Viñas said the gunmen and their three companions had apparently been following the actor.
Det. Cesar Dalanon said the killing was well-planned. Nobody else was hit by stray bullets although many were seated near the actor. Among them were movie actresses Vilma Valera, Clarita Rivera and Miriam Jurado. Police said one of the gunmen was slapped by the victim 10 months ago at the Premiere Productions compound in
. A witness said the slapping victim was with four companions and tried to kidnap Nancy Roman, a movie starlet and niece of Lapid. Caloocan City
Bella Flake-Lapid, wife of the actor, said her husband did not tell her anything about the slapping incident. But sources said the victim in that slapping incident had vowed to retaliate. This developed yesterday afternoon as police cleared a movie bit player of any involvement in the killing.