On January 3, Theo Lengyel, a founding member of the 1980 experimental band Mr. Bungle, was arrested and charged with the murder of his missing girlfriend Alice “Alex” Kamakaokalani Herman.
Exactly one month after his disappearance, on December 3, 2023, the body of the 61-year-old victim was discovered in the woods in Berkeley, California. She suddenly disappeared on December 12, and the Capitol Police Department was investigating. According to the New York Post, they feared being “involved in a crime.”
While police did not reveal a possible motive for the killing, they took Theo Lengyel into custody as they found Herman's car in front of his residence, located five miles north of Berkeley. Previously, he refused to cooperate with law enforcement when identified as a person of interest.
Exploring the life and career of Theo Lengyel
54-year-old Theo Lengyel originally known as Theobald Brooks Lengyel is an American musician. He is a founding member of the rock band Mr. Bay Area-based Bungle, he was their leader and saxophonist until 1999.
Aside from playing saxophone, Lengyel also played clarinet and keyboard for the band. Also called Mylo Stone, Lengyel founded Mr. Bungle alongside vocalist Mike Patton, guitarist Trey Spruance, and bassist Trevor Dunn when they were all in high school together in the mid-1980s.
While the other members continued to play in a jazz metal band, Theo left it in 1996 after an irreconcilable disagreement with his bandmates. During a 2005 question-and-answer session on his website, Trevor Dunn reportedly told them that they “unanimously decided to continue without him [Lengyel] Because he wasn't growing with the rest of the band.”
He also added how they “ran out of things to do.” When the band told him the same, Theo allegedly got angry and never looked back.
During his time with Mr. Bungle, he was part of their first two major label albums, Mr. Bungle (1991) and Flying disc (1995).
Briefly, consider the recent arrest of Theo Lengyel
On Wednesday, exactly a month after Pacific Islander Alice “Alex” Kamakaokalani Herman missed her flight to Hawaii and disappeared without a trace, her remains were found in Tilden Regional Park, a wooded area in Berkeley. Since her family reported her missing, her boyfriend, Theo Lengyel, has been identified as a person of interest.
Meanwhile, Lengyel traveled more than 600 miles from his home in El Cerrito, California, to Portland, Oregon, last month. Around this time, investigators found the victim's car, a red 2007 Toyota Highlander SUV, in front of his home, according to Kron4.
Following this discovery, Theo Lengyel was arrested and charged with first degree murder and is currently being held in the Santa Cruz County Jail with no chance of bail. Along with the murder charge, he also faces felony charges of burglary and grand theft auto.
It's worth noting that Lengyel was previously accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife in 2017, according to KRCR. She even got a restraining order against him. Later that year, they filed for divorce.
To date, it has not been revealed how and where Herman was killed. The motive is also unclear. However, the human remains were sent for DNA confirmation to the Contra County Coroner's Office on Wednesday.