Central Coast man murders 4 family members

August 13, 2014

Nicolas HolzerAfter a Goleta man murdered his parents and two sons Monday night, he told a dispatcher it was his “destiny.”

Nicolas Holzer, 45, had been unemployed for years. For the past seven years, he had lived with his parents and two sons at a home in Goleta.

Nicolas Holzer first repeatedly stabbed his father William Holzer in the den with a kitchen knife. Holzer then went to his son’s bedroom where they were sleeping and stabbed Sebastian, 13, and Vincent, 10.

He murdered his mother, Sheila Holzer, 74, in the doorway of the boys’ bedroom before stabbing his Australian shepherd in the hall.

Following the murders, Nicolas Holzer called 911 to report that he had killed his entire family because it was his destiny.



  1. Myself says:

    A problem I see is that we’ll feed and house this guy for the rest of his life,when he should just be fried. With no deturent in our justice system people like this don’t think of the concequences, DEATH is what needs to be put back into our system,this guy will have better health care,then we the taxpayer,eat 3 times a day,3 hots and a cot, and may get out on good behavior in 10 to 15.

  2. ToHellinaHandBasket says:

    There are many posts here that mention “mental illness” as maybe the cause for this reprehensible crime.

    My take on this situation? Evil. Pure unadulterated evil.

    I don’t believe this man has a conscience. A soul, yes. Conscience no. Maybe demonically possessed?

    Man has come too far as to blame mental illness on all of the worlds ills. Are all members of ISIS suffering from mental illness? Look at the atrocities they are committing.

    There is evil in humankind. It has been foretold.

    Condolences and prayers to the extended families of those murdered and living. May the Lord Jesus strengthen and comfort you.

    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      Yes, such acts are evil but that label doesn’t provide much in the way of viable solutions. “Evil” is a kind of vague term and seems to me to be an easy way to dodge thinking about root causes and solutions.

      Using a mental illness label may not offer solutions to all such acts but it at least opens up the possibility of preventing some of them if we are willing to spend what it takes (and it will be costly up front) to either cure or restrict those who present an obvious danger to others.

    • sloyal says:

      Perfect point. I agree improvements are needed in the area of identifying and helping mental illness, but you are so right, it’s often the first thing you hear after a horrible act like this. Ppl are uncomfortable identifying evil for some reason. ‘Solutions’ are great, but evil is not solved, it’s defeated.

  3. nipomian says:

    Homicides always involve the killer having a mental disorder. This has nothing to do with guns, knives or any other type of weapon used. It always involves a terribly sick individual who could no longer keep his sickness in check. Same as every other crime of this type.

    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      Sometimes this is true but not always. Some people kill for personal gain. I guess you could consider this a type of mental illness too (sociopathy?, psychopathy?) but in a culture that seems to tolerate and sometimes celebrate “winning/getting ahead” by any means, it is easy for someone to take that concept one more “logical” step.

  4. MaryMalone says:

    Interesting that Mr. Holzer’s “destiny” did not include killing himself.

  5. Jorge Estrada says:

    Terminall mental health should be accommodated, not discussed at the expense of other social programs.

  6. fishing village says:

    SO SAD,
    SO SAD

  7. JamesD says:

    “Not One More” I think we need to lobby for stronger knife control. Another sad and tragic
    example of the primary cause, PEOPLE AND MENTAL HEALTH. I have never seen a gun or knife or any type of weapon go on a killing spree without the action of the person using the weapon. SpeakTruth got it right, why can’t our politicians.

  8. SpeakTruth says:

    What does this mass murder have in common with other mass murders?

    I’ll give you a hint… IT’S NOT GUNS!

    Mental Health, it always boils down to mental health.

    • MaryMalone says:

      QUOTING SPEAK TRUTH: “What does this mass murder have in common with other mass murders?”

      I was going to guess “small dick.”

    • Slowerfaster says:

      Sooo…. if this crazy person had access to multiple round magazine repeating guns, we might be commenting on homicides in the dozens.

      The NRA lobbies for unfettered access to killing machines. It’s harder to get a dog license.
      Only by luck and chance were there no other victims.

      • SpeakTruth says:

        Use of the phrase “multiple round magazine repeating guns” proves you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Do you mean a semi-automatic firearm that accepts detachable magazines? I sure wish one of the victims would have had one of the SELF-DEFENSE machines that the NRA lobbies for access to.

    • miles archer says:

      First of all, this wasn’t a “mass murder”.

      You cannot equate this with the shootings in 1984/San Ysidro, 1991/Kileen, TX, 1999/Littleton, CO, 2007/Virginia Tech…the list keeps growing.

      Secondly, you can’t debate knives versus guns equally. It’s a fact that guns can kill more people in a smaller, condensed amount of time. With knives, you can defend yourself against bodily harm at close range…with a gun, no such defense unless you dress in full-body armor…and even then, a clean head shot from 100 yards will do the trick!

      BTW, look up the statistics of accidental death by knife…then by gun. Again, no room for debate there.

      Finally, I completely agree that mental health is a huge issue in our country! I’ve never feared a gun, only the idiots who have the right to possess them…AND our gutless, self-serving legislators who allow themselves to be led by the nose by the gun lobby.

      And YES, I am a proud gun owner.

      • kettle says:

        Yes it was mass murder.

        “The FBI defines mass murder as murdering four or more persons during an event with no “cooling-off period” between the murders. A mass murder typically occurs in a single location where one or more people kill several others.”

        Also the knives vs guns debate is a nra talking point red herring to distract us.

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