Johan Rilz was a German national in the U.S. working as an interior decorator. He had previously lived in Paris where he worked as a confidential informant for French police investigating a drug ring. When his identity was revealed in a French newspaper article, he came to the U.S. and settled in the Los Angeles area. One of his clients was Mitzi Elliot. Rilz and Elliot began an affair while working on Elliot's Malibu home. Both Rilz and Elliot were murdered by Walter Elliot.