John Molle, RIP

Today I heard from several old high school friends that John Molle, the youngest member of my high school basketball team in 1988-89, was murdered on April 1st. John’s funeral was yesterday, April 7th.

John Joseph Molle Jr., 32, of Santa Ana, a field supervisor, died April 1, 2005. Visitation: 3-9 p.m. today, Funeraria del Angel MacDougall Family Mortuary, Santa Ana. Services: 9 a.m. Thursday, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Santa Ana. Burial service: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Holy Sepulcher Cemetery, Orange.

Parents, John, Librada; son, Miguel; brothers, Raphael, Andy.

OC Register, April 1, 2005:

SANTA ANA — A man who suffered a gunshot wound in his head was found dead in Windsor Park on Friday, police said.

The victim’s name was not known, Gonsalves said.

Investigators believe that the shooting occurred during “early morning hours.” Investigators found no witnesses to the shooting.

The park is in the 2900 block of La Verne Avenue.

Anyone with information is asked to call investigators Mark Steen or Dean Fulcher at (714) 245-8355.

OC Register, April 4, 2005:

John Joseph Molle, [32], of Santa Ana, was found Friday morning in Windsor Park, dead of a gunshot wound to the head. His body was spotted by a passerby who called for paramedics. The paramedics discovered the gunshot wound. The park is in the 2900 block of La Verne Avenue.

Honolulu Advertiser, April 9, 2005:

Former University of Hawai’i basketball player John Molle Jr. was remembered as a tough competitor who was trying to improve his life.

“He was a nice guy who didn’t get a lot of breaks,” said UH associate coach Jackson Wheeler, who recruited Molle to UH in 1992.

Molle, 33, was killed April 1 in Santa Ana, Calif., after he sought the people who stole his car. He died from a gunshot wound to the head. No suspect has been arrested.

“I talked to him a week and a half ago,” Wheeler said. “He seemed fine. He seemed in good spirits. I talked to him quite often. He always had a good place in my heart. This is really sad.”

Molle attended San Diego State and Saddleback Community College before signing with the Warriors. As a 6 foot-4 senior, he helped the Warriors win the 1994 Western Athletic Conference Tournament and earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Molle was a skilled outside shooter who also played power forward.

“He certainly wasn’t a power forward, but he was that versatile,” former Saddleback coach Bill Brummel said.

Molle’s life spiraled soon after leaving UH. He spent a few years in prison after being convicted of a car-jacking. In prison, Molle became a Christian.

“He turned his life around,” UH coach Riley Wallace said. “I’ve always thought good of John, and I always will. He was a tough and hard-nosed kid, but he was always good around me.”

Brummel said Molle’s aggressive style invoked taunts from opposing fans. But Brummel also remembered how Molle was a popular figure during a UH camp in 1993.

“He had a magnetic personality for young kids,” Brummel said. “The kids just loved him. They followed him around, like he was the Pied Piper. To see the connection he had with kids … that was an enjoyable memory.”


Last year I got a letter filling in some details of your life after high school, none of which were good. My only reply was to hope that you would someday turn your life around, learn from your hardships and bad choices and come out the better for your experience. I never wrote about it, hoping for the day you’d to slip out of your past and into a new future. It wasn’t supposed to end like this.

For your parents, your brothers, your son, I’m heartbroken. I have no words except to hope they can find solace in memories of happier times.

Today, because of your death, I’ve heard from many people I haven’t talked to in more than 15 years. I’m holding onto the small glimmer of light in that. I wish any of us could have done something more for you. May you finally find some peace.

14 Responses to “John Molle, RIP” Comments Feed for John Molle, RIP

  • joe it’s been a long time buddy.
    coach keith was there at the funeral and tom.
    he will be missed.

  • I played ball at Heritage Park and Orchard Park with John and he was always a good kid. I was shocked to hear about his death. Maybe Irvine High can give a tribute to him at a game next season…..


  • Hey coach you don’t know me but i hear about you i was a friend of John Molle. He would takes us to the park basketball in logan park. he told us he was going to make a team of basketball. If you want to contacted me in Would i have to go.

  • Joe,

    I noticed your posting on the Internet today. My name is Jeff Miller and I’m a sports columnist for the Orange County Register. A few weeks ago, someone in our office mentioned John Molle Jr.’s death and said it could be worth writing about his life.

    I’m trying to figure out if there’s a story to tell here. Do you have any contact info for his family or any people who knew John? I don’t want to exploit someone in death or anything, obviously, but I’m just trying to figure out if his story could help others.


    Jeff Miller

  • Joe, I’m not sure if you know me, but I knew John, his brother Rafael and Steve Dunmeyer quite well during my high school years. I often played volleyball with John, and jokingly said he should try out for the volleyball team.
    He will be missed, and my condolences goes out to his family and friends.

    Sejin Oh

  • Joe, You do not know me but I knew John. It saddens me to hear of his death. I had not spoken to John in quite a long time but had been looking for him. Although I lived and attended school in Long Beach I would often drive to Irvine to visit with him and Eric Weinbaum. While looking him up I came across your message. The John I knew was a beautiful person; he was kind and giving. I did not know the troubled John you speak of, which is probably for the best. He will continue to hold a place in my heart.

  • I was john’s best friend in high school. We lost touch after high school when i moved abroad. I had the privilage of knowing him extremely well throughout our teenage years. Back them john was a tremendous individual and friend. i can only attest to his kind heartedness, good will and devotion. he was a brother to me. i was shocked to find out about his murder and the road his life took after high school. he will always be remembered for the best.
    Marlo if you read this send me an email at [removed]

  • hey Joe i did know Johnny Molle he was a senior when i was i junior at I.H.S. i was on the basketball team there with him and i must say he was the finest player i have seen till this day at that level. i also know your bro BIG BEN i do know of johnny’s troubles with his said to be carjacking case that was mentioned. it is unfortunate that this statement has to be said in the event of his untimley passing i want to say that in his defense he did not do the carjacking but was simply with the wrong people who carried out the crime. i will always rember him as the best basketball player i have ever seen and am deeply saddened to hear of this terrible murder. R.I.P. Johnny

  • Hello joe. I knew johnny very well. He was my daughters god-father. There is not one day that I don’t think of him. He helped me threw my hardest time. I knew about all him troubles but it didn’t make me see him any different because he was always a very love person 2 my family and me. He was more than my best friend, he was more like my brother even 2 other people he would introduce me as such…he would always say,” hey guys meet my lil sis.” I miss him so much. I miss us his words of advise. I miss his BIG BEAR HUGS! I miss his laugh. There is nothing that my brother could have done that would make me love him any less… he was the best brother, son, father and friend. On his passing his current girlfriend was expecting his 2nd child. She was 5 mo. Pregnant on july 25, 2005 his baby girl was born. Aurea Molle. She looks exactly like him big hand,big feet, same face. Spit image of her daddy. Sucks she’s not going 2 have her daddy around. I love you bro. And I will always remember you.

  • Hello to every one I run into this page on google and I think everyone one this page had alot of love for Johnny even after he death people still show love to hem .WEll he was a great person I meet hem some years before he past he really help me get by some ruff times I was going t. I really miss you J I wish you was here to meet my 3 month old Baby girl Her name is LeAna Sabina and yes I’m still in Diego. Sometimes is hard to belive youre gone I can still remember how you use to tell me how good of a mom I will be I can see that know. I miss you my friend I will always have you in my heart RIP youre an Angel who was here to touch many lifes and you did just that. You will Forever be Miss…12/31/09

  • I AM SHOCKED TO READ THIS!!!!!! I AM FRIEND OF HIS FROM SADDLEBACK….. I KNEW HIS WIFE…. I am from HAWAII, and have lost track of him in 2004… does anyone have contact info on his wife, and family, so that i may pay my respects… mannnnn oh mannn i am sadened to hear this news…..I am in the NAVY, and tried finding his wife, and said hi….. please some one have some information. ryan

  • Just sitting here trying to find my uncle John and to only come across my cousin’s obituary…I’m so sadden, meeting you once in my life living thousands of miles away I can only say sorry to hear the loss, you were talked greatly by your uncle Christopher back in the day when we would talk on the phone, to my family there uncle John and Christopher to my cousin’s Raphael and Andy, aunt Librada and his children sorry for your loss. I moved back to Rock Island, Illinois My married name now is Judy Woeckener my husband name is Dave…Love you everyone and miss my uncle’s

  • 9 years I remember him every day I miss him

  • RIP 9 years

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