ROBERT BLAKE'S house newest addition to celebrity ghoul tour

Saturday, May 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The neighborhood where the wife of ``Baretta'' star Robert Blake lived and died will become the latest stop on a $55 tour of the city's most notorious crime scenes.

Lonnie Levine, owner of Crime Scene Tours, is adding Blake's home, as well as the restaurant where he and wife Bonny Lee Bakley dined the night she was shot and killed two weeks ago, to his regular rotation.

``Obviously, any high-profile celebrity we're going to put on there,'' said Levine, who already shepherds tourists to other spots across Los Angeles associated with cases involving Robert F. Kennedy, Charles Manson and O.J. Simpson.

The media hordes that had been camped outside Blake's low-slung home have dwindled, although some keep tromping through the leafy neighborhood.

``I was hoping he was home. I would have loved to meet him,'' tourist Nancy Romero said as she paused in front of the house with her husband and daughter on a recent afternoon.

``I expected him to have a nicer home,'' a disappointed Seth Romero said before the Las Vegas family piled back into their car and headed to Hollywood.

Neighbors say they are braced for more in what some are comparing to the media circus that descended on Brentwood for the duration of the Simpson case. There, police closed streets to keep away the media and public.

``We're all apprehensive about the next step. It's created an era of restlessness,'' said Erik Torgerson, a Blake neighbor who estimates he's been interviewed as many as 15 times since Bakley was found shot.

Bakley, 45, was shot to death May 4 in her husband's car after the couple dined at Vitello's, a restaurant less than a mile from the property the two shared. Police have made no arrests and have said that no one has been ruled out as a suspect.

Blake, who married Bakley four months ago after DNA tests proved he fathered her 11-month-old daughter, has said she was shot while he returned to the restaurant to pick up a gun he left behind. He said he was carrying the gun because Bakley had expressed concerns about her safety.