Janos Kulcsar listens to sentencing proceedings in Torrance Superior Court Wednesday morning where he was sentenced for murdering his girlfriend’s
Janos Kulcsar listens to sentencing proceedings in Torrance Superior Court Wednesday morning where he was sentenced for murdering his girlfriend's husband 25 years ago. (Brad Graverson / Staff Photographer)
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A Long Beach man was sentenced Wednesday to spend what likely will be the rest of his life behind bars for killing his lover's husband in Torrance 26 years ago.

Janos Kulcsar, 60, showed no visible emotion as Torrance Superior Court Judge Mark Arnold imposed the sentence of 26 years to life in state prison.

"I will sleep very well after the sentence is going to be imposed on you, Mr. Kulcsar," Arnold said. "I am very confident you did what you are accused of doing."

Kulcsar killed 58-year-old Archie McFarland on Dec. 9, 1985, stabbing him four times in the chest and one time in the groin in McFarland's driveway in the 4000 block of 184th Street.

Kulcsar had carried on an affair with McFarland's wife, Mary Ann, but she had ended it and returned to her husband.

Although Kulcsar was a suspect from the beginning, prosecutors cited insufficient evidence at the time and did not charge him.

He then resumed his relationship with Mary Ann McFarland, who told police she did not believe he was her husband's killer. They spent their lives together as a couple until prosecutors charged Kulcsar in 2009.

Jurors convicted Kulcsar of first-degree murder in June.

"He slaughtered him like a dog," Deputy District Attorney John Lewin said during the sentencing hearing. "This is a man who has earned the sentence he is going to get. He deserves some suffering and some pain."

Mary Ann McFarland was 50 when she met the younger Kulcsar at Alpine Village while having troubles with her marriage in the 1980s.

In Torrance Superior Court, Gary McFarland, right, points at convicted murderer Janos Kulcsar, far left, during emotional testimony centering on Archie
In Torrance Superior Court, Gary McFarland, right, points at convicted murderer Janos Kulcsar, far left, during emotional testimony centering on Archie McFarland, his dad, who was slain 25 years ago. (Brad Graverson / Staff Photographer)

She testified during a preliminary hearing and at trial that Kulcsar persistently asked her to dance. They developed a romance and she left her husband to live with him.

After a while, however, she returned home to work out their problems.

Kulcsar kept pursuing her and calling her house. He once vowed to "get even" with Archie McFarland when McFarland hung up on him.

Kulcsar even visited their home, telling Archie McFarland, "You know I've been seeing your wife."

The McFarlands' son, Gary McFarland, initially believed his father had suffered a heart attack when he found him that morning. He rolled his father over and found the front of his body covered in blood.

In court Wednesday, Gary McFarland cried as he talked about how his father's death affected him. He said he was "looking forward to putting this behind me."

"To Janos, I don't hate you," he said. "I hate what you did."

Gary McFarland said his father exemplified honesty, integrity and selflessness.

"At the end of the day, those are the only things that matter," he said.

The son thanked Lewin and Torrance police Detective Jim Wallace for reopening the case in 2002. The murder trial became the focus of an hourlong "Dateline" episode on NBC in December.

"Sometimes our faith in the system can be waning," he said. "I really appreciate the fact that the system does work."

Gary McFarland's sister, Linda McFarland, said Kulcsar's sentence "regrettably won't bring my father back."

But she said she held no bitterness toward Kulcsar's family members, some of whom appeared in court but did not speak. She said she hoped they would find strength and be at peace.

"Things happen we don't understand," she said. "My hope is we would focus on reconciliation of the family and focus on forgiveness. Justice has been done."

Kulcsar did not speak during the hearing.

Mary Ann McFarland said later that the time had come for her family and Kulcsar's family to move on.

"This whole thing has been a tragedy for both families and now it's time for healing," she said. 

Said her son: "Justice was served. I am stoked."

larry.altman@dailybreeze.com

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