Who Was Mark Rivas? How Did He Die?

Hulu’s three-part docuseries from Andrew Renzi, titled ‘The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die For’ is a deep dive into the origins of the clothing line. As the series progresses, the viewers learn of three men who put their case forward regarding their involvement with the brand. Also explored in the series is the death of Mark Rivas, one of Bobby Vaughn’s best friends. The incident occurred just years after Bobby’s exit from Von Dutch. So, if you’re wondering what happened in this case, here’s what we know!

Who Was Mark Rivas?

Mark Rivas was a 29-year-old Latino male living in Venice, California. Sometime during the night of February 4, 2005, gunshots rang out from inside the apartment he shared with his roommate. Bobby, the roommate, made the 911 call to report a shooting at around the same time. He told the dispatcher that multiple shots were fired and identified the victim as Mark. While the shooter wasn’t in question, the case became about why Mark was shot.

How Did Mark Rivas Die?

About six years prior to the shooting, Bobby Vaughn helped launch Von Dutch Originals and was eventually fired from the company. After that, Bobby reconnected with a good friend of his from high school, Mark Rivas. In fact, Bobby and Mark went way back since he once helped Mark cross the border into Mexico after a shooting death he was involved in.

After Bobby’s sudden exit from the company, he started hanging out with Mark a lot more, acquainting himself with the gangs Mark ran with. That culminated in a confrontation between the two on the night of February 4, 2005. At the time, they had been living together, and on that night, Mark attacked Bobby in an alcohol-induced rage. Mark slashed at Bobby’s neck using a broken beer bottle, prompting his friend to pick up a gun and shoot him.

At the end of the several rounds that were fired, Mark was found dead. Soon, Bobby was arrested on the charge of first-degree murder. At his trial, he claimed self-defense, saying Mark’s sudden attack led him to use deadly force. The jury also felt the same way and thereby acquitted Bobby of the murder, ruling it a justifiable homicide.

With the trial behind him, Bobby moved to New York, only to be arrested on a felony gun charge there. He later said, “I had a party that got too loud in my Manhattan apartment. The cops came, and they asked me if there were any weapons in the apartment. I had a gun licensed in California locked in my gun safe, and I gave it to them. They arrested me.” He pleaded guilty to a felony gun charge and served five years probation.

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