Robert G. Fairbanks Jr.
Convicted and sentenced to death for the December 1985 rape, torture, and murder of Wendy Cheek in San Mateo County California.
John Joseph Famalaro
On June 3, 1991, 23-year-old Denise Huber pulls over on the side of the Corona Del Mar Freeway in Orange County, Calif. to mend a flat tire. She disappears without a trace. Lt. Ron Smith with the help of the Costa Mesa Police Department, along with family and friends, search desperately for the young Californian native as this disappearance is in stark contrast with her character. Yet, like so many missing persons cases, all leads run dry and the investigation into Denise Huber's disappearance goes cold. In 1994, a local paint shop owner, Elaine Court, makes an arrangement to purchase paint from Prescott, Arizona local John Famalaro. Upon this visit, Court notices a Ryder Truck in the driveway. Finding the truck to be mysterious, she contacts local police and asks them to investigate. What begins as a routine follow-up quickly turns into a case of homicide. Police converge on the Famalaro home only to find that located in the back of the truck is a freezer (pictured above). Its contents...a body...later identified as 23-year-old Denise Huber. Inside the house, detectives find more evidence the home had been visited by murder. A box marked "X-Mas decorations" contains a bloody hammer and nail puller. Guns and handcuffs are strewn about the home. Inside a closet, detectives discover an LA Sheriff's Patrol Shirt——all signs that Famalaro abducted Denise by gaining her trust posing as a cop.
Detectives embark on a forensic mission to re-trace the footsteps of a cold case killer. The first step in this journey is to determine the manner in which Denise Huber died. Averaging 85-degree temperatures, Maricopa County rarely deals with frozen bodies. They resort to an old fashion technique. A hairdryer is used to successfully thaw the frozen corpse, taking special care
not to destroy the fingerprints.
Richard Wade Farley
Obsessed with former co-worker Laura Black, Richard Farley after perusing his unwilling love interest for several years, eventually costing him his job and a restraining order, Farley decided to take action. In February 1988 he purchased $2,000 worth of guns and ammunition to augment his arsenal in preparation for his plan. On February 16th, 1988 after 1500hrs he went to the place of his former employment, Electromagnetic Systems Labs, located in Sunnyvale California and unleashed his fury on his former company. After five hours of violence the toll was calculated, 7 dead and 4 wounded, one of them Ms. Black. He was convicted in October 1991 on seven counts of first degree murder and four other felonies, and sentenced to death on January 12, 1992.
Warren Hardy – Convicted with accomplices Kevin Pearson and Jamelle Armstrong and sentenced to death for the gruesome robbery, rape, torture and murder of a Long Beach woman who made the mistake of wishing him a happy New Year when passing by them on the street on Dec. 28, 1998.
Jack Gus Farnam
Farnam, 37, was convicted of killing 55-year-old Lillian Mar in her home near Elysian Park in November 1982, after robbing and raping her. Both of his parents were mentally retarded and incapable of caring for Farnam, who as a child would steal food by crawling into homes through the doggy door. According to a psychiatrist's report, Farnam scored "between 75 and 80" on an IQ test. He had been homeless off and on since age 16. Farnam turned 18 a month before the murder.
Curtis Lyn Fauber
Convicted and sentenced to Death in 1988 for killing businessman Tom Urell, 52, who had been selling drugs to Fauber and a friend, Brian Buckley. The pair broke into Urell's Oxnard Shores home, found him asleep and tied him up. Using an ax he found in the house, Fauber fatally hit Urell in the head. Buckley pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Stevie Lamar Fields
Stevie Lamar Fields' case is one of the oldest on California's Death Row, where 667 inmates are imprisoned. The 9-6 ruling by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco leaves him with only one appeal remaining, to the U.S. Supreme Court. He is among a handful of prisoners whose cases have advanced that far. Fields was on parole for manslaughter when he went on a three-week wave of violent crimes in September 1978. He had been out of prison for just two weeks. Fields was convicted of three rapes, one robbery, two kidnappings and the murder of Rosemary Cobbs, a 26-year-old graduate student and librarian at the University of Southern California. According to the trial record, he tied her to the rails of his bed, forced her to write checks to him, ordered her into a car, then shot her six times and beat her until she died.
Convicted and sentenced to Death for the 1985 robbery and shooting death of a merchant outside his store in a small town in Riverside County.
Date of crime: 6/11/00
Flinner became the lover of the 18-year-old victim Tamra Keck. He then took out a $500,000 life insurance policy on her claiming she was a key employee of his failing landscaping business, when in fact she did little work. He hired one of his laborers, Haron Ontiveros, to kill the victim. Ontiveros did so by luring her to a remote location and shooting her in the back of the head. Ontiveros and Flinner were tried simultaneously to separate juries. The jury returned a life-without-parole sentence against Ontiveros, and a death sentence against Flinner. Flinner had a prior rape conviction. His defense claimed he had mental problems.
Alfred Flores III
The triple murder came in March 2001 as Flores was trying to expand his gang's territory into the Inland Empire; when the three teenagers rejected his offer, they were shot to death.
In April 2003, a jury convicted Flores of killing Rialto teens Ricardo Torres, 15; Jason Van Kleef, 18; and Alexander Ayala, 17. The jurors also voted for the death penalty, and on Monday, relatives of the slain teens asked for the same. Flores, who glared at members of the audience and slouched in his chair, offered no statements and only laughed at demands for his execution. "Laugh all you want," said Torres' sister, Alejandra. "I hate you. We hate you," she said. Ayala's sister, Ruth Roybal, said Flores had the "heart of a coward, heart of a demon that came to kill and destroy." Prosecutors said they hope Flores' death sentence will close what they described as a violent criminal career. Flores, who was recruited into a gang at age 10, has confessed to killing a man who slept with his mother. He also played a role in the shooting of a former girlfriend and the stabbing of a youth counselor in the face with a pencil, according to prosecutors. Flores was described by authorities as a leader of an El Monte gang known for menacing the neighborhood. Just days before the killings, Flores went on a crime spree, holding up at least two restaurants at gunpoint and shooting and injuring a handful of bystanders, police said. He was accompanied by a fellow gang member, Andrew Mosqueda, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the crimes.
Date of crime: 2000
A few months after Amerzcua and Joseph Flores were released from prison, they went on a crime spree. Amerzcua and Flores were members of a street gang and most of their crimes were to benefit the gang. They were convicted of murdering John Diaz, Arturo Madrigal, George Flores, and Luis Reys. They were also convicted of attempted murder, attempted murder of a peace officer, robbery, arson, weapons possession, and other charges. Amerzcua and Flores did not put up a defense in the penalty phase of the trial.
Convicted and sentenced to death for his role in four slayings that occurred during a five-year span between 1999 and 2004. Ralph Steven Flores, 26, who has "AZUSA" tattooed on his upper lip, has been under way since last month. In separate incidents he is accused of killing two women, one over money and another because he believed her to be a snitch. Among the alleged victims was Fenise Luna, 28. The Azusa resident was found beaten and strangled to death in a parked SUV in 2004, officials said. Among the alleged victims was Fenise Luna, 28. The Azusa resident was found beaten and strangled to death in a parked SUV in 2004, officials said. The other victims were Claudia Chenet and Christopher Lynch.
Wayne Adam Ford
Convicted and sentenced to death in 2006.
The torso of the woman, thought to be between 20 and 30 years old, was found in a California slough in 1997. Though in 2006 Ford was convicted of her murder and the gruesome deaths of three other women — Tina Gibbs, Lanett White and Patricia Tamez — no one has been able to positively identify Doe.
Richard Don Foster
Foster, a convicted Idaho rapists who had been relesead without supervision was sentenced to death for killing and robbing 53-year-old grandmother Mrs. Johnson of Apple Valle inside an Apple Valley church on 08/26/1991.
Robert Ward Frazier
Date of crime: May 13, 2003
Frazier was convicted for the rape and murder of Kathleen Aiello-Loreck. He waited on a walking path for his victim to appear, then bludgeoned her to death with a fence post. DNA evidence tied Frazier to the crime. Defense attorneys said Frazier did attack Aiello-Loreck, he did not plan the crime. Defense also argued mental illness during penalty phase. Frazier tried to fire his attorneys throughout the trial, but the judge would not allow it. On June 21, 2006, a jury convicted Frazier of murder, rape and sodomy. A judge sentenced Frazier to death on Dec 15, 2006
Convicted and sentenced to Death in 1998 when he was sentenced for the 1996 murder of store manager Scott Wilson in Santa Ana.
Date of crime: 10/26/94
Kenneth pled guilty to kidnapping and strangling Peter Kovach and Ted Gould to death. Kenneth’s brother and Howard Bloomgarden led a drug ring, and they believed Kovach stole money from them. They ordered Kenneth to kill Kovach. Gould was merely an innocent bystander and pleaded for his life, and Friedman responded by strangling him with a telephone cord. Kenneth was convicted in 1996 on federal racketeering charges. After he exhausted all his federal appeals he was brought to California on the state murder charges.
Jack Wayne Friend
Convicted and sentenced to death in Alameda County Superior Court in 1992 for the 1984 stabbing murder of Herbert Pierucci, a bartender at the Golden West Bar in downtown Oakland.
Pierucci was found semiconscious with at least six stab wounds to his neck on the evening of Labor Day in 1984. He died four days later. About $300 was stolen from the bar's cash register.
Jerry Grant Frye
Convicted and sentenced to Death in 1988 for the 1985 robbery/murders ofRobbie and Jannie Brandt.
Keith Tyrone Fudge
Sentenced to death for the October 18, 1984 murder of five individuals at a birthday party. Fudge and other gang members drove up to the party and unleashed a hail of gunfire as partygoers stood around in the yard of a south Los Angeles home. The attack is alleged to have occurred as revenge for the theft and vandalism of his car earlier that day.
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the 1995 murder of Sheriff's Deputy Stephen Blair.
On May 12, 1995, Sheriff's Deputy Stephen Blair, a father of three and nine-year veteran of the force, was cut down by bullets after he and his partner stopped a group of men in Lynwood who tried to ditch a loaded handgun. Residents begged the City Council to stop the gun battles, and the council asked the sheriff's department to call in the FBI. Within 12 days, sheriff's investigators tracked down and arrested three gang members. Shooter Freddie Fuiava, a Lynwood gang member, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.
A jury convicted defendant Richard Cameron Gamache of first degree murder with robbery, burglary, and kidnapping special circumstances, as well as various lesser crimes, for the December 3, 1992 abduction and killing of Lee Williams.
Randy E. Garcia
On May 8, 1993, Garcia broke into the home of Joseph and Lynn Finzel, 29 and 28 respectively. Mr. Finzel was not at home and their baby daughter was asleep in her crib. Garcia immediately tied Mrs. Finzel to the bed and attempted to rape her. Her husband interrupted everything by returning home, at which time, he was shot by Garcia with his own gun. A gun Garcia found in the house. He then turned around and shot Mrs. Finzel. In fear for her baby daughter's life, Mrs. Finzel played "dead" for two hours. The bed which she was tied up on was a water bed and the water was seeping to the surface. Not only did Mrs. Finzel have to pretend to be dead, she had to try to keep from drowning. Or crying out as Garcia heartlessly ransacked the house, even stealing the wedding ring off her dead husband's hand. Thinking his victims were dead, Garcia left the home. It was then that Mrs. Finzel managed to free herself, climb over her husband's dead body and stagger into the street for help, with a bullet lodged in her. Sentenced to Death in 1995.
Todd Jesse Garton
Convicted and sentenced to Death for the 1998 murder for hire of his wife Carole Garton and her 8-month-old fetus. Norman Daniels IIIshot the 28-year-old woman five times at point-blank range inside her tiny Cottonwood home, later sending a pager message to Garton notifying him of the successful hit.
One of the bullets went right through the fetus.
Oscar Gates was sentenced to death for murdering Lonnie Stevenson in 1979. Gates belonged to a forgery ring run by the Stevenson family, and became embroiled in a dispute over his cut of the proceeds during which a Stevenson family member shot him in the leg. Gates then went to the Stevensons' house with a gun and met two family members, Lonnie and Maurice, in the yard. Gates killed Lonnie and wounded Maurice. Maurice claims Gates ordered them to hand over their jewelry and then shot them both. Gates claims he fired only after another family member showed up wielding a gun.
Kenneth Earl Gay
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the June 2, 1983 murder of Los Angeles police Officer Paul Verna in Lake View Terrace. Resentenced to Death in 2000.
Update: California Supreme Court tossed Death sentence on 3/20/08.
Christopher A, Geier
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the 1990 rape and murder of Erin Tynan, a military police officer stationed at Fort Irwin in Barstow.
Johnaton Sampson George
Was sentenced to death for killing a motorist, Michael (Mick) Champion, in San Diegos Gas Lamp Quarter after breaking out of a Sheriff's Department van on 10/05/1992. Geroge was a careeer criminal.
In the early morning hours of February 21, 1978, Ghent entered the bedroom of his housemate, Jacqueline Preskitt. He jumped onto her bed and requested a sexual act, ignoring her screaming and struggling. Ms. Preskitt's child entered the bedroom, interrupting Ghent's advances. Ghent then left the house at approximately five a.m. Ghent arrived a little while later at the home of some acquaintances, Paul and Patricia Bert. Mrs. Bert informed Ghent that her husband had already left for work. According to Ghent, while Mrs. Bert was writing down her husband's phone number at his request, her robe fell open, revealing her naked body. Ghent testified that his next memory was that he was standing over Mrs. Bert's dead, nude, body with a bloody knife in his hand. Mrs. Bert's hands were tied behind her back. Ghent testified that, after coming to and seeing the result of his actions, he vomited in a toilet and then began to call the police but became scared and left the house instead. He returned shortly thereafter and removed his fingerprints from inside the house and retrieved the murder weapon. He then left for a second time and went to change his bloody pants at a friend's house. The autopsy surgeon counted twenty-one stab wounds in Mrs. Bert's neck and chest. Sperm was found in her genital cavity that came from a Group B type "donor." Both the Berts were Group A type, while Ghent was Group B.
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the 1998 murder of Juan Delgado. Ghobrial convicted of molesting and killing a 12-year-old La Habra boy before encasing his dismembered body in concrete chunks.
Date of crime: 4/1/2001
Husband and wife Todd and Lacey Givens, murdered siblings Barry and Patreace Holstone. Todd shot Barry several times and when he ran out of bullets he stabbed Barry with a sickle. Lacey shot Patreace in the head. The Givens then disposed of the bodies in an olive orchard and set the car on fire to keep others from identifying the bodies. The prosecution argued Todd was part of Nazi Low Rider prison gang, and the gang wanted Barry killed. Todd argued he acted alone and killed the Holstones in self-defense. Todd represented himself during the trial.
Sentenced to death for six counts of murder committed within five months of his release from Pelican Bay State prison. All of the murders were committed against drug dealers who had balked or fallen behind in their tax payments to the Mexican mafia.
Convicted and Sentenced to Death for submerging their nearly 4-year-old niece Genny Rojas in a bathtub of water so hot it peeled the skin from her body in 1995.
Convicted and sentenced to Death 5/08 first-degree murder, attempted robbery and the special circumstance allegation of murder during an attempted robbery for the attack on Maria Rosa, who was gunned down about 6 a.m. outside a colleague's home. Jurors also found Gonzales used a handgun to kill Rosa, who was on her way to work as a jailer at the sheriff's Inmate Reception Center.
In December, a separate jury convicted co-defendant Justin Ashley Flint, 21, of first-degree murder and attempted robbery in connection with the attack. He was sentenced in January to 29 years to life in state prison.
John Anthony Gonzales
Was one of two La Puente gang members who were sentenced to death in 1998 in the 1996 killings of a 68-year-old Hacienda Heights grocer and two teenagers in Covina.
A Chula Vista woman probably will join her husband on death row for submerging their nearly 4-year-old niece in a bathtub of water so hot it peeled the skin from her body. The same jury that two weeks ago convicted Veronica Gonzales, 28, of murder recommended Wednesday that she be executed for the death of Genny Rojas. "Oh, God, no!" Gonzales exclaimed when the verdict was read. She then covered her face with her hands and began sobbing. She was later taken out of the courtroom in a wheelchair.
Gonzales' husband, Ivan, is already on death row for the girl's murder. The couple would be the first in California to face execution for the same crime. During her six-week trial, Veronica Gonzales testified that her husband was to blame for the murder, saying she suffered from battered woman's syndrome.
Genny died in July 1995, six months after she was sent to live with the Gonzaleses and their six children. Her mother was in drug rehabilitation and her father was in jail for child molestation.
Gonzalez, 44, was convicted in the May 1979 shooting death of Sheriff's Deputy Jack Williams in Gonzalez's home in La Puente. Williams and several other officers broke into the home on a drug bust, and Gonzalez shot Williams with a shotgun. According to court records, Gonzalez has "severe learning disabilities" and as a child attended classes for the mentally retarded -- at age 12 he could not read words like catand this. Gonzalez maintained that he did not know Williams was a police officer, but that claim was refuted by the prosecution's key witness -- a jailhouse informant who was promised leniency on pending charges in exchange for his testimony.
Patrick Bruce Gordon
Gordon was sentenced to death for the first-degree murder of an armored car courier during a robbery of a store in Stockton, California on December 19, 1983. He drove the getaway car during commission of the robbery and murder
Date of Crime: 5/4/2002
Govin was found guilty of four counts of murder, robbery, burglary, and arson. Govin, along with his brother and Carlos Amador, went to Gita Kumar’s house. Govin and his cohorts strangled Kumar, Kumar’s 18-year-old son Plara Kumar, Kumar’s 16-year-old daughter Tulsi Kumar, and Kumar’s mother-in-law Sitaben Patel. They then set Kumar’s home on fire. The murders were over a business rivalry with Kumar. Govin’s cohort, Amador, admitted to the murders and testified against Govin and Govin’s brother, who was also sentenced to death.
Date of crime: 5/4/2002
Govin and his brother owned a motel that bordered the victims’ motel. Both motel owners wanted to expand their businesses and use the common alley for different purposes. Govin killed four members of the Patel family by strangling them and then setting their home on fire. The prosecution case was based on the testimony of Govin’s co-defendant, Carlos Amador. Amador testified he and the Govin brothers robbed the home, and saw Govin strangle the victims. The jury gave Govin the death penalty because he committed multiple murders and killed for financial gain. The defense argued that Amador lied and in actuality he was the mastermind behind the killings. The defense also disputed that Govin had a business argument with the Patels.
Mario Lewis Gray
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the 1987 Rape/Murder of 87yr old Ruby Reed.
Eighty-seven-year-old Ruby Reed lived alone in a trailer park in El Monte, which was adjacent to the RTD bus terminal. Her daughter, Margaret Pemberton, lived in the same trailer park. Pemberton visited her mother every day and last saw her around 6:00 p.m. on April 24, 1987. Residents in nearby trailers later reported suspicious circumstances occurring during the early morning hours of April 25. One testified her dog began making odd growling noises. Another testified someone had stolen some cigarettes and a cigarette lighter she had left on an outdoor patio table. Others reported hearing noises, including a woman screaming for help. Pemberton returned to her mother’s trailer around 11:00 a.m. on April 25. No one answered when she rang the bell. Pemberton walked to the back and found
the back door ajar and a window screen pried loose. On entering through the back door, she found her mother, covered in bedding, lying on the bedroom floor. Police and emergency personnel were called, but the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Her hands and feet had been bound with nylon stockings, and strips of towels were tied around her head and mouth, attached to her face with tape. Her nightgown had been pulled to the top of her body, and her underwear was around one leg. Her false teeth were on the floor. Money was missing from her home, which had been ransacked, with jewelry boxes and shoe boxes opened and scattered about. Cigarette ashes were left in the home, although Reed did not smoke. Candy wrappers were strewn about the home, whereas Pemberton testified her mother would have placed the wrappers in a wastepaper basket. Dr. Solomon Riley, a deputy medical examiner, testified that Reed had suffered blunt trauma to her face, both sides of her head, her neck, and her chest. Her jaw was broken on both sides of her head, and she had two broken ribs on her
left side and one broken rib on her right side. These injuries were consistent with her having been kicked, punched, or thrown into a blunt object. She had severe bruising around her eyes, suggesting she had been hit around the eyes. She had injuries to her scalp and bleeding on her brain. Her neck had been compressed for four or five minutes, causing facial swelling and, eventually, death by asphyxiation. Dr. Riley suggested the assailant had pressed his elbow, knee, or forearm on the victim’s neck, or had possibly placed a two-by-four piece of wood on her neck and then pressed on it, breaking the hyoid bone at the base of her tongue in the process.
Convicted and sentenced to Death in the 1979 murder of Janice Kelly Wilson (Kelly), his 12-year-old stepdaughter, finding that he committed the murder under the special circumstances of felony-murder rape, felony-murder sodomy, and felony-murder lewd conduct, and also that he personally used a deadly or dangerous weapon, a knife. The jury also found defendant guilty of rape, sodomy, and lewd or lascivious conduct against Kelly. At the penalty phase, the jury fixed the punishment for the murder at death.
Gary Lee Grimes
Grimes was sentenced to death on 01/27/1999 for stabbing death of a 98 year old woman Elizabeth Bone in her home Oct. 18, 1995. Elizabeth Bone was stabbed to death when she walked in on a burglary at her home on Deacon Trail in the town of Bella Vista six miles east of Redding. Her house was ransacked and several valuable items were stolen, including her pickup truck, which was found underwater the following morning at a boat ramp on nearby
Jose F. Guerra
Convicted and sentenced to Death by a Los Angeles County jury of the 1990 rape and murder of Kathleen Powell.
Death sentence was handed down 6/23/09 for convicted serial killer Jose Guerrero.
Guerrero will face the death penalty, a sentence recommended for him by a jury back in April.
A few months back, Guerrero was found guilty by a Madera County Jury of killing three women and attempting to kill a fourth in the mid-1990's.
A Madera County Jury found Guerrero guilty of killing 22-year-old Tamara Hernandez in 1998, shooting and killing 41-year-old Julia Woodley in 1995, and strangling to death 30- year-old Sharlene Fowler in 1998.
The jury also found Guerrero guilty of attempting to kill Evelyn Estrada, the only woman able to survive Guerrero's attacks.
Alfred Anthony Gutierrez
Gutierrez’s ex-girlfriend, Dawn Nakatani, was found strangled to death in the laundry room of her Baldwin Park residence on Oct. 1, 1996. Police arrested Gutierrez, but he was released because the case could not be presented to prosecutors within 48 hours.
Ten days later, a group of five men was fired upon with an assault rifle at a Baldwin Park gas station, killing one man and severely wounding another. Two of the men, including the wounded one, identified Gutierrez as the shooter, and the other two survivors picked the defendant’s photo out of an array and said it looked like the shooter. Gutierrez was picket up again, and was eventually charged with both murders. Jurors found him guilty of the first degree murder of Mario Orellano, the attempted murder of Sergio Medina, and the second degree murder of Nakatani. They also found that the gas station shooting was gang-related and found a multiple-murder special circumstance allegation to be true.
The defendant testified that he had gone to Nakatani’s home to pick up the child for a visit, accompanied by two men whom he would not name because he feared for his life. He said that after he came out with his son, the men remained in the house, later telling him that Nakatani “went crazy” and that they “f—d her up.” He offered an alibi for the gas station shooting. The jury returned a death penalty verdict following the penalty phase, in which prosecutors presented evidence of Gutierrez’s two prior arrests for assaulting Nakatani, one of which resulted in a misdemeanor conviction for domestic abuse. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David S. Milton imposed the death sentence.