Posts Tagged ‘ California Serial Killer ’

SANTA ANA – The Yorba Linda man who was indicted last week in what prosecutors have called thrill killings of six people during a three-month span pleaded not guilty Tuesday at his Orange County arraignment to multiple capital murder charges.

Itzcoatl “Izzy” Ocampo, 23, a Marine Iraq war veteran, is charged with the unprovoked stabbing deaths of four homeless men in north Orange County in December and January and the stabbing deaths of a Yorba Linda woman and her adult son in a puzzling Oct. 25, 2011, attack that was initially blamed on the woman’s youngest son.

His trial was assigned to Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseno, Orange’s County’s longest-serving judge. Prosecuting and defense attorneys agreed to a pre-trial hearing on March 9 before Briseno picks a date for trial and resolves preliminary legal issues.

Defense attorney Randall Longwith told reporters after the brief hearing Tuesday that Ocampo is mentally ill.

“I can tell you right now, he’s cracked, he’s ill, he’s fractured. … he doesn’t understand where he is or what his situation is,” Longwith said.

Longwith said Ocampo has not been the same since he did a seven-and-a-half month tour of duty in Iraq as a Marine, where he worked with a medical battalion transporting wounded, dismembered and deceased soldiers and Iraq citizens.

“He went through a lot,” Longwith said. “You can’t not see horrors when you’re in a war zone. It affects some people more than others.”

Relatives of two of the homeless men stabbed to death during the killing spree listened quietly to the proceedings in court Tuesday. Brad Olsen, the brother-in-law of Lloyd “Jimmy” Middaugh, who was killed as he slept near the Sana Ana River trail in Anaheim on Dec. 28, said “it’s a weird feeling to see the man who murdered my brother-in-law in court. It was just surreal that this was the last person that my brother-in-law ever saw on this earth.”

Marie Middaugh, Lloyd’s mother, said she thought it was a disservice to all the brave men and women who have served this country in the Iraq war for Ocampo’s attorney to claim his client is mentally insane because of his time in Iraq.

I agree with this. What he is trying to pull is insulting to so many on different levels.

“I don’t like it,” she said. “My son was doing nothing but sleeping when he was stabbed to death.”

She said she plans to attend every minute of Ocampo’s trial, to stand up for her son and see that justice is done. “My son once told me that if anything happened to him he knew that I would fight for him,” she said. “I’ll be there for him.”

Ocampo is also charged with special circumstances of committing multiple murders and committing murders by lying in wait, allegations which could lead to a minimum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is convicted.

The District Attorney’s Office could also decide at a later date to seek the death penalty against Ocampo, who was arrested on Jan. 13 as he ran from an Anaheim parking lot where a fourth homeless victim was hacked to death within a 25-day period.

He was running away, he knew what he did was wrong. IMO proves he is not legally insane.

Ocampo was initially charged with those four slayings, which began on Dec. 20 in Yorba Linda, when James McGillivray, 53, stabbed to death shortly after 8 p.m. on Dec. 20, 2011, behind a commercial complex at 140 N. Bradford Ave., in Placentia.

But after his arrest, detectives with the Orange County homeless serial killer task force expanded an earlier investigation into the October stabbing deaths of Raquel Estrada, 53, and her oldest son Juan Herrera, 35, in their Yorba Linda home because of similarities in their deaths and the homeless killing spree.

Eder Herrera, 24, Raquel Estrada’s youngest son, was originally arrested and charged in those two slayings. Detectives were surprised to learn that Ocampo was a friend of Eder Herrera, lived about a mile away from the double homicide, and had been inside the Estrada/Herrera home prior to the slayings.

When detectives also learned that Estrada’s and Juan Herrera’s DNA were found on an item of clothing seized in Ocampo’s home after his arrest in the homeless men slayings, he was charged with the mother and son slayings as well, while charges were dropped against Eder Herrera.

Last week, the Orange County grand jury indicted Ocampo for all six slayings in a legal maneuver that speeds the case to trial because it eliminates the need for a preliminary hearing to test the evidence. Now, instead of the evidence being vetted by a magistrate to determine if there is sufficient cause to proceed, the case was quickly assigned to a trial judge.

It also prevents Longwith from being able to cross-examine witnesses during a preliminary hearing, which would have been called to order in a courtroom open to the public. Grand jury proceedings are held in secret session.

Specifically, Ocampo is charged with the murders of:

  • James McGillivray, 53, stabbed to death shortly after 8 p.m. on Dec. 20, 2011, behind a commercial complex at 140 N. Bradford Ave., in Placentia. The killer kneeled on the victim’s chest and stabbed him more than 40 times in the head, neck, and chest in an attack that was captured on grainy surveillance videos. The attacker, however, was unidentifiable because a sweatshirt hood covered his face.
  • Lloyd “Jimmy” Middaugh, 42, who was taking shelter on the Santa Ana River Trail under the 91 overpass in Anaheim on Dec. 28 when he was stabbed more than 50 times in the head and torso. His body was discovered the following morning.
  • Paulus “Dutch” Smit, 57, was stabbed more than 60 times in an alcove of the Yorba Linda Public Library shortly after 3:45 p.m. on Dec. 30. His body was discovered about an hour and 15 minutes later.
  • John Barry, 64, was stabbed to death outside a trash enclosure at a Carl’s Jr. restaurant on La Palma Avenue in Anaheim by a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Several witnesses saw the attack and chased after the assailant. Ocampo was arrested about a quarter mile away after he ran from the crime scene shedding clothes and, police say, the knife. At the time of his arrest, Ocampo had blood on his hands and face, police said.
  • Raquel Estrada, 53, stabbed to death in the kitchen of her home on Trix Circle in Yorba Linda on Oct. 25. She had been stabbed nearly 40 times.
  • Juan Herrera, 35, whose bloodied body was found near his mother’s inside the home they shared in Yorba Linda. He had been stabbed more than 60 times, and may have tried to flee from his house during the attack. Detectives theorize that the killer dragged his body back inside the house.

The OC Register has excellent updated coverage on this.

I hope that no one buys this insanity defense.

Serial Killer Joseph Naso’s Rape Diary

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — A diary documenting rapes and sexual assaults of underage girls and women was found along with posed photographs of two Northern California slaying victims in the home of a suspected serial killer, a homicide detective testified Wednesday.

Nevada Department of Public Safety Det. Richard Brown, the lead investigator on the case, made the disclosure during a preliminary hearing for Joseph Naso, a Reno, Nev., man charged in the “Double Initial” killings.

Naso, 78, is acting as his own lawyer in what is likely to be a death penalty case. The former photographer has pleaded not guilty to four murder charges involving slayings of prostitutes the 1970s and 1990s.

Being his own lawyer worked out what I consider right for Bundy. Let us hope Naso is just as successful.

Girl in north Buffalo woods. She was real pretty. Had to knock her out first,” read one entry in Naso’s journal. Brown said the journal was filled with such descriptions, and that Naso used the word rape in other sections.

White-haired and wearing leg shackles, Naso sat alone at the courtroom defense table with his head rested on his hand.

Was he bord? Such a shame that he is allowed to express such disrespect for the victims and the proceedings.

Naso listened as Marin County prosecutor Dori Ahana and Brown detailed dozens of sexual and violent photographs of women seized from his home, objecting at times to the relevance. The photographs showed many women unconscious or appearing dead, including two prostitutes Naso is charged with killing, Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya.

“Who is paying for all of this entertainment?” Naso asked after hours of detailed testimony about the photos. “This is my private work, my photography. The women have been violated. What happens in a home is sacred and private. … The whole thing is disgusting, and I don’t see the relevance at all.”

At this point I can only yell at the screen. They found pictures of the dead woman. What the hell does he mean private and without relevance? That comment about entertainment is sickening.

Judge Andrew Sweet overruled Naso’s objection.

For stupidity I hope.

In one photograph of Parsons, Brown said she appeared to be dead.

“I thought she was deceased. Her face doesn’t appear natural,” he said, describing the picture.

Other photographs taken of the lower halves of women appeared to show the reddish-purple discoloration of the skin seen in dead people, Brown said.

In a bedroom in Naso’s home, investigators also found a “List of 10” that contained scrawled descriptions of 10 women, including four references that prosecutors believe described murder victims — Roxene Roggasch, 18, Carmen Colon, 22, Parsons, 38, and Tafoya, 31.

The matching letters of each woman’s first and last names gave rise to the “Double Initial” moniker for the case. Six other women referred to on the list have not yet been identified, but prosecutors say the investigation is ongoing.

That is a very disturbing part that so many had the double initials. He did research on his victims, he knew them (or about them) well enough to at least know their names.

The preliminary hearing is providing the first in-depth look at the prosecution’s case against Naso and his lifestyle. At the end, the judge will determine if prosecutors have enough evidence to take Naso to trial.

Evidence like photos of the dead women when they already appear to be dead? Notations that match the killings? Personal items from the murdered women? Evidence like that?

Authorities seized thousands of documents, calendars, ledgers, journals and photographs from Naso’s house. In two safety deposit boxes, Naso kept $152,400 in cash, along with news clippings covering the slayings of Parsons and Tafoya, and other personal items from women.

Nevada probation Officer Wesley Jackson testified that he arrived in April 2010 to check Naso’s Nevada home for violations of his probation agreement and found food rotting on the kitchen counter and debris strewn about.

All the bedrooms were locked, and Jackson said Naso resisted opening them for a time.

In Naso’s bedroom, Jackson said, he found mannequin parts and a full mannequin clad in a red dress. Women’s lingerie was in the dresser drawers. In his garage, suitcases were found packed with mannequin legs clad in hosiery.

Further searches of the home turned up a box of knives and guns hidden behind a refrigerator in Naso’s garage, authorities said. Naso was forbidden to have weapons due to probation from a felony larceny conviction in California.

Parsons’ strangled body was found in the Yuba City area of Northern California in 1993, where Naso was living at the time with his mentally ill son. Court documents state that Naso had photographed Parsons.

A 1993 calendar Naso kept had an entry for Sept. 15, Brown said, that placed him in the area.

“Stayed in (Yuba City) all day long. Took care of some old business,” Brown read from the calendar. “September 15 was the last time Parsons was known to be alive.”

Tafoya was killed in the area when Naso lived in Yuba City. Her body was found on the side of Highway 70 near Marysville Cemetery in 1994.

In a calendar entry on Aug. 6, 1994, Naso referred to meeting with a woman in Marysville near the time of Tafoya’s death.

“Picked up a nice broad in (Marysville). 4 p.m. She came over for four hours. Took photographs. Nice legs. She ripped me off,” Brown read, adding: “That’s the last date Tracy Tafoya was known to be alive.”

Investigators have said Naso might have used his then-wife’s panty hose to strangle Roggasch, a prostitute whose 1977 murder went unsolved for decades.

Circumstantial evidence but still compelling evidence.

Colon’s decomposed body was found near Port Costa 1978 by a California Highway Patrol officer in Contra Costa County. Authorities have said DNA evidence collected from her fingernails could tie Naso to her slaying.

I hope that they get the results back soon.

Authorities previously said Naso was being investigated for possible links to New York’s “Double Initial Murders” of three girls in the early 1970s.

However, no charges have been filed.

Source Wall Street Journal

Naso is now claiming that the book is just fantasies and that the word rape means nothing more than making out.


During his cross-examination of Brown Thursday morning, Naso, who is representing himself in the case, asked Brown why he had called it that.

Brown answered, “Because your writings say ‘I had to rape her,’ and ‘I raped her in the front seat of the car.’”

Naso responded, “That, in my culture, refers to making out,” drawing gasps of disbelief from some in the courtroom.

“I use that term loosely. It’s just a fantasy,” Naso said.

CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service.

If there were not victims this would actually be funny.

California Man Held as Possible Serial Killer

A male suspect has been arrested on suspicion of stabbing a homeless man to death in Anaheim, and police are investigating if the arrestee is linked to the three recent serial killer stabbing deaths in Orange County.

Itzcoatl Ocampo, 23, of Yorba Linda was detained on Friday night and, according to Anaheim Deputy Chief Craig Hunter, fits the description of the serial killer wanted in the December murders of three OC homeless men, reports City News Service.

Witnesses called 911 at 8:17pm Friday to report an attack in progress behind the Carl’s Jr. at 3310 East La Palma Avenue in Anaheim. A 60-year-old Vietnam War veteran known as “John” was found stabbed to death next to a trash enclosure in the parking lot. People saw Ocampo running and chased him, and police apprehended the suspect on La Palma about a quarter-mile away in Yorba Linda. Ocampo stripped off some of his clothes while fleeing, and blood was found on his body, reports The OC Register.

Police reportedly questioned over two dozen witnesses, several who told reporters that John was amiable and not an aggressive beggar. Authorities had recently ramped up efforts to detain a suspect in the case, offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information leading to an apprehension.

The first murder occurred on December 20, when James Patrick McGillivray, 53, was found stabbed to death near a Placentia shopping center. On Wednesday, December 28, the body of Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was found near the Santa Ana riverbed and 91 Freeway. Paulus Cornelius Smit, 57, was found stabbed to death at the bottom of a stairwell outside a Yorba Linda public library on Friday, December 30. Surveillance video at the Placentia scene shows footage of the suspect, clad in a dark hoodie, along with the suspected getaway vehicle, a 2000-2003 white Toyota Corolla 4-door.

Ocampo was held without bail for suspicion of murder.


I am hoping that he is the actual killer. I saw on report that was mentioning a possible copycat. (Looking for link)


New California Serial Killer Targets the Homeless

Orange County police officials are asking for the public’s help in identifying what they call a “serious, dangerous serial killer operating in Orange County.”

Police believe one person is responsible for stabbing three middle-aged homeless men between Dec. 20 and 30. The men were stabbed multiple times, said Anaheim Police Chief John Welter during a news conference Wednesday morning.

“We believe these murders were likely committed by the same suspect and feel he is extremely dangerous to the public,” Welter said.

At one murder scene, police obtained a photograph of the suspect as he approached a victim. Police said the suspect is a male who was wearing a dark hoodie or sweater.

Welter said that investigators, including the FBI, believe that a white 4-door Toyota was involved in the crime, as shown in a surveillance video.

“This vehicle is of particular interest to homicide investigators,” Welter said.

Police said that two attacks occurred at night and one during the late afternoon and are urging the homeless to stay aware of surroundings.

The body of the first victim, James Patrick McGillivray, 53, was found near a shopping center in Placentia on Dec. 21. Police said their best lead so far is footage from a security camera that showed a man of thin build and average height, dressed in black and “lying in wait.”

A week later, the body of Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was found on a riverbed trail near Tustin Avenue in Anaheim. A third man, Paulus Smit, 57, was found dead with stab wounds outside a library in Yorba Linda last Friday.

On Tuesday, police officials announced that they had formed a task force to investigate the incident.


There are warnings being issued.

Homeless men in southern California are being warned by police to stick together and remain on high alert for a suspected serial killer who may be preying on them.

All three men were stabbed to death by their attacker, who police believe is a man captured on surveillance video during one of the crimes. The deaths occurred in Anaheim, Yorba Linda, and Placentia, from Dec. 20 to Dec. 30.

Anaheim police, together with neighboring police departments, the county sheriff, and the FBI, are warning homeless people throughout the area to take precautions, including traveling and sleeping in well-lit, well-populated areas. They have launched a campaign to get the information to the vulnerable population, handing out fliers, notifying homeless shelters and soup kitchens, and asking churches to notify those who seek services, Dunn said.

They are also asking the homeless to report any suspicious behavior, which they are often reluctant to do, the police spokesman said.

Video and full ABC News Article

Even though many are seeking protection in shelters not all homeless are heading the warnings.

But as authorities ask the homeless to practice extra precaution, officers are running into a similar problem they’ve encountered in the past.

Some of the homeless folks they encounter prefer to remain by themselves rather than to camp with a group or head to a shelter. Those who provide shelter services are also coping with limited resources.

“All you can do is make them aware,” said Sgt. Louise Callus of the Laguna Beach Police Department.

Beds are still available at shelters around the county, where the homeless can be in a safer environment, said Orange County’s administrator of homeless services.

“There’s definitely more room for the homeless,” said Karen Roper, director of Orange County Community Services.

On Thursday, the Orange County Rescue Mission was also handing out flashlights and whistles to homeless people, she said.

After police announced they were now searching for a serial killer, attendance at shelters increased by about 40 percent this week, said Larry Haynes, executive director of Mercy House, a non-profit organization that provides services to the homeless.


Anaheim Police Dept. via Orange County Register, via Associated Press

Authorities in Orange County believe one man killed three homeless men last month: from top, Paulus Cornelius Smit, Lloyd Middaugh and James McGillivray.


 I hope that they find this guy soon. Since many homeless have so few contacts in daily life the killer could victimize so many without the police finding out for a while. That might have already happened.

I hope not but it is possible that these are not the first killings just the first ones that fit into a pattern and that have been linked.


Article Tab: stabbing-placentia-force-
A grainy still photo cropped from a video frame shows a shadowy figure, upper right, dressed in black and a wearing hooded sweatshirt, approaching Placentia stabbing victim James McGillivray. The Homeless Homicide Investigative Task Force believes the dark-clothed person is the main suspect in the Placentia stabbing.          Source
Paulus Cornelius Smit was 57 and a father of three with 10 grandchildren.

“He was an honest and sincere soul,” said Smit-Lozano, who remembers her father helping her out on elementary school projects.

Smit-Lozano’s father, who is from Amsterdam, went by the nickname Dutch, but his daughters called him “Papa.”

He came to California via Colorado and got into trouble in his teens, Winters said, spending a stint in Juvenile Hall on a theft-related arrest.

Smit-Lozano said that her father started living on the streets regularly in the mid-’80s, after his wife left him when Smit-Lozano was 8.

Smit, she said, at times held down odd jobs, including tow-truck driver and plumber. But he never embraced full-time work for long, she said.

“Instead of being called a ‘transient,’ Papa preferred the term ‘wanderer,’ ” Smit-Lozano said. “He thought there was more nobility to that term. He also liked ‘nomad,’ but he thought that you had to live in the desert to be one.”

Lloyd Middaugh had two packs of cigarettes and $12 in his pocket the last time some of his friends saw him, a few nights before he died. They hadn’t seen him so happy in a long time.

Middaugh was new to the streets. He had taken shelter under an overpass just a few months ago after he lost his room at a transitional-living apartment where sex offenders like him could live.

He spent his days begging for cigarettes. He spent his nights wrapped in three sweaters and a leather jacket under that overpass – and his friends are still surprised that his attacker could stab him to death through all that clothing.

James McGillivray was a quiet presence at the Placentia shopping center where he lived and died. He had been there for at least a few months; some remember him shuffling past the storefronts in the morning, offering an occasional hello, for more than a year.

He had few possessions. A sleeping bag. A backpack decorated with the children’s cartoon characters Phineas and Ferb. A cap that he often wore that said “Vietnam Veteran,” although he was too young to really be one.

He would carefully roll up his sleeping bag and line up his belongings against one wall when he headed out in the morning. That’s what stands in people’s minds now: how humble and unobtrusive he was. 


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