The three had endured years of physical abuse by Paniagua. Laci Peterson was seven-and-a-half months pregnant at the time. Peterson arrested days later and it appeared he was set to flee the country.
He was convicted in of the first-degree murder of Laci and in the second-degree murder of his unborn son, Connor. Ramirez had guns and drugs on him and feared going back to jail on parole violations. Niemi was the first San Leandro police officer killed in the line of duty in four decades.
He then drove to Cotati, killed his mother-in-law and two daughters, then returned to his home in Boyes Hot Springs where he shot his wife, Angela Salcido. He then went to the Grand Cru winery where he worked and killed a co-worker. Salcido fled to Mexico but was arrested and extradited back to the U. Salcido told police in Mexico he committed the mass murder because he believed his wife was having an affair.
Stayer, a Yosemite area motel handyman, persuaded Sund to let him into their room to fix a leak. Nelson was also angry when Smith refused to tell her that she would be reunited with her ex-lover.
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Nelson convinced Zamora to travel with her from North Carolina to Westminster, California with the purpose of killing Smith in exchange for introducing him to several possible gay sex partners. Nelson stabbed Vo to death and Zamora stabbed Smith to death. The pair then searched the house for expensive jewelry Smith was known for wearing, credit cards, and other items of value. When they were done, Zamora went to Walmart and purchased white paint which they used to cover their victims' heads and hands.
Nelson was arrested five weeks later after it was discovered that she had an appointment with Smith on the day of the murders and that she had used Smith's and Vo's credit cards. Nelson, who has always maintained her innocence, received a death sentence. Zamora received a sentence of 25 years to life. On June 30, , Sandi Nieves told her five children that they were going to have a slumber party.
Everyone was going to sleep in the kitchen of their Santa Clarita home. Tucked into sleeping bags, the children fell asleep but woke up choking on smoke. David Nieves, who was 14 at the time, was able to escape the house and survived.source url
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He later testified that Nieves refused to let the children leave the burning house, telling them to stay in the kitchen. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Nieves first asphyxiated the children with gas from the oven, then used gasoline to ignite a fire. Prosecutors believe that Nieves's actions were motivated by revenge against the men in her life. In the weeks leading up to the murders, Nieves's boyfriend had ended their relationship and she and her ex-husband were fighting over child support.
Nieves was found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and arson. She was sentenced to death. Until a coroner determined Frank's cause of death, the insurance money would not be released.
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To help speed up the process, Angelina called an investigator to report that she'd received an anonymous phone call with a tip that her husband had died as a result of antifreeze poisoning. While it was later determined that Angelina never received such a call, she was right: Frank did die as the result of antifreeze poisoning.
According to a toxicology report, Frank had ingested massive quantities of green antifreeze four to six hours prior to his death.
Angelina was arrested and charged with murder within weeks of Frank's death. Next, she allegedly left the gas cap off the dryer and went away to visit a friend—but Frank discovered the leak. Angelina's history of obtaining money from various lawsuit didn't help her in court. She'd sued a fast-food restaurant for sexual harassment, then Target for negligence after she slipped and fell in a store.
After her husband's death, an investigation into the death of her month-old baby was reopened. It's now believed that Angelina murdered her child by removing the protective guard from the pacifier and shoving it down her daughter's throat so that she could sue the manufacturer and also claim the life insurance. Angelina Rodriguez was found guilty of the murder of Frank Rodriguez by means of poisoning with oleander and antifreeze.
She was sentenced to death on January 12, , and resentenced on November 1, On February 20, , the California Supreme Court upheld her death sentence again. According to court testimony, Gabriel and Chaves met Rottiers nickname "Crazy" and co-defendant Francine Epps when they went to have a few drinks after work. Rottiers offered to have sex with the two men in exchange for money.
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She told them to follow her and Epps to her motel room at the National Inn in Corona. Drug dealer Omar Tyree Hutchinson was also living there. When the two men entered the motel room, Epps held them at gunpoint while Rottier and Hutchinson stripped, robbed, and beat them. The men were then hog-tied with electrical cords.
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Bras, panties and other items were stuffed into their mouths. Their noses and mouths were covered with tape, and plastic bags were placed over their heads. Rottiers, Epps, and Hutchinson entertained themselves by doing drugs as their victims suffocated. Once dead, the men's bodies were dumped in the trunk of a car which was left parked on a dirt road. Brooke Rottiers, the mother of four children, two of whom were allegedly in the motel room during the murders, is believed to have masterminded the crime. She often bragged that she would lure men with the promise of sex for cash, only to rob them instead.
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She was convicted on June 23, , of two counts of first-degree murder committed during the course of a robbery. Mary Ellen Samuels was found guilty of arranging the murders of her husband and of her husband's killer. According to testimony, Samuels hired James Bernstein, 27, to murder her estranged husband, year-old Robert Samuels— who was in the process of divorcing his wife after three years of unsuccessfully trying to reconcile the marriage—for insurance money and for full ownership of a Subway sandwich shop the couple co-owned.
He was allegedly instrumental in hiring the hitman to kill Robert Samuels. Samuels was found at his home in Northridge, California, bludgeoned and shot to death on December 8, During court proceedings, prosecutors showed jurors a photograph of Samuels taken within months after her husband's death. Gaul and Edwards testified against Samuels in exchange for sentences of 15 years to life.
The jury sentenced Samuels to death for each count of murder.
In , Cathy Lynn Sarinana was 29 years old when she and her husband, Raul Sarinana, were found guilty of torturing their year-old nephew, Ricky Morales, to death. Authorities believe the couple began to abuse the boys shortly after they arrived. According to police, on Christmas , Raul Sarinana confessed to forcing Ricky to clean the bathroom after he was feeling ill and did not want to eat the Christmas meal that Cathy Sarinana had prepared.
Raul repeatedly kicked the boy in anger because he felt that Ricky was not being diligent in his assigned chore. After kicking the boy, Raul locked him in a closet and stomped on him when he attempted to get out. Ricky was found in the closet several hours later, dead. An autopsy revealed that the boy died from massive internal injuries. According to the pretrial brief submitted by Riverside County deputy medical examiner Dr.
Mark Fajardo, "Scars on Ricky's body were consistent with being whipped with an electrical cord or similar instrument. Ricky's scrotum was damaged with a penetrating laceration, and his scrotal sac was severely damaged. There were multiple scars to Ricky's scalp, primarily centered on the back of his head. Finally, there were multiple circular injuries consistent with cigarette burns located throughout Ricky's body that were determined to be at least several weeks, if not several months, old.
Around September , the boy's mother, Rosa Morales, told the Sarinanas that she was ready for the boys to come home, but Raul told her that he could not afford the airfare. When Morales pushed the subject again in October, Raul told her that year-old Conrad had run away with an older gay lover but both of the Sarinanas told social workers another story—that Conrad was living with relatives in another state. During the investigation into Ricky's death, detectives discovered Conrad Morales body encased inside a trash can filled with concrete placed outside the couple's Corona home.
Raul later admitted that Conrad had died around August 22, , after he'd disciplined the boy. The couple brought his body with them when they moved from Washington to California.
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