In the 70s and 80s, Sacramento had some notorious serial killers. I suppose by definition if you are not a run-of-the-mill murderer and kill multiple times seemingly randomly then you are notorious. We had a little old lady, Dorothea Puente, who owned an old Victorian house on F Street and rented out rooms. There’s a lot of Victorian homes at what we call “Midtown”, most with the front door leading up some steps about 8-10′ or so.
Until the levees were built on the Sacramento River, Sacramento would flood on a regular basis. The Sierra snows would melt in the spring, and where the river goes to the San Francisco Bay through the Carquinez Straits, like a funnel there is only so much water that can get through in a given time frame.
It had to go somewhere, and in the Sacramento Valley, that which didn’t immediately go through the Straits went…out into the Sacramento Valley. Sometimes for miles, which gave the Valley some of the richest agricultural land in the world.
If you visit our old cemetery on Broadway, you’ll see that many died from steamboat boiler explosions on the River and typhus from the floods.
One particularly amusing grave belonged to a man who murdered the husband of his lover. He ended up marrying the woman and when he died, her children were a bit hesitant in burying him and I don’t remember how long he stayed above ground before someone finally buried him.
But anyway getting back to Dorothea, I don’t believe to this day they know how she did it, most likely a poison of some kind (Elderberry wine?); they just know that there were a lot of bodies in her flower beds, and she was cashing the victim’s social security checks. And the flowers really bloomed.
I remember driving down F Street one night and seeing a dozen satellite news trucks from around the country along the street, tarps set up all over the back yard with powerful lights shining on the garden to add an eerie quality.
Then there was the East Area Rapist. This was a mystery, thanks to DNA testing, that was just solved after 40 years. The interesting thing that it wasn’t a DNA resolution in the usual sense – from a criminal database, but a commercial database. Besides raping women all over town (my then-business partner used to sleep with a butcher knife under her bed), the suspect murdered people up and down the state. And to avoid the death penalty (not that it seems to make much difference in CA these days), he just made a plea deal a couple of days ago.
Another one that comes to mind was Gerald Gallego. He would kidnap young girls from public places, malls and fairgrounds, either take them to the country where they were raped and murdered, or keep them as sex slaves for awhile before murdering them.
And how does an evil man entice a young girl in a public area to go to his van in the parking lot?
Most girls would be suspicious and hesitant.
Answer: He didn’t.
You don’t approach them – you have a female accomplice approach them to take them to the van. One who is a bit older and that many would trust.
That was Charlene.
A few weeks ago, I finished the short Netflix series on Jeffrey Epstein. I thought it would be heavy on the titillation, but it was a matter-of-fact documentary, interviewing some of the female victims, business associates and workers at his Caribbean island estate on Little St James Island.
He procured a lot of his young victims just across the bridge in West Palm Beach, FL. Amazing that on one side of the bridge are multi million dollar mansions along the ocean, and on the other side a poorer area with many children from broken homes. Young girls for whom the promise of $200 from a rich man for a message was unbelievable.
Child abusers are master manipulators, and of course the massage went on gradually to other things.
…Not mentioned in the papers is Epstein’s infamous Boeing 727, which he dubbed the Lolita Express and where he allegedly ferried underage girls to his home in Palm Beach, Florida, his ranch in Mexico and other destinations.
And his estate in the Caribbean.
And the woman who procured a lot of these girls, who told them about their $200 “opportunities ” for Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, was just arrested.
As I watched the Netflix series, I had a few questions.
What was the background of that US attorney who gave him such a ridiculous sentence?
And why hasn’t Maxwell been arrested?
I read somewhere a few weeks ago that while that island estate is closed to the public, there is a thriving tourist business for tour boat owners to take people by that island.
One of the tourists remarked that he wanted to “see where Satan lived“.
Lex was right about some people.
I believe that there are those who look like us that are not of us, who by their acts of inhumanity have proven that they are not human in that fundamental way that separates us from other mammals.