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1981 Mar 15
Steacy McConnell (19) died following a robbery in Victor, just east of Lodi, Ca. Fernando Belmontes (19) had hit her 15-20 times with an iron dumbbell. In 2006 the US Supreme Court reinstated his death sentence. An appeals court then ruled that Belmontes’ lawyer had represented him incompetently. In 2009 the US supreme Court upheld the death sentence.
Links: USA, California, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Mar 20
Former girls’ school headmistress Jean Harris (1923-2012) was sentenced in White Plains, New York, to 15 years to life in prison for slaying "Scarsdale Diet" author Dr. Herman Tarnower. Harris was released in 1993 following a grant of clemency by Gov. Mario M. Cuomo.
Links: USA, New York, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Mar 20
Michael Donald (b.1961), a black teenager in Mobile, Alabama, was abducted, tortured and killed in what prosecutors charged was a Ku Klux Klan plot. Henry Hays (d.1997) murdered Michael Donald in a random abduction. Donald was beaten, cut, strangled and his body was strung up a tree. Hays was convicted and sentenced to death. He was executed Jun 6, 1997. In 1987 A wrongful death suit filed by Donald’s mother gave a $7 million verdict against the United Klans of America, led by Robert Shelton (d.2003 at 73).
Links: USA, Black History, Murder, Alabama, KKK     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Mar 29
In northern California Ellen Hansen (20), a UC Davis student, was shot to death after resisting a rape attempt at Henry Cowell Redwood State Park, near Santa Cruz. Her boyfriend was wounded but survived and later identified David Joseph Carpenter as the assailant. Carpenter was arrested in May 1981. In 1984 he was convicted of 2 murders in Santa Cruz and sentenced to death. In 1988 he was convicted of 4 killings in Marin County and again sentenced to death.
Links: USA, California, Murder, SF Bay Area, Rape     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Apr 23
Stacy Benjamin (19) and Patty Geddling (23) were murdered in Redwood City, Ca., under drug-related circumstances. In 2003 A federal appeals court upheld the conviction of Donald Beardslee of San Mateo. Beardslee had killed a woman in Missouri in Dec, 1969. Psychiatric evidence later showed that Beardslee suffered from brain damage due to an accident in 1964. Beardslee was executed by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison on Jan. 19, 2005.
Links: USA, Murder, SF Bay Area     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1981 Apr 29
Truck driver Peter Sutcliffe (b.1946) admitted in a London court to being the "Yorkshire Ripper," the killer of 13 women in northern England during a five-year period. He was convicted on May 22 and sentenced to serve a minimum of 30 years.
Links: Britain, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Apr 30
William Eugene Cox and Annika Oestberg Deasy (27) robbed and killed Joseph Torre (58), a restaurant owner, in Stockton, Ca. A few days later they killed Sgt. Richard Helbush and stole his patrol car. They were both caught and sentenced to long jail terms. Cox later hanged himself in jail. In 1999 Sweden called for the transfer of Deasy to Sweden under the 1983 Strasbourg Treaty, which provided for prisoner transfers. In 2009 a Swedish court ruled that Annika Ostberg (55) would be released in 2011.
Links: USA, California, Sweden, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 May 1
Heather Scaggs (20) was reported missing. Her naked body was found on May 24 in Big Basin State Park near Santa Cruz. She had been raped and shot to death. David Joseph Carpenter, a co-worker, was arrested on May 14 1981. In 1984 he was convicted of 2 murders in Santa Cruz and sentenced to death. On May 10, 1988, a San Diego jury convicted Carpenter of first degree murder in the slayings of Richard Stowers, Cynthia Moreland, Shauna May, Diana O'Connell, and Anne Alderson. Carpenter was also pronounced guilty of raping two of the women and attempting to rape a third.
Links: USA, California, Murder, SF Bay Area, Rape     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 May 2
In California Joseph Azevedo (50) was found shot dead at his mobile home in Lancaster, LA County. On Nov 6, 2010, suspect David Winter (55), a long-haul truck driver, was arrested in Ohio.
Links: USA, California, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 May 27
Roger Wheeler, chairman of Telex Corp. and owner of World Jai Alai, was shot execution style at a Tulsa country club. In 2001 2 reputed Boston mobsters, James Bulger and Stephen Flemmi, were charged. Jai Alai executive John B. Callahan was murdered in Aug 1982 in Miami. In 2001 hitman John Vincent Martorano (60) pleaded guilty to Wheeler’s murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. In 2003 former FBI agent H. Paul Rico (78) was arrested and charged with murder for helping to setup the hit.
Links: USA, Murder, FBI, Oklahoma     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1981 Jun 23
The body of Catherine Schilling (21), a Georgetown law student, was found raped and murdered in Rock Creek Park. She was shot in the head five times after taking a shortcut home through the park after working late at her job as a paralegal at a DC law firm. In September 1982, a D.C. jury convicted Donald Eugene Gates of killing and raping Schilling. In 2009 Gates (58) was released from prison based on DNA evidence.
Links: USA, Murder, DNA, DC, Rape     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Jun
Jack Henry Abbott (b.1944), convicted killer, was paroled from prison. His book "In the Belly of the Beast" was a collection of letters written to Norman Mailer. 6 weeks after Abbott’s release he stabbed Richard Adan (22), an actor-writer to death in NYC. Abbott committed suicide in prison in 2002.
Links: USA, NYC, Writer, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Jun
Sylvia Edgren (48) of Monterey, Ca., was raped and murdered. In 2001 DNA evidence linked Michael Adams (44) to the murder.
Links: USA, California, Murder, Rape     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Jul 1
The "Wonderland Murders" took place at 4763 Wonderland in the Hollywood Hills. Ronald Launius, William Deverell, Barbara Richardson and Joy Miller were murdered. The killings were said to have occurred in retaliation for a drug robbery 2 nights earlier. Federal prosecutors unveiled in indictment in 2000 against Eddie Nash, a former nightclub owner, Gregory DeWitt Diles, his bodyguard, and porn star John Curtis Holmes. Holmes (d.1988) was later released. Holmes died in 1988 of an AIDS-related illness. In 2003 the film "Wonderland" starred Val Kilmer as Holmes.
Links: USA, California, Murder, Film Star     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Jul 27
Adam Walsh (6) disappeared from a Hollywood mall. Fishermen discovered his severed head 2 weeks later in a canal 120 miles away. In 2008 police named Ottis Toole, who had died in prison in 1996, as the murderer. The Adam Walsh Act of 2006 obliged states to make their sex offender registries public.
Links: USA, California, Murder, Kids     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1981 Aug 17
In Florida James Dvorak was found bludgeoned to death at Indian Harbor Beach in what was described as a robbery gone wrong. In 1981 William Dillon was convicted and sentenced to prison. In 2008 Dillon (49) faced a retrial after DNA evidence called into question his conviction.
Links: Murder, Florida, DNA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Aug 22
In Indianapolis, Indiana, King Edward Bell (33), a laid-off autoworker, killed his estranged wife, mother-in-law and 4 children. Bell was sentenced to six consecutive 40-year prison terms.
Links: USA, Murder, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Aug 24
Mark David Chapman (b.1955) was sentenced in New York to 20 years to life in prison for the murder of rock star John Lennon.
Links: USA, NYC, Murder, Pop&Rock     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Aug 27
Rene Soto clubbed to death Anselmo Covarrubias in LA County. Maria Suarez (21), a battered "sex slave" to Covarrubias and witness to the murder, was convicted of first-degree murder and sent to prison. In 2002 Gov. Davis rejected a recommended parole for Suarez. In 2003 Gov. Davis issued a parole. Suarez was released in 2004.
Links: USA, California, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Nov 3
In Milpitas, Ca., Anthony Jacques Broussard, a high school student (16), strangled and killed Marcy Conrad, his girl friend (14), dumped her body on a river bank and gave tours to his friends, who never reported the crime. The 1986 film "River's Edge" was later made based on the murder. On December 3, 1982 Broussard was sentenced in a San Jose, California court to 25 years to life for the strangulation death of Conrad. He was to be eligible for parole after 16 years and 8 months (July 1999).
Links: USA, Murder, SF Bay Area, Teens Amuck     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1981 Nov 10
In South Africa Durban human rights attorney Griffiths Mxenge was found slain. Mxenge was stabbed 46 times by a police death squad that included Dirk Coetzee. In July 1985 his wife Victoria Mxenge was attacked by four men in the driveway of her home in Umlazi, Durban. She was stabbed and shot shortly after disembarking from a family friend’s vehicle.
Links: South Africa, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Nov 18
In Los Angeles Kazuyoshi Miura and his wife (28), visitors from Japan, were shot in a downtown parking lot. His wife went into a coma and later died in Japan. In 1985 Miura was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his wife for insurance money and in 1994 he was convicted of murder. In 1998 a Japanese high court overturned the sentence. In 2008 Miura was arrested in Saipan. He was extradited to the US and committed suicide by hanging on Oct 10, 4 days prior to arraignment on murder conspiracy charges. He was 61.
Links: USA, Japan, California, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Nov
In California Henry Vila (62) and his wife Edith (59) were stabbed to death in their Albany hill home during a robbery. DNA evidence in 2002 identified Charles Jackson, a recently deceased Folsom inmate, as her killer.
Links: USA, California, Murder, SF Bay Area, Robbery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Dec 9
In Philadelphia Mumia Abu Jamal shot and killed Officer Daniel Faulkner shortly after the officer stopped William Cook, Jamal’s brother (see July 3, 1981).
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Dec 15
In Garden Grove, Ca., market owner Packawan Wattanaporn was found strangled to death and Quach Nguyen was stabbed to death. Jaturun Siripongs was later convicted for the crime and faced the death penalty in 1998. He admitted to the robbery but not the killings.
Links: USA, California, Murder, Robbery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1981 Dec
In California Betty Jo Grunzweig (37) was raped and stabbed to death in her home in Oakland’s Trestle Glen District. DNA evidence in 2002 identified Charles Jackson, a recently deceased Folsom inmate, as her killer.
Links: USA, Murder, DNA, SF Bay Area, Rape     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Dec
In California Gail Leslie Slocum (34) was stabbed to death in her home in Oakland’s Rockridge District. DNA evidence in 2002 identified Charles Jackson, a recently deceased Folsom inmate, as her killer.
Links: USA, Murder, DNA, SF Bay Area     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981
Claude Dallas (30) killed Conley Elms and Bill Pogue, officers for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, who were investigating reports of bobcat poaching in remote southeast Idaho. Dallas served 22 years for the execution-style slayings and was released in 2005.
Links: USA, Murder, Idaho     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981
Cesare Battisti escaped from an Italian prison while awaiting trial on four counts of murder committed when he was a member of the Armed Proletarians for Communism. In 2007 he was arrested in Rio de Janeiro. In 2008 Brazil's top prosecutor recommended his extradition.
Links: Italy, Brazil, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Jan 6
Truck driver William G. Bonin was convicted in Los Angeles of being the "freeway killer" who had murdered 14 young men and boys.
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1982 Jan 21
Convict-turned-author Jack Henry Abbott was found guilty in New York City of first-degree manslaughter in the stabbing death of waiter Richard Adan in 1981. Abbott was later sentenced to 15 years to life in prison; he committed suicide in 2002.
Links: USA, Writer, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Jan 22
Eduardo Frei Montalva (b.1911), former Chilean President (1964-1970), died from septic shock as he recovered from stomach surgery at a Santiago clinic. In 2007 his family filed a court complaint claiming that Frei had been assassinated by poisoning after a Belgian university investigation found mustard gas in the body of the former Christian Democratic leader. In 2009 a Chilean judge ruled that Montalva was assassinated and that his killing was covered up by people linked to the dictatorship of Gen. Pinochet. Six people were charged in the case.
Links: Chile, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Jan 25
In Stockton, Ca., Renee Rontal (13) and Nancy Rubia (13) were out looking for fun on a popular cruising strip when they were picked up by a 22-year-old Reyes and 21-year-old Antonio Espinoza. The next day a farm worker found Renee in a ditch outside town with her throat cut. Nancy was found nearby face down in shallow water, and an autopsy concluded that she died from drowning in the muddy water. Both girls had been beaten and raped. Espinoza was arrested a year and a half after the killing and was convicted of murder. On May 27, 2011, FBI agents and Mexican federal police arrested Alfredo Reyes (51) outside a pool hall in Tijuana, where he had been living under an alias.
Links: USA, California, Murder, Rape     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Jan
In Chicago Lloyd Wickliffe, a security guard, was killed in a McDonald's restaurant. Later Andrew Wilson (d.2008) told his lawyers that he, and not Alton Logan, had killed the guard. On March 17 Lawyers Kunz, Coventry and Miller signed a notarized affidavit: "I have obtained information through privileged sources that a man named Alton Logan ... who was charged with the fatal shooting of Lloyd Wickliffe ... is in fact not responsible for that shooting...” In 2008 Logan was still in jail waiting for a new trial.
Links: USA, Chicago, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Jan
In South Carolina Dorothy Ely Edwards (75) was raped and stabbed 52 times. Edward Lee Elmore was convicted twice for the murder but DNA evidence in 2000 suggested that he was innocent. In 2005 his sentence was commuted to life in prison. In 2012 Raymond Bonner authored “Anatomy of Justice: A Murder Case Gone Wrong.”
Links: USA, Murder, South Carolina     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1982 Feb 13
In Guatemala 73 men and women from Rio Negro were ordered by the local military commander to report to Xococ, a village upstream from the reservoir zone which had a history of land conflicts and hostility with Rio Negro. Only one woman out of the 73 villagers returned to Rio Negro, the rest were raped, tortured and then murdered by Xococ's Civil Defense Patrol, or PAC, one of the notorious paramilitary units used by the state as death squads. The Guatemalan army invaded Santa Maria Tzeja and massacred 13 people. Villagers fled their homes following the massacre. In 2004 Beatriz Manz authored "Paradise in Ashes: A Guatemalan Journey of courage, Terror and Hope."
Links: Guatemala, Murder, Rape     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Feb 23
Tucapel Jimenez, a Chilean labor leader, was found with his throat cut and face shot in his car. Gen. Humberto Gordon Rubio (d.2000), secret police chief, was implicated in the killing.
Links: Chile, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Feb 27
Wayne B. Williams was found guilty of murdering two of the 28 young blacks whose bodies were found in the Atlanta area over a 22-month period.
Links: GeorgiaUS, USA, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Mar 6
In Ohio Reginald Brooks (66) fatally shot his 3 sons while they slept shortly after his wife filed for divorce. Brooks was executed in Lucasville by lethal injection on Nov 15, 2011. He was oldest person put to death since Ohio resumed executions in 1999.
Links: USA, Ohio, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Apr 11
Ronald Allen (32), a member of Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland, Ca., was found shot to death on Easter morning near the Berkeley dump. A day earlier the father of 5 had gone out for a meal with his bakery brethren.
Links: USA, Murder, SF Bay Area     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1982 Apr 12
In Manhattan 3 CBS employees were shot to death on a rooftop parking lot. Donald Nash (47) was charged with using a .22 caliber handgun kill Margaret Barbera, who was cooperating with a Federal investigation into a $6 million fraud, and Leo Kuranuki, Robert Schulze and Edward Benford, three CBS technicians who the police believe were coming to her aid. Mr. Nash was convicted in 1983 and sentenced to four consecutive 25-year terms in prison.
Links: USA, NYC, Murder, Fraud     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Apr 22
Robert Maurice Bloom (18) killed his father, stepmother and stepsister in a savage murder spree in southern California. He was convicted and sentenced to death until appellate attorneys uncovered documents that he was mentally ill and likely did not understand the consequences of his actions. Bloom was ordered released in 1997 pending a new trial.
Links: USA, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Jun 11
In Michigan Eve August (24), a law intern, was fatally shot at a law office in Detroit’s Buhl Building. Robert Harrington, a disgruntled insurance salesman, demanded a check he hadn't received. When he didn't like the reply, he started shooting in a 90-minute rampage that left August dead and dozens injured from gunfire or the fire that followed.
Links: USA, Murder, Michigan, Mad Man     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Jul 3
Mumia Abu-Jamal (b.1954), radio reporter and former Black Panther, was convicted for the 1981 murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner in Pittsburgh. Jamal supporters said he was framed. Prosecutors said Jamal shot Faulkner after seeing the officer struggling with Jamal’s brother, William Cook, who had been stopped for a traffic violation. In 1996 Jamal was still on death row. In 1999 Gov. Tom Ridge signed a 2nd death warrant for lethal injection on Dec 2. In December, 2001, a federal judge affirmed his murder conviction but ordered that Abu-Jamal should either receive a new sentencing hearing or have his sentence commuted to life in prison because of an error by the trial judge in presenting rules of sentencing to the jury (see March 27, 2008).
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Black History, Radio, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Jul 6
Crossan Hoover (17) beat and killed Richard Baldwin (36), the owner of a car restoration shop in San Rafael, Ca. Hoover and 2 accomplices robbed Baldwin’s home and dumped his body into the SF Bay. Mark Richards (29), a contractor who employed Hoover and another youth, was one of the three involved in the murder plot and had told his employees that he planned to take control of Marin County in a paramilitary coup that came to be called Pendragon. Richards was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole. Hoover was sentenced 26 years to life. In 2007 Hoover’s murder verdict was overturned and a new trial was scheduled. In 2008 a federal appeals court reinstated Hoover’s murder conviction.
Links: USA, Murder, SF Bay Area     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1982 Aug 4
Ronald Smith of Canada killed two Americans in Montana during a drunken road trip. In March 1893 Smith was convicted and sentenced to death.
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1982 Sep 25
Pennsylvania prison guard George Banks killed 13 people including 4 that were his own children.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Murder, Mad Man     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Nov 4
Dominique Dunne (b.1959), American actress and daughter of novelist Dominick Dunne, died in LA following strangulation by her former boyfriend, John Thomas Sweeney.
Links: USA, Murder, Film Star     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Nov 16
Christian Klar (b.1952), a leading member of the German Red Army Faction, was arrested close to Hamburg. In the following trials he was convicted for his involvement in the 1977 murders of Siegfried Buback, Jurgen Ponto and Hanns-Martin Schleyer together with fellow RAF member Brigitte Mohnhaupt. Klar was set for release in Jan, 2009, after serving 26 years in prison.
Links: Germany, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Dec 3
Rebecca Marrero (b.1962) was last seen in Seattle, Wa. She was believed to have become a victim of Gary Ridgeway, the so-called Green River Killer. In 2010 her skull was found by children playing in a ravine south of Seattle. On Feb 7, 2011, Ridgeway, already serving 48 life terms, was charged with her murder.
Links: USA, Murder, Washington     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1982 Dec 7
In Suriname 15 politicians, journalists, union leaders, lawyers and soldiers, were rounded up and slain in a hundreds-year-old fort in Paramaribo. In 2007 Desire Bouterse, the former dictator, faced trial for the murders. In 2008 a military tribunal in Suriname ruled that those accused of a 1982 massacre, including the country's former dictator, must stand trial.
Links: Suriname, Murder, Journalism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982
In southern California John Visciotti (26) shot and killed co-worker Timothy Dykstra (22) and wounded Michael Wolbert. Visciotti’s murder conviction was upheld but his death sentence was reversed due to a defense lawyer’s incompetence. In 2002 a penalty-phase retrial was ordered. The Supreme Court reinstated his death penalty.
Links: California, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982
In Arizona Karl LeGrand, a German citizen, stabbed to death a bank manager during a bungled robbery attempt with his brother Walter LaGrand. Karl was convicted and died by lethal injection Feb 24, 1999. Walter was executed a week later. A UN court in 2001 upheld that the US violated international law in the case.
Links: USA, UN, Murder, Arizona, Robbery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982
Troy Wicker of Muscle Shoals, Ala., was shot to death. Judy Wicker later testified that she had had sex with Thomas Arthur and paid him $10,000 to kill her husband. Arthur was convicted and sentenced to death. His execution, set for Dec 6, 2007, was delayed because of a pending Supreme Court case involving lethal injections.
Links: USA, Murder, Alabama     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982
Tony Mirra, mobster friend of Donnie Brasco (aka FBI agent Joe Pistone), was shot to death.
Links: USA, Murder, FBI, Mafia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1982
Debra Sue Carter (21), a cocktail waitress in Ada, Oklahoma, was raped and murdered. For five years the police could not solve the crime. For reasons that were never clear, they suspected Ron Williamson and his friend Dennis Fritz. The two were arrested in 1987 and charged with capital murder. With no physical evidence, the prosecution's case was built on junk science and the testimony of jailhouse snitches and convicts. Fritz was found guilty and given a life sentence. Williamson was sent to death row. Both were released 12 years later, when DNA evidence proved their innocence. In 2006 novelist John Grisham read Williamson's obituary in The New York Times and made him and Fritz the subject of his first non-fiction book: “The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town.” The book became a bestseller.
Links: USA, Writer, Murder, DNA, Oklahoma, Rape     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982
James Fox authored “White Mischief.” It told the story of a 1941 murder in Kenya of Josslyn Victor Hay, the 22nd Earl of Erroll. It was made into a film in 1988.
Links: Kenya, Murder, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1983 Feb 4
In Texas Wanda Lopez was murdered in Corpus Christi. In 1989 Carlos DeLuna (27) was executed for her murder. In 2012 a report, entitled "Los Tocayos Carlos: Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution," said DeLuna was not guilty of the murder.
Links: USA, Murder, Texas     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1983 Feb 17
In California Denise Denofrio was found strangled to death in a car in Fairfield. Alan Hall was convicted in the case of voluntary manslaughter in July. In 1997 a suspected friend of Denofrio lured Hall into having sex and then severed his penis with a knife and escaped.
Links: USA, California, Sex, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1983 Feb 19
A shooting at the Wah Mee gambling parlor in Seattle, Wa., left 13 men dead. Kwan-Fai Mak and Benjamin Ng were later found guilty on 13 murder counts and sentenced to life in prison.
Links: USA, Murder, Washington     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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