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Published On: Mon, Nov 25th, 2013

Joseph Naso convicted to death in California’s ‘Alphabet Murders’

The senior citizen was described as “evil”  by the judge as the man behind the Alphabet Murders has been sentenced to death.

Joseph Naso, age 79, was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of four California prostitutes between 1977 and 1994. Naso flipped off jurors several times during the trial and denied the evidence, even DNA on pantyhose used to kill one of the victims.

Joseph NasoMarin County Judge Andrew Sweet called Naso a “ruthless, pathological predator” before condemning him to death for murdering the four women and dumping their scantily clad bodies in remote locations.

California has not executed a convict since 2006, a practice that was stalled for several years, saying the three-drug lethal injection caused pain and suffering.

California has not executed a convict since 2006, when a federal judge halted executions, saying a three-drug lethal injection risked causing inmates too much pain and suffering before death.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, called Naso’s punishment “purely a symbolic gesture with very little chance of being carried out.”

Naso acted as his own attorney during a two-month trial. Although he maintained his innocence, he presented a meager, sometimes rambling defense.

A jury in August found Naso guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of Roxene Roggasch, 18, and Carmen Colon, 22, in the 1970s, and Pamela Parsons, 38, and Tracy Tafoya, 31, in the 1990s. The matching initials of each victim’s first and last names led to the crimes becoming known as the “Alphabet Murders.”

Naso drugged, sexually assaulted and strangled the women he killed, prosecutors said.

 

 

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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