'Alphabet killer' Joseph Naso sentenced to death

Joseph Naso (22 November 2013) Analysts say it is unlikely Naso, 79, will ever see the inside of the state's death chamber

Related Stories

A California man convicted of the murders decades ago of four women whose names and surnames bore matching initials has been sentenced to death.

Joseph Naso, 79, was found guilty last month in the so-called "Alphabet" killings of Roxene Roggasch, Carmen Colon, Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya.

The bodies of the four strangled women, who worked as prostitutes, were dumped in rural areas in the 1970s and 1990s.

Naso was prosecuted after police found evidence in his home in 2009.

Naso, a former photographer, represented himself at his trial in Marin County, telling the jury he was "not the monster that killed these women".

Deputy District Attorney Dori Ahana argued for the death sentence, presenting the jury with macabre photographs of the lifeless bodies, and in September the jury recommended he be sentenced to death.

Journal of violence

In 2009, probation officers in Reno, Nevada, carried out a routine firearms search of Naso's home. At the time, he was on probation for a conviction in California.

Inside his house, officers discovered a grisly collection of evidence, including a "List of 10" featuring references to the women's killings. There were photographs of women appearing drugged or dead.

Also uncovered was a journal with detailed descriptions of rape and violence toward underage girls and women.

Roxene Roggasch, 18, and Carmen Colon, 22, were killed in the 1970s. Pamela Parsons, 38, and Tracy Tafoya, 31, were killed in the 1990s.

He remains a suspect in the killings of at least two other California women.

Analysts say it is unlikely Naso will actually be executed by the state. Hundreds of prisoners are already on California's death row, and executions have been on hold there since 2006.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More US & Canada stories

RSS

Features

  • NS Savannah, 1962Nuclear dream

    The ship that totally failed to change the world


  • Ed Miliband takes a selfie at a Cambridge hairdressersNo more photo ops?

    Why is Ed Miliband drawing attention to his public image?


  • Espresso cup7 days quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?


  • Glasgow 2014 quaichs and medalsQuaich guide

    What do the Scottish gifts given to Games medallists symbolise?


  • Malaysian plane wreckage in UkraineFlight risk

    How odd is it for three planes to crash in eight days?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.