Author Archives: James L'Etoile

Death Penalty Deception

I do solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the State of California… I took this oath a few times in my career. […]

Serial Killers in Sacramento–Why here?

News headlines and social media feeds were buzzing after the long-awaited death of notorious serial killer, Charles Manson. His personal role as the mastermind of the 1960’s murder spree in Southern California has been long debated, as he is quoted saying that he didn’t personally commit any of the crimes. Manson and his dysfunctional “family” of […]

Solving 40 Year Old Cold Cases

The unmasking of the Golden State Killer came by unusual means. Unusual in that Joseph DeAngelo Jr. wasn’t caught through surveillance, or from a tip that came through a jail house snitch, or from an eyewitness account of the crime. The murders and rapes suddenly ended decades ago and the trail went cold. When a […]

Sacramento Serial Killers — A Look at the Most Notorious and the Search for Answers

Over the past few months, I’ve shared the stories and investigative details behind some of the Sacramento region’s most notorious serial killers. This Northern California community has suffered more than its share of violence inflicted by a specific type of killer–one with a taste for the crime. According to the Radford University – Serial Killer […]

A 12-Step Guide to Holiday Re-Gifting

‘Tis the season of giving! It is better to give than receive.  I think that’s how that goes.  I dug into my historical vaults to find the origins of this nobel sentiment.  Scholars debate the first time these words were spoken.  I found the true initial utterance of the phrase and it was not in […]

All in the Family

Murder is all around us. Sacramento’s long list of serial killers have reached out and claimed victims from all walks of life, some random, a few by means of opportunity, and others who were close at hand. It’s particularly troubling when this latter group–victims known to their assailants are family members. Sacramento has more than […]

A Killer Couple

Sacramento’s history of prolific serial killers roaming our streets is bad enough, with the likes of Puente, Kibbe (the I-5 Strangler), Solomon, Corona, DeAngelo (the alleged Golden State Killer), Chase (the Vampire of Sacramento), and Leonard (the Thrill Killer), but when they team up, it makes for an exceptionally deadly outcome. A husband and wife […]

So You Married a Murderer

I met with a group of wonderful ladies at a Shalom Women’s Group this week and talked about crime fiction, Sacramento’s dark history of violent crime, and some of our more notorious serial killers. We had a wonderful discussion and the attendees asked some great questions. One question, and it’s a subject that comes up […]

Sacramento’s Thrill Killer — Eric Royce Leonard

Determining what drives people to kill has captured the minds and imagination of sociologists, criminal justice professionals and scholars since Cain took the jaw bone of an ass to his brother. Murder, the of taking an innocent life, is the most extreme act known to human kind. What drives someone to that irrevocable decision? Greed, […]

The Vampire of Sacramento — Richard Trenton Chase

It somehow seems appropriate to talk about a character named the Vampire of Sacramento as we approach Halloween. This vampire didn’t go from home to home looking for full-sized Snickers or KitKat bars. The Vampire of Sacramento went from door to door in search of victims… Richard Trenton Chase is an example of the failings […]