Category crime and punishment

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 […]

Serial Killer Profile – Morris Solomon, The Sacramento Slayer

In this installment of the Serial Killer Profile series, we will dive on one of Sacramento’s “forgotten serial killers,” The Sacramento Slayer — Morris Solomon Jr. In any other city, Solomon’s killings would have captured national attention. However, the regional media was busy covering another serial killer, Dorothea Puente, who had been burying seven victims […]

Crazy California Laws

You often hear the line, “We are a nation of laws,” and it’s usually associated with someone breaking one of those laws. But what is a law, really? I mean, sure, we know they are the boundary lines for living in a civilized society. Rules like, hey, don’t murder people, or don’t take shit that […]

Private Prisons in Crime Fiction

Build it and they shall come… Private prisons have been a popular recurring theme in crime fiction and television drama. Most of the stories I’ve come across involve some smoky backroom deal between a corrupt judge and a private prison operator. Newly sentenced offenders, often kids, are portrayed as victims who wouldn’t have come to […]

All The Justice You Can Buy

I had a bit of a “Get Off My Lawn” moment this week. When we last circled around the campfire, we talked about the tale of convicted drug trafficker, Alice Johnson and a push for clemency on her behalf by the Queen of the Selfie, Kim Kardashian. There’s the link, if you want to check […]

Celebrity Prison Reform

This week, in the bizzaro world of celebrity political influence, Kim Kardashian had a meeting in the White House to discuss prison reform. Yes, you read that right, the Queen of vapid, self-absorbed empty brands, met to discuss of all things–prison reform. Not that we don’t have a national system that is overdue for a […]