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20070416: Serial killer’s victim could be from Colorado CO Montrose Serial Killer News
Wanted: The identity of Humboldt County Jane Doe, believed to have been the first victim of convicted serial killer Wayne Adam Ford.

The torso of the woman, thought to be between 20 and 30 years old, was found in a California slough in 1997. Though in 2006 Ford was convicted of her murder and the gruesome deaths of three other women — Tina Gibbs, Lanett White and Patricia Tamez — no one has been able to positively identify Doe.

But two documentarians are aiming to change that and, based on information received directly from Ford, are appealing to Colorado residents.

“Wayne said she was either from Colorado or Arizona. He thought Colorado, mostly,” former Montrose resident James Muller said. Muller, who attended high school in Montrose, is the co-producer of a yet-to-be released documentary entitled “Room Zero.”

His filmmaking partner is British-born model Victoria Redstall, who was able to obtain exclusive information from Ford, but whose alleged tactics in interviewing him generated controversy.

Redstall paid unauthorized visits to Ford in a San Bernadino jail, from which she was subsequently banned.

Called an attention-seeker and “serial killer groupie,” Redstall later garnered criticism for attempting to locate Doe’s head.

“It’s pathetic the media have to find something sleazy in a very good, honest story,” Redstall said. “I didn’t take any notice of it. The focus was always to continue with this documentary and the goal of the documentary, which is to find out who this person was.”

In phone calls Ford allowed Redstall to record, the killer provided several purported details about his first victim. These included where he believed she was from, her approximate age and that he saw her waiting in the cold at a Eureka, Calif. bus stop in October of 1997. The victim reportedly confided in Ford that she didn’t get along well with her parents, but was very close to a sister.

Muller said this information, along with forensic evidence that Doe had given birth to a child who would now be at least 9 years old, led him and Redstall to believe an aunt could now be raising the child.

“He (Ford) doesn’t remember her name. She went by a nickname that was a derivative of her real name,” Muller said, explaining Ford apparently does not recall the nickname, either. Additionally, the “top-heavy” woman had short brown hair, brown eyes, and stood between 5 feet, 4 inches and 5 feet, 7 inches tall. She also had pubic hair to her navel, possibly a hereditary condition. The woman had a Jansport backpack, with Greenpeace or similar emblems on it and was wearing an “environmentalist” T-shirt. More information is available at www.roomzerothemovie.com, where tips are also encouraged.

“The more people hear the specifics, it’s going to ring a bell,” Redstall said. “I want the publicity for this person. ...There’s nothing more we can do at this point except tell all of Colorado: ‘This is who she was.’”

Though serial killers are not known for their honesty, Muller said he believes Ford is telling the truth. “I don’t have any assurances, but I don’t see any reason why he was not telling the truth. We’ve thought about that.”

Ford grabbed headlines for being possibly the only serial killer to turn himself in — and for having a severed breast in his pocket when he did so, in 1998. Carlton Smith, who is featured in the documentary, wrote about Ford in “Shadows of Evil.”

Muller and Redstall said Ford also wanted his victim to be identified. “He wants before he dies...this is one thing he wants to do. He’s a peculiar character. He turned himself in,” Muller said.

Serial killers are frequently sociopaths — a disorder characterized in part by a lack of conscience and by manipulation and glibness — though not all sociopaths are necessarily criminals. Muller said a forensic psychiatrist, also featured in the film, determined Ford was not a sociopath.

Muller and Redstall believe guilt prompted Ford to confess. “That’s what’s unique about this story, as far as serial killers go,” Muller said.

The Humboldt County detective who investigated the original case has since retired.

Muller said he and Redstall said their appeal for information was not intended as a publicity stunt for the film.

“Our goal is to find this person. I don’t think it (publicity) will harm the documentary, but that’s not going to be the goal,” Redstall said.

“It’s kind of a mission. We just want to solve this thing,” Muller said.

“We don’t really care about press for the movie. We want to help figure out who this woman was.”

 

20070321: Condemned killer likely to die of old age CA Los Angeles Serial Killer News
It is a disturbing fact that, in California, a convicted serial killer may well die of natural causes on Death Row before he is executed.

But that is the distressing though likely outcome of the death sentence rendered last week against Wayne Adam Ford, who walked into the Humboldt County sheriff's station 7 1/2 years ago with a woman's severed breast in his pocket. Ford was found guilty in June of first-degree murder in the violent, sex-related deaths of four young women, two of them from San Bernardino County.

The case, in which the women's nude bodies, some of them dismembered, turned up one by one in bodies of water across the state in the late '90s, held the public in horror for a decade until the judge finally sealed Ford's fate Friday. Or did he?

"You are to be put to death by lethal injection, or some other procedure deemed proper," said San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Michael A. Smith, alluding to the de facto moratorium placed on executions in California.

But as appropriate as the sentence may be, it is highly unlikely that this rightful outcome will ever come to pass.

And the hold put on lethal injections as "cruel and unusual" punishment is only part of it.

Ford will be granted an automatic appeal, which could take years to resolve. It is what has kept 657 convicts alive on Death Row.

And even if the sentence is upheld, there is another obstacle - the state's seeming quandary over executing the death penalty, which lawmakers reinstated 30 years ago and which the majority of Californians support.

"At some point, we have to ask ourselves, does the state of California really intend to execute 657 people?" asked Elisabeth Semel, director of the UC Berkeley Death Penalty Clinic.

But any angst over the punishment of murderers is misplaced. Condemned murderers like Ford deserve the death penalty.

All of the crocodile tears over the "killer with a conscience," who alleged his victims felt no pain because "anything that might have appeared to be painful or torturous was done post-mortem," show an appalling lack of sensitivity to those who died so wretchedly.

Ford testified that he didn't mean to kill any of the young women - not Lanett Deyon White of Fontana or Patricia Ann Tamez of Hesperia or Tina Renee Gibbs of Las Vegas or the still unidentified Jane Doe, whose headless, limbless torso was found in a slough in Eureka. But the fact is, Ford kept on killing.

Letting the appeals process run for years on end does a disservice to all of those denied final recompense - not to mention the exorbitant cost of keeping serial killers like Ford on death row for what amounts to life terms. Kevin Cooper, who was convicted in the 1983 hatchet murders of four people in Chino Hills and sentenced to death in 1985, still lives on Death Row.

Multiple murderers like Ford do not deserve to escape the hand of justice. A time limit must be put on the appeals process, so that those who are condemned to die will, indeed, meet their just end.

 

 

20070317: Convicted serial killer sentenced to death CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News

Serial killer Wayne Adam Ford was sentenced to death Friday for the brutal and sadistic killings of four women, two from San Bernardino County.

"Death is the appropriate verdict for this defendant and these crimes," Superior Court Judge Michael Smith ruled.

With that, Ford was led out of a San Bernardino County courtroom for the final time Friday -- and into an appeals process that could last for decades.

Ford, 45, was found guilty June 27 of killing four women in 1997 and 1998. On Aug. 10, a jury recommended the death sentence.

Smith, moments before pronouncing the death verdict, denied motions for a new trial and to reduce Ford's sentence to life in prison without parole.

Ford unexpectedly surrendered to Humboldt County sheriff's officials on Nov. 3, 1998, with the severed breast of one of his victims, Patricia Anne Tamez, of Hesperia, in the pocket of his camouflage jacket.

Authorities had no suspects until Ford appeared and confessed within hours of his surrender.

Testimony during the eight-month trial in 2006 said Ford, a long-haul trucker, bound and tortured prostitutes. Testimony included erotic asphyxiation, the choking of victims to increase sexual pleasure, in addition to cutting off limbs and body parts of his victims for sexual gratification.

A probation department pre-sentencing report quotes Ford: "There was no struggling and no pain inflicted on the victims. All acts and activities were consensual. Anything that might have appeared to be painful or torturous was done postmortem."

Ford insisted in the report that none of the killings were intentional. He said he expressed sadness when his victims died.

"Most serial killers are proud of their work," said Ford in the report. "Not me."

During Ford's trial, officials played interviews recorded within hours of his arrest that he had engaged in erotic asphyxiation with as many as 50 women.

On Friday, Bill White, 58, of Ontario, who is the father of one of the victims, quivered when Smith denied a motion for a new trial.

Outside of the courtroom, a reluctant White told the media that he loved the verdict and regarded Ford as "a punk."

"I would love to see him hang," White said. "So he would know what it feels like."

Moments later, White shrugged off documentary filmmaker Victoria Redstall as she spoke to him in the courthouse hallway.

Redstall, finishing a 90-minute documentary about the killings, told White that she was dedicating her upcoming "Room Zero" to Ford's victims. She has been in daily phone contact with Ford while he was in custody at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

The film is named for a small cabin at the Ocean Grove Lodge in Trinidad, where Ford stayed the night before his surrender.

"He's not nervous about death row," Redstall said. "He is optimistic about his appeals."

Ford is automatically entitled to an appeal before the California Supreme Court.

Supervising Deputy District Attorney Michael McDowell declined to estimate how many years could pass before Ford is executed.

Lawyers will next pore over Ford's trial transcripts to ensure their accuracy, McDowell said.

"The next big step is the correction of the record," McDowell said. "That takes place four to six years from now."

Legal briefs might not reach the state's top court for eight years.

California has 662 inmates on death row, including more than 30 from San Bernardino County, according to the latest available online statistics from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Three of the condemned from San Bernardino County, according to its death row tracking system, were sentenced to death in 1982.

Riverside County has more than 40 inmates on death row, including one sentenced to death in 1979.

White said that he plans to attend Ford's execution.

 

 

20070316: Judge imposes death penalty in Calif. serial killer case CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News

A judge sentenced former truck driver Wayne Adam Ford to death Friday for strangling four women and dumping their mutilated bodies across California.

Ford, who was mostly expressionless during the hour-long hearing, lowered his head and winced as Superior Court Judge Michael Smith denied defense requests for a new trial or to reduce punishment to life in prison without parole.

Ford, 45, was convicted June 27 on four counts of first-degree murder for the 1997 and 1998 killings. The same jury recommended the death penalty on Aug. 10.

Ford was arrested in November 1998 after he walked into a sheriff's station in Northern California with a woman's severed breast and told authorities it represented the "tip of the iceberg."

He was subsequently charged with the killings of Patricia Tamez, 29, of Hesperia; Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana; Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas; and an unidentified woman whose torso was found in a slough.

In a pre-sentencing report made public after the hearing, Ford apologized to the victims and their families, although he said he was not guilty of four counts of first-degree murder.

"There was no struggling and no pain inflicted upon the victims," the report quoted Ford as saying. "All acts and activities were consensual. Anything that might have appeared to be painful or torturous was done post-mortem."

Ford was also quoted as saying: "Most serial killers are proud of their work — not me."

The case will be automatically appealed.

 

20070219: Serial killer: Truth never came out in trial CA Riverside Serial Killer News

Serial killer Wayne Adam Ford, in his first public comment since he was convicted last year of slaying four women, said his expected death penalty sentence "doesn't bother me one bit."

Ford, in an electronic voice file made last week and addressed to a Press-Enterprise reporter, also said "the truth" never came out during his eight-month trial.

"The fact I'm being executed doesn't bother me one bit," Ford said. "But the fact the truth wasn't told, and the people were hurt beyond what they should have been hurt, that bothers me."

Ford, 45, was convicted June 27. The same jury recommended the death penalty on Aug. 10.

Documentary filmmaker Victoria Redstall said Ford believes the truth involves his blacking out -- the result of head trauma suffered in a 1980 car crash -- during the killings in 1997 and 1998. She said he does not deny killing the women.

During a telephone interview, she played an audio clip of Ford explaining his actions during the killings.

"It does not mean I was sitting there, enjoying myself, reviving them and torturing them," Ford said. "That never happened."

'Room Zero'

Redstall, 32, of Studio City, said she has collected more than 88 hours of telephone interviews with Ford, who is awaiting sentencing at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

Her interviews are for "Room Zero," a nearly complete 90-minute documentary set to go out for bidding March 16 -- the day when Ford could be formally sentenced to death.

Ford said in his recorded statement that he has exclusively told his story to Redstall.

"I got into the mind of a serial killer," Redstall said last week. "I should be respected for that."

Redstall, who also is an actress and model, made national headlines and appeared on talk shows in August when news came out that she had followed Ford's prison bus and had sung country music songs with him.

A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy was disciplined after Redstall had unauthorized contact with Ford while he was in custody. She was banned from all county jails in August.

Redstall said she seethes at the "idiots" who imply that she is a serial killer groupie. She said she wants the public to take her seriously as a filmmaker.

"Just because I'm a girl, and just because I'm a model," Redstall said, "people want to think there has to be a romance."

13 Clues

"Room Zero" is named for a small cabin at the Ocean Grove Lodge in Trinidad, where Ford stayed the night before he unexpectedly surrendered to Humboldt County sheriff's officials Nov. 3, 1998.

Ford was not a suspect in the crimes when he surprised authorities by presenting them with a woman's severed breast.

Redstall said "Room Zero," now in its final editing, aims to determine the identity of "Jane Doe," the first of four women Ford is convicted of killing.

"We're getting closer every day," Redstall said. "We're trying to piece together who she is."

Jane Doe, also known as "Humboldt County Doe," was found floating in a fresh-water slough in October 1997.

An upcoming news release for the film mentions 13 clues about the unidentified woman, ranging from a mother in her 20s to an environmentalist with hairy armpits.

Death Row?

Deputy Public Defender Joseph Canty, one of two attorneys who defended Ford last year, has filed a motion for a new trial. It is scheduled for a hearing when his client returns to court next month.

Canty based his motion on violations of Ford's constitutional rights, prosecutorial misconduct and jury selection error.

In court records, Canty accuses former prosecutor Dave Mazurek, now a San Bernardino County Superior Court judge, of unfairly calling attention to Ford for declining to take the stand in his defense.

Canty quotes Mazurek during the trial saying that Ford, had he taken the stand, could have told jurors about performing sex acts on his dead victims.

"Because it really wasn't an accident," said Mazurek, quoted in court records. "If he told you, you would figure out he really did intend to kill these girls as the ultimate act of sadism ... sexual gratification for himself."

During the trial, court officials played several interviews that police recorded with Ford within hours of his arrest.

In those, Ford grudgingly describes performing erotic asphyxiation, restricting the blood flow to the brain to increase sexual pleasure, on as many as 50 women.

He said he was unable to revive four of them.

Ford was the first defendant in California charged under the 1998 serial murder law, which consolidates related killings into one jurisdiction.

Ford was extradited to San Bernardino County in 1999. His 2006 trial was delayed because of challenges to the new law, the initial prosecutor's retirement and numerous courtroom motions.

Canty said the law also requires Superior Court Judge Michael Smith to consider a motion to reduce the death penalty recommendation to life in prison without parole.

Canty declined to comment about "Room Zero."

 

 

20060811: Jury recommends death penalty for truck driver-turned-serial killer CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
Former truck driver Wayne Adam Ford should be sentenced to death for the slayings of four women who were strangled and their mutilated bodies dumped across California in the 1990s, a jury recommended Thursday. Judge Michael A. Smith, who will ultimately decide Ford's fate, scheduled sentencing for Oct. 20, said Superior Court clerk Edi Roberson. Smith also was to hear defense motions for a new trial at that time, Roberson said. Ford's lawyer had pleaded for leniency, saying the former trucker was repentant and had surrendered to authorities. Indeed, the case was cracked not by investigators or tipsters, but by Ford himself when he walked into a sheriff's station in Northern California's Humboldt County in November 1998 with a woman's severed breast and told authorities it represented the "tip of the iceberg." He was subsequently charged with the killings of Patricia Tamez, 29, of Hesperia; Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana; Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas; and an unidentified woman whose torso was found in a slough. Jurors could have recommended either death or life in prison without parole for Ford, who carried out the killings in 1997 and '98. The same panel convicted him last month of the slayings and the special-circumstance allegation of multiple murders, which made him eligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors said he would pick up prostitutes and hitchhikers, have sex with them in his truck and strangle them. He would then cut off parts of their bodies to keep as souvenirs. Some of the victims' relatives also testified during the penalty phase, asking the jury to recommend death.
 

20060811: SoCal jury recommends death penalty for serial killer CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
A judge will determine whether to follow a jury's recommended death sentence for former truck driver Wayne Adam Ford, convicted of strangling four women and dumping their mutilated bodies across California. Superior Court Judge Michael A. Smith will ultimately decide Ford's fate when he is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 20. Smith also was to hear defense motions for a new trial at that time. Jurors spent seven days deliberating whether Ford should be put to death or spend the rest of his life in prison. The same panel convicted him in June of the slayings and the special-circumstance allegation of multiple murders, which made him eligible for the death penalty. Ford, 44, was arrested after he walked into a sheriff's station in Northern California's Humboldt County in November 1998 with a woman's severed breast and told authorities it represented the "tip of the iceberg." He was subsequently charged with the killings of Patricia Tamez, 29, of Hesperia; Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana; Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas; and an unidentified woman whose torso was found in a slough. The killings occurred in 1997-98. Three jurors who spoke with reporters after the verdict said the panel's seven women and five men were so shaken by the gruesome testimony and the photographs of the victims' mutilated bodies that all planned to seek counseling. They said everyone on the jury suffered nightmares and had trouble sleeping during the trial. "It was the most horrific thing I've ever seen in my life," said Darlena Murray, a 47-year-old English teacher from Highland. "I pray to God I never see that again." The three also said the panel didn't buy the defense's contention that Ford was repentant when he walked into the sheriff's station with his brother. "They knew police were looking for him," said Elecia Morris, 25, of Montclair. Jurors also were skeptical of Ford's contention that he couldn't remember killing the women, noting that as the father of one victim described nightmares he was having about the way his daughter must have died, Ford interrupted him and said it didn't happen that way. Prosecutors said Ford would pick up prostitutes and hitchhikers, have sex with them in his truck and strangle them. He would then cut off parts of their bodies to keep as souvenirs. Morris said autopsy results that showed the victim who could not be identified had once given birth to a child was what convinced her to vote for the death penalty. "Knowing she has a child, family and friends who will never know what happened to her," she said. During the trial's penalty phase, Deputy District Attorney J. David Mazurek showed jurors images of the women's dismembered bodies on a projection screen and called their killings "some of the most horrific, brutal crimes you could ever see." "I'm very happy the victims' families finally have justice," he said after the verdict. Some of the victims' relatives also testified during the penalty phase, asking the jury to recommend death. "I want to see him dead," said White's father, Bill White. "He's already dead to me." The defense argued that Ford surrendered to stop the killings. His lawyer told jurors the former trucker from Arcata had arrived in tears at the sheriff's station just two weeks after the last murder and after having attended a Bible camp. "This man is here because he repented," said attorney Joseph D. Canty Jr. The defense also focused on Ford's troubled past, which his lawyers said included a failed marriage, a lack of time with his son, a difficult childhood and a head injury he suffered in a 1984 traffic collision. A prostitute who testified during the trial said Ford choked her during sex and then showed her a photograph of his ex-wife and their son. She said Ford cried and claimed his behavior was revenge against his ex-wife.
 

20060811: SoCal jury recommends death penalty for serial killer CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
A judge will determine whether to follow a jury's recommended death sentence for former truck driver Wayne Adam Ford, convicted of strangling four women and dumping their mutilated bodies across California. Superior Court Judge Michael A. Smith will ultimately decide Ford's fate when he is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 20. Smith also was to hear defense motions for a new trial at that time. Jurors spent seven days deliberating whether Ford should be put to death or spend the rest of his life in prison. The same panel convicted him in June of the slayings and the special-circumstance allegation of multiple murders, which made him eligible for the death penalty. Ford, 44, was arrested after he walked into a sheriff's station in Northern California's Humboldt County in November 1998 with a woman's severed breast and told authorities it represented the "tip of the iceberg." He was subsequently charged with the killings of Patricia Tamez, 29, of Hesperia; Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana; Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas; and an unidentified woman whose torso was found in a slough. The killings occurred in 1997-98. Three jurors who spoke with reporters after the verdict said the panel's seven women and five men were so shaken by the gruesome testimony and the photographs of the victims' mutilated bodies that all planned to seek counseling. They said everyone on the jury suffered nightmares and had trouble sleeping during the trial. "It was the most horrific thing I've ever seen in my life," said Darlena Murray, a 47-year-old English teacher from Highland. "I pray to God I never see that again." The three also said the panel didn't buy the defense's contention that Ford was repentant when he walked into the sheriff's station with his brother. "They knew police were looking for him," said Elecia Morris, 25, of Montclair. Jurors also were skeptical of Ford's contention that he couldn't remember killing the women, noting that as the father of one victim described nightmares he was having about the way his daughter must have died, Ford interrupted him and said it didn't happen that way. Prosecutors said Ford would pick up prostitutes and hitchhikers, have sex with them in his truck and strangle them. He would then cut off parts of their bodies to keep as souvenirs. Morris said autopsy results that showed the victim who could not be identified had once given birth to a child was what convinced her to vote for the death penalty. "Knowing she has a child, family and friends who will never know what happened to her," she said. During the trial's penalty phase, Deputy District Attorney J. David Mazurek showed jurors images of the women's dismembered bodies on a projection screen and called their killings "some of the most horrific, brutal crimes you could ever see." "I'm very happy the victims' families finally have justice," he said after the verdict. Some of the victims' relatives also testified during the penalty phase, asking the jury to recommend death. "I want to see him dead," said White's father, Bill White. "He's already dead to me." The defense argued that Ford surrendered to stop the killings. His lawyer told jurors the former trucker from Arcata had arrived in tears at the sheriff's station just two weeks after the last murder and after having attended a Bible camp. "This man is here because he repented," said attorney Joseph D. Canty Jr. The defense also focused on Ford's troubled past, which his lawyers said included a failed marriage, a lack of time with his son, a difficult childhood and a head injury he suffered in a 1984 traffic collision. A prostitute who testified during the trial said Ford choked her during sex and then showed her a photograph of his ex-wife and their son. She said Ford cried and claimed his behavior was revenge against his ex-wife.
 

20060728: Serial Killer's Fate Argued in San Bernardino Court CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News

The defense says Wayne Ford was remorseful when he surrendered. A prosecutor insists only death fits the brutality of the four murders.

In the final phase of serial killer Wayne Adam Ford's trial, a prosecutor told a San Bernardino County jury Thursday that death was the only suitable punishment for a man who killed three prostitutes and a hitchhiker and dumped their nude bodies in California waterways "like trash."

The brutal way Ford killed and disposed of the four young women — strangling them during intercourse, cutting off some of their body parts and keeping them as souvenirs — showed the Arcata, Calif., truck driver does not value life and would not feel remorse if sentenced to life in prison, J. David Mazurek said.

"These are some of the most horrific brutal crimes you could ever see," Mazurek said, as he flashed images of the women's dismembered bodies on a projection screen. "He doesn't just do it once — he does it over and over again."

"Is that the kind of person life in prison would have an impact on?" Mazurek said. "Justice demands that death be imposed."

But Ford's attorney pleaded with the jury of seven women and five men Thursday to spare Ford's life because the killer tearfully surrendered at the sheriff's station in Humboldt County less than two weeks after killing his final victim.

Deputy Public Defender Joseph D. Canty Jr. said the long-haul driver "was tortured and disgusted by what was happening."

After killing Hesperia prostitute Patricia Ann Tamez, Canty said Ford went to a Northern California Bible camp seeking a way to stop the killings.

"This man is here because he repented," Canty said. "Wayne Ford's life is now in your hands. You have the power to decide to condemn him or let him live out his life…. The decision you make will speak to society about the consequences" of surrendering.

Ford's killing spree began in late October 1997 when he picked up a still-unidentified hitchhiker near his home in the town of Arcata, near Eureka.

As in all four killings, he told investigators the victim accidentally died at his hands during consensual sex while he choked her — a practice he claimed was intended to increase the women's sexual pleasure.

Ford dismembered his first victim, identified as Humboldt County Jane Doe, and kept her thighs in his freezer. A kayaker found the woman's torso.

Between June and October 1998, Ford picked up the three prostitutes — Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas, Lanett White, 25, of Ontario and Patricia Ann Tamez, 29, of Hesperia — while driving his big-rig.

In early November 1998, Ford called his brother asking for help. He surrendered the next day at the Humboldt County sheriff's station with Tamez's breast in a Ziploc bag in his jacket pocket.

 

20060627: Serial killer masqueraded as quiet trucker, ideal employee CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
Neighbors and co-workers knew Wayne Adam Ford was a handsome, clean-cut trucker, a hard worker who kept his rig impeccably clean during long hauls.

But Ford, who often kept to himself, had a dark secret: He was a brutal serial killer who preyed upon prostitutes and hitchhikers for sex and then left their dismembered and mutilated bodies scattered throughout California.

On Nov. 3, 1998, Ford confessed. He walked into the Humboldt County Sheriff's station with a severed breast in a Ziploc baggie and told deputies the body part represented "the tip of the iceberg."

On Tuesday, a jury unanimously convicted Ford, now 44, of first-degree murder in the slayings of four women whose bodies - or body parts - were found in sloughs, riverbeds, aqueducts and campsites across California.

The panel of seven women and five men also found true the special-circumstance allegation of multiple murders. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The women were Patricia Tamez, 29, of Hesperia; Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana; Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas; and an unidentified woman whose torso was found in a slough.

"It's what we were seeking in this particular phase of the trial but we have a lot of work left," said Deputy District Attorney Dave Mazurek. "It's been a long time coming to trial."

Mazurek and Ford's defense team would not say anything further, citing a gag order and the upcoming penalty phase of the trial, which will begin July 12. Jurors were instructed not to talk as well.

The conviction marks one of the final chapters in a case that initially puzzled investigators who came across a gruesome trail of crime scenes littered with mutilated body parts. At one of Ford's old campsites, authorities found an unidentified woman's thighs and boiled breasts wrapped in plastic and stuffed in a tree stump.

Ford quickly confessed to picking up a Washington state woman later identified as Gibbs and he also said he killed White, whose body was found near Lodi.

Tamez's body was found in late October 1998, just weeks before Ford's confession, in the California Aqueduct near Interstate 15 outside Hesperia. Her body was missing a breast that was later determined to be the one in Ford's pocket.

Ford also told investigators he killed and dismembered the unidentified woman whose headless torso was found near Eureka in October 1997. Ford told investigators he had buried the head in the channel of the Mad River, but it was never found.

Ford's trial was delayed for years while higher courts decided the constitutionality of a state law that allows authorities to consolidate related killings into one jurisdiction.

At the time, Ford's arrest shocked his friends and co-workers, who knew him as a polite former military man who was haunted by the fact that his ex-wife wouldn't let him see his then 3-year-old son, who lived with her in Las Vegas.

"He was clean-cut. He always kept his truck clean. Now we know why," Dennis Keehn, his boss at Edeline Enterprises in Arcata, said in a 1998 interview with The Associated Press. "All indications were he loved his job. Then look what he was. God almighty."

Neighbors from his mobile home in Arcata, on the Northern California coast, said Ford was handsome and affable, always quick to share cigarettes and a joke.

"I thought he was good-looking," neighbor Shelley McCuen said at the time. "I never had time to flirt with him."

Although Ford confessed, defense attorneys raised questions about his state of mind leading up to and during the killings. The defense focused on his troubled past, which his lawyers said included a failed marriage, a lack of time with his son, a difficult childhood and a head injury he suffered in a 1984 traffic collision.

His attorneys said he suffered from mental problems and was remorseful and conflicted about the killings but decided to surrender to authorities.

A prostitute who testified during the trial said Ford choked her during sex and then showed her a photograph of his ex-wife and their son. She said Ford cried and claimed his behavior was revenge against his ex-wife.

Born in Petaluma, Ford graduated from Arcata High School in 1980 and joined the Marines. He was discharged in 1985 and lived in Big Bear and San Clemente before moving with his wife and young son to Las Vegas.

The couple split in 1996 and Ford moved back to Arcata, where he found work driving a cement truck. He was laid off that winter, but got a job as a long-haul trucker at Edeline Enterprises, where he impressed his co-workers - some of whom even said they would trust him to date their female relatives.

"If you went down to Eureka or Arcata at night, you would see some characters that might make you wonder about packing a firearm," Keehn said. "But this guy, you wouldn't worry about him."

 

20060627: Jury Finds Serial Killer Guilty of 4 Murders CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News

Serial killer Wayne Adam Ford was found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder today, making the former long-haul trucker eligible for the death penalty for the grisly slayings of four women across California.

A San Bernardino County jury delivered the verdict in the afternoon after deliberating for just over a week.

Ford, 44, walked into a Humboldt County sheriff's station in November 1998 with a woman's severed breast in a plastic bag in his pocket, and confessed to the sayings.

The Arcata trucker claimed the deaths were accidental, and had occurred during rough sex play. However, San Bernardino County Deputy Dist. Atty. J. David Mazurek told jurors that Ford preyed on young women to "satisfy his sexually sadistic appetite", and "got off" on their suffering when he tortured them.

Between 1997 and 1998, Ford allegedly picked up the women — prostitutes or hitchhikers — and bound, strangled, raped and, at times, beat them before dumping their bodies in waterways, Mazurek said.

The victims were found in Humboldt, Kern, San Joaquin and San Bernardino counties. Some of the bodies were dismembered.

Ford's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Joseph D. Canty, tried to convince the jury to find Ford guilty of a lesser charge — second-degree murder or manslaughter — that would have spared him from California's death row.

Canty said Ford realized that "something was wrong with him," and showed he was remorseful when he turned himself in. Canty argued that Ford, a retired U.S. Marine, was mired in depression, angry at his former wife — who he claimed was preventing him from seeing his young son — and struggling with other psychological problems, including borderline personality disorder.

The body of Ford's first victim was so mutilated that she has not been identified, and is known as Humboldt County Jane Doe. Ford is also charged in the deaths of prostitutes Patricia Ann Tamez, 29, of Hesperia; Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas; and Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana.

The cases were consolidated, and the San Bernardino County district attorney's office is prosecuting Ford for all the slayings. Ford's sentencing hearing is pending.

 

20060425: Self-confessed serial killer's testimony could be limited CA Eureka Serial Killer News

Family and friends of Wayne Adam Ford may be limited in what they can say from the witness stand about the self-confessed serial killer.

The issue was raised the first day defense attorneys began to unveil their case in Ford's murder trial in San Bernardino Superior Court. Prosecutor David Mazurek objected Monday to possible testimony about the defendant's upbringing after reviewing a list of defense witnesses that included Ford's close friends and family.

"I don't think they're particularly relevant to the guilt phase of the trial," Mazurek told Superior Court Judge Michael A. Smith, after the jury was released for the day.

Issues about how Ford was raised as a child and whether his mother loved him, which Mazurek suspects will be covered, are better suited for the trial's penalty phase if Ford is convicted, he said.

"I don't think I need to litigate his entire childhood," said Mazurek.

But defense attorney Joseph Canty disagreed, saying childhood issues and family history "are clearly relevant" because they speak to Ford's overall psychological makeup.

Mazurek raised the objection after testimony concluded for the day. The judge is expected to decide on the matter today.

A truck driver from Arcata, Ford is on trial for the deaths of four women statewide in 1997 and 1998. Two of the victims were from Fontana and Hesperia.

Ford turned himself in to sheriff's deputies in Humboldt County on Nov. 3, 1998. At the time, authorities were not looking for Ford. Deputies found a severed female breast in a plastic bag inside his jacket pocket.

During opening statements on March 13, Canty pointed to Ford's failed marriage, a lack of opportunities to see his son and a rough upbringing as possible causes for his behavior. In a jailhouse interview, Ford also spoke of a head injury he suffered at a traffic collision in Irvine in 1994.

On Monday, defense attorneys tried to highlight Ford's religious interests and discredit testimony from prostitute Sonoma County Doe, who testified more than a week ago about her experiences with Ford.

Ballard Anderson Lowery, Jr., testified that he owned a Christian bookstore in McKinleyville, near Eureka, that Ford visited monthly during a 1- to 2-year period.

"He would come in my store and talk," Lowery said. A confused and concerned Ford had told the store owner about his son, Max, and problems he had with the child's mother.

"Basically, when he first came in, he didn't think he had a conscience," Lowery testified. The store owner told Ford he had to have a conscience or he wouldn't be there, he said.

Occasionally, Ford would also buy items from the bookstore. Defense attorneys revealed several weeks ago that Ford had a box of cassette tapes of the Bible among his belongings.

But Mazurek pointed out that Lowery told police detectives the defendant only bought the religious items to appease the store owner for taking up his time. Lowery testified that he didn't know if Ford ever used the items.

The case is one of the first in California to be tried under a serial killer law which allows murders that occurred in multiple jurisdictions to be consolidated and tried in one court.

Ford is accused of killing Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas; Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana; Patricia Tamez, 29, of Hesperia; and an unidentified woman whose torso was found in a slough near Eureka.

In interviews with police detectives, Ford said his victims had been talking about babies just before they died. The subject depressed Ford because it reminded him of his son, Max.

Ford told detectives he would get rough while having sex with his victims. He would squeeze their carotid arteries until they passed out, and then use CPR to revive them.

Pentecostal Pastor James C. Ray, of McKinleyville, told jurors Monday that he met Ford at Humboldt County Jail, while ministering, singing and praying with inmates there.

"Most of what we spoke about was spiritual aspects ... conviction, remorse, forgiveness," Ray testified. Ford would even sing some Southern gospel hymns with the pastor, but he didn't speak about his suspected crimes, he said.

"He asked if I thought God would forgive him," Ray said. "And all I could do was tell him what The Scriptures says.

 

20060412: Prostitute tells of ordeal with accused serial killer CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
A prostitute who worked in Santa Rosa was desperate and in need of money when self-confessed serial killer Wayne Adam Ford rolled into her life, the woman testified Tuesday. (Warning: Graphic Content) Photo Gallery: Wayne Adam Ford and victims Related Articles: β€’ One woman's last day alive β€’ Tape sheds light and bloody details on serial killings β€’ Man recounts finding dismembered body β€’ Gruesome details fill opening of trial Identified by authorities only as Sonoma County Doe, the woman recalled in San Bernardino Superior Court that she was working a portion of Santa Rosa Avenue when Ford pulled up in a shiny, black semi truck in August 1998 and agreed to pay her $100 for sex. It was an encounter that she almost paid for with her life. A short distance away, Ford bound her with a nylon rope, and then stripped, assaulted and raped her in the sleeper portion of his truck, she testified. He threatened to kill her and also struck her with a belt and punched her when she didn't cooperate. During sex, Ford choked her into unconsciousness several times using a necktie, then revived her each time using CPR, she told jurors. "I was crying, probably uncontrollably, the whole time," the woman testified, repeatedly wiping tears from her eyes. "I thought it was never going to end," she said. Afterward, Ford grew depressed, remorseful and showed the woman a photograph of his ex-wife and son. He sobbed for about 15 minutes and said his behavior was revenge on his ex-wife. For a minute, the woman testified, she felt empathetic. In the end, Ford let her live because she gave him a shoulder to cry on, she said he told her. Ford made her put on her jacket, tying the hood snugly so she wouldn't get cold. He bound her hands loosely with rope and left her near a freeway, where she flagged down another truck driver who took her to call the police, she testified. When police arrived, she still had the rope in her hands. But she was alive, unlike the four other women for which Ford faces murder charges, and possibly the death penalty. Sonoma County Sgt. Dennis O'Leary testified Tuesday that the woman appeared to be "upset, shaken and had some visible injuries" when he saw her later at a hospital. The defense poked at the woman's testimony, questioning when she stopped consenting to Ford's demands. She agreed that she made moaning sounds and went along with Ford's commands to lead him to believe that he was arousing her and to make him happy. Deputy Public Defender Joseph Canty also questioned whether the woman was truthful when she reported being raped by three young men in a hotel room a few months before she met Ford. A nurse never found evidence of a sexual assault, and prosecutors never filed charges against the men in that incident. The woman denied filing a false report and told the jury she had no memory of it. "I think if I've been raped, I wouldn't be falsely accusing anybody if it happened," she said. "It happened." Canty also pointed to the woman's history of arrests and convictions, for such crimes as hit-and-run, commercial theft, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of a stolen vehicle. The woman said she had been arrested for prostitution between 30 and 40 times. The prosecution is expected to end its case today. Ford is not facing charges related to the woman's testimony because the state statute, which allowed the four homicide cases to be consolidated into one, only applies to murders, prosecutors said. Ford is accused of killing Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas; Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana; Patricia Tamez, 29, of Hesperia; and an unidentified woman whose torso was found in a slough near Eureka.
 

20060412: Prostitute tells of ordeal with accused serial killer CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News

A prostitute who worked in Santa Rosa was desperate and in need of money when self-confessed serial killer Wayne Adam Ford rolled into her life, the woman testified Tuesday.

Identified by authorities only as Sonoma County Doe, the woman recalled in San Bernardino Superior Court that she was working a portion of Santa Rosa Avenue when Ford pulled up in a shiny, black semi truck in August 1998 and agreed to pay her $100 for sex. It was an encounter that she almost paid for with her life.

A short distance away, Ford bound her with a nylon rope, and then stripped, assaulted and raped her in the sleeper portion of his truck, she testified. He threatened to kill her and also struck her with a belt and punched her when she didn't cooperate.

During sex, Ford choked her into unconsciousness several times using a necktie, then revived her each time using CPR, she told jurors.

"I was crying, probably uncontrollably, the whole time," the woman testified, repeatedly wiping tears from her eyes.

"I thought it was never going to end," she said.

Afterward, Ford grew depressed, remorseful and showed the woman a photograph of his ex-wife and son. He sobbed for about 15 minutes and said his behavior was revenge on his ex-wife.

For a minute, the woman testified, she felt empathetic. In the end, Ford let her live because she gave him a shoulder to cry on, she said he told her.

Ford made her put on her jacket, tying the hood snugly so she wouldn't get cold. He bound her hands loosely with rope and left her near a freeway, where she flagged down another truck driver who took her to call the police, she testified.

When police arrived, she still had the rope in her hands. But she was alive, unlike the four other women for which Ford faces murder charges, and possibly the death penalty.

Sonoma County Sgt. Dennis O'Leary testified Tuesday that the woman appeared to be "upset, shaken and had some visible injuries" when he saw her later at a hospital.

The defense poked at the woman's testimony, questioning when she stopped consenting to Ford's demands. She agreed that she made moaning sounds and went along with Ford's commands to lead him to believe that he was arousing her and to make him happy.

Deputy Public Defender Joseph Canty also questioned whether the woman was truthful when she reported being raped by three young men in a hotel room a few months before she met Ford. A nurse never found evidence of a sexual assault, and prosecutors never filed charges against the men in that incident.

The woman denied filing a false report and told the jury she had no memory of it.

"I think if I've been raped, I wouldn't be falsely accusing anybody if it happened," she said. "It happened."

Canty also pointed to the woman's history of arrests and convictions, for such crimes as hit-and-run, commercial theft, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of a stolen vehicle. The woman said she had been arrested for prostitution between 30 and 40 times.

The prosecution is expected to end its case today.

Ford is not facing charges related to the woman's testimony because the state statute, which allowed the four homicide cases to be consolidated into one, only applies to murders, prosecutors said.

Ford is accused of killing Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas; Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana; Patricia Tamez, 29, of Hesperia; and an unidentified woman whose torso was found in a slough near Eureka.

 

20060404: Trucker Serial Killing Trial: One woman's last day alive CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
Wearing only a white T-shirt over her panties and a pair of small tennis shoes, Patricia Tamez worked a busy street corner in downtown Victorville, as she had many times before. "She kind of hung around the corner there at Sixth Street and Highway 18," recalled railway conductor Larry Halverson, who had seen her many times before from the nearby BNSF Railway Co. office. "I don't know what her official title was, but I surmised she was a lady of the evening," Halverson told jurors Monday, from the witness stand in San Bernardino Superior Court on Monday, during the fourth week of testimony in the trial of Wayne Adam Ford, who is facing four counts of murder. Tamez was seen regularly near the stop sign on the corner, sometimes pausing to walk into the BNSF office to ask for a cigarette, the conductor explained. Halverson had no way of knowing when he saw Tamez climb into a black tractor-trailer back in October 1998 that it was driven by self-confessed serial killer Wayne Adam Ford. "That's the last I ever saw of her," Halverson testified. Tamez would later become the last of four women Ford confessed to killing. The truck driver from Arcata had Tamez's severed breast in his jacket pocket when he turned himself in to Humboldt County authorities on Nov. 3, 1998, detectives testified. "She flagged me over," Ford told San Bernardino County detectives in a recorded interview Nov. 5, 1998, at the Humboldt County Sheriff's office. The interview was played for jurors Monday. A driver for Edeline Trucking, Ford was on his way to pick up a load of concrete in Lucerne Valley when he passed through Victorville and spotted Tamez. "Yeah, I saw her from a distance. I slowed down. I thought someone was trying to cross the street," Ford said. "I slowed down, she looked at me and waved and flagged me over." Tamez also lifted up her T-shirt to reveal her panties, a cross between pink and purple, Ford told detectives Frank Gonzales and Jeff Staggs. He circled the block, found space to stop and picked up Tamez. The pair continued east on Highway 18 into Apple Valley. Ford pulled into a vacant lot, near a convenience store, and they climbed into the sleeper portion of the cab and had sex. Sometime later, Ford told detectives that he awoke to find Tamez was not breathing. He tried to revive her with CPR, but he stopped when he got tired, he said. Ford couldn't remember exactly how Tamez stopped breathing, but he told detectives how it happened before, with other women. It involved a form of asphyxiation, he said, using his hands to cut off the flow of the carotid artery during sex. Ford said he wanted to take Tamez to a hospital or police station, but he didn't know the area. He continued heading east on Highway 18 and pulled over in a remote area to attempt CPR a second time. When it didn't work, he cried. "Why did you cry, Adam, why did you cry?" Gonzales asked, during the interview. "Cause I didn't want that to happen," Ford said. "Did you cry because you knew it was wrong, Adam?" the detective asked again. "Yeah, it shouldn't have happened. It shouldn't have happened," Ford said. A highly upset Ford continued to Lucerne Valley for his pickup. On his return trip west, toward Highway 395, Ford then headed south and dumped Tamez's nude body in the California Aqueduct. Ford tied a rope around the woman's breast to help roll her body into the aqueduct. When it wouldn't roll, he cut off the breast and pushed her in, he said. Tamez's body was found floating in the aqueduct on Oct. 23, 1998, after it got caught on one of the many gates that catch debris. Ligature marks were found on her wrists and ankles. Defense attorney Joseph Canty highlighted the body's position, resting against steel beams under pressure from the swift water. Gonzales could not say whether the marks on Tamez's body came before or after death. Canty said a failed marriage, a lack of opportunities for Ford to see his son, Max, and a rough upbringing as possible causes for the truck driver's behavior. Ford also points to a head injury he received at a traffic collision in Irvine in 1984. In trying to explain why the death happened, Ford simply said there was something wrong with him, something he couldn't define. At the time, the truck driver had moved out of his trailer and was camping in the woods in Humboldt County. He didn't want to see any more women, and he didn't want to see any more babies. And he wanted the killing to stop, he has said. Ford faces four counts of murder in San Bernardino Superior Court, as well as a special circumstance for multiple murders. If convicted, prosecutors have said they will push for the death penalty. Ford is also accused of killing Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas; Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana; and an unidentified woman whose torso was found in a slough near Eureka. The trial will resume Monday after a four-day break. Expert witnesses from San Bernardino County were not needed to testify after attorneys for both sides agreed with a DNA report that linked the left breast to Tamez and connected sperm samples found on Tamez's body to Ford.
 

20060404: Trucker Serial Killing Trial: One woman's last day alive CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News

Wearing only a white T-shirt over her panties and a pair of small tennis shoes, Patricia Tamez worked a busy street corner in downtown Victorville, as she had many times before.

"She kind of hung around the corner there at Sixth Street and Highway  18," recalled railway conductor Larry Halverson, who had seen her many times before from the nearby BNSF Railway Co. office.

"I don't know what her official title was, but I surmised she was a lady of the evening," Halverson told jurors Monday, from the witness stand in San Bernardino Superior Court on Monday, during the fourth week of testimony in the trial of Wayne Adam Ford, who is facing four counts of murder.

Tamez was seen regularly near the stop sign on the corner, sometimes pausing to walk into the BNSF office to ask for a cigarette, the conductor explained.

Halverson had no way of knowing when he saw Tamez climb into a black tractor-trailer back in October 1998 that it was driven by self-confessed serial killer Wayne Adam Ford.

"That's the last I ever saw of her," Halverson testified.

Tamez would later become the last of four women Ford confessed to killing. The truck driver from Arcata had Tamez's severed breast in his jacket pocket when he turned himself in to Humboldt County authorities on Nov. 3, 1998, detectives testified.

"She flagged me over," Ford told San Bernardino County detectives in a recorded interview Nov. 5, 1998, at the Humboldt County Sheriff's office. The interview was played for jurors Monday.

A driver for Edeline Trucking, Ford was on his way to pick up a load of concrete in Lucerne Valley when he passed through Victorville and spotted Tamez.

"Yeah, I saw her from a distance. I slowed down. I thought someone was trying to cross the street," Ford said. "I slowed down, she looked at me and waved and flagged me over."

Tamez also lifted up her T-shirt to reveal her panties, a cross between pink and purple, Ford told detectives Frank Gonzales and Jeff Staggs. He circled the block, found space to stop and picked up Tamez.

The pair continued east on Highway 18 into Apple Valley. Ford pulled into a vacant lot, near a convenience store, and they climbed into the sleeper portion of the cab and had sex.

Sometime later, Ford told detectives that he awoke to find Tamez was not breathing. He tried to revive her with CPR, but he stopped when he got tired, he said.

Ford couldn't remember exactly how Tamez stopped breathing, but he told detectives how it happened before, with other women. It involved a form of asphyxiation, he said, using his hands to cut off the flow of the carotid artery during sex.

Ford said he wanted to take Tamez to a hospital or police station, but he didn't know the area. He continued heading east on Highway 18 and pulled over in a remote area to attempt CPR a second time. When it didn't work, he cried.

"Why did you cry, Adam, why did you cry?" Gonzales asked, during the interview.

"Cause I didn't want that to happen," Ford said.

"Did you cry because you knew it was wrong, Adam?" the detective asked again.

"Yeah, it shouldn't have happened. It shouldn't have happened," Ford said.

A highly upset Ford continued to Lucerne Valley for his pickup. On his return trip west, toward Highway 395, Ford then headed south and dumped Tamez's nude body in the California Aqueduct.

Ford tied a rope around the woman's breast to help roll her body into the aqueduct. When it wouldn't roll, he cut off the breast and pushed her in, he said.

Tamez's body was found floating in the aqueduct on Oct. 23, 1998, after it got caught on one of the many gates that catch debris. Ligature marks were found on her wrists and ankles.

Defense attorney Joseph Canty highlighted the body's position, resting against steel beams under pressure from the swift water. Gonzales could not say whether the marks on Tamez's body came before or after death.

Canty said a failed marriage, a lack of opportunities for Ford to see his son, Max, and a rough upbringing as possible causes for the truck driver's behavior. Ford also points to a head injury he received at a traffic collision in Irvine in 1984.

In trying to explain why the death happened, Ford simply said there was something wrong with him, something he couldn't define.

At the time, the truck driver had moved out of his trailer and was camping in the woods in Humboldt County. He didn't want to see any more women, and he didn't want to see any more babies.

And he wanted the killing to stop, he has said.

Ford faces four counts of murder in San Bernardino Superior Court, as well as a special circumstance for multiple murders. If convicted, prosecutors have said they will push for the death penalty.

Ford is also accused of killing Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas; Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana; and an unidentified woman whose torso was found in a slough near Eureka.

The trial will resume Monday after a four-day break. Expert witnesses from San Bernardino County were not needed to testify after attorneys for both sides agreed with a DNA report that linked the left breast to Tamez and connected sperm samples found on Tamez's body to Ford.

 

20060328: Tape sheds light and bloody details on serial killings CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
After more than a year of struggling to solve the mysterious death of a woman whose torso was found in a slough near Eureka, detective Juan Freeman finally got the break he had prayed for. A sergeant at the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department, where Freeman worked, phoned him about a man who had walked in to confess details about people he hurt and who had a woman's severed breast in his jacket pocket. Freeman, who prayed with his wife each night for the answers behind the woman's death, now had a truck driver from Arcata in his station claiming he might have done it. From a 10-foot-wide, cinder block interview room, Wayne Adam Ford began unraveling to Freeman some of the gory details about two women's deaths: the woman whose torso was found in a slough near Eureka and a Hesperia woman whose breast he brought to authorities in a Ziploc plastic bag. Details about the deaths of two other women from Las Vegas and Fontana would come later. Getting to the truth would not be easy for Freeman. While Ford easily gave up answers, he clammed up for other questions and flat out refused a response to others, according to interview recordings played during Ford's trial on Monday in San Bernardino Superior Court. "His demeanor was cooperative, depressed ... he was kind of down," Freeman told the jury. At times, Ford got emotional, even cried, but his voice often stayed at a low volume, at times too low for the tape recorder to even accurately pick up. Sometimes Ford would look directly at the detective, but "mostly he would look down," Freeman said. Ford, 44, was a man with a heavy heart and no attorney to look after his interests. He told Freeman many times that he wanted to help authorities and provide resolution to the victims' families, and Freeman responded that having an attorney would hinder that. So Ford continued, telling the detective that the women were killed accidentally, during sex, and that he had tried to revive them. He could recall details about the unidentified woman in the slough, known only as Jane Doe, such as that she was white, wore small tennis shoes, baggy bluish-green pants with a wild pattern and had large breasts. But Ford had trouble recalling names, dates, locations and times, a condition he told Freeman troubled him often sometimes making it difficult to work as a truck driver. And Ford refused to talk about how the women died. For his initial interviews with the detective and district attorney's investigator Jim Dawson, Ford went at it alone anyway, recognizing it would probably be to his detriment. "It's hard. I'm fighting the fact that I know that I, I deserve probably to die for what I've done, and there's this guy right here that's gonna do the best to put me there," Ford said in the interview. "I know that, in a courtroom, that they'd given a death sentence. And I know that I'm risking a lot by doing what I am doing without an attorney," Ford continued. "A lot of advantage that I might have to weasel out of something, in some way, shape or form. I know that. OK. And I know talking to you is legally a very dangerous thing." Dawson responded, "It's the right thing. That's what we're talking about here, which ..." "It is the right thing, and I wanna do the right thing," Ford said. "Thank you," Dawson responded. In addition to Jane Doe, Ford is accused of killing of Patricia Tamez, 29, of Hesperia, whose breast was found by deputies in his jacket pocket. He is also accused of killing Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas, and Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana. All of the women's bodies were dumped nude near bodies of water. Some of the body parts belonging to Jane Doe were recovered, such as her thighs and breasts, which authorities found at Ford's campsite. One of the woman's arms was later found at Clam Beach. Defense attorney Joseph Canty has pointed out a failed marriage, a lack of opportunities to see his young son and a rough upbringing as possible reasons for Ford's behavior. Ford also explained that he received a major head injury when he was struck by a car during a traffic collision in Irvine in 1984. "I didn't wanna kill anybody. I just feel certain, certain things," Ford said during one of the interview recordings played in court. "I don't know what they are. Certain things, ya know. "I just it makes me freeze up. I just want everything to stop," Ford said.
 

20060328: Tape sheds light and bloody details on serial killings CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
After more than a year of struggling to solve the mysterious death of a woman whose torso was found in a slough near Eureka, detective Juan Freeman finally got the break he had prayed for.

A sergeant at the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department, where Freeman worked, phoned him about a man who had walked in to confess details about people he hurt and who had a woman's severed breast in his jacket pocket.

Freeman, who prayed with his wife each night for the answers behind the woman's death, now had a truck driver from Arcata in his station claiming he might have done it.

From a 10-foot-wide, cinder block interview room, Wayne Adam Ford began unraveling to Freeman some of the gory details about two women's deaths: the woman whose torso was found in a slough near Eureka and a Hesperia woman whose breast he brought to authorities in a Ziploc plastic bag.

Details about the deaths of two other women from Las Vegas and Fontana would come later.

Getting to the truth would not be easy for Freeman. While Ford easily gave up answers, he clammed up for other questions and flat out refused a response to others, according to interview recordings played during Ford's trial on Monday in San Bernardino Superior Court.

"His demeanor was cooperative, depressed ... he was kind of down," Freeman told the jury. At times, Ford got emotional, even cried, but his voice often stayed at a low volume, at times too low for the tape recorder to even accurately pick up.

Sometimes Ford would look directly at the detective, but "mostly he would look down," Freeman said.

Ford, 44, was a man with a heavy heart and no attorney to look after his interests. He told Freeman many times that he wanted to help authorities and provide resolution to the victims' families, and Freeman responded that having an attorney would hinder that.

So Ford continued, telling the detective that the women were killed accidentally, during sex, and that he had tried to revive them. He could recall details about the unidentified woman in the slough, known only as Jane Doe, such as that she was white, wore small tennis shoes, baggy bluish-green pants with a wild pattern and had large breasts.

But Ford had trouble recalling names, dates, locations and   times, a condition he told Freeman troubled him often sometimes making it difficult to work as a truck driver. And Ford refused to talk about how the women died.

For his initial interviews with the detective and district attorney's investigator Jim Dawson, Ford went at it alone anyway, recognizing it would probably be to his detriment.

"It's hard. I'm fighting the fact that I know that I, I deserve probably to die for what I've done, and there's this guy right here that's gonna do the best to put me there," Ford said in the interview.

"I know that, in a courtroom, that they'd given a death sentence. And I know that I'm risking a lot by doing what I am doing without an attorney," Ford continued. "A lot of advantage that I might have to weasel out of something, in some way, shape or form. I know that. OK. And I know talking to you is legally a very dangerous thing."

Dawson responded, "It's the right thing. That's what we're talking about here, which ..."

"It is the right thing, and I wanna do the right thing," Ford said.

"Thank you," Dawson responded.

In addition to Jane Doe, Ford is accused of killing of Patricia Tamez, 29, of Hesperia, whose breast was found by deputies in his jacket pocket. He is also accused of killing Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, of Las Vegas, and Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana.

All of the women's bodies were dumped nude near bodies of water.

Some of the body parts belonging to Jane Doe were recovered, such as her thighs and breasts, which authorities found at Ford's campsite. One of the woman's arms was later found at Clam Beach.

Defense attorney Joseph Canty has pointed out a failed marriage, a lack of opportunities to see his young son and a rough upbringing as possible reasons for Ford's behavior. Ford also explained that he received a major head injury when he was struck by a car during a traffic collision in Irvine in 1984.

"I didn't wanna kill anybody. I just feel certain, certain things," Ford said during one of the interview recordings played in court. "I don't know what they are. Certain things, ya know.

"I just it makes me freeze up. I just want everything to stop," Ford said.

 

 

20060315: Man recounts finding dismembered body CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
Paddling down a slough off Humboldt Bay with two friends and their son, Robert Pottberg took in his surroundings. The kayak glided through the peaceful water, shrouded by an overcast sky. In the distance, Pottberg could make out a human shape lying along the banks of the slough. "My feeling was that it was some sort of a plastic man," the Arcata man recalled from the stand of a San Bernardino courtroom Tuesday. "That's what I wanted to think," he said. He soon realized there was no plastic man. He discovered the nude torso of a woman, who would later be identified as the first of accused killer Wayne Adam Ford's victims. Ford, 44, faces charges of murdering four women across the state, including one from Fontana and another from Hesperia, in 1997 and 1998. Ford confessed details and his role in the deaths to Humboldt County sheriff's detectives in November 1998, but he pleaded not guilty on procedural grounds. If convicted, prosecutors plan to push for the death penalty. In the first day of testimony in San Bernardino Superior Court, Pottberg on Tuesday recalled maneuvering his kayak closer to the shore on Oct. 26, 1997. He asked a female friend to investigate with him, but she balked at the idea. On his own, Pottberg paddled to the banks of the slough. He stopped about 5 feet from the bank, close enough to reach out a paddle and touch the body. "It was skillfully dismembered," Pottberg recalled. "There were no legs. There were no arms. There was no head." More than eight years since Pottberg's discovery, the woman has yet to be identified. To this day, she is still known as "Jane 194-97 Doe" by the Humboldt County Coroner. Deputy Coroner Charles Van Buskirk remembered being called out to the slough. The area was inaccessible by foot. Van Buskirk testified Tuesday that he called for a boat, hiked over some rough terrain and then lay out old boards and driftwood so he wouldn't sink in the mud surrounding the torso. "It was face down on a mud flat, in an area that would be underwater at high tide," he said. Before he even stepped off the boat, Van Buskirk said he knew the torso was human. He turned the torso over, he said, and found it had been cut lengthwise and that both breasts had been removed. On the lower back, he found 27 small stab wounds, similar to what would be caused by a pen knife, and fingertip bruises on the upper back. He estimated the body had been in the water only a few hours. More than a year after the torso was found, Ford walked into a Humboldt County Sheriff's station in Eureka with a severed female breast in his jacket pocket. He confessed to authorities that he had killed four women. Filled with depression and desperation, Ford surrendered to police "because he decided the killings had to stop," Deputy Public Defender Joseph Canty said during opening statements Monday. The day after Ford confessed, investigators searched a campsite used by Ford, located about 15 miles north of Arcata, in the town of Trinidad. Sheriff's deputies found what was later determined to be human tissue, the coroner said. In a shallow hole, at the base of a tree, Van Buskirk found two human thighs, portions of human tissue and white plastic bags. The trial is expected to continue today. Prosecutors expect to present further evidence about Ford's campsite.
 

20060315: Trucker Serial Killing Trial: Man recounts finding dismembered body CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
Paddling down a slough off Humboldt Bay with two friends and their son, Robert Pottberg took in his surroundings.

The kayak glided through the peaceful water, shrouded by an overcast sky. In the distance, Pottberg could make out a human shape lying along the banks of the slough.

"My feeling was that it was some sort of a plastic man," the Arcata man recalled from the stand of a San Bernardino courtroom Tuesday.

"That's what I wanted to think," he said.

He soon realized there was no plastic man. He discovered the nude torso of a woman, who would later be identified as the first of accused killer Wayne Adam Ford's victims.

Ford, 44, faces charges of murdering four women across the state, including one from Fontana and another from Hesperia, in 1997 and 1998.

Ford confessed details and his role in the deaths to Humboldt County sheriff's detectives in November 1998, but he pleaded not guilty on procedural grounds. If convicted, prosecutors plan to push for the death penalty.

In the first day of testimony in San Bernardino Superior Court, Pottberg on Tuesday recalled maneuvering his kayak closer to the shore on Oct. 26, 1997. He asked a female friend to investigate with him, but she balked at the idea.

On his own, Pottberg paddled to the banks of the slough. He stopped about 5 feet from the bank, close enough to reach out a paddle and touch the body.

"It was skillfully dismembered," Pottberg recalled. "There were no legs. There were no arms. There was no head."

More than eight years since Pottberg's discovery, the woman has yet to be identified. To this day, she is still known as "Jane 194-97 Doe" by the Humboldt County Coroner.

Deputy Coroner Charles Van Buskirk remembered being called out to the slough. The area was inaccessible by foot.

Van Buskirk testified Tuesday that he called for a boat, hiked over some rough terrain and then lay out old boards and driftwood so he wouldn't sink in the mud surrounding the torso.

"It was face down on a mud flat, in an area that would be underwater at high tide," he said.

Before he even stepped off the boat, Van Buskirk said he knew the torso was human.

He turned the torso over, he said, and found it had been cut lengthwise and that both breasts had been removed. On the lower back, he found 27 small stab wounds, similar to what would be caused by a pen knife, and fingertip bruises on the upper back. He estimated the body had been in the water only a few hours.

More than a year after the torso was found, Ford walked into a Humboldt County Sheriff's station in Eureka with a severed female breast in his jacket pocket. He confessed to authorities that he had killed four women.

Filled with depression and desperation, Ford surrendered to police "because he decided the killings had to stop," Deputy Public Defender Joseph Canty said during opening statements Monday.

The day after Ford confessed, investigators searched a campsite used by Ford, located about 15 miles north of Arcata, in the town of Trinidad. Sheriff's deputies found what was later determined to be human tissue, the coroner said.

In a shallow hole, at the base of a tree, Van Buskirk found two human thighs, portions of human tissue and white plastic bags.

The trial is expected to continue today. Prosecutors expect to present further evidence about Ford's campsite.

 

20060314: Testimonies Set In Prostitutes' Serial Killer Case CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
Witnesses are expected to begin testifying Wednesday in the San Bernardino trial of an Arcata truck driver accused of murdering four female prostitutes he had picked up across California in 1997 and 1998. Wayne Adam Ford's trial began Monday, with prosecutors and defense attorneys painting starkly different portraits of Ford, 44. The prosecuting lawyer told the jury that each of the victims was raped, tortured and used for Ford's sexual gratification. The mutilated bodies of Ford's alleged victims were found in aqueducts and irrigation canals near where they went missing. But Ford's deputy public defender told the jury that his client turned himself in because he had a conscience. He told jurors that his client had a difficult childhood and was depressed from a failed marriage and dwindling chances to see his young son.
 

20060314: Gruesome details fill opening of trucker serial killing trial CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
Grisly crime scene photos and graphic details about the deaths of four women two from San Bernardino County filled a prosecutor's opening statement Monday in the trial for Wayne Adam Ford. A truck driver from Arcata, Ford could face the death penalty if convicted of charges that he killed four women across the state in 1997 and 1998. Testimony from witnesses is expected to begin today before Judge Michael A. Smith in San Bernardino Superior Court. But while prosecutor David Mazurek may have shocked jurors with the gravity of the crimes the self-described serial killer is accused of committing, defense attorneys described Ford as a man who knew he had mental problems and sought help when he surrendered to police. Ford was depressed and desperate when he walked into a Humboldt County sheriff's station on Nov. 3, 1998, with a Hesperia woman's severed breast in his jacket pocket and told police it was "just the tip of the iceberg," according to Joseph Canty, deputy public defender. Ford had a conscience, explained Canty, and he turned himself in "because he decided the killings had to stop." The jury of six men and six women listened intently as Canty explained the root of Ford's problems, complicated by a failed marriage and dwindling chances to see his son, Max. Canty showed the jury a photograph of a pleasant time between father and son, when they visited a pumpkin patch in October 1997. "And, in fact, this is the last time that Wayne Ford saw his son Max," Canty said. Canty said Ford cried, felt shame and showed moral courage when he turned himself in to sheriff's deputies and gave up details about the deaths of the four victims. At the time, detectives had not solved the deaths, and Ford was not a suspect, said Canty. But while Ford, 44, offered a lot, one of the few things he couldn't tell detectives was exactly how each woman died. The victims were prostitutes that Ford reportedly picked up while on his truck routes, and he told police that he liked to have sex with them, according to the defense. But when the women would talk about their children, it would upset him. Faced with the grief of his ex-wife not allowing him to spend time with Max, Ford told detectives every time he sees a baby, "I just lose it," Canty told the jury. The defense also spoke of Ford's rough upbringing, with photos and descriptions of his mother as "cold" and his father, Gene Ford, who was always gone and "struck fear" when he was home. Despite the mental problems, Canty made it clear that Ford was not seeking an insanity defense because he could tell the difference between right and wrong. Crippled inside and a broken man, Ford turned himself in because he wanted to do the right thing, Canty said. However, prosecutors point to the deeply depraved way the four women were killed. Each was raped, tortured and used for the defendant's own sexual gratification, Mazurek said. Each of the victims was then coldly discarded with no identification, no way to inform police and loved ones of their deaths, according to the prosecution. "Wayne Adam Ford know's what he's done," Mazurek told the jury. "And he knows what he is." During his opening statement, Mazurek used an electronic presentation to show the jury photographs of the severed breast that belonged to Patricia Tamez, 29, of Hesperia. The prosecution also showed the jury crime scene images of Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana, whose decomposing, nude body with a blackened head, was found floating in an irrigation canal off Highway 12, near Lodi, in San Joaquin County in Sept. 25, 1998. "He had killed her a couple of days before, and he had driven around with her in his truck for a while," Mazurek said. White's head turned black because lying against the truck's hot floorboards, it decomposed faster, he explained. Blood evidence was later found on the floor of Ford's truck, Mazurek said. Swabs, which tested positive for sperm content that linked to Ford, were taken from Tamez and Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, who was a known prostitute from the Las Vegas area. Gibbs' nude body was found in an aqueduct near the town of Buttonwillow, in Kern County, in June 1998. She died of strangulation but was not dismembered. Ford's first victim was not as lucky. Identified still as Jane Doe, the woman's torso devoid of a head, arms, legs and breasts was found in a slough near Eureka, in Humboldt County, on Oct. 26, 1997. The torso had been stabbed 27 times in the back and buttocks and cut down the middle, according to authorities. The unidentified woman's thighs and boiled breasts were found at a campsite where Ford lived after he left his Arcata trailer. Evidence of the woman's body parts, and the bathtub in which they were cut, were found at the trailer, Mazurek said. A coffee can with rendered fat from the woman's breasts was also found at the trailer. "The evidence will show none of these girls died accidentally," Mazurek told the jury.
 

20060314: Gruesome details fill opening of trucker serial killing trial CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
Grisly crime scene photos and graphic details about the deaths of four women two from San Bernardino County filled a prosecutor's opening statement Monday in the trial for Wayne Adam Ford.

A truck driver from Arcata, Ford could face the death penalty if convicted of charges that he killed four women across the state in 1997 and 1998. Testimony from witnesses is expected to begin today before Judge Michael A. Smith in San Bernardino Superior Court.

But while prosecutor David Mazurek may have shocked jurors with the gravity of the crimes the self-described serial killer is accused of committing, defense attorneys described Ford as a man who knew he had mental problems and sought help when he surrendered to police.

Ford was depressed and desperate when he walked into a Humboldt County sheriff's station on Nov. 3, 1998, with a Hesperia woman's severed breast in his jacket pocket and told police it was "just the tip of the iceberg," according to Joseph Canty, deputy public defender.

Ford had a conscience, explained Canty, and he turned himself in "because he decided the killings had to stop."

The jury of six men and six women listened intently as Canty explained the root of Ford's problems, complicated by a failed marriage and dwindling chances to see his son, Max. Canty showed the jury a photograph of a pleasant time between father and son, when they visited a pumpkin patch in October 1997.

"And, in fact, this is the last time that Wayne Ford saw his son Max," Canty said.

Canty said Ford cried, felt shame and showed moral courage when he turned himself in to sheriff's deputies and gave up details about the deaths of the four victims. At the time, detectives had not solved the deaths, and Ford was not a suspect, said Canty.

But while Ford, 44, offered a lot, one of the few things he couldn't tell detectives was exactly how each woman died.

The victims were prostitutes that Ford reportedly picked up while on his truck routes, and he told police that he liked to have sex with them, according to the defense. But when the women would talk about their children, it would upset him.

Faced with the grief of his ex-wife not allowing him to spend time with   Max, Ford told detectives every time he sees a baby, "I just lose it," Canty told the jury.

The defense also spoke of Ford's rough upbringing, with photos and descriptions of his mother as "cold" and his father, Gene Ford, who was always gone and "struck fear" when he was home.

Despite the mental problems, Canty made it clear that Ford was not seeking an insanity defense because he could tell the difference between right and wrong. Crippled inside and a broken man, Ford turned himself in because he wanted to do the right thing, Canty said.

However, prosecutors point to the deeply depraved way the four women were killed. Each was raped, tortured and used for the defendant's own sexual gratification, Mazurek said.

Each of the victims was then coldly discarded with no identification, no way to inform police and loved ones of their deaths, according to the prosecution.

"Wayne Adam Ford know's what he's done," Mazurek told the jury. "And he knows what he is."

During his opening statement, Mazurek used an electronic presentation to show the jury photographs of the severed breast that belonged to Patricia Tamez, 29, of Hesperia.

The prosecution also showed the jury crime scene images of Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana, whose decomposing, nude body with a blackened head, was found floating in an irrigation canal off Highway 12, near Lodi, in San Joaquin County in Sept. 25, 1998.

"He had killed her a couple of days before, and he had driven around with her in his truck for a while," Mazurek said. White's head turned black because lying against the truck's hot floorboards, it decomposed faster, he explained.

Blood evidence was later found on the floor of Ford's truck, Mazurek said. Swabs, which tested positive for sperm content that linked to Ford, were taken from Tamez and Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, who was a known prostitute from the Las Vegas area.

Gibbs' nude body was found in an aqueduct near the town of Buttonwillow, in Kern County, in June 1998. She died of strangulation but was not dismembered.

Ford's first victim was not as lucky. Identified still as Jane Doe, the woman's torso devoid of a head, arms, legs and breasts was found in a slough near Eureka, in Humboldt County, on Oct. 26, 1997.

The torso had been stabbed 27 times in the back and buttocks and cut down the middle, according to authorities.

The unidentified woman's thighs and boiled breasts were found at a campsite where Ford lived after he left his Arcata trailer. Evidence of the woman's body parts, and the bathtub in which they were cut, were found at the trailer, Mazurek said.

A coffee can with rendered fat from the woman's breasts was also found at the trailer.

"The evidence will show none of these girls died accidentally," Mazurek told the jury.

 

20060313: Trucker suspected of killing 4 women CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
Alleged serial killer mutilated victims More than seven years have passed since Wayne Adam Ford walked into a sheriff's station in Northern California with a woman's severed breast in his pocket and a confession in his heart. A truck driver from Arcata, Ford called authorities and asked if he could surrender because he had "hurt a lot of people.'' Humboldt County sheriff's deputies said they soon learned what a horrible understatement that was. By the end of their interview with Ford, he had confessed to killing four women -- including one from Fontana and another from Hesperia -- whose bodies were found in 1997 and 1998. Prosecutors today are expected to begin laying out the evidence against Ford before San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Michael A. Smith. Ford faces the death penalty if he is convicted of four counts of first-degree murder and a special circumstance of multiple murders. Similarities between the slayings compound and confound. Authorities said Ford told them the four women died during sex, and all were lost despite his efforts to revive them. The victims all were discarded nude into nearby waterways. Two of the victims had been dismembered -- including Patricia Anne Tamez, of Hesperia, whose breast he cut off before dumping her body in the California Aqueduct, police said. Ford put the breast in a Ziploc plastic bag and tucked it in his pocket when he turned himself in to Humboldt County authorities. Prosecutors fought, and succeeded, in having the cases consolidated into one in San Bernardino County under a new law that allows connected crimes to be prosecuted in a single trial. Authored by state Sen. Richard Rainey, R-Walnut Creek, the law, sometimes called the serial-killer law, went into effect two months after Ford turned himself in. After years of investigation, hearings and delays, a jury will begin hearing testimony today from 60 to 80 witnesses, detectives and experts about the four women who died and their connections to Ford. "It's good to finally be in trial,'' said Deputy District Attorney David Mazurek. "It seems like you can see an end coming.'' That end is still several months away, however. It took two months to compile a jury of 12 plus six alternates from a panel of 900 prospective jurors. The guilt phase of the trial is expected to last about four months. If the jury convicts Ford, that same panel will spend another two to three weeks hearing evidence in a penalty phase and deciding whether to recommend capital punishment. "It's been a major undertaking, I think for both sides, actually,'' said Deputy Public Defender Joseph Canty, who is representing Ford. Photo Gallery: Wayne Adam Ford Bizarre circumstances At the time of Ford's arrest, his unusual surrender catapulted the case into the national spotlight, became the subject of television shows and news broadcasts, and was even detailed in a paperback book by Carlton Smith. The news media in Eureka, the seat in a 3,000-square-mile rural county, have begun publicizing the trial, but the circumstances surrounding the case remain in the minds of local law enforcement. Like any community, homicides are not unusual in Humboldt County, said Brenda Godsey, a Sheriff's Department spokeswoman. "What was so horrific about this case, perhaps, was the number of victims to find,'' Godsey said. To have an alleged serial killer that may have killed four women, she said, "that was certainly remarkable here in Humboldt County.'' To this day, she said, when people talk about so-called big cases in the area, they still return to Ford, whose family continues to live in his native Northern California. Photo Gallery: Wayne Adam Ford The people vs. Ford Though he confessed to police, Ford eventually pleaded not guilty to charges against him on procedural grounds. He has blamed his behavior on a brain injury received in a 1984 traffic collision in Irvine. Prosecutors have expressed skepticism. Ford said he suffered the injury during his years in the Marines when he stopped to help another motorist. He told media outlets he was in a coma for nine days. Both Mazurek and Canty said they couldn't discuss the specifics of the case. Details have been released through investigative reports and court hearing transcripts. The deaths attributed to Ford include: β€’ An unidentified woman whose torso was found in a slough near Eureka in October 1997 -- more than a year before Ford surrendered. The head, arms, legs and breasts had been cut off, and the torso had been stabbed 27 times and cut down the middle, according to authorities. Ford told authorities he picked up the woman in Eureka and that she later died during sex in his trailer in Arcata. β€’ The nude body of Tina Renee Gibbs, 26, was found in an aqueduct near the town of Buttonwillow in Kern County in June 1998. A known prostitute in Las Vegas, Gibbs died from strangulation but was not dismembered. Ford had sex with Gibbs at a Las Vegas motel and later in his truck at a truck stop, he told investigators. β€’ Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana, was found nude and floating in an irrigation canal near Lodi in San Joaquin County in September 1998. The cause of death was "homicidal violence of unknown etiology.'' In interviews with detectives, Ford said he picked up White at an Ontario truck stop and that her death occurred in San Bernardino County, before he drove to Phoenix with her body tied up in his truck. He later drove to Lodi, where he dropped the body in a canal. β€’ Tamez's body was found in the California Aqueduct, near Hesperia, in October 1998. White picked up Tamez, 29, by a convenience store near Victorville, he told authorities. Tamez's neck had been broken below her shoulders, and her cause of death was ruled strangulation, with a thoracic spine fracture and possible drowning. Photo Gallery: Wayne Adam Ford The cost of it all When all is said and done, the prosecution in San Bernardino County is expected to cost taxpayers significantly, Canty said. Experts and witnesses from three other counties have to take time off from work, travel to San Bernardino and stay in hotels while testifying in the case, he said. Attorneys and investigators from here also have had to travel to Humboldt, Kern and San Joaquin counties to prepare for trial. While Canty would not discuss any of the evidence against his client, he did say that Ford had a conscience that led to turning himself in. Authorities have described Ford as a depressed and emotionally unstable man who cries at times. After more than seven years in jail, Ford is ready for a jury to determine his fate. But, Canty said, "nobody looks forward to facing capital murder charges.'' TIMELINE: WAYNE ADAM FORD Oct. 14, 1997 - Allegedly picked up his first victim, who was only identified as Jane Doe. She was estimated to be 18 to 25 years old, a nonsmoker and had given birth. Oct. 26, 1997 - A human torso, later determined to belong to victim No. 1, was found in a slough at the end of Park Street in Eureka in Humboldt County. February 1998 - Started driving a long-haul truck. May 1998 - Allegedly picked up his second victim, Tina Renee Gibbs, a Las Vegas prostitute. June 2, 1998 - Gibbs' naked body found in the California Aqueduct, near the town of Buttonwillow in Kern County. An autopsy determined she died of strangulation. September 1998 - Allegedly picked up his third victim, Lanett Deyon White, 25, of Fontana, near an Ontario truck stop. Ford told detectives he paid her for sex, during which she died. Sept. 25, 1998 - White's naked body was found in an irrigation canal near Lodi in San Joaquin County. October 1998 - Allegedly picked up his fourth victim, Patricia Anne Tamez, 29, of Hesperia, by a convenience store. Ford told detectives he paid her for sex, during which she died. Oct. 23, 1998 - Tamez's naked body was found in the California Aqueduct near Hesperia. Nov. 2, 1998 - Ford reportedly called his brother, Rodney Calvin Ford, for help. Nov. 3, 1998 - Ford walked into Humboldt County sheriff's station with his brother and told deputies that he had done "bad things.'' Over the next few days, Ford reportedly told detectives about the four dead victims.
 

20050408: June hearing set for accused serial killer CA San Bernardino Serial Killer News
Accused serial killer Wayne Adam Ford is expected to appear in June in San Bernardino Superior Court at a hearing to determine whether DNA testing will be admitted into evidence during his pending trial.

Ford, who is facing murder charges that make him eligible for the death penalty, will first appear at a hearing in May to discuss any issues in the case.

Ford, 43, of Arcata, is charged with four counts of murder in the slayings of four women: two from San Bernardino County, one from Kern County and a fourth who remains unidentified.

Attorneys said Friday the May hearing may include challenges to the validity of the DNA tests or it may simply give the court time to deal with scheduling of the trial.

At the hearings in June, the court would be asked to decide the validity of the DNA tests. Should the court find the tests comply with scientific standards, defense attorneys could then proceed with other challenges to the evidence, including how the samples were collected and stored.

In Ford's case, lawyers are debating the admissibility of DNA evidence connected to the Kern County woman's death, defense attorney Joseph Canty said.

 


Copyright 1995-2006 by Elisabeth Wetsch
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