A man convicted of the "60 Freeway Slayer" serial murders has been sentenced to death for killing six prostitutes whose bodies were found in cities along the freeway route east of Los Angeles.
There was "overwhelming" evidence that Ivan J. Hill murdered the women, Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler said.
"Each of these victims was stalked, if you will," the judge said.
Hill, a 45-year-old former forklift operator, was convicted Nov. 17 of six counts of first-degree murder for killings committed in 1993 and 1994. He was charged in 2003 after DNA evidence linked him to the killings while he was serving time in state prison for unrelated crimes.
At trial, jurors heard a recorded telephone call to a police dispatcher in which Hill acknowledged killing a woman and said her body was in an Ontario park. In a second call, he warned: "Y'all better catch me before I kill again."
At his sentencing, Hill listened intently as family members of the victims condemned him.
"I can never forgive you and I will never forget," said Toni Goldsmith, who was 15 when her mother, Donna L. Goldsmith, 35, of Montclair, was strangled.
"I hate you. I hope you rot in hell," Toni Goldsmith's daughter, Precious, told Hill. "... You look as if there's no hurt in you."
Hill was asked by the judge if he had anything to say but replied, "No, your honor."
In addition to Goldsmith, Hill was convicted of killing Roxanne Bates, 31, of Montclair; Helen Ruth Hill, 36, of Pomona; Cheryl Sayers, 34, of Ontario; Betty Sue Harris, 37, of Pomona and Debra Denise Brown, 33, of Los Angeles.
The judge rejected a defense request to reduce the sentence to life in prison without opportunity of parole.
"I acknowledge the gravity of these crimes. I acknowledge the number of these crimes," attorney Jennifer Friedman said.
However, she said Hill had been badly abused as a child and those experiences shaped the person he became. The defense has said Hill also saw his father shoot his mother to death on Christmas Day in 1968.
Deputy District Attorney John Monaghan countered that the killings were "well-thought out acts by Mr. Hill."
"We may not ever understand why he did what he did. But we do know the result of what he did," the prosecutor said.
The judge noted the abuse but said it was not enough of a mitigating circumstance to save Hill's life. Prosecutors had said he was suspected of several other killings for which he was not charged.
The judge noted that Hill's criminal history included robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. He was serving time in state prison for those crimes when he was charged with the killings.