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20061130: Santa Clara Co. Serial Killer Gets Life In Prison CA San Jose Serial Killer News
The man described by prosecutors as Santa Clara County's first known serial killer has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for sexually assaulting and strangling two women.

Luis Aguilar Perez pleaded guilty last month and waived his right to a jury trial. He was spared from the death penalty because
he's mentally retarded.

Judge Rodney J. Stafford sentenced Perez on Wednesday to two consecutive life sentences for killing Florence Ruth Berrospe, 50, in 1984 and Nestora McCune, 61, in 1989. Perez will now travel to San Francisco, where he is accused of killing a third woman.

In the courtroom, Perez expressed remorse and told family members a "monster" lurked within him and caused him to make a "stupid mistake."

Perez made statements to police indicating that he may have killed as many as 30 women, but police haven't been able to substantiate his claims, Deputy District Attorney Matthew Braker said.
 

20051020: Police: Inmate is serial killer CA San Jose Serial Killer News

Luis Aguilar Perez preyed on ``discarded women,'' troubled people that society and sometimes their families forgot, prosecutors say.

He is the first suspected serial killer to be identified in Santa Clara County, and authorities said they expect the case to mushroom from the three victims they have identified so far.

``It has the potential to be one of the largest cases we've ever had,'' said San Jose police detective Sgt. Rob Millard. ``He's the first serial killer from here that we know of.''

If convicted of slaying two South Bay women and a third from San Francisco, Perez would join a dubious hall of fame of Bay Area serial killers.

Long before Perez allegedly killed his first known victim in San Jose in 1984, the Bay Area already had lived through the horrors of such killers as Ed Kemper, who butchered six young women, his mother and another woman in Santa Cruz County in 1972-73; Herbert Mullin, who killed 13 people in and around Santa Cruz in the early 1970s; and ``Trailside Killer'' David Carpenter, who killed two women in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1981 and four women and a man along Marin County trails in 1980.

Perez's victims ``were basically just discarded women,'' said Santa Clara County Chief Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu. ``There might be others people know about, women who had a mental illness or alcohol problems, just forgotten by society.''

San Jose police and Sinunu announced Tuesday that Perez -- who has been in prison for the 1999 sexual assault and attempted murder of a 14-year-old San Francisco girl -- had been charged with murder in the deaths of Florence Ruth Berrospe and Nestora McCune and is linked to the killing of a San Francisco woman.

Police also have received several calls from other police departments, including from New York, who have similar cases, although Perez has not been linked to any murders outside the Bay Area so far. Files for the two San Jose cases have been sealed until December to protect the ongoing investigation, authorities said.

Perez, 40, lived in San Jose from 1983 to 1989, and ``was a squatter,'' Millard said. ``He would hang out with different people and stay with them. He was a San Jose resident, but he was also a San Francisco resident.'' Police also believe that Perez traveled to New York at one point.

The body of his first alleged San Jose victim surfaced in 1984.

On the afternoon of July 24 that year, a passerby saw something unusual underneath a bush on the shoulder of westbound Highway 237 in Sunnyvale, said Sunnyvale Public Safety Lt. Marty Dale.

``Our fire rigs go out there and confirm it was a dead body in a decayed state,'' Dale said. ``This woman was not identified initially. Her remains were not identified until December 1989 when a call came in from her son or son-in-law saying `that person might be my Mom' '' after seeing a sketch of the woman on television.

It was Florence Ruth Berrospe, who was 50 years old and separated from her husband. She carried no ID, but was wearing a necklace with a charm that read ``#1 Grandma.''

Five years later, the body of 61-year-old Nestora McCune was found beneath a pile of dried eucalyptus leaves near the Brokaw Road on-ramp to Highway 101 in San Jose.

Both women had been strangled and sexually assaulted. Both cases were gathering dust in the ``cold case'' files until this year.

``Our county has a very low violent crime rate for such a big area,'' Sinunu said. ``As a result, our ace detectives are able to work these old cases. Rob Millard took this one off the shelf. It had biological evidence and he got a hit'' in a DNA database called CODIS that includes DNA from both crime scenes and suspects.

The case ``has kind of ballooned into more than we expected,'' she said.

It was the fourth cold case Millard and his partner, detective Sgt. Tim Porter, revived this year.

After getting a DNA hit on the evidence in San Jose, the detectives sent out a teletype about the cases to police departments around the country ``in hopes of getting other law enforcement to look at their cold cases,'' Millard said.

``One of the inquiries we got helped solve a Hayward case. The investigator said, `It's not him, but by re-investigating the case, we got a hit.' That's kind of cool,'' Millard said. Hayward police declined to discuss their homicide case.

While San Jose police continue their investigation, Sinunu said the public could help.

``Everyone has someone they know about or some case they remember in the newspaper that touched them,'' she said. ``Has that been taken care of? Has that case been solved? If someone knows of a case that might be linked, we'll take a look at it. We're doing that right now.''

 

20051019: San Jose Police May Have Caught Serial Killer CA San Francisco Serial Killer News
San Jose police say they may have caught a serial killer after new technology linked a Bay Area inmate to three unsolved murder cases.
Police say DNA evidence has linked 40-year-old San Francisco resident Luis Perez to the 1984 murder of Florence Ruth Berrospe. She was strangled, and her body found in Sunnyvale in a ditch near Highway 237.

Police say Perez is also charged with the murder of Nestora. Her partially-clothed body was discovered on the side of Highway 101 in San Jose in June of 1989.

And police believe he's responsible for the 1996 murder of a San Francisco prostitute. They have not released her identity.

Investigators believe Perez may have committed other murders.

Karyn Sinunu, Santa Clara County district attorney office: "We know that they are working a case up there, but there are other things locally that we are looking at. We are looking outside the state also."

Perez is currently being held at the Santa Clara County jail. He had been serving time for an unrelated case at the Mule Creek State Prison in Sacramento. He was convicted of sexually assaulting and attempting to murder a 14-year-old San Francisco girl.

Perez worked as a handyman and lived in both San Jose and San Francisco.

 

20051018: Alleged Serial Killer arrested for two 1980s Murders CA San Francisco Serial Killer News

San Jose police today announced the arrest of an alleged serial killer in connection with at least two murders in San Jose from the 1980s.

Luis Perez, 40, was arrested at Mule Creek State Prison on Monday for the 1989 murder of San Jose resident Nestora McCune, 61, and the 1984 Sunnyvale murder of San Jose resident Florence Ruth Berrospe, 50. Investigators also have linked him to an unsolved murder in San Francisco and charges are pending in that case.

Santa Clara County Chief Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu said that authorities believe Perez may have committed additional murders in the Bay Area between 1983 and 1999 when he began his prison sentence.

"We think there may be more victims but it would be irresponsible of me to estimate the number,'' Sinunu said.

Perez was convicted of the sexual assault and attempted murder of a 14-year-old girl in San Francisco in 1999, according to court documents. McCune also had evidence of being sexually assaulted, according to investigators.

Anyone with information about this case should call San Jose Police Sgts. Rob Millard or Tim Porter at (408) 277-5283. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-STOP.

 


Copyright 1995-2006 by Elisabeth Wetsch
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