A Sacramento native, born in 1960, Jones attended college in Arizona, and was sent home at age 22, after he "began to exhibit abnormal behavior." Psychiatrists diagnosed him as a chronic paranoid schizophrenic, prescribing anti-psychotic medication, but nothing seemed to help his condition. In early 1984, John Jones awoke one night to find his son beside the bed, a knife in hand, and by May Jeffrey was charged with robbing a disabled Davis resident, filing a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity . That November a probation report filed with the Yolo County court noted that therapy and medication had "stabilized" Jones, so that "the probability of threat to others is not significant at this time." The full enormity of the mistake was driven home in early 1985. On January 21, Jones waylaid Harry Dong at Sutter's Fort, near Sacramento, using a claw hammer to slaughter his victim in a public restroom. Hours later, he struck at the University of California in Davis, battering John Rowland and leaving him for dead in a men's room at the campus medical center. On January 22, he staked out another restroom in the same building, hammering Dr. Michael Corbett to death. On February 18, Fred Morris was killed in identical fashion, at the UC Davis physics-geology building. In the wake of Jones's arrest and indictment, it was revealed that he had threatened "to do something bad" in a bid for commitment and psychiatric care.