As of June, 1999, Shasta County serial killer Darrell Rich -- convicted of four murders in 1978 -- is slated to be the next prisoner to be executed in California. Rich, 44, of Cottonwood, was convicted of three first-degree murders, one second-degree murder and sexual assaults on five other women, all committed between June and August 1978. One victim, 11-year-old Annette Selix, left home to buy groceries in August 1978 and was found dead the next day under a bridge. Rich had worked for her mother.
According to a state Supreme Court ruling, Rich was interviewed after her body was found, mentioned seeing one or more bodies at a dump and agreed to take a lie-detector test, at which sheriff's deputies decided he was lying. He ultimately told officers he had murdered the girl as well as Annette Edwards and Patricia Moore of Redding, both beaten to death, and Linda Slavik, who disappeared from a bar in Chico and was found shot to death at a dump in Shasta County. The Moore killing was ruled to be second-degree murder.
On August 13, 1000, a panel of three circuit judges rejected defense arguments that a federal trial judge in Sacramento should have let them investigate the way Shasta County killer Darrell Rich, an American Indian, was prosecuted. The defense lawyers claimed the prosecution violated Rich's rights by systematically excluding American Indians from the grand jury that indicted him. The federal appeals court refused to review the death sentence. His only remaining hope to stay alive is a Supreme Court appeal.
Rich was tried in Yolo County following a change of venue. He was convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering two victims in 1978 -- an 11-year-old Cottonwood girl, whom he tossed off a 105-foot-high bridge, and an Oroville woman. He also was convicted of killing two other women and sexually assaulting five more during the same summer. Rich's lawyers say his trial was tainted by financial pressures placed by county supervisors on his public defender, allegedly hampering his representation of Rich.