SAN RAFAEL (KCBS/KPIX 5) — A Marin County Superior Court jury has recommended death for a 79-year-old former photographer convicted in the decades-old murders of four women in what became known as the ‘double initial’ serial killings.
The panel deliberated for about four hours Tuesday after hearing closing arguments from Joseph Naso, who represented himself and had asked the jury to spare his life. Naso would have faced life without parole if the jury did not recommend the death penalty.
Marion County District Attorney Ed Berberian told KCBS that jurors sent a message with their decision: “This was the right thing to do. This was the message we want to send that you just can’t (even though you’re old) be a serial killer and only get life without the possibility (of parole). The death penalty was the best option.”
Naso, of Reno, Nevada, was convicted Aug. 20 in the strangling deaths of Roxene Roggasch, Tracy Tafoya, Pamela Parsons and Carmen Colon. The four women were prostitutes with matching initials whose bodies were dumped off of rural roads in Contra Costa, Marin and Yuba counties between 1977 and 1994.
The murders were cold cases for years until 2009, when probation officers in Reno conducted a routine firearms search of Naso’s home and found a macabre collection of evidence that led to his capture and conviction.
Judge Andrew Sweet will have the final say on Naso’s fate and has a 20-day-period to impose sentencing.
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