SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday placing a moratorium on the death penalty in the state.
There are currently 737 inmates on the death row, the nation’s largest. Among the condemned inmates, here are some of the Bay Area’s notorious killers.
Burris gunned down his ex-girlfriend, bridge toll-taker Deborah Ross, 51, and her friend Ersie “Chuckie” Everette, 58, a Golden Gate Transit driver on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza in 2009 because he believed they romantically involved. He spent his trial mocking and cursing the victims family members in court.
In 1979, Cordova raped and strangled eight-year-old Cannie “Candy” Bullock in San Pablo after her mother, with whom Cordova had a relationship with, left her home alone to out drinking. The case went unsolved for 23 years until newer DNA evidence was obtained.
Davis kidnapped and murdered 12-year-old Polly Klaas in 1993, abducting her from her home in Petaluma. He was convicted in 1996 and his case helped fuel support for passage of California’s “three-strikes” law for repeat offenders. In 2006, he survived an opiate overdose in his cell.
Forte was condemned to death for 1981 kidnap, rape and murder of 23-year-old Ines Sailer, a young German woman and San Francisco resident. Her body was found in East San Jose. Forte was convicted in 2010 based on new DNA evidence while he was serving a life sentence for a 1982 San Francisco carjacking murder.
After robbing a Wells Fargo branch inside a Raley’s supermarket with an juvenile accomplice in Pittsburg in 2005, the two crashed their car in a police chase. As Pittsburg police officer Larry Lasater chased the two, he was ambushed by Hamilton who shot and killed him along the Delta de Anza Regional Trail.
Mills pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter for killing 28-year-old Troy Gardner in Oakland in 1997. Eight years later in 2005, Mills murdered James Lee Martin, 28, of Hayward, Dale Griffin, 36, of San Pablo, and Rebecca Martinez, 22, of Oakland in a dispute over a gun. A fourth victim survived the multiple shooting and testified against him.
Molano raped and strangled his neighbor, 33-year-old Suzanne McKenna in her home in Hayward in 1995. He was also convicted of rapng two other women and assaulting his ex-wife, who came forward with information implicating him in McKenna’s death. In 2003, new DNA evidence connected him to the crime.
Naso was sentenced to death in 2013 for the murders of three Northern California women and to a life prison sentence for the murder of a fourth. The murders were dubbed the “Double Initial Killings” because the victims – Carmen Colon, 22; Pamela Parsons, 38; Tracy Tafoya, 31; and Roxene Roggasch, 18 – all had matching first and last initials.
Ng is a serial killer who is believed to have raped, tortured and murdered up to 25 victims along with San Francisco native Leonard Lake at Lake’s cabin in Calaveras County. In 1985, Ng fled to Canada after being caught shoplifting in South San Francisco and Lake killed himself by swallowing cyanide pills when he was arrested. After his capture and extradition from Canada in 1991 after a years-long dispute, Ng was finally convicted in 1999 in the murders of six men, three women, and two male infants.
In 2005, Paniagua stabbed to death his pregnant girlfriend Leticia Chavez and their two young daughters 3-year-old AnaLisa and 6-year-old Adrina in their San Jose home in their bedroom where they were sleeping. He then set their bodies on fire and went out to smoke a cigarette. The three had endured years of physical abuse by Paniagua.
In one of the most notorious murder cases in the Bay Area, Peterson’s case began when he reported his wife, Laci Peterson, missing on Christmas Eve in 2002. Laci Peterson was seven-and-a-half months pregnant at the time. The investigation revealed inconsistencies in Peterson’s story, and it was soon revealed he had been involved in extramarital affairs. In 2003, the decomposed remains of Laci and her unborn son were found at Richmond’s Point Isabel Regional Shoreline park. Peterson arrested days later and it appeared he was set to flee the country. He was convicted in 2004 of the first-degree murder of Laci and in the second-degree murder of his unborn son, Connor.
Ramirez emptied a clip from his handgun into San Leandro Police officer Nels “Dan” Niemi in 2005 after Niemi responded to a disturbing the peace call, standing over him and shooting him six more times after the initial shot. Ramirez had guns and drugs on him and feared going back to jail on parole violations. Niemi was the first San Leandro police officer killed in the line of duty in four decades.
In 1989 Salcido went on a murderous rampage in the North Bay, first slashing his daughters’ throats; killing four-year-old Sofia and 22-month-old Teresa while 3-year-old Carmina survived. He then drove to Cotati, killed his mother-in-law and two daughters, then returned to his home in Boyes Hot Springs where he shot his wife, Angela Salcido. He then went to the Grand Cru winery where he worked and killed a co-worker. Salcido fled to Mexico but was arrested and extradited back to the U.S. Salcido told police in Mexico he committed the mass murder because he believed his wife was having an affair.
In February 1999, Stayner murdered three people near Yosemite National Park: 42-year-old Carole Sund; her daughter, 15-year-old Juli Sund; Juli’s friend, 16-year-old Argentine exchange student Silvina Pelosso. Stayer, a Yosemite area motel handyman, persuaded Sund to let him into their room to fix a leak. Stayner was among motel employees interviewed by police but he was not considered suspect since he had no criminal history and remained calm during the interview. Months later, Stayner killed Yosemite naturalist Joie Ruth Armstrong and when investigators linked him to the crime he then confessed to the other murders.
In 2004, police in Fresno were called to what was described as a child custody issue at a squalid family compound and a standoff ensued. In the aftermath, police found Wesson had shot and killed two of his daughters along with seven children fathered by incestuous relationships with Wesson. He was convicted of nine counts of murder and 14 sex crimes involving the rape and molestation of his underage daughters.
Williams shot and killed eight-year-old girl Alaysha Carradine in 2013 while she was sleeping over her friend’s apartment in Oakland. Williams had fired the shots into the apartment in revenge for the fatal shooting of a friend. Two months later, Williams shot and killed 22-year-old Anthony Medearis III in Berkeley during a robbery, in part because he believed Medearis had “snitched” to police in 2011. He was convicted in 2016.