VACAVILLE (CBS SF) — Roy Lewis Norris, who was part of the duo known as the “Tool Box Killers” who were convicted in the brutal rape, torture and murder of five teenage girls in Southern California in 1979, has died at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville.
Norris was serving a 45-years-to-life sentence for a grisly, murderous rampage along the Pacific Coast Highway over a period of five months in 1979 with his crime partner, Lawrence Bittaker.
Traveling in a windowless van, the pair kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered their five victims ranging from ages 13 to 18 years old. They were called the “Tool Box Killers” because some of the instruments they used to torture of the teenagers could be commonly found in a tool box.
The two also recorded audio while they were raping and torturing some of the victims. When the recordings were played in court, they reduced many of the jurors, lawyers and court observers to tears, with some forced to leave to courtroom, according to published reports.
Norris received his sentence after pleading guilty to all counts in exchange for prosecutors not seeking the death penalty and for his cooperation in testifying against Bittaker. He was found unsuitable for parole in his initial hearing in 2009 and was denied for 10 years. His second parole hearing in March of 2019 was also denied and he would not have had another hearing scheduled until 2029, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Bittaker was found guilty on all counts against him and was sentenced to death in March of 1981. Bittaker died of natural causes while on Death Row at San Quentin State Prison on December 13, 2019.