Gerald and Charlene Gallego
|Gerald and Charlene Gallego|
Charlene (top) and Gerald (bottom) Gallego
|Born||Gerald Armond Gallego
Charlene Adell Williams
July 17, 1946 (G.G.)
October 10, 1956 (C.G.)
Sacramento, California (G.G. and C.G.)
|Died||July 18, 2002(aged 56) (G.G.) Died of cancer before his death sentence could be carried out.|
|Other names||The Love Slave Killers
The Gallego Sex Slaves Killers
Sixteen years and eight months (C.G.)
Span of killings
|September 11, 1978–November 2, 1980|
|November 17, 1980|
Gerald Armond Gallego (July 17, 1946 – July 18, 2002) and Charlene Adelle Gallego (born Charlene Adelle Williams, October 10, 1956) are two American serial killers who terrorized Sacramento, California between 1978 and 1980. They killed a total of 10 victims, mostly teenagers, whom they kept as sex slaves before killing them.
Charlene Adelle Gallego
Charlene Gallego was born Charlene Adelle Williams near Sacramento, California, in October 1956. Her father, Charles, was a respected entrepreneur who was the vice president of a supermarket chain. He and his wife, Mercedes, regularly travelled as part of their business life. Early school reports suggest Charlene was a quiet and shy child who had a good attendance. Charlene's mother Mercedes was involved in a car accident, leaving her badly hurt and causing her not to travel as often. Due to the accident, Charlene took over her mother's duties and would often travel with her father to meet his clients who would praise the intelligent and well-spoken child.
Charlene married a wealthy man who was a heroin addict. Charlene was obsessed with lesbian sex and she begged Gerald to have a threesome with a prostitute. She was using large amounts of cocaine and she didn't care about her appearance. Her first husband hated that Charlene's parents often intervened in their relationship. The marriage failed. She married another man - a soldier. She described him as a "mommy's boy" and grew bored with him, causing them to quickly divorce.
Charlene had a brief affair with a married man. He ended the affair after she suggested that they should have sex with his wife. Charlene was devastated and attempted suicide. It was not long after this when Charlene met Gerald.
Gerald had a brutal childhood—he was beaten by his mother and her numerous boyfriends. He was constantly left starving and grew up desperate for love. His father was a convicted murderer who was executed for the murder of two policemen. He had failed as a lover and a husband; and, by the age of thirty-two, he'd left numerous women. He also had a daughter, whom he abused sexually. When he met Charlene, they fell insanely in love and enjoyed rough sex, with Charlene being the submissive. Within a week of meeting, they rented a house together. Charlene accepted that he was interested only in his own sexual satisfication. Gerald brought home a sixteen-year-old dancer. They had a threesome, but the women were not allowed to touch each other. The next day he returned home from work to find the women in bed having sex. Enraged, he threw the young dancer out the window and beat Charlene; he also withheld sex from her for a month. It seems he no longer found her attractive as she was no longer sexually dependent on him.
Gerald sodomized his fourteen-year-old daughter and her friend, but it is unclear whether Charlene was in the same room or just in the apartment. With Gerald now unable to become sexually excited, one of the couple suggested kidnapping women to become sex slaves. Sources suggest that it was Charlene who broached the idea.
Rhonda Scheffler and Kippi Vaught
On September 10, 1978, Rhonda Scheffler (age 17) and Kippi Vaught (age 16) were shopping at Country Club Plaza in Sacramento County when Charlene enticed them into their van.
Gerald and Charlene raped and further sexually abused the two victims throughout the night in rural Placer County. Evidence showed that Charlene bit the breasts of one victim; and Gerald, the other. The next day, the Gallegos drove back to Sacramento County, where Gerald made Rhonda and Kippi get out of the van and walk across a field to a ditch. He hit the girls with a tire iron and shot them in the head with a 25-caliber pistol. As Gerald was walking back to the van, he saw one of the victims (later revealed to be Kippi Vaught) move; the bullet had only grazed her skull. He returned and shot her three more times in the head, killing her. Charlene would later tell a cellmate how ecstatic she felt during this kidnap-rape.
Brenda Judd and Sandra Colley
On June 24, 1979, Brenda Judd (age 14) and Sandra Colley (age 13) were lured into the Gallegos' van at the Washoe County, Nevada, Fair with the promise of making some money delivering leaflets. Charlene drove northeast out of Reno on I-80 while, in the back of the van, Gerald repeatedly raped the girls as Charlene watched in the rearview mirror.
Charlene found a place to park in a desolate area known as Humboldt Sink. Gerald took a shovel and pulled Sandra Colley out of the vehicle, marching her toward a dry creek bed. He then stepped behind her and swung the shovel. Charlene would later recall the moment as the sound of "a loud splat like a flat rock hitting mud, and the girl sank to her knees and slowly toppled over on her face." Gerald beat Brenda Judd to death and then dug a deep hole; he folded their naked bodies into it and placed a rock over the grave.
The teenagers were listed as runaways for four years, until Charlene confessed to their murders during the 1982 trial. In November 1999, their remains were discovered by a tractor operator.
Stacey Redican and Karen Chipman Twiggs
On April 24, 1980, the Gallegos' kidnapped Stacey Redican and Karen Chipman Twiggs from Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, California. As with their other victims, Gerald and Charlene sexually abused and killed them.
- Linda Aguilar and unborn child buried alive per Charlene's testimony
Craig Miller and Mary Elizabeth Sowers
In the early morning hours of November 2, 1980, Gerald saw a young couple, twenty-two-year-old Craig Miller, and his fiancée, twenty-one-year-old Mary Elizabeth Sowers, in the parking lot of Arden Fair mall. In his most brazen attempt yet, Gerald got out of the car, walked right up to them, pulled out a .25 caliber Beretta, pointed it in the couple's faces, and ordered them into the car. Unfortunately for Gerald, friends of the young couple saw them get into the vehicle and wrote down the license plate number. After driving to a secluded area, Gerald commanded Craig out of the car, as the young man turned to walk towards the front of the vehicle, Gerald aimed his pistol and shot Craig at point-blank range in the back of the head in view of Mary. Gerald then fired two more shots into Craig’s head, as he lay lifeless on the ground. Gerald got back into the vehicle and ordered Charlene to drive to their apartment. Once back at the apartment, Gerald took his new sex slave into the bedroom and raped her for hours on end. Gerald then ordered Charlene to drive Mary and him to a rural area. Once there, Gerald ordered Mary out of the car. He then shot her three times at point blank range.
In 1984, Gerald Gallego was tried for murder in both California and Nevada. In both instances, Charlene testified against him. In exchange for her testimony, Charlene was not charged in California and she agreed to plead guilty to murder and receive a sentence of sixteen years and eight months in Nevada. Gerald was convicted in both states and was sentenced to death in both states. His death sentence in Nevada was overturned in 1999 and he won the right to a new sentencing hearing, but the new jury also sentenced him to death.
Charlene Gallego was released from prison in Nevada in July 1997. Gerald Gallego died of rectal cancer on July 18, 2002 at the Nevada prison system's medical center.
- Davis, Carol Anne. Women Who Kill, Profiles of Female Serial Killers. Brixton, London: Allison & Busby Limited. 2001
- Ward, Bernie. Families Who Kill. New York: Pinnacle Books. 1993
- Flowers, R. Barri. The Sex Slave Murders, New York: St. Martins Press, 1996
- Hoffman, Eric Van. A Venom In The Blood Pinnacle Books, 1990
- Macleod, Marlee
- Peter Vronsky: "Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters", Berkley Books, New York (2007), pp. 288–90