||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2012)|
|Dana James Ewell|
January 28, 1971 |
Sunnyside, California, U.S.
|Parent(s)||Dale Ewell (father)
Glee Ewell (mother)
Ewell's father, businessman and multi-millionaire Dale Ewell; his mother, Glee; and his older sister, Tiffany, were murdered on Easter Sunday, April 19, 1992 in their Sunnyside, California home. The bodies were discovered by the Ewells' housekeeper, and investigation determined the Ewells had all been shot and killed by a 9mm firearm. The only surviving member of the Ewell family was 21-year-old Dana, a college student.
Though Dana had a solid alibi for his whereabouts at the time of the murders, authorities nonetheless suspected his involvement in the homicides after Dana expressed anger upon learning that he would not inherit any of his family's wealth until the age of 35. Investigators briefly considered, but dismissed, a variety of other possible motives (e.g., investigating Dale's possible disgruntled business associates). But the investigation soon focused on Dana, who was suspected of somehow arranging his parents' death so that he could access the family fortune. Eventually, police determined that Joel's friend Ernest Jack Ponce bought a 9-mm assault rifle shortly before the murder and was an accessory in hiding evidence after the murders. In exchange for immunity from prosecution, Ponce agreed to testify against Dana Ewell and Joel Radovcich, Dana's classmate at Santa Clara University. Radovcich used a homemade silencer on the rifle to lie in wait for the Ewells in their home in the Central Valley as they returned from a long weekend on the Pacific coast.
Ewell was sentenced on July 20, 1998, alongside Radovcich, who was promised a part of the family fortune in return for executing Dana's family. At the time of the murders, Dana Ewell still lived in the family's Sunnyside-area home near Fresno. The case was investigated by Fresno County Sheriff's Office Homicide Detectives John Souza and Chris Curtice. Fresno County Assistant District Attorneys James Oppliger and Jeffrey Hammerschmidt prosecuted Ewell and Radovcich in a jury trial that took more than eight months. Both Ewell and Radovcich are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole, and all of their appeals have been denied. Ewell resides in the Protective Housing Unit of California State Prison, Corcoran, with Charles Manson, Juan Corona, and other murderers who require "extraordinary protection" from other inmates.
The case is covered in a Forensic Files episode "Two in a Million" (Season 1, Episode 10).
The case is covered on The New Detectives episode "Family Plots" (Season 5, Episode 9).
- "Appealing to God". College Times. The Santa Clara. 12 June 2006.
- "Son, Friend Convicted of Killing Parents, Sister". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press via Los Angeles Times. 13 May 1998.
- Beitiks, Kathleen O. (May 1997). "Wheels of justice grind slowly in Ewell murders". California Bar Journal.
- Two in a million[dead link]
- http://www.dipity.com/timeline/Corcoran-State-Prison[dead link]
- "Dana Ewell Biography". bio. True Story. A+E Television Networks.