Gerald and Charlene Gallego
Gerald and Charlene Gallego
Charlene (top) and Gerald (bottom) Gallego
Gerald Armond Gallego
Charlene Adell Williams
July 19, 1946 (Gerald)
October 19, 1956 (Charlene)
|Died||July 18, 2002 (aged 56) (Gerald)|
|Cause of death||Cancer (Gerald)|
|Other names||The Love Slave Killers|
|Conviction(s)||Armed robbery (Gerald)|
Lewd and lascivious acts with a child (Gerald)
|Criminal penalty||Death (Gerald)|
Span of crimes
|September 11, 1978–November 2, 1980|
|November 17, 1980|
Gerald Armond Gallego (July 19, 1946 – July 18, 2002) and Charlene Adell Gallego (née Williams; born October 10, 1956) are two American serial killers who terrorized Sacramento, California between 1978 and 1980. They murdered ten victims, mostly teenagers, most of whom they kept as sex slaves before killing them.
Gerald Armond Gallego
Gerald Armond Gallego (a.k.a. "Stephen Feil" or "Stephen Styles") was born on 17 July 1946 in Sacramento, California. His mother was a sex worker, while his estranged father was a criminal who in 1955 became the first man executed in the Mississippi gas chamber, for the killing of a police officer during a prison escape. Gallego began his criminal career at age thirteen, when he sexually abused a six-year-old girl. He had 23 arrests and served time after being convicted of robbery prior to his murder spree.
Gallego worked as a bartender and truck driver. He was married a total of seven times, including two marriages to the same woman. He was still married to a previous wife when he married Charlene Williams.
Charlene Adell Gallego
Charlene Adell Gallego (née Williams) was born on 10 October 1956 in Stockton, California. She was a smart, shy child from a supportive home. The trajectory of her life began to change when, as a young adult, she started using drugs and alcohol. She was married twice before meeting Gallego.
Rhonda Scheffler and Kippi Vaught
On 11 September 1978, two teenagers – 17-year-old Rhonda Scheffler and 16-year-old Kippi Vaught – disappeared from a mall in Sacramento. Charlene lured them to a nearby van, leading to their abduction by the couple. Gerald used a handgun to threaten the girls and tied them up. They drove to Baxter, where Gerald raped and then executed the girls, each with a single shot to the back of their heads.
Brenda Judd and Sandra Colley
On 24 June 1979, 14-year-old Brenda Judd and 13-year-old Sandra Colley were abducted from the Washoe County Fair in Reno, Nevada. Charlene later testified that Gerald beat the girls to death with a shovel or hammer. Their remains were not found and identified until twenty years later.
Stacy Ann Redican and Karen Chipman-Twiggs
Similarly, on 24 April 1980, Stacy Ann Redican and Karen Chipman-Twiggs (both 17) went missing from a Sacramento mall. They were found in July, sexually abused and bludgeoned to death.
Linda Teresa Aguilar
While hitchhiking on June 6, 1980, 21-year-old Linda Teresa Aguilar – who was pregnant – was abducted, murdered with a blunt object, and buried in a shallow grave, outside of Gold Beach, Oregon. She is buried in the Vineland Cemetery in Clarkston, Washington.
On July 17, 1980, 34-year-old Virginia Mochel was abducted from the parking lot of a West Sacramento tavern, where she worked as a bartender. Her skeletal remains, still bound with nylon fishing line, were found three months later outside of Clarksburg. Loops of cord from the victim's neck were admitted as proof of death by strangulation.
Craig Miller and Mary Elizabeth Sowers
While leaving a fraternity party on 1 November 1980, 22-year-old Craig Miller and his fiance, 21-year-old Mary Elizabeth Sowers, were forced into the Gallegos’ car at gunpoint. Miller was ordered out of the car and shot; his body was found near Bass Lake, California. The couple returned to their apartment with Sowers, where Gerald sexually abused her before taking her to a field in Placer County, California, where he then executed her.
Capture and trial
A friend of Miller and Sowers witnessed their abduction and reported the car's license plate number. Police used this information to track down and arrest the Gallegos at a Western Union office. Charlene's parents were in the process of wiring her money. Gerald and Charlene pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and murder. Charlene's attorneys were eventually able to convince prosecutors in several states/counties to allow Charlene to testify against Gerald for a plea deal that reduced her prison sentence to 16 years and eight months.
In June 1983 Gerald was found guilty. In June 1984 in less than four hours Gerald was found guilty of murder and aggravated kidnapping in the case of Karen Twiggs and Stacey Redican in Nevada. He was subsequently sentenced to death.
In July 1997, Charlene completed her sentence and was released. While in prison, she extensively studied psychology, business and Icelandic literature. During an interview, Charlene claimed that she was also a victim when she said, "There were victims who died, and there were victims who lived. It's taken me a hell of a long time to realize that I'm one of the ones who lived." She also claimed that she "tried to save some of their lives."
In 2002, Gallego died of cancer in a Nevada prison medical center while awaiting execution.
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