The Riverside Prostitute Killer
According to Jack Levin, professor of sociology and criminology at
On December 13, 1989, a month after the discovery of Judy Lynn Angels remains, the body of 23-year-old Christina Leal was found in Quail Valley. Unlike previous victims, she was fully clothed and did not appear to have suffered serious abuse or mutilation prior to death. A resident of Perris, California, Tina had previous arrests for drugs and prostitution. Investigators found tire tracks at the crime scene and made several impressions, which could later be used to compare with a suspects vehicle. The victims hands were encased in paper bags to preserve anything that might be under the nails. At the lab, the body would be examined for hairs and fibers.
Later that day, during the victims autopsy, the county coroner discovered that the victim had been stabbed directly in the heart. Due to the victims clothing, the wound was not immediately noticeable, which suggested the killer had dressed her after the murder. The knife wound, while potentially fatal, was not the immediate cause of death. The victim died as a result of asphyxiation by strangulation. Several pubic hairs and fibers were removed from the body, which would later be matched to the ones discovered on Kimberly Lyttle. Then, as the coroner inspected the victims genital area, he made a startling discovery the killer had shoved a light bulb up into the victims womb - something no one present had ever seen done before.
The killers crimes were escalating. The murders were becoming more perverse and the time between the killings was getting shorter. There was no doubt that he would strike again, but without a single suspect to pursue it was impossible to know where to look.