‘Alphabet killer’ Joseph Naso sentenced to death for decades-old murders of four women

79-year-old convicted of killing Roxene Roggasch, Carmen Colon, Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya in the 1970s and 1990s

‘Alphabet killer’ Joseph Naso has been sentenced to death for the decades-old murders of four Californian women whose first names and surnames began with the same letter.

At a trial in Marin County in September, the 79-year-old was convicted of killing Roxene Roggasch, Carmen Colon, Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya in the 1970s and 1990s.

The former photographer represented himself in court, telling the jury that he was “not the monster that killed these women”, but Deputy District Attorney Dori Ahana argued in favour of the death penalty, presenting the jury with grisly photographs of the women’s dead bodies.

Naso had been held in custody since 2009 when police officers found evidence linking him to the crimes at his California home.

The stash included photographs of the women’s lifeless bodies, a detailed list of references to the murders, and a journal with featuring graphic descriptions of the rape and torture of other young women.

18-year-old Roxene Roggasch and 22-year-old Carmen Colon were killed by Naso in the 1970s, while 38-year-old Pamela Parsons and 31-year-old Tracy Tafoya were murdered in the 1990s. All four had been working as prostitutes.

Naso remains a suspect in the murder of at least two other California women.

Despite the sentence, analysts say it is unlikely Naso will actually be executed. Hundreds of prisoners remain on California's death row but executions have been on hold in the state since 2006.

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