TRUCKEE, Calif. — The pilot injured in a Northern California plane crash that killed his wife is a former Orange County lawyer who successfully prosecuted the notorious 1970s serial killer Rodney Alcala.
Richard Farnell, of Tahoe City, is recovering in a Reno, Nev., hospital from injuries suffered in Monday’s crash of a single-engine plane near the Truckee Tahoe Airport.
His wife, 55-year-old Darla Farnell, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Orange County Register reported Wednesday that the 71-year-old Farnell was a deputy district attorney from 1968 to 1981. He prosecuted Alcala among dozens of other criminals before starting a private practice in Newport Beach.
The Piper PA-46 Malibu took off from Santa Ana’s John Wayne Airport. It went down in a rugged area about 6 miles southeast of the Truckee airport as the Farnells were returning home.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.