Nissensohn is charged with two more killings |

Nissensohn is charged with two more killings

Eric Laughlin / The Mountain Democrat
Provided to the TribuneJoseph Michael Nissensohn has been charged with three murders that took place in the 1980s.

A man accused of the 1989 murder of a South Lake Tahoe teenager has been formally charged with the 1981 murders of two other teen girls in Monterey County.

Joseph Michael Nissensohn, 57, could face the death penalty if convicted of the three murders. In February, he was accused of the slaying of 15-year-old Kathy Graves of South Lake Tahoe, only a month before he had finished serving a 15-year prison term for another murder in Washington state. Graves’ remains were found in the national forest months after her murder.

Nissensohn’s ex-wife reportedly told authorities that he befriended a young Tahoe girl named Kathy, introduced her to LSD and then took her into the woods to have sex with her before hurrying back to the couple’s car alone.

The Monterey County allegations involve 14-year-old Tanya Jones and 13-year-old Tammy Lynn Jarschke, whose bodies were both discovered decomposing on a ridge in Carmel Valley. Jones’ body was found tied to a tree with electrical wire.

Both girls were runaways from a Seaside foster home and reportedly were spotted with Nissensohn and another man the day they disappeared. The other man later told investigators that Nissensohn said he wanted to take the girls to the ridge to rape and kill them.

The Washington case, for which he was convicted of second-degree murder, involved him stabbing to death a 46-year-old woman after a night of drug-fueled, bondage-style sex in a van near Tacoma. The incident reportedly was witnessed by his girlfriend, whom he later married to try to keep her from testifying against him.

But the ex-wife eventually came forward with details of the Graves murder and also reportedly told investigators that her former husband killed two people in Oklahoma and one in Nevada.

Nissensohn is housed in the El Dorado County Jail in Placerville without bail. His next scheduled court appearance is Friday.

He has been extremely vocal at his prior appearances. In his first court appearance, Judge Douglas Phimister had to enter a not-guilty plea for Nissensohn after he accused Phimister of being a fake judge.

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