Serial killing suspect kept photos, list of women
June 17, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Serial killing suspect Joseph Naso kept photographs, news clippings and journals related to four prostitutes whom he is charged with killing, documents released Thursday show.
Authorities had said previously that they had found an enormous amount of evidence linking Naso to the killings of four women, all with matching initials, and the newly released probable cause statement was the first glimpse into this evidence.
The 77-year-old Naso may have used his then-wife’s panty hose to strangle one of the women, Roxene Roggasch, whose 1977 murder has been unsolved for decades, the documents state.
“DNA testing was done during which the DNA of Judith Naso … was found on the panty hose around her neck,” wrote Ryan Peterson, a Marin County sheriff’s investigator.
The probable cause statement, used to hold Naso in jail, was unsealed Thursday after a coalition of media groups led by The Associated Press challenged the court’s decision to seal them at Naso’s arraignment.
Naso is charged with the murders of four women in the 1970s and 1990s who had matching initials for their first and last names: Roggasch, Carmen Colon, Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya. Investigators elsewhere in the country are reviewing other cold cases for similarities.
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In Naso’s Reno, Nev., home and in a safety deposit box, investigators said they found numerous nude photos of women who appeared to be dead or passed out.
The documents also revealed that DNA collected from fingernail clippings of Colon could also tie Naso to her murder.
Colon’s body was found naked and decomposed by a California Highway Patrol officer in 1978 in the Port Costa area of Contra Costa County. Authorities say she was a prostitute.
In 1993, the body of Pamela Parsons was found in Yuba City near where Naso was living at the time, the documents show. She was working as a prostitute in the area at the time and had been strangled.
Investigators said they found photos of Parsons and articles about her murder in Naso’s safety deposit box, among other items tying him to her killing.
“In addition to the photos, numerous writings, logs and a calendar from 1993 detailing his daily activity related to Parsons were found inside his residence as well as additional photos of Pamela Parsons,” Peterson wrote.
Another Yuba City prostitute that prosecutors believe Naso killed was Tafoya, whose body was found dumped on the side of Highway 70 near Marysville in 1994. Investigators said they found writings, photos and news clippings of Tafoya and her murder in Naso’s possession.