DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF HOMICIDE VICTIMS FIGHT GOVERNOR’S DEATH PENALTY MORITORIUM
SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office invites members of the community to the Victims’ Rights March and Rally on Monday, April 8, 2019. The event, held as part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, “Honoring the Past. Hope for the Future,” is an opportunity to honor victims and listen to survivors tell their stories of how they are moving forward and reshaping their lives – and how they continue to fight for victims’ rights.
The program will begin with a reception at the District Attorney’s Law Library at 9:30 a.m. The group will march to the Old Orange County Courthouse, followed by a ceremony to honor the victims of crime and their loved ones and hear the stories of empowerment from several family members of homicide victims.
Ron Harrington – Brother of Homicide Victim
On Aug. 19, 1980, Ron Harrington’s youngest brother, Keith, and Keith’s wife, Patti, had been married for just three months when an intruder entered their home through an unlocked door. The pair was tied up, Patti was raped, and then the two were bludgeoned to death. Patti and Keith Harrington were the first Orange County victims of “the Original Nightstalker,” now known as the “Golden State Killer.”
Ron, a former Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney, and the Harrington family urged the public and law enforcement for years to not give up on this serial killer case. They knew the suspect was out there and they wanted justice for all of the families who lost their loved ones.
His oldest brother Bruce spearheaded Proposition 69, which was approved by California voters in 2004. Prop. 69 now mandates DNA be collected from people arrested on suspicion of felonies and some misdemeanors. This increased collection of DNA evidence has brought justice to countless victims and their families. Ron, Bruce, and the Harrington family will continue to speak out until they have finally achieved justice for Keith and Patti.
Charges against Joseph DeAngelo were announced by the Orange County District Attorney in April 2018. DeAngelo is charged with 13 felony counts of murder with special circumstances sentencing enhancements. He is being jointly prosecuted in Sacramento for the crimes committed in six California counties.
The Golden State Killer will appear in Sacramento Superior Court this Wednesday, April 10. Ron Harrington and
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer will be at the hearing.
Steve Herr – Father of Homicide Victim
Herr will be joined by his wife, Raquel, and June and Masa Kibuishi, whose daughter was also murdered.
On May 21, 2010, Daniel Wozniak lured his 26-year-old neighbor Sam Herr to the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos and then shot and killed him. Wozniak, a local actor, returned the next day and cut off Herr’s head, a hand and a forearm and tossed the body parts in Long Beach’s El Dorado Park.
In an attempt to throw police off his trail, Wozniak used Herr’s cellphone to lure Herr’s friend, Juri “Julie” Kibuishi to Herr’s apartment. Prosecutors said Wozniak then shot and killed her.
Sam’s father, Steve, spent what would have been his son’s 27th birthday praying that police would find Sam’s head. Wozniak was convicted on Dec. 16, 2015, and sentenced to death.
Over the last 8 years, Steve Herr has attended 322 court hearings in the pursuit of justice for his son.
A former Marine and retired Special Education teacher, Steve, and his wife Raquel, drive out to their son’s grave at Riverside National Cemetery every weekend. They set out chairs, read the paper, and find a little peace before saying goodbye to their only child.
Nina Salarno Besselman – Sister of Homicide Victim
Orange County Deputy District Attorney and OCDA Sacramento Advocate
Salarno Besselmanhas been a dedicated activist for victims and law enforcement nearly her entire life. In 1979, Nina’s oldest sister, Catina was stalked and murdered execution style by her boyfriend just one day prior to beginning her first day of college at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Nina was a witness to significant events surrounding this tragedy and, as a result, Nina and her family became immersed in the criminal justice system. Immediately the family recognized that the voice of the victim had no role in the criminal justice system. Out of their dedicated efforts Crime Victims United was formed. The organization is dedicated to advocating for the rights of crime victims and public safety. Nina became one of the youngest advocates for victims when, at the age of 12, she testified before President Regan’s Task Force on Crime Victims and participated in various crime victim programs.
This tragic event formed a life-long commitment to crime victims and shaped Nina’s career path.
In keeping with her goal of serving victims of crime, Nina became a prosecutor, first in Tulare County, California and then in Placer County, California, where she was responsible for all sexual assault cases and coordination of the Multiple Disciplinary Interview Center and Sexual Assault Response Team.
All members of the public are invited to the 2019 Victims’ Rights Rally. Any person who may protest the event will be directed to a designated public space where true expression is welcome.