Convicted Murderer Linked to Two Southern California Slayings
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A convicted murderer told investigators in Alabama he killed two area women, including one whose death was assigned to a task force probing the slayings of 17 women here since 1983, authorities said Friday.
Daniel Lee Siebert, 32, is in custody in Talladega, Ala., where he has been convicted of murdering one woman and is awaiting trial in the slayings of two additional women and two children.
Siebert, an itinerant commercial painter who frequented the Hollywood area of Los Angeles in late 1985, is believed to have been the killer of Gidget Castro, 28, and Nesia Gail McElrath, 23, said Sheriff Sherman Block.
Block said Siebert revealed his participation in the killings to Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators who traveled to Alabama in recent days.
The South Side Serial Murder Task Force is investigating the deaths of 17 women, mostly black prostitutes, who were killed between 1983 and July 1986. Most of the bodies were found in south-central Los Angeles or neighboring cities.
Detectives believe the slayings are a series of murders by several people rather than a serial killing by one person. More than $2.6 million has been spent and more than 4,000 clues researched in the investigation so far.
Ms. McElrath’s body was discovered Dec. 19, 1985, in a rural area near Castaic, in northern Los Angeles County.
Because of the location of her body, she was not listed officially as one of the victims of the killer or killers. When asked if her murder otherwise fit the pattern of slayings, Capt. Robert Grimm said she was a prostitute who had been strangled.
The body of Ms. Castro was found in an alley in the City of Commerce, which is south of Los Angeles, on Dec. 26, 1985.
Both victims had been strangled, as had many of the other victims, but none of the facts now known would link Siebert to any other victims in the series, Block said.
″He did admit to both murders. He revealed information known only to the person involved,″ Block said.
Lt. Dan Cooke, a police spokesman, said Siebert is not a suspect in any killings within the city limits of Los Angeles. He said the task force would continue seeking the killer of other victims whose deaths have been assigned to the task force.
In addition to the Alabama and the Los Angeles killings, Block said Siebert was also wanted for investigation of the slaying of a woman in Las Vegas, Nev. Block did not say when that killing occurred.
Block said the identification of Siebert in the killings of the two women did not clear the caseload being investigated by the task force.
″We did not believe that all the murders on the task force list were committed by a single person,″ Block said.
Four of the women believed to have been killed by Siebert in Alabama were black. None were prostitutes, Block said.
However, all the slayings presently attributed to Siebert were strangulations .
Sheriff’s investigators are still in Alabama questioning Siebert and are not expected to return until Monday, he said.
Los Angeles investigators became aware of the possibility Siebert was a suspect when Alabama authorities contacted them, he said.
″They developed information about him being in Los Angeles,″ Block said.
Even though Siebert faces the death penalty for his Alabama murder conviction, Block said Los Angeles authorities eventually will attempt to get him returned to California to face trial.
″I’m certain there will be an effort to extradite him,″ Block said.