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Gag Order Granted in Killings Case

November 10, 1998

EUREKA, Calif. (AP) _ A gag order has been imposed in the case of a California truck driver who confessed to killing four women he picked up for sex.

Wayne Ford walked into a sheriff’s department last week with a woman’s severed breast in his pocket and told of four brutal slayings. He allegedly turned himself in because he feared he was going to kill his ex-wife and didn’t want to leave his son motherless.

Ford has pleaded innocent to a count of first-degree murder. He is jailed on $1 million bond.

Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson on Monday issued the gag order, preventing both sides from discussing the case in public.

Investigators have come up empty in their search of the Mad River, where Ford reportedly said he buried the head of a woman whose torso was found with both breasts cut off outside Eureka in October 1997.

Authorities were hoping to use dental records to identify the woman, but the coroner, Frank Jager said that last winter’s heavy rains likely washed any body parts out to sea.

Ford also is a suspect in a sexual assault of a 22-year-old San Pablo prostitute who was raped, beaten and robbed in August and left alongside a road near Healdsburg.

The woman picked Ford out of a photo lineup Sunday, Sonoma County sheriff’s Lt. Mike Brown said. He said deputies were seeking kidnapping and rape charges against Ford.

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