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Woman Who Killed Roommate, Chopped Her Up and Cooked Her is Sentenced

April 12, 1985

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A woman who strangled her roommate, then hacked up the body and cooked some of the parts was sentenced Thursday to 15 years to life in prison.

Superior Court Judge Robert Devich imposed the term on Francisco Cruz, 44, saying she has expressed no remorse for the grisly murder in which her 14- year-old son also is charged in Juvenile Court, said Deputy District Attorney Beatrice Donoghue.

Ms. Cruz, an undocumented alien from Mexico, pleaded guilty March 14 to a count of second-degree murder in the slaying of Juana Campos, 58, of El Salvador, who befriended her and took her in after they met while working together at a convalescent hospital.

Mrs. Campos was strangled, then dragged into the bathroom where her body was cut apart with a knife and scissors, the prosecutor said.

″After the pieces were cut up, she proceeded to cook the pieces on the stove and in the oven,″ Ms. Donoghue said. ″She called a friend, said she was cooking some meat and asked if she wanted any. She also wanted to put some in her refrigerator.″

The unidentified friend declined the offer, grew suspicious and eventually contacted police.

When police searched an apartment Ms. Cruz had rented with Mrs. Campos’ money, the found parts of her skull and skeletal bones in the closet, the prosecutor said. Ms. Cruz told police that she discarded plastic bags of the body parts in trash cans throughout Chinatown.

Ms. Campos said she killed the woman in a fit of rage because she mistreated her, Ms. Donoghue said.

″She felt she was under a lot of pressure to do things for her,″ the prosecutor said.

Devich rejected a defense request to place Ms. Cruz in a psychiatric hospital, saying she will get counseling in prison.

Ms. Cruz told probation officers that her son did not participate in the crime. But Ms. Donoghue said the boy allegedly helped drag the dead woman’s body to the bathroom and also helped his mother discard it.

The son faces a hearing in the case in Juvenile Court May 8.

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