I tried to tell the woman that I couldn’t accept the Bible from her, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer and practically pushed me out of her apartment with it. I got in my car and felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I tried to analyze what just occurred. Was she a Psychic, could she read my mind, or was she an Angel of God sent to help me? Oh, how these lines from the Bible she insisted I read paralleled my plight. I prayed for help and my prayers were answered. #PrayersAnswered
In December 1985, I worked for a telemarketing firm selling coupon books. One day I made a sale and delivered the book to a middle-aged woman in the Kensington area of the City. When I arrived at her apartment her door was open and I could see her gray hair tied in a ponytail with a welcoming smile. She opened the screen door and looked at me through my smile and said, ” Child you look troubled, please come in.” I was puzzled and told her I could accept a check or cash for her coupon book. She walked over to me with a Bible in her hand and said,”Here take this Bible and whenever you feel like you’re being unjustly attacked, you read these two Psalms and they’ll protect you from evil.” They were Psalms 7 and 54. #AngelofGod
Was Civil Service a fair system or just a rubber stamp? I was sweating it out and losing sleep, lying awake wondering if I’d be reinstated on the Police Department. I’d heard stories about other officers winning their cases and being reinstated. One officer was fired for leaving contraband under the back seat of his patrol car. When things didn’t look so good for him, his friends took a trash bag filled with contraband left behind in numerous squad cars and spilled the contents all over the table in front of the commission to make a point. He got his job back. Obviously, the truth alone wasn’t going to be enough, it had to be jaw-dropping spectacular. #Civil Service Hearing
Lewis had been a Lt. in Criminal Intelligence for the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department. When he came to San Diego in the late 60’s and worked for the San Diego County District Attorney’s office as a criminal investigator, while attending law school. Lewis gave me a “déjà vu” moment when he told me he tried to add a third intelligence bureau. The Sheriff’s department had theirs and San Diego Police had theirs. Lewis wanted the DA’s office to have their own. Ken O’Brien from San Diego PD was so adamant about not having a third intelligence bureau that he tried to set Lewis up with a hooker that needed to meet with him regarding information on a case. O’Brien’s hope was to catch Lewis in some form of compromise, have him arrested, humiliated and fired just so he could keep the intelligence bureaus at two. Lewis saw through it and it never came to fruition. I thought to myself, a high- ranking officer who would later become a Deputy Chief tried to set someone up with a hooker to humiliate the person and get him fired. Just to have his way. Deja Vu. Despite asking for a different Chief to hear my appeal Chief Ken O’Brien heard my case. #Deja
Studying under Deputy District Attorney Richard Lewis, I listened and learned a great deal. We would collaborate for over seven years and become the best of friends until his death from Leukemia in 2000. He treated me like a son and there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for me. The prostitute murders didn’t start with Donna Gentile in 1985 as reported. Carol De Felice aka Nina Star was murdered on February 25, 1984. She was killed and dumped off a frontage road south of Camino Del Rio South approaching Collwood Boulevard and parallel to Fairmount Avenue. How do I know this? I was working that area on the night her body was found and was at the crime scene. De Felice was fully clothed and she had been stabbed in the side of her chest wall and had bled out.
Years later DNA evidence collected determined Ronald Tatro was the killer. Tatro’s DNA was on file for a sexual assault on a female juvenile from La Mesa, Calif. Tatro died in Tennessee in 2011 in a boating accident. It was later thought to be a suicide. He was also a suspect in the Barbara Nantais and Claire Hough murders at Torrey Pines State Beach occurring in August of 1978 and 1984# San Diego Murders
I started thinking about my options in life. I could move back to Illinois and live with my parents rent free and start all over. The thought was there because my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and was wheelchair bound. But, I wasn’t brought up to run and take the easy way out. I was raised to stand up and fight for what was right and never quit, no matter what the odds. The San Diego police department simply didn’t understand this about me. They expected me to fold under pressure, commit suicide or turn to crime to survive and eventually get caught so they could tell the world how right they were. But, I decided to stay and fight and to become a success in their own backyard. Success and living well is the best revenge.