Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced this morning that a suspected serial killer will face four special circumstance murder counts but his office has not yet determined if it will seek the death penalty against Itzcoatl Ocampo.
At a press conference loaded with reporters, Rackauckas displayed photographs of the victims and outlined the investigation of Ocampo.
"We will be proving that the defendant planned the murders in advance, stalked his victims looking for the right opportunity to execute them and that he had additional victims already selected," said Rackauckas, who praised the work of numerous local police departments as well as the FBI.
He refused to discuss "at this point" a potential motive for the killings.
Rackauckas called Ocampo "a monster" and a "vicious killer"-- but indicated he's been "cooperative" with investigators.
He also said, "There is no evidence that is he mentally ill."
"He enjoyed the media coverage [of the murders]," the DA claimed. "His reasons and motives will become real clear in the future."
Police arrested a bloody Ocampo on Jan. 13 shortly after the murder of the fourth stabbing victim: 64-year-old John Berry, a homeless Vietnam War veteran who'd won the hearts of locals with his personality.
The other homeless victims include 53-year-old James McGillivray, who was found near a Placentia shopping center; 42-year-old Lloyd Middaugh, who was found in Anaheim near the Santa Ana River; and 57-year-old Paulus Cornelius Smit, who was found at a Yorba Linda library.
Ocampo, who was born in Mexico and became a U.S. citizen at the age of 12, entered the U.S. Marine Corps after the 9-11 terrorist attacks. He served an eight-month tour of duty, but did not engage in combat duty. Military officials did not reveal any details about his service that would indicate sociopath tendencies.
Ironically, Ocampo's father, Refugio, is homeless. He told reporters that his son was generous to homeless people and can't believe his son would harbor murderous intentions. The defendant's uncle, however, has said Ocampo behaved bizarrely before the killings.
LaDonna McGillivray, the ex-wife of the first victim, addressed reporters after the press conference.
"I am grateful to God that they got this man," she said. "I'm grateful to everybody who played a part in getting this man off the streets so he couldn't take any more lives."
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Ocampo--who, according to his father, liked to get intoxicated on Bud Light--is being held in isolation inside the Orange County Jail.
If Rackauckas eventually decides to pursue the death penalty, those people who are morally opposed to state-run executions can relax. A punishment of death doesn't not mean there will be an execution. Presently sitting on California's death row in San Quentin State Prison are Orange County monsters who've were sentenced to die more than 30 years ago.
Go HERE to read the Weekly's Gustavo Arellano opine about efforts to scapegoat groups with Ocampo's alleged criminal conduct.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly