The identity of the fifth victim of an Orange County serial killer who was recently sentenced to die has been confirmed by the Anaheim Police Department and will be revealed on national television Friday night, according to NBC News.
Dateline NBC learned from Anaheim Police Detective Julissa Trapp that Sable Alexandria Pickett was the previously unknown victim of Steven Dean Gordon, says a network spokesperson.
Anaheim PD spokesman Sgt. Luis Correa issued a press release this morning that confirms the Compton resident, who was two months shy of her 20th birthday at the time of her death, was victim No. 5.
“Detectives believe Pickett was abducted by Gordon and Cano from the Beach Boulevard area of Anaheim on Valentines’ Day 2014 and murdered later that evening,” Correa says.
Citing the ongoing investigation, he adds detectives will not release any further information about how they identified Pickett, but they “are confident she was the fifth victim and have made notification to her family.”
That notification must have been earlier this month because on April 3 Pickett’s grandmother in Compton posted a GoFundMe.com page to raise funds for memorial expenses.
Gordon, who was handed the death sentence by Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick H. Donahue on Feb. 3, Trapp and the mothers of the four previously known victims appear during the 10 p.m. Dateline NBC episode “Good & Evil.”
“For the first time on national television, convicted serial killer Steve Gordon will speak out to Keith Morrison about the case and his reaction to the verdict,” says the NBC News rep.
The slayings were carried out during a five-month period that ended March 14, 2014, when the nude body of 21-year-old Jarrae Nykkole Estepp of Oklahoma was found on the conveyor belt of an Anaheim rubbish and recycling facility. A tube of caulking discovered near the body led investigators to Boss Body and Paint, 3421 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim where Estepp’s fingerprints were found on a recycling bin.
Investigators learned that Gordon parked his RV and sometimes worked odd jobs at the shop, and that Franc Cano would often stay with him. Both were registered sex offenders who wore devices so law enforcement could track their movements. These and cell phone data showed that Cano and Gordon had been in the areas where three prostitutes disappeared in Santa Ana. Estepp had worked the streets in Anaheim.
According to grand jury transcripts, Gordon admitted during 13 1/2 hours of interrogation by Trapp that he and Cano randomly chose five women to rape, strangle and throw out like garbage. Though the fifth victim has now been identified, it has not been revealed if authorities found her body. The bodies of Kianna Jackson, 20, of Las Vegas, and Josephine Monique Vargas, 34, and Martha Anaya, 28, both of Santa Ana, have not been located.
“He would actually stop me and tell me he wanted to talk about them in order,” Trapp reportedly told the grand jury of Gordon and his victims. “I mean, he had actually rearranged the photographs I had shown him and put them in order.”
At first Gordon tried to take the fall for all the slayings, but when he asked to speak with Cano and Trapp lied that his partner didn’t want to talk to him, Gordon changed his tune, admitting that both picked up the women and killed them.
Gordon, who represented himself at trial, was found guilty by a jury that would also recommend the death penalty in December. Cano has a pre-trial hearing in his separate death penalty case set for May 12.
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