California Police Say a Serial Killer Has Murdered 6 People in the Last Year

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Central California Killings serial killer
In this undated surveillance image released by the Stockton Police Department, a grainy still image of a “person of interest,” dressed all in black and wearing a black cap, who appeared in videos from several of the homicide crime scenes in Stockton. Ballistics tests have linked the fatal shootings of six men and the wounding of one woman in California— all potentially at the hands of a serial killer — in crimes going back more than a year, police said Monday. (Stockton Police Department via AP)

From the AP . . .

Ballistics tests have linked the fatal shootings of six men and the wounding of one woman in California — all potentially at the hands of a serial killer — in crimes going back more than a year, police said.

Authorities last week announced that five men in Stockton had been slain in recent months, ambushed and shot to death alone in the dark. Late Monday, police said two additional cases last year — a man’s death in Oakland and the non-fatal shooting of a woman in Stockton — had been tied to those killings.

“It definitely meets the definition of a serial killer,” said Stockton Police Officer Joseph Silva. “What makes this different is the shooter is just looking for an opportunity, and unfortunately our victims were alone in a dark area.”

Police would not say whether all seven shootings had been linked to the same gun.

In the fatal Stockton cases, none of the men was robbed or beaten before the killings — which all took place within a radius of a few square miles between July 8 and Sept. 27 — and none appeared to have known each other, Silva said. The shootings also do not seem to be related to gangs or drugs.

The other Stockton crime — in which a 46-year-old woman was shot but survived her injuries — occurred April 16, 2021, around 3:20 a.m., police said. The woman was also alone at the time.

The shooting death of a 40-year-old man in Oakland has also been connected to the violence in Stockton, police said. The man was shot to death around 4:15 a.m. on April 10, 2021. It was not immediately clear whether the man was also unaccompanied when he was killed.

The city of Stockton, Stockton Crime Stoppers and a local construction company owner offered a total of $95,000 for information leading to an arrest in the slayings.

Police released a grainy still image of a “person of interest,” dressed all in black and wearing a black cap, who appeared in videos from several of the homicide crime scenes in Stockton.

Stockton, California serial killer
Courtesy Stockton Police Department

The San Joaquin County’s Office of the Medical Examiner identified the Stockton victims on Monday as Paul Yaw, 35, who was killed on July 8; Salvador Debudey Jr., 43, who died on Aug. 11; Jonathan Hernandez Rodriguez, 21, who died on Aug. 30; Juan Cruz, 52, who was killed on Sept. 21 and Lawrence Lopez Sr., 54.

Lopez was shot shortly before 2 a.m. on Sept. 27 in a residential area just north of downtown.

He “was just a person who was out here at the wrong place, at the wrong time, at the wrong circumstance,” his brother, Jerry Lopez, told KXTV-TV. “It’s hard to process that this has happened.”

There may even be multiple people involved in the violence.

“To be honest, we just don’t know,” Silva said. “This person or people who are out doing this, they are definitely very bold and brazen.”

Police said four of the Stockton homicide victims were walking alone and a fifth was in a parked car when they were killed in the evening or early morning in the city of 320,000 residents, located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of the state capital, Sacramento.

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  1. All in black and their victims were all poc?

    ss/antifa just taking their next step in their evolution. No longer satisfied with burning and looting minority owned stores.

    • Eh, to me, it sounds like someone who lives there with a whole lotta hate in them.

      Likely votes Democrat, of course…

    • Yet anothe childish Dick Head making childish political statement when in all probabillity you have not the slightest idea as to what a COMMIE is . Do you really thinkit appropriate to make silly and meaningless jokes about a serial killer on the loose.

      God help America

    • You and I must be thinking of different Stockton’s. Last time I got shot at was in Stockton in the 80’s. It has never been a nice place.

      • Years back, there was a serial killer in I think Yosemite national park. It ended up being someone who worked there. one of the workers was incredulous in an interview, saying “He was one of us.”.

        This Stockton killer is probably known in the community as just being a regular guy who lives there…

  2. Obviously all of the victims were unarmed and not paying attention to their surroundings.

    “Observe your cat. It is difficult to surprise him. Why? Naturally his superior hearing is part of the answer, but not all of it. He moves well, using his senses fully. He is not preoccupied with irrelevancies. He’s not thinking about his job or his image or his income tax. He is putting first things first, principally his physical security. Do likewise.” Jeff Cooper.

  3. since the murder weapon most definitely has a SERIAL NUMBER on it, they should have already found it, and its user, by now…. oh wait. Serial numbers can’t be used to trace a gun unless they know whose gun it is, or used to be. Funny, that.

    What we have here is a “ghost gun” a gun that cannot be traced. Betchya enny mounta munny when they find the actual gun they will also find its serial number. And last known purchaser who may well have bought it several states away.

    But ya know, all guns MUST have their serial numbers stamped on them, right?

    • You do not need to know who owned it to trace a serial number. Traces start with the manufacturer, then the distributor, and then to the FFL that first sold it. You talk to the buyer, and go from there. Plus, California has had de facto registration and universal background checks for over twenty years. If they find the gun–which they have not–they can trace the gun to its last registered owner (who is not necessarily the perp) unless it was brought in from out of state, and it is nigh impossible if it was stolen.

      • Yeah, I overheard a bunch of criminals at the coffee shop, talking about registering all their guns to avoid breaking the law . . .

    • Had it not been for serial numbers I would not have gotten my stolen firearms back. It works both ways.
      What I do not like about serial numbers is that the Feds gets them when you fill out a 4473 form.

  4. I am sure all that gun control has really helped, after all the bad guy could have killed those same people with an assault weapon and they would have been so much more dead. All of you California people should call and write Gavin Newsom and thank him for making you safe from killers like that.

  5. Don’t worry!
    The CA DA and other prosecutors have come together to stop gun violence!!!
    Seriously they met today in Oakland to discuss how to stop the violence since there have been 101 murders in Oakland this year.

    • Sadly, they will not honestly nor critically examine their policies whilst wailing and gnashing their teeth over how to address their crime epidemic…the meeting is pure theater designed to show the constituents that “they are doing SOMETHING!”.


    To give you an example of what uncaring Morons the Cops are a couple decades or more ago in either Cincinnati or Columbus (I cannot remember which) a young teenage girl was raped. Naturally the cops did not do a damn thing about it. The Mother was outraged and decided to catch the rapist herself. She walked up and down the street where her daughter was raped and at about the same time of the night and wearing similar clothes. Her husband lay hidden in a nearby car with a pistol. Sure enough the rapist tried to rape the mother and the husband made a citizen’s arrest. A TV movie was made about this but naturally they changed the Father with a gun to a Cop with a gun.

    • Rapists maybe. Serial killers not so much. One of the most prolific of all time was a long haul truck driver, and another was one who rode the rails from town to town. Most, however, hunt near where they are currently living, from what I understand.

    • So. An honest citizen with a gun IS the answer. And giving the cops the power to disarm folks helps crime.

      Must be fake dacian.


      I’ve never returned to the scene of any of my murders. You lie again butt head.

    • Yep, it is tough to release a felon on a no cash bail basis without having arrested him in the first place; maybe that is the next step for Soros type prosecutors, to just not allow them to be arrested in the first place.

  7. Neither Stockton or Oakland can go a single day without a homicide. If it makes the news or not depends on if it fits the local new agenda. Also in the news, water is wet, even in Ca.

    Don’t miss leaving that cesspool in the least.

  8. Serial killers in shitty places always seem like a distraction. Like Berkowitz in 70’s NYC. Pay no attention to the crime surrounding you or the polices inability or unwillingness to do anything about it. We have a SERIAL KILLER!!!! requiring all hands on deck and nightly news updates. Magicians misdirection.

  9. So the AP ( whom we know is a trusted news source, Ack) says the boolitts came from the same blaster but the cops say they maybe didn’t? Hmmm who to believe… magic 8 ball says try again later.

    • I can’t speak for the modern Stockton pd. But when I worked in Stockton in the 80’s you could stand on the front steps of the PD and just about a block up the street was what looked like a tail gate flea market. It was drug dealers.

      I have no faith in anything Stockton related.

  10. Under the FBI definition, the definition used by the news media and law enforcement, a serial killer is the following: The unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender, in separate events. …. and using that definition – and remembering that the definition is applied for those cases where the killing was not to serve other criminal interests:

    Over 52% of serial killers victims are killed using other ‘things’, for example, knives, strangled, poison etc…

    There are about ~22,000 ‘serial killer’ victims annually nation wide, of the cases we know. Many more languish in cold case files and the killer has never been identified and the cases have not been solved. Its been estimated that over half the murders in the country annually were committed by serial killers, those which may be caught for one murder but never tied by evidence to other murders although suspected and those which are suspected but there is no evidence that ties them to the murder.

    California has the largest number of ‘suspected’ serial killers, about 6,000 a few of which are known to be active at any one time. Nation wide there are 40 – 50 serial killers active at any one time.

    Many serial killings seem to be completely devoid of meaning or motivation on the part of the serial killer. Serial killers have a chronic and overwhelming need to commit murder, for one motivation reason or another and sometimes its multiple motivations, that distinguishes them from those who kill one time because it serves other criminal interests. A serial killer selects victims based on availability, vulnerability and desirability. Serial killers are compelled to commit murder, that is, they do it because they want to and need to.

    • As presented by the FBI in ‘Serial Murder: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives for Investigators’:

      *The motive can be very difficult to determine in a serial murder investigation.

      *A serial murderer can have multiple motives for committing his/her crimes.

      *A serial killer’s motive(s) can evolve both within a single murder and throughout the series of murders.

      *The classification of motivations should be limited to observable behavior and conditions at the scenes of the murders.

      *Even if a motive can be identified, it may not be helpful in identifying a serial murderer.

      *Utilizing investigative resources to discern the motive instead of identifying the offender can derail or bog down an investigation.

      *Investigators should not necessarily equate a serial murderer’s motivation(s) with the level of injury.

      *Finally, regardless of the specific motive(s), most serial killers commit their crimes because they want to.

      Although all serial killers exhibit mental illness, the exception to this would be those few serial killers suffering from a severe mental illness for whom no coherent motive exists.

      Motivations can include:

      Anger is a powerful motivation in which the offender displays rage or hostility toward either a certain subgroup of the population such as the homeless or society as a whole.

      Criminal enterprise is a motivation in which the offender benefits in status or monetary reward by committing murder that is drug, gang or organized crime-related. For example, murder may be perpetrated by a drug gang in order to eliminate its competition.

      Financial gain is a motivation in which the offender benefits monetarily from killing that is not drug, gang or organized crime-related. A few examples of these types of crimes are comfort/gain killings, robbery-homicide or multiple killings involving insurance or welfare fraud.

      Ideology is a motivation to commit murder in order to further the goals and ideas of a specific individual or group. Examples of these include terrorist groups or an individual(s) who attacks a specific racial, gender or ethnic group out of sheer hatred for the group.

      Power/thrill is a motivation in which the offender feels empowered and/or exhilarated when he kills his victims. The act of killing is an end in itself.

      Psychosis (not to be confused with mental illness all serial killers have, but rather a severe form of mental illness) is a rare situation in which the offender is suffering from a severe mental illness and is killing specifically because of that illness. The condition may include auditory and/or visual hallucinations and paranoid, grandiose or bizarre delusions.

      Sexually-based is a motivation driven by the sexual needs or desires of the offender. There may or may not be evidence of sexual contact present at the crime scene.

      • Contrary to movies and TV shows and society ‘think’, serial killers rarely return to the ‘scene of the crime’

        Its is not uncommon for serial killers to collect trophy’s.

        • quote————Contrary to movies and TV shows and society ‘think’, serial killers rarely return to the ‘scene of the crime’———quote

          Pure bullshit. I could name dozens of serial killers who did return to the scene of the crime including one of the most infamous Ted Bundy who often returned more than once.

        • @dacian

          “Pure bullshit. I could name dozens of serial killers who did return to the scene of the crime including one of the most infamous Ted Bundy who often returned more than once.”

          learn to read and comprehend…

          I said : “Contrary to movies and TV shows and society ‘think’, serial killers rarely return to the ‘scene of the crime’”

          Do you understand what ‘rarely’ means?

          There are literally, as I qualified it, under the FBI definition, thousands of serial killers. A couple of dozen out of thousands would be the rare exception.

          Movies and TV shows and society ‘think’ says that serial killers (and garden variety murderers) always return to the scene, and that is simply not true. They rarely return to the scene, it does not mean that a small percentage does not return to the scene just that in the overall its rare.

          learn to read and comprehend.

        • to Booger Brain

          I say again your post was pure bullshit. Real life serial killers prove you wrong.

  11. Hey, just say “Didn’t I go to High School with you” or spill your soda on him as a distraction should he try to kill you.

    I’m told by your typical gun control zealot that that is the key to a successful defensive strategy.

  12. Were the victims all of one race or another? The article didn’t indicate that Police released that information, which makes it difficult to subscribe to a motive for the killings
    So are they dealing with an opportunistic Psychopath or a Race Hater?
    Either way, I hope they stop/catch him. This country’s got enough problems without adding this Nutjob and the Copy Cats that will probably follow into the mix.


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