Gerald Parker (1 Viewer)


Gerald Parker

A.K.A.: "The Bedroom Basher"

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Home-invading rapist
Number of victims: 5 + 1
Date of murders: 1978 - 1979
Date of birth: 1955
Victims profile: Sandra Kay Fry, 17 / Kimberly Gaye Rawlins, 21 / Marolyn Kay Carleton, 31 / Debora Kennedy, 24 / Debra Lynn Senior, 17 / A unborn child
Method of murder: Beating
Location: Orange County, California, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on January 22, 1999

Gerald Parker is an American serial killer. He raped and murdered five women and killed the unborn baby of a sixth woman in Orange County, California in the 1970s.

Ex-Marine Charged in '70s Killings

Crime: Gerald Parker committed six O.C. murders, authorities say, including one for which another man endured 17 years in prison.

June 22, 1996

The Green case blew open while investigators from Tustin and Costa Mesa were working a cluster of unsolved murder cases earlier this year--the killings and sexual assaults of women ages 17 to 31 that had baffled them for years.

Prosecutors filed murder charges Friday against a former Marine they say is responsible for six slayings, including one where another man was wrongfully imprisoned for 17 years.

Investigators identified Gerald Parker, a state prison inmate, as the feared "Bludgeon Killer" after a new system of genetic testing helped link him to attacks on young women who were raped and bashed in their Orange County homes in the late '70s.

Police and Navy officials said they are investigating whether Parker may be responsible for even more killings across the country, including the 1977 slaying of a 20-year-old Costa Mesa woman who lived close to the other victims.

Parker spent 7 1/2 years in the Marine Corps, including stints at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station as well as bases in North Carolina, Alaska and Mississippi, before he was convicted of raping a 13-year-old Tustin girl in 1980.

That was the same year another Marine, 22-year-old Kevin Lee Green of Tustin, was convicted of second-degree murder for the bludgeoning attack of his pregnant 21-year-old wife and the murder of her full-term fetus.

Parker, who could face the death penalty if convicted, confessed just a week ago to the attack on Green's wife, according to sources close to the investigation.

Green, now 38, was freed from custody Thursday as a judge and prosecutors apologized for the mistake.

"You can never get back those 17 years. All of us obviously feel very bad that this took place," Orange County Dist. Atty. Michael R. Capizzi said Thursday. "Our justice system is not 100% perfect, but it's as close to perfect as you're going to find anywhere in this world."

The Green case blew open while investigators from Tustin and Costa Mesa were working a cluster of unsolved murder cases earlier this year--the killings and sexual assaults of women ages 17 to 31 that had baffled them for years.

The detectives learned of the new state database that can match genetic material known as DNA from convicted criminals to evidence from open cases and they lobbied the Orange County sheriff's crime lab to run their cases. The police work was aided by two local prosecutors who have embarked on a project to reexamine the county's unsolved murder cases.

Investigators said they eventually made six matches--all to Parker--with the help of new technology that allowed them to compare evidence as tiny as body fluid stains from crime scenes to the database of 65,000 DNA samples of convicted felons.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department had just begun using the new technique--known as the Short Tandem Repeats method--in March. The county lab is one of three in the nation capable of such a task, said Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates.

"We were completely amazed," said Frank Fitzpatrick, the sheriff's forensic science director. "Not only did we get a hit in the database, but it was linked to all of these cases."

Authorities say they have DNA matches between Parker and murder victims Kimberly Gaye Rawlins, 21, of Costa Mesa; Marolyn Kay Carleton, 31, of Costa Mesa; Debora Kennedy, 24, of Tustin; and Debra Lynn Senior, 17, of Costa Mesa. All were killed in 1979. Police sources say Parker also has confessed to the slaying of Sandra Kay Fry, 17, of Anaheim, who was raped and murdered in 1978.

A sixth DNA match links Parker to a rape of a 24-year-old Costa Mesa optometrist, but the three-year statute of limitations on the case has expired, according to police.

"All these years we've been haunted by little demons," said Thomas Fry, 36, a radio talk show host in Las Vegas who is the brother of Sandra Fry. "Now we can put all those wandering thoughts aside, find some tentative closure and hope that this individual will pay the ultimate punishment."

Once they established the DNA links to the murder cases, Costa Mesa and Tustin detectives traveled to Avenal State Prison in Central California and talked to Parker. He was imprisoned for a parole violation and scheduled for release next month.

Police sources said that during the interview, Parker admitted attacking Green's wife, Dianna D'Aiello.

D'Aiello was comatose for a month after the 1979 attack and suffered significant memory loss but testified against her husband, who is white. Jurors said Green's alibi--that he was out getting a cheeseburger at the time of the attack and that he had seen a black man loitering around their apartment complex--"just wasn't believable."

D'Aiello testified that she was in her ninth month of pregnancy when her husband attacked her after she refused to have sex. Her head injuries were severe and doctors considered removing the fetus, but feared it would cost D'Aiello her life, according to court records. Doctors waited 24 hours for her condition to improve and after performing a caesarean section, the fetus was dead.

Green's attorneys filed an appeal of his conviction with the Fourth District Court of Appeal, which was denied in 1982.

Green had maintained his innocence over the years and had been a model inmate, most recently at the Correctional Training Facility at Soledad, where he worked as a warden's secretary, helped give tours to college students and coordinated the prison Christmas party, investigators and prison officials said.

"He had a very good rapport with the staff and the inmate population and it was built on respect," said Jerry Smith, a spokesman at Soledad, where Green spent most of his term.

Tuesday, Tustin Det. Tom Tarpley visited Green in Soledad to tell him his nightmare might soon be over. Sipping a glass of water in an interview room, Green was wide-eyed and overcome with emotion.

"Kevin was very grateful that somebody was looking into the case," Tarpley said. "When I told him where this evidence might lead, he began crying. He immediately broke down."

Ronald G. Brower, Green's attorney, said his client flew to the Midwest after Thursday's hearing to be reunited with his family.

"He is not resentful. He believes everybody proceeded in good faith," Brower said, adding that his client had no plans to sue for damages.

At a press conference Friday, police and prosecutors announced the new charges against Parker and revealed some of the soul-searching that has gone on the past week when they realized that Green had been the victim of a terrible mistake.

Sheriff Gates said that when he learned about the Green case, "I felt happy and I felt terrible. My stomach went 'boom.' My first words were, 'I'm glad it wasn't my brother.'"

But based on the case they had and with assurances by experts that D'Aiello was a credible witness, Capizzi said police and prosecutors acted correctly.

In 1979, investigators initially believed the attack on D'Aiello, who was nine months pregnant, might have been linked to five murders in Orange County. But eventually Tustin detectives shifted their focus to Green.

Meanwhile, D'Aiello and her family remained stunned by the turn of events on Friday. The 36-year-old woman remained secluded with her mother in Riverside.

"I'm going through it," D'Aiello said, declining further comment.

Her father, Jerome D'Aiello, said his daughter was going "to have deal with it" and accept that someone else has now been charged with the crime.

"From what they say, there was a palm print and DNA," the father said. "My daughter still has no recollection of any other face. You have to understand she was in a very traumatic state at the time. The beating she saw could have been something that happened before, because he did hit her."

While Green was incarcerated, he tried to have a DNA test performed on evidence collected in the case but lacked the money needed for expensive forensic tests, Brower said.

The attorney said he was "frankly surprised" that crucial evidence from the attack on D'Aiello had not been destroyed or discarded over the years.

Brower said that Green's constant refusal to confess to the crime hurt him at parole hearings because officials viewed him as unrepentant.

"He continued to assert his innocence in a series of parole hearings. . . . {Deputy Dist. Atty.} Mel Jensen felt particularly bad because he had gone to several hearings and urged that Green be kept in prison," Brower said.

Green passed a defense-administered polygraph test before trial, the attorney said.

Although D'Aiello's testimony was instrumental in convicting Green, he is not resentful of his former wife, Brower said. The fact that she identified Green, who is white, and not Parker, who is African American, as her attacker "points to the extent of the wife's brain damage," he added.

"I think it was a good-faith effort on her part {when she testified that Green attacked her}. I don't think she made it up," Brower said.

Also contributing to this report were Times staff writers H.G. Reza, Anna Cekola, Tina Nguyen, Greg Hernandez and Rene Lynch.

Gerald Parker

January 22, 1999

A Santa Ana court sentenced serial killer and rapist Gerald parker to death for a killing spree that was originally blamed on an innocent man who served 16 years in prison. Parker, 43, known as "The Bedroom Basher" for his 1978-79 murderous rampage, was convicted last year for the rapes and murders of five women ages 17 to 31, and the killing of a full-term fetus being carried by the pregnant Dianne Green, now Dianne D'Aiello.

Kevin Green, D'Aiello's ex-husband, was sentenced to life in prison for that case and served 16 years before he was exonerated in 1996 when DNA evidence linked Parker to the attack. Strangely, D'Aiello still believes Green beat and raped her shortly before Parker did. She had testified against Green at his trial, even though his attorneys argued that her recollection couldn't be trusted.

Serial Murderer Receives Death Penalty for '70s Rapes, Killings

January 22, 1999

Serial killer Gerald Parker, dubbed the "Bedroom Basher" for a spree of sex slayings that terrorized Orange County in the 1970s, was sentenced to death Thursday after an emotional hearing in which victims' families spoke of their years of anguish and loss.

Using new DNA technology and a computer database, prosecutors developed the case against Parker 17 years after he raped and murdered five Orange County women and killed the unborn child of a sixth woman. The surviving victim's husband was later wrongly convicted of the crime.

In handing down the sentence, Orange County Superior Court Judge Francisco P. Briseno told Parker his "inhuman behavior is beyond belief" and rejected defense arguments that Parker's life should be spared because he was a drug addict and came from a troubled background.

Family members of the victims who addressed the court said the end to the long-running case would help bring closure, but that they remained emotionally crushed by the murders.

Parker "will have a peaceful death" by lethal injection, said Jackie Bissonnette, whose sister Debra Lynn Senior, 17, was among Parker's victims. "Our sisters, daughters and friends were left bleeding to die."

Victim Debora Kennedy's sister, Ann Jones, said her younger sister's murder has had a devastating effect on the whole family. Jones said that, even after all these years, she still doesn't leave a window open or answer the phone when her husband is not around.

"I think the fears that I feel will always be with me," she said. "I'm trying to get over this, but I'm not sure that I ever will."

Jones said her 24-year-old sister was a warm and loving person, and that knowing her killer has finally been found, convicted and sentenced brings some respite.

"In that aspect, it is closure," she told the court.

One of the victims, Dianna D'Aiello, survived the attack, but her full-term fetus died as a result of her injuries. D'Aiello's then-husband, Kevin Green, was charged with the murder and spent nearly 17 years in prison. Green was freed in 1996, when officials acknowledged they had convicted the wrong man.

D'Aiello has maintained in the past that she still partially blames her ex-husband for their baby's death. She has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against him, and on Thursday reiterated her claim.

"I feel that I've been beaten and raped by two men. By a stranger and by a man who I loved and trusted," D'Aiello said in court.

Gerald Parker (6+)

Known as the "Bedroom Basher," serial rapist Gerald Parker thought he had gotten away with murder until DNA testing linked him to the murder of five women and an unborn child in Orange County, California. Parker, a former Marine, was linked through genetic evidence to attacks on young women who where raped and bludgeoned in their homes in the late 1970s around El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.

Police and Navy officials believe Gerald might be responsible for even more killings, specifically three other dead women in Orange County. During his 7 1/2 years with the Marines Gerald was based in El Toro as well as other bases in North Carolina, Alaska and Mississippi before being convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl in 1980.

That same year another Marine, Kevin Lee Green, was convicted of second degree murder for an attack on his 21-year-old pregnant wife that led to the death of their unborn baby. 16 years later, Parker confessed to the attack on Green's wife. On June 20, 1996 Superior Court Judge Robert Fitzgerald apologized for Green's wrongful incarceration and declared him a free and innocent man. Curiously his ex-wife Dianna D'Aiello still believes he was her attacker.

Using new technology that can match DNA samples of convicted criminals with evidence of unsolved crimes investigators were able to link several unsolved murders of young women to Parker. On June 14 detectives met with Parker in the Avenal State Prison in Central Valley where he was imprisoned for a parole violation. There he confessed to five killings and the assault on Dianna D'Aiello.

D'Aiello was comatose for a month after her 1979 attack and suffered a significant loss of memory. When she regained consciousness she identified her husband as her attacker. Jurors believed her and considered his alibi, that he went to get a cheeseburger, unbelievable. Ever since he was arrested Green proclaimed his innocence. He even passed a defense-administered polygraph test before the trial. While incarcerated he tried to have a DNA test performed on the semen investigators collected at the crime scene. Unfortunately, he could not afford the costly forensic procedure. Luckily, crucial evidence from the D'Aiello attack had not been destroyed and could be tested when his guilt was brought into question. Once exonerated, the ex-Marine corporal went to visit his family in the Midwest and says he does not plan to sue the state for damages resulting from his wrongful conviction.


MO: Home-invading rapist; bludgeoned females age 17-31, also killing a pregnant sixth victim's fullterm fetus

DISPOSITION: Confessed to rape, 1996; convicted on six murder counts, Oct. 1998; condemned, 1999.

Serial killer Gerald Parker, dubbed the "Bedroom Basher"

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