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In mid-February 1994, a call came in to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department reporting a body found. The deceased was Norma Davis, 86, a resident of a gated community for elderly residents. The victim had been killed in her own home by manual strangulation with a phone cord and had also been stabbed multiple times and almost decapitated. Investigators looking at the scene were amazed by the excessiveness of the attack: Much more force than necessary was used to subdue the elderly victim. The house had not been robbed, which was also surprising. Expensive jewelry had been left behind, and the only items that were missing were a Medicare check and credit cards belonging to the victim.

The investigation of Mrs. Davis's murder was stalled when ...

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