Skip to comments.Man Who Murdered 3 USC Film Students in 1978 Dies on Death Row
Posted on 11/23/2011 1:40:20 PM PST by nickcarraway
A San Quentin inmate on death row for the 1978 murder of three USC film students was found dead in his cell, state prison officials said Wednesday.
David Leslie Murtishaw, 54, died Tuesday night of an apparent heart attack in his single-person cell, said officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The former Santa Fe Springs resident was on death row for multiple murders stemming from the fatal shootings of film students James Lee Henderson, Martha Bernice Soto and Ingrid M. Etayo.
Lance Buflo, Soto's husband and the lone survivor of the shooting, testified at Murtishaw's 1979 trial that he and fellow students were making a film in the Mojave Desert in Kern County when Murtishaw and another man asked them for a ride after their car had broken down.
The group told the men that they could have a ride when they were finished filming in the late afternoon sunlight. The men walked away but later returned.
Without warning, Murtishaw opened fire on the group with a rifle.
Soto was hit in the head. Henderson and Etayo each were shot several times in the stomach as they tried to grab Soto and drag her to the ground.
Buflo, who was wounded in the hand, ran from the scene and flagged down a passing motorist. They found a CHP officer and alerted him to the shooting.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimesblogs.latimes.com ...
What was the hold-up here? Why didn’t they just execute him?
My question exactly.
In Texas we usually put them to death within 16/17 years.
“You can’t die here! This is Death Row!”
Thirty-odd years on death row. Ridiculous. Thirty months between conviction and sentence would still be too long.
Was there doubt that he did it?
I don’t think so.
I’m not against lengthy appeals if there are real questions about procedure or evidence of innocence or anything like that.
But it doesn’t seem like that here.
“No fighting in the War Room!”
His sentence was upheld on three separate appeals!
He gets to die of natural causes because the State of California, bowing to the powerful prison guard union, likes to keep as many alive and incarcerated as possible!
How can the prison guard union delay an execution?
I was living in CA at that time and I remember this case. 1978...that means it took them more than 30 years to put this piece of slime to death?
His victims were dead in no time at all. I guess we’re just lucky that he and his buddy didn’t have time to torture them.
Oh, I forget, in 1978, when CA had a lenient policy where anybody could do anything, a Florida trucker named Lawrence Singleton raped a teenage girl, chopped her arms off and left her to die in the desert...and got 14 years. After he was released (serving only 6 or 8 years, I don’t recall the number) he went back to Florida and was finally caught after strangling and killing another woman.
If they’d put him to death the first time, that would never have happened. Nothing cures a homicidal maniac like his own death.
Political animals do that in tribute to the PG union.
In Californicate judges qualify as political animals.
So the union openly lobbies the judges for a stay of execution?
Or they just “make it known”, like with little hints in mailboxes, or comments at cocktail parties?
I’m just trying to picture the mechanism by which a public employees union affects a judge’s ruling.
They’re looking at a lot of old cases in Texas where DNA can now prove innocents or not.
But 34 years seems like more of a Life without Parole sentence.
Executions in CA are as rare as hen’s teeth.
33 years too late and at taxpayer expense.
Think of all the money that could have been saved or put to far, far better use, by just a good rope and a chair.
The F@%)*& should have been executed..about a week after the trial.
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