Women were being killed – could it have simply been because of their matching initials?
On 10 January 1977, police in Fairfax, California, received an anonymous call. The tipster said they’d stumbled across a body.
Officers found the body of 18-year-old Roxene Roggasch – a petite, freckled redhead – buried face-down in some desert brush.
She was wearing just tights, with another pair wrapped around her neck. Her feet were bound. She’d been strangled.
The following year, Carmen Colon, 22, was found miles away from Roxene.
She was naked and had been strangled.
Fast-forward 15 years to September 1993, and another naked, strangled body was found.
Waitress, Pamela Parsons, 38.
And a year later, 31-year-old Tracy Tafoya’s body was uncovered in a ditch.
All four victims were reportedly prostitutes.
Curiously, all of their names had alliterative initials – their first and last names began with the same letter.
Years earlier another string of murders had occurred in Rochester, New York.
Three girls with the same double initial pattern.
They’d been dubbed the Alphabet Murders and had remained unsolved.
Had the Alphabet Killer struck again?
The police had no leads until shoplifter, Joseph Naso, was arrested for parole violation in 2010.
Police searched his property. They found 4,000 photos of naked women.
Many of them posed to look unconscious or dead, wearing bondage gear.
They also found diaries, dubbed Naso’s ‘rape journals’, and a list documenting 10 women and various locations.
So was Joseph Naso the double-initial killer? He was arrested on murder charges.
But why was Naso such a monster?
Born in 1934 in Rochester, New York, little is known about his upbringing.
But the internet suggests his dad left home and mum died when he was young.
Any such abandonment may have caused Naso to feel unwanted and unworthy of love, lowering his self-esteem.
In 1958 he was charged with second-degree assault.
One of his ‘rape journal’ entries from that time read: Girl in North Buffalo woods. She was real pretty. Front seat of my car. Had to knock her out first. 1958.
It seems Naso saw his female victims more as mere objects than human beings.
In 1962, he married and had two children. One child was diagnosed with health issues, and Naso spent much of his time caring for his child.
The fact that he was capable of such love makes his murderous actions all the more shocking.
He divorced in 1980.
In 1995, he was caught shoplifting women’s underwear. He was found stealing again two more times, which ultimately led police to his door.
Finally, in June 2013, Naso, 79, stood trial. He denied the murders.
His ex-wife claimed she was twice drugged by Naso and possibly sexually assaulted by strange men while he watched. If true, it confirms an unhealthy fascination with unconscious sexual partners and voyeurism.
He’d had one affair his ex-wife knew of, suggesting a high sex drive.
Naso was convicted of the four Californian murders and sentenced to death.
However, he’s been cleared of the New York Alphabet Murders.
The reason behind the double initials remains unknown.