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'Trailside Killer' linked to eighth slaying, police say

David Carpenter, the "Trailside Killer" on death row for the murders of seven people, has been linked to an unsolved 1979 stabbing death of a jogger in San Francisco, police said Tuesday.

DNA evidence links Carpenter to the slaying of Mary Bennett, 23, whose body was found partially covered by dirt and branches in a rugged headlands area overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the San Francisco Police Department said.

Bennett had been stabbed multiple times in the neck, chest and back.

The new evidence, police said, was examined after cold-case detectives obtained DNA samples from Carpenter. Carpenter, 79, is at San Quentin Prison awaiting execution after being convicted of the murders in the 1980s, police said.

Carpenter's victims were attacked in public parks and hiking trails in Northern California, including in Santa Cruz and Marin counties. Some of the victims had been raped, authorities said.

People avoided many hiking trails in the crime areas until Carpenter was arrested in May 1981.

-- Robert J. Lopez
Comments () | Archives (13)

Why this pig is still living at taxpayer expense is beyond my understanding. What the hell good is a death sentence if you still have not carried it out after twenty years.

I don't get why almost 30 years have gone by and this monster is still alive. Why do we have such idiots in our justice system that can't put this monster to death. Why are we still feeding him. That's my tax money!!

79 and still on death row????? - California is really screwed up - there should be one appeal and then if death sentence not overturned - put the convict to death within 30 days.

I agree with you Ron Cee, no one convicted and sentenced to death should still be alive after one year. Third world people are laughing at our system. A criminal is guaranteed a speedy trial, why aern't the people guaranteed a speedy finale?

Exactly. So he's been allowed to live some 30 years longer than his last victim. Where's the justice in that?

Don't forget angry taxpayers- this is the Criminal Justice System which simply means that the only one who gets justice is the criminal. The evil, fat, overstuffed criminal attorneys are laughing all the way to the bank.

I am a native Californian and I am totally EMBARRASSED by our REFUSAL to honor the jury's decisi0ns in ALL capital convictions. The death penalty in this state is an ABSOLUTE JOKE! Where is the JUSTICE for the victims??? There IS none! Shameful.

why do we even pretend to have a death penalty? really. what's the point? this might be one way to actually save taxpayers money by reducing the logjam on death row. it has to cost a fortune to keep these human experiments alive.

i'm not universally against capital punishment. in most cases, i am opposed to it. but in this case, it appears as though it is long overdue. what is the point of having a death penalty if it's not enforced. in all likelihood, he'll die (of natural causes) before he's executed. in this case, it's no different than a life sentence... unless someone can explain what the difference is.

You can possibly understand 1 year, 5 years and maybe 10 years until all the appellings and recourses run their course. But after 30 years and no execution? There is no possible exculpatory evidence after all those years. Honor the veridict and get over with such waste.

We knew how to do it back in the '50's. Charlie Starkweather was handled like they should be handled today. Trial began May 5, 1958. He was sent to another world on June 25, 1959. Today the lawyers make too much money on this trash.


So the families have had to live with the knowledge that Carpenter has been living like a king compared to people in most third world countries, and we have to live with the obscene fact that, at $40,000 per year, he has cost the taxpayer ONE MILLION ONE HUNDRED SIXTY DOLLARS over 29 years. And since he's 79 he must have had some special medical needs, as well. Insane.

30 years and still on death row! California, with laws like that, you deserve to go down. Just keep voting in those same A holes year after year and things will NEVER change.


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