TV's 'Dexter' inspired Marine wife's accused killer, letter says
In a profanity-laced note in which she described in grisly detail how she killed a 22-year-old Marine wife, one of the three people now charged with murder says she patterned the killing after the television show "Dexter," about a serial killer.
In the note to police, Jessica Lopez describes strangling Brittany Dawn Killgore "as if my idol Dexter had spoken directly to me."
Lopez, 25, wrote that she then decided to dismember Killgore's body: "I made a few attempts to chop her up like Dexter with Masters power tools but I was afraid it was too loud and it sucked at cutting flesh."
Killing Killgore was not as easy as the television show, Lopez wrote: "I thought I was defending the family and it would be simple like Dexter."
In the television show, Dexter Morgan is a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police who moonlights as a proficient vigilante serial killer. In one episode, he boasts, "I can kill a man, dismember his body, and be home in time for Letterman."
In most of the note, Lopez asserts that she alone killed Killgore, and that Staff Sgt. Louis Perez, 45, and Dorothy Maraglino, 36, had no role in the killing. Investigators do not believe that assertion.
Lopez, Perez, and Maraglino are all charged with murder. The three, who shared a house in Fallbrook, engaged in a sadistic sexual lifestyle that included bondage, pain and a "sex dungeon."
One San Diego County Sheriff's Department detective believes that Perez and Maraglino sexually attacked Killgore to satisfy their sexual needs, according to one of the four search warrants released Wednesday.
Killgore, who had filed for divorce from her Marine husband, agreed to accompany Perez to a dinner cruise in San Diego on April 13. Investigators believe she was killed within hours of Perez picking her up at her home. Her naked and battered body was found days later in a brushy area of Lake Skinner in Riverside County.
Lopez was in a motel room in San Diego, bare-breasted, drunk and bloody from a suicide attempt, when investigators discovered her. Perez had already been arrested.
In the note, addressed to "PIGS READ THIS" and released Wednesday with other court documents, Lopez asserts that she killed Killgore because Killgore was trying to have an affair with Perez, whom Lopez refers to as "Master." She refers to Maraglino as "Mistress."
"I'm sorry Mistress, I know you would have stopped me if you had been there but those...pigs that call themselves cops are so narrow-minded as usual they're trying to pin this on the one guy that would have helped" Killgore, Lopez wrote.
The note assisted investigators in finding Killgore's body. Details about strangling and attempting to dismember Killgore also matched what investigators found.
Perez was stationed at Camp Pendleton. Killgore's estranged husband was also assigned to Camp Pendleton but was deployed to Afghanistan when she was killed.
--Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Jessica Lopez talks with her attorney, Sloan Ostbye, at a hearing on June 27. Credit: Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press