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Ex-Marine accused in homeless killings often gave money to needy

January 17, 2012 | 10:10 am

Man accused of killing homeless men often gave to needy
The former Marine accused of killing four homeless men in Orange County often donated money to the needy -- even as he and his family were destitute, those who knew him said.

Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo, 23, who was jobless and often broke since he returned from military service in Iraq, is accused in the stabbing deaths of James Patrick McGillivray, 53, who was killed in Placentia on Dec. 20; Lloyd Middaugh, 42, found in Anaheim on Dec. 28; Paulus Smit, 57, in Yorba Linda on Dec. 30; and John Berry, 64, in Anaheim on Jan. 13.

The brutal slayings -- each victim suffered at least 40 stab wounds -- had left Orange County's homeless on edge for weeks.

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Ocampo's friends and family said the man they knew came home from Iraq "totally changed," suffering from depression and occasional hallucinations. They said they don't understand the homeless slayings, particularly because his own family suffered financial hardship.

Ocampo was so generous, his father Refugio Ocampo said, that he gave a beggar the last $5 in his pocket even while Ocampo's family were stranded in Bakersfield and desperate for money.

"I said, 'why did you do that?'" his father recalled. "Itzcoatl just said, 'Don't you see people are starving?'"

He frequently spent a large chunk of his unemployment benefits on food, toys and trinkets that he donated to charities, his family said.

Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas is expected to announce charges at a press conference Tuesday.


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Photo: Raul Gonzalez holds a photo of his nephew Itzcoatl Ocampo, who served in the Marine Corps. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times