From 1978 till 1980 Charlene and Gerald kidnapped, raped, and murdered at least 10 women plus an unborn child. Gerald was in control of everything in the relationship, but that doesn’t mean that Charlene was not an active and willing participant. She did anything Gerald asked of her; when he brought up the idea of sex slaves, Charlene was happy to oblige.
Gerald began sexually abusing his own daughter the age of 6; at one point when said daughter was 14 Gerald raped and sodomized his very own daughter and her friend. That says so much about this despicable man.
On September 11th of 1978 Gerald and Charlene killed their first known victims. 17 year old Rhonda Scheffler and 16 old Kippi Vaught were picked up by Charlene at a shopping center in Sacramento where they had been trolling for victims. Charlene told the girls that she had drugs and was willing to share, they just needed to get into the van with her.
Once inside the conversion van, Gerald was waiting with his .25. The teens were bound, taken to the Sierra mountains, then sexually assaulted multiple times by both Gerald and Charlene. The killers took turns savagely biting their young victim’s beasts, then they were beaten in the head with a tire iron. When the couple was done with their slaves, they marched the girls to a ditch and shot them multiple times.
For 2 years this was their pattern: kidnap young women, rape, and murder them. They were finally caught after they’d kidnapped Craig Miller and Mary Sowers. Craig was shot, the couple ditched him on the side of the road; sadly Mary was raped and murdered. Luckily, a friend got the couple’s license plate number. Police were called, and Charlene and Gerald were finally stopped.
Charlene turned states evidence and testified against Gerald in court- this landed her a very lenient sentence. Gerald was sentenced to the death penalty, which was eventually commuted to life. He died a few years back, of cancer.
As for Charlene, she was released in ’97. Under an assumed name, she went back to her life, living in the exact area where she used to troll for young victims. In a recent interview she tried to downplay her guilt, said she only agreed to help Gerald lure victims so he wouldn’t abuse her. Charlene swears she never personally pulled the trigger, but she did everything else so even if that’s true, what’s the difference?
I call her the original Karla Homolka, the cases are So very Similar.
This is a book I read on this couple years ago, it’s really good. If you’re interested in learning more, this book is great