Today’s Obsessed Yet Truly Morbid Fact!
Kimberly Goytia did not fit the typical cliché of the California girl. She dressed in black and claimed to have worshipped the devil since she first saw the horror film The Omen in 1976. She collected and read books about Satansim and the Black Mass. Her mother, step-father and eleven-year-old sister, Stephanie, did not think much about Kimberly’s obsession. She was thirteen, a perfectly normal age for teens to act out in attempts to distinguish themselves from their schoolmates and family. For many, it is a passing phase, but Kimberly wanted to make it a reality.
February 2, 1981, was a Monday. The weather was cloudy and drizzling, just the way Kimberly would have liked it. Kimberly and Stephanie stood outside on the driveway to their apartment building where they lived at 6330 Havenside Drive, in the Greenhaven Pocket neighborhood of Sacramento. Back from school, they waited for their mother, Carol Summers to come home. The sisters had to kill time until then. Social options were few to preteens in the pre-internet era, and standing around in front of your driveway was one way to watch the world pass by.
Suddenly and without warning, Kimberly pulled out a .32-caliber semi-authomatic piistol that belonged to her step-father and fired two shots at her sister.
One bullet entered her right arm and the second went straight into her heart. Stephanie fell screaming on the sidewalk next to a parked car, and bled to death. Kimberly walked back to the family apartment and called her uncle, who lived a few miles away, and told him what she did. When he got to the scene, he found Stephanie covered in blood. He called the police, as did neighbors who heard the shots and Stephanie’s dying screams. They arrived to find the young girl lying face up, her adolescent features so bloody the police originally thought she was shot in the head. They arrested Kimberly and placed her into juvenile custody.
Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Steve Secrest wanted to throw the book at the sibling-killing Satanist. At the time, a rash of crimes was blamed on Satanism, and it appeared that Secrest had all of his guns on this case. He interviewed the Goytia family, schoolmates, teachers, friends and neighbors about Kimberly’s fascination with the occult and the Omen films and books. Laughably, Secrest pointed out Kimberly had only worn black clothing for the last six months, going as far as retrieving them out of the garbage after her mother threw them away. Defense attorney Betty Rocker opposed the interviews and called them irrelevant hearsay intended to sway the court. Superior Court Judge Mamoru Sakuma dismissed the murder charges because the prosecution had failed to show malice. Kimberly Goytia was charged with manslaughter. In hindsight, it appeared that Secrest relied too much on the films, books, and Kimberly’s inclination to wear black clothing.
The case went to Juvenile Court, where a recently-passed state law was enforced that protects juvenile criminals from media coverage unless they are charged with murder. On April 20, 1981, Superior Court Judge Mamoru Sakuma found Kimberly Goytia guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The thirteen-year-old was taken into the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabiliation – Division of Juvenile Justice for an unknown period of time, and was ultimately released back into society without a word to the press.
Here’s a review of my latest read – the source of today’s fact:
California’s Deadliest Women: Dangerous Dames and Murderous Moms
by David Kulczyk
|This is another very entertaining collection of merciless miscreants from David Kulczyk! This time, David has dredged from the muck a selection of some of the worst women to ever inhabit my home state of California. One thing I really appreciated about the book is that it didn’t cover any of the well-known cases, such as murderous landlady Dorothea Puentes, but instead focused on some of the lesser-known, yet no less evil, villainesses.
As usual, I found the older stories to be the most fascinating, such as the 1940 saga of Lolita Davis, who went on a crazed hammer spree against her children to save them from demons. Or wacky Mary Cox, who attached her bathing daughter, Winifred, with a baseball bat and an axe in 1944. Back in the old days, when guns were less plentiful, murders were just more interesting! And the stark black and white illustrations by Olaf Jens are an excellent accompaniment to the grim stories.
Although a handful of the case studies felt a bit threadbare, and there were a couple times when some of Kulczyk’s less inhibited descriptions sent my hackles rising (“disease-spreading skank” is something no woman should ever be called, no matter how awful she is!), overall this is another triumphant collection of grim tidings to rest happily on the shelf beside California Justice and Death in California.
I can’t wait to see what rotting remains Kulczyk digs up next!