Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.









Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Robbery - Borderline mentally retarded
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: January 3, 1994
Date of birth: 1973
Victims profile: Peggy Crawford (female, 37) and Keith Christopher (male, 21)
Method of murder: Beating with a hammer and crowbar
Location: Washoe County, Nevada, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Nevada on April 5, 1999

alvaro calabro: competency to be executed


Alvaro Calambro pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death for the killing of 2 people at a U-Haul business in Reno.

He and Duc Cong Huynh arrived at the store on the evening of Jan. 3, 1994, and hogtied Peggy Crawford, 37, and Keith Christopher, 21.

Duc Huynh, who had been fired from his job at the center just before the murders, also got the death sentence but hanged himself at Ely State Prison. 

Peggy and Keith were tied up and beat to death with a hammer and a crowbar, during a $2,400 robbery.

Although Calambro has resisted appeals in his behalf, his mother is trying to stop the execution.  Calambro got the death sentence for murdering Keith Christopher, 21, by beating him with a hammer and then driving a crowbar through his head.

Calambro also got a separate death sentence for murdering Peggy Crawford, 38, another employee at the U-Haul center, and that sentence had been upheld earlier by the Supreme Court.



Alvaro Calambro, 25, - 99-4-5 - Nevada

In Carson City, authorities rejected pleas by the Philippine government Monday and executed a Filipino man convicted of killing 2 U-Haul employees with a hammer and crowbar during a 1994 robbery.

Alvaro Calambro, 25, had refused to file his own appeal.

Philippine officials argued that the execution would violate the Vienna Convention treaty because they weren't immediately notified of Calambro's arrest in 1994, leaving him with inadequate legal representation.

Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa said the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that a foreign national imprisoned in the United States must raise alleged treaty violations in a timely manner, and that didn't happen in Calambro's case.

Calambro and Duc Huynh were convicted of killing Peggy Crawford and Keith Christopher during a $2,400 robbery at the U-Haul business. Both were beaten to death with a tire iron and hammer.

Huynh also got a death sentence, but hanged himself at Ely State Prison.

Calambro becomes the 1st condemned prisoner to executed in Nevada this year and the 8th condemned prisoner to be executed in the state since capital punishment was resumed there on Oct. 22, 1979.

1 woman and 83 men remain on Nevada's death row.

(sources: Associated Press and Rick Halperin)



Alvaro Calambro

Alvaro Calambro pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death for the killing of 2 people at a U-Haul business in Reno.

In late September, 1993, Duc Huynh, a Vietnamese immigrant, was fired from his job at U-Haul Rental in Reno, Nevada after a complaint filed by a fellow employee, Peggy Crawford, age 31. This was to prove a fatal action for Peggy.

Three months later, Huynh teamed up with 21-year-old Alvaro Calambro, a Filipino-born brother of Huynh’s common-law wife, Lea. The two men planned the robbery of this same U-Haul store and the murder of Peggy and, as it would later turn out, a fellow clerk, 25-year-old Keith Christopher.

Alvaro Calambro (who preferred to be called John), was born in the Philippine Republic, but from age ten had lived in Downey, California, and later in adolescence settled in Reno, Nevada.

In December, 1993, Huynh and Calambro, both financially strained and unemployed, planned a robbery and murder to take place at the U-Haul store. No masks were to be used. As Hunyh was a former employee, he would be recognized by the clerks, but the clerks would not live to tell anyone. Calambro purchased oversized shoes to wear so that any footprints left would throw off the police. They would enter the store at closing time, to guarantee the presence of the entire day’s receipts (estimated by Huynh as being in the five figures) and the absence of any last-minute customers who might be potential witnesses. A home burglary in late December netted the two the needed guns for the robbery.

On January 3, 1994, as the U-Haul store was closing for the evening, Huynh and Calambro slid in through the doors as the store was being locked up, with Huynh telling Keith Christopher that he had permission from the store’s manager to borrow one of their smaller trucks.

To the disappointment of Calambro and Huynh, most of the day’s receipts had already been placed in a secured safe, and, when their guns forced the clerks to empty all cash drawers, only $2,435 was obtained. Huynh had started out being in charge of the robbery but, at this point, an impatient Calambro, who felt things were moving too slowly, took over. Grabbing some twine and masking tape at the U-Haul counter, while Huynh held the gun on the clerk, Calambro proceeded to bind the two clerks’ wrists and ankles together behind their backs in a hog-tied position with the twine, and then gagged both with tape.

In later recorded confessions to police, Calambro stated that Huynh left him in charge of the helpless clerks while Huynh, with the money, went out to the parking lot for a smoke. Calambro later admitted that he was amused by Peggy’s beginning to pray while he bound her wrists and ankles together as he knew that she would soon be with God anyway. He also expressed amusement as she helplessly strained against her bonds and was unable to scream while she watched Keith being murdered, knowing that her turn would come next.

Fantasizing that it would be fun to watch his victims’ brains run out of their skulls and to possibly eviscerate his victims, Calambro took a ballpeen hammer and began crushing in Keith’s skull as Peggy lay bound and gagged next to him.

After receiving ten hits with the hammer on the skull, Keith was dead. Calambro then took a tire iron, also lying in the store, and used it to try to pry Keith’s skull apart. This eventually produced a wide enough fissure to allow Calambro to place his hands inside the skull, but, since Calambro was afraid that the sharp, bony edges of the skull might cut his fingers, he abandoned the dead Keith and turned his attention to Peggy. Three whacks on the skull with a hammer killed Peggy.

This time Calambro was gratified to see brains and blood emerge from the skull. He then forced the tire iron through one of Peggy’s eye sockets and left the tire iron protruding from the socket as he exited the store to rejoin Huynh.

A day later, the Reno police came looking for Huynh, who, as the prime suspect in the robbery/murder, was hiding in the ceiling of his mobile home. Calambro met the police at the door of the mobile home and successfully sent them on their way by telling them that Huynh had disappeared several days earlier.

Calambro and Huynh then went on a twelve day crime spree through California, engaging in a series of burglaries and armed robberies that moved them in a southwesterly course through the Golden State until finally, on January, 16, 1994, with a female security guard as hostage, Huynh driving, and Calambro shooting through the car’s windshield, the Los Angeles police, accompanied by a SWAT team, first chased the pair down the Los Angeles freeway system and then cornered them in a building, forcing them to surrender.

During the final siege by SWAT on the building, Calambro accidentally shot himself in the foot, later denying that this self-inflicted wound was in any way intentional. Extradited back to Nevada in March, 1994, Calambro was sent to a psychiatric facility for evaluation.

In December, 1994, a psychiatrist found Calambro to be competent, an antisocial personality, not very bright, and a danger to the community.

On June 19, 1996, both Duc Huynh and Alvaro Calambro were convicted and sentenced to be executed. Huynh hung himself at the Ely State Prison on December 19, 1996.

A tragic side story of Huynh’s suicide is that Calambro’s sister, Lea (Huynh’s common-law wife), in a suicide pact with Huynh, attempted to kill both herself and their four-year-son, Binh. Lea survived, but little Binh did not. Lea, convicted of murdering Binh, is currently in prison in Southern Nevada, serving a sentence of a life without the possibility of parole.

Although Calambro resisted appeals in his behalf, his mother tried to stop the execution, but after being found competent for execution by forensic psychiatrist Franklin Master, the mother's request to be allowed to represent Calambro's interests was denied.

After an evening of speaking with family members for several hours on the telephone, taking communion, and having a last meal of steak, rice, corn, apple pie and Sprite, Calambro calmly walked to the execution chamber, was given a lethal injection, stated, “I regret it,” and died at 9:06 p.m. on Monday evening, April 5, 1999.


Alvaro Calambro

July 3, 1998

Las Vegas Review-Journal

In Reno, a district judge signed a death warrant Thursday that states Alvaro Calambro will be executed the week of July 27 for the brutal murders of 2 U-Haul workers in Reno.

Washoe District Judge Steve Elliott signed the warrant following his recent finding that Calambro is sane enough to be put to death despite evidence he's been treated for schizophrenia and may think he's a vampire.

Lawyers for Calambro, 25, who is borderline mentally retarded, are appealing the competency ruling to the Nevada Supreme Court.  In addition, a U.S. District Court hearing on Calambro's case is scheduled for Tuesday in Reno. 

Elliott's warrant authorizes state prison officials to execute Calambro anytime during the week of July 27.  The exact day will be determined by the prison director or his representative.

Calambro was scheduled to be executed by injection in Carson City on June 13, but the state Supreme Court ruled the day before that he was entitled a hearing to determine whether he was sane enough to make his own decisions whether to appeal the death sentence.

Calambro has said in the past he wants to be executed for his role in the murders.  But his mother, Lydia Calambro, has been working to block the execution on his behalf.  She said he told her during a recent prison visit that he did not understand what an execution is.

Calambro was sentenced to die for the January 1994 murders of Peggy Crawford, who had a tire iron driven through her skull, and Keith Christopher, whose head was crushed by a hammer.

The killings occurred during a $2,400 robbery at the U-Haul business where Calambro's crime partner, Duc Huynh, had just been fired.  Huynh also got the death sentence but hanged himself at Ely State Prison.

Calambro's family has maintained that Huynh was responsible for the murders.



Victim's family awaits her killer's execution

Alvaro Calambro is not expected to fight his date with death for slaying two in 1994

By Sean Whaley - Donrey Capital Bureau

Tuesday, June 09, 1998

CARSON CITY -- Unless he changes his mind and decides to appeal his death sentence, Alvaro Calambro likely will be executed by lethal injection Saturday for killing two Reno U-Haul employees in 1994.

That day can't come soon enough for 68-year-old Clarence Crawford, father of Peggy Crawford, one of the two victims.

Crawford, who lives in Stagecoach, a few miles east of Carson City, said he will attend the execution.

"There's nothing worse for a mother and father than losing a child," he said. "People say to put it behind you. Sure, we'd like to put it behind us.

"If the execution happens, there will be closure," Crawford said. "But there is a big `if.' We still have five days to wait."

Calambro would be executed with a lethal combination of drugs administered intravenously. Executions take place in a converted gas chamber at the Nevada State Prison in the capital.

Last-minute efforts to prevent carrying out the death sentence are under way. But Calambro has refused to try to stop his execution, scheduled for 9 p.m. Saturday.

He has changed his mind at least once before. That occurred in 1995 after his mother, Lydia Calambro, intervened.

Once again, she is attempting to step in. A motion to stay the procedure was filed on her behalf in Washoe District Court last week by Michael Pescetta, a federal public defender handling the case.

Pescetta argued that Calambro, 25, is mentally disabled and can't make informed decisions concerning his legal rights.

Calambro believes that when he is executed, "he will `go to sleep and wake up' in the manner of a vampire," Pescetta said in his motion.

A hearing on that motion is scheduled for Wednesday before District Judge Steven Elliott.

If Calambro's mother is unsuccessful in District Court, there are many other legal avenues to try to stop the execution, including the state Supreme Court and the federal court system.

But the last effort to stop an execution in Nevada through a family member was unsuccessful.

That appeal involved Thomas Baal, sentenced to death for killing bus driver Frances Maves in Las Vegas in 1988. Baal wanted to be executed and his parents tried to stop it. After the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, the appeal was rejected and Baal was executed on June 3, 1990.

The last person to be put to death in Nevada was Richard Moran in March 1996. Moran, who fought his sentence through the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, died for killing two people in a Las Vegas bar in 1984.

There have been six executions in Nevada since the death penalty was reinstated by the state Legislature in 1977.

The Calambro case was an especially heinous murder, according to court documents.

Calambro and an accomplice, Duc Cong Huynh, decided to rob the U-Haul store on South Virginia Avenue in Reno. Huynh had worked there but had been fired.

The two arrived at the business on the evening of Jan. 3, 1994, and hog-tied Crawford, 38, and Keith Christopher, 21. Both were then beaten to death by Calambro. Christopher left behind a 1-year-old son.

The state Supreme Court, in upholding the death penalty for Calambro, said that, "Christopher's head had been crushed with a ball-peen hammer. Crawford's skull had been impaled with a crowbar/tire iron."

About $2,400 in cash was taken.

Shortly after police tried to contact Huynh about the killings, he and Calambro robbed a Reno gun store at gunpoint and drove to Southern California. They were spotted by police and a chase ensued.

The two exchanged gunfire with police and drove into downtown Los Angeles, where they took a woman hostage. After a 9 1/2-hour standoff, the men surrendered.

Calambro's sister, Maria, who was married to Huynh, killed their 4-year-old son, Binh, after the U-Haul killings. She is serving time for that crime at the Southern Nevada Women's Correctional Facility in North Las Vegas.

Both Calambro and Huynh pleaded guilty to the U-Haul slayings and were sentenced to death.

Huynh committed suicide in 1995 while on death row at Ely State Prison in 1995.

Huynh said in his confession that both he and Calambro wanted to die for their crimes.

"I feel God will forgive me if I do this," he said of his suicide.

Pescetta said in his motion that Calambro's IQ is only 71.

But Crawford said Calambro knew what he was doing at the time of the crime.

"It's awfully difficult for the family to think of this man being fed and housed and given free medical care," he said. "What does his IQ have to do with it. So he had a bad childhood, a lot of people did. This just really twists the knife in our family."



Alvaro Calambro



home last updates contact