Roger Kibbe was a middle-aged, hen-pecked
husband with a lengthy record, including two stints in prison for non-violent
crimes. In 1985 he began a serial killing spree that earned him the
nickname “I-5 strangler.”
Kibbe stalked the freeways south of Sacramento late
at night looking for young women with car trouble. After offering to
help, they were abducted, driven to remote locations and strangled with
their own clothing. Kibbe was suspected in four slayings, but evidence
After two pieces of microscopic evidence linked Kibbe
to one of the killings, he was subsequently tried and convicted of one
count of first-degree murder and sentenced to prison for 25 years. He
will be eligible for parole in two years, but it is doubtful that he
will be released, considering he is reported to be a suspect in other
Known as the I-I5 Killer in California
in the mid 1980's, Roger Kibbe was tried and convicted on 2 counts of
murder rape in Eldorado County. I know because I had to appear for the
prosecution as a professional witness. The industrious type, he is also
suspected of five more murder-rapes in Sacramento. District attorney
Robert Drossel believes Kibbe could have been responsible for up to 38
Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial
Killers - Hunting Humans
I-5 Strangler Gets 6 Life Terms In Prison
Kibbe Avoids Death Penalty
November 5, 2009
STOCKTON, Calif. --
The so-called I-5 Strangler was sentenced Thursday to six
consecutive life sentences after pleading guilty to six Northern
California killings in an effort to avoid the death penalty.
Roger Reece Kibbe, 70, is not eligible for parole.
Kibbe is currently serving 25 years to life in San Quentin State
Prison for the 1987 murder of 17-year-old Darcie Frackenpohl, whose
body was found in El Dorado County.
Kibbe received his nickname for committing some of his crimes along
His earlier indictment in
connection with six slayings that took place from 1977 to 1986 made
him eligible for the death penalty.
Kibbe was accused in the indictment of killing
the following victims:
Lou Ellen Burleigh, Sept.
Lora Heedrick of Modesto,
April 21, 1986
Barbara Ann Scott, July 3,
Stephanie Brown of
Sacramento, July 15, 1986
Charmaine Sabrah of
Sacramento, Aug. 17, 1986
Katherine Kelly Quinones,
Nov. 5, 1986
Kibbe heard from the families of his victims in
court on Thursday, some of whom called him a "monster" and "inhuman."
"Today, we're done with Roger Kibbe. So that's
the best we could get," said Jo Allyn Brown, the mother of victim
Stephanie Brown. "He's not coming out."
Carmen Anselmi, the mother of victim Charmaine
Sabrah, said she forgives Kibbe.
"If God can forgive, why can't I?" Anselmi said.
"I still have that hurt."
Anselmi said "I felt like I was sending her to
her death, but it was too late," after she saw her daughter accept a
ride from Kibbe 24 years ago. Their car had broken down along I-5, and
Sabrah became one of his victims.
Kibbe never looked at the families of his victims,
but he did offer a statement through his attorney Thursday.
"He's wracked with humiliating fear of why he did
it," Jan Karowski said.
Kibbe also confessed to one other rape, but no
"There's two missing girls from
Modesto who disappeared from the same location where he said he picked
that girl up," detective Vito Bertocchini said. "And I have a strong
feeling that he did not release that girl."
Justice is served: The confessions of Roger Reece
Justice is famously blind, and it is often slow,
but it is nonetheless rewarding to see it done.
In the past few weeks, prosecutors and
investigators from four Northern California counties finally closed
the book on six murders, two of which took place in Napa County. All
six were committed by Roger Reece Kibbe, the so-called I-5 Strangler
who was already in prison for murder when investigators evoked
confessions of his additional crimes.
Kibbe admitted to the murders late last month, five
in 1986 and one in 1977, and acknowledged raping his victims in five
of those cases.
The two women who died in Napa County were Lou
Ellen Burleigh of Walnut Creek, 21 at the time of her death in 1977,
and Katherine Quinones of Sacramento, who was 25 when she died in
Given the enormity of Kibbe’s crimes, it is hard to
draw meaningful lessons from this new twist, other than that jailers
should throw away the key after returning Kibbe, 70, to his prison
But there are a few. We should remember that many
people, young women especially, remain vulnerable to those who would
seek to harm them. It is important for young women to take precautions
such as traveling with a companion or letting others know their
whereabouts when meeting strangers or going to unfamiliar places.
We should also remember that the details of what we
see and hear often matter a great deal in solving difficult cases.
Kibbe was a sky diver who used the netting from his diving equipment
to strangle a West Sacramento teen in the case that resulted in his
first conviction, in 1991.
Over time, investigators from different counties
noted the same material was used in some of Kibbe’s other crimes, most
of which involved victims he met randomly and others he schemed to
meet in isolated places.
It took more than 20 years to close most of these
cases, and 32 to evoke a confession in the case of Burleigh, whose
remains apparently are still where Kibbe left them, somewhere near
Mike Frey, an investigator with the Napa County
district attorney’s office, worked on these cases for several years,
as did law enforcement officers from San Joaquin, Amador and Contra
Costa counties. After Kibbe’s plea, he said, “On one hand, I’m happy
for the families (of the victims), but I’ll always regret not being
able to find Lou Ellen Burleigh’s remains. I’m hoping someday someone
will stumble across something … I think her family deserves that."
I-5 Strangler Pleaded Guilty to 6 Killings
September 29, 2009
STOCKTON, Calif. -- The so-called I-5 Strangler has pleaded guilty to
six Northern California killings as part of a deal to avoid the death
penalty. Roger Reece Kibbe, 70, is set to be sentenced on Nov. 5. He
faces six consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
The sentence hinges on whether or not Kibbe cooperates with
investigators by providing key details about the slayings. "We don't
know if he committed the other murders. If he says he did, then it'll
be a good opportunity to solve some old crimes," deputy district
attorney Kevin Mayo said.
Kibbe is currently serving 25 years to life in San Quentin State
Prison for the 1987 murder of 17-year-old Darcie Frackenpohl, whose
body was found in El Dorado County. Kibbe received his nickname for
committing some of his crimes along Interstate 5. His earlier
indictment in connection with six slayings that took place from 1977
to 1986 made him eligible for the death penalty. Kibbe was accused in
the indictment of killing the following victims:
Lou Ellen Burleigh, Sept. 11, 1977
Lora Heedrick of Modesto, April 21, 1986
Barbara Ann Scott, July 3, 1986
Stephanie Brown of Sacramento, July 15, 1986
Charmaine Sabrah of Sacramento, Aug. 17, 1986
Katherine Kelly Quinones, Nov. 5, 1986
Gag order issued in case of alleged 'I-5 Strangler'
By Layla Bohm - News-Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Suspected "I-5 Strangler" Roger Reece Kibbe made his
second court appearance Monday, where he saw the judge who will preside
over his trial on allegations of killing six women.
San Joaquin County Superior Court judge Bernard J.
Garber then promptly issued a gag order that he'd prepared as soon as he
learned the case would land on his bench.
Kibbe, 68, said nothing as interim Public Defender
Pete Fox asked Garber for more time than usual, "in view of the
extremely voluminous nature of this case."
Garber scheduled a March 17 hearing on whether to
seal a stack of transcripts from grand jury proceedings.
A grand jury indicted Kibbe on six counts of rape and
murder in deaths ranging from 1977 to 1986. Approximately 80 witnesses
testified before the grand jury, which convened in the last week of
January and issued the indictment Feb. 25.
Kibbe did not enter a plea Monday to six counts of
murder, which could make him eligible for the death penalty.
He is charged with killing Lou Ellen Burleigh, 21, of
Walnut Creek, in 1977, and five other deaths in 1986: Lora Heedick, 20,
of Modesto; Barbara Ann Scott; Stephanie Brown, 19, of Sacramento;
Charmaine Sabrah, 26, of Sacramento; and Katherine Kelly Quinones, 25,
According to a true-crime book about the case, as
well as media accounts of Kibbe's 1991 trial on one murder charge, the
I-5 Strangler targeted women along Interstate 5. Either they broke down
and he stopped to help, or he faked car troubles of his own.
The bodies were then found dumped in rural areas,
including Highway 12 west of Interstate 5, where Brown's body was
The cases were investigated by a task force of San
Joaquin and Sacramento county investigators, though bodies were found in
Kibbe is serving a sentence of 25 years to life for
the 1987 death of 17-year-old Darcie Frackenpoehl, who disappeared from
Sacramento and whose body was found in El Dorado County.
Why the case is being prosecuted in San Joaquin
County is not clear, and Deputy District Attorney Robert Himelblau said
that was a matter of grand jury testimony, which is still under seal. He
made the statement before Garber issued the gag order.
Garber has previously issued gag orders in high-profile
cases. Among them is the murder trial of Sarah Dutra, a college student
accused of helping give her boss, Larry McNabney, a lethal dose of horse
tranquilizer and putting his body in a refrigerator inside his
The gag order means that witnesses, along with
attorneys in the case, are now barred from talking to the press. Such
gag orders typically last through the end of a trial.
Prisoner accused of killing six women as 'I-5
Mar 8, 2008
- A state prisoner suspected of being the "I-5 Strangler" could face the
death penalty if he's convicted of six murders committed more than two
decades ago along Interstate 5 in California's Central Valley.
Roger Reese Kibbe, 68, was arraigned in San Joaquin
County Friday on charges he murdered five women in 1986 and a sixth
woman in 1977.
He is currently serving a life term at Pleasant
Valley State Prison in Coalinga for strangling a 17-year-old West
Sacramento prostitute and leaving her naked body in the mountains south
of Lake Tahoe in 1987.
Investigators have long said they suspected Kibbe in
the other slayings.
El Dorado County prosecutors presented some of that
evidence at his 1991 trial for Darcie Frackenpohl's murder. The runaway
from Seattle was killed after she disappeared from a West Sacramento
street frequented by prostitutes.
At the time, the state Department of Justice said
fibers from nylon rope used by skydivers was among the microscopic
evidence linking Kibbe to three of the other slayings. Witnesses alleged
Kibbe, who was a skydiver, had a murder kit including handcuffs and
But prosecutors previously said the multiple
jurisdictions where the crimes occurred and complications in state law
made it difficult to press other charges. California law has since been
changed to let one county prosecute crimes from several jurisdictions.
Only one of the victims' bodies was dumped in San
Joaquin County, but investigators from Sacramento, Napa, Contra Costa
and Amador counties all testified before the San Joaquin grand jury that
indicted Kibbe Feb. 25.
He faces six counts of murder with special
circumstances including rape, kidnapping and multiple murders that make
him eligible for the death penalty.
Kibbe, a furniture maker whose brother was a police
detective, has been portrayed on television crime shows and was the
subject of a 1999 book by Bruce Henderson entitled "Trace Evidence: The
Search for the I-5 Strangler."
Prosecutors released few details on the victims and
would not comment.
According to the indictment and media accounts, Kibbe
is charged with the murder of Lou Ellen Burleigh of Walnut Creek in 1977
and five other slayings in 1986:
- Stephanie Brown, 19, of Sacramento, was sexually
assaulted, strangled, and her body dumped in a ditch. A crumpled map was
found near her car parked along I-5.
- Charmaine Sabrah, 26, a mother of three from
Sacramento, disappeared after her car broke down along I-5 and she drove
off with a strange man who offered to help. Her strangled body was found
three months later.
- Heedrick, 21, of Modesto, was last seen getting
into a car. Her body was found along I-5 five months later.
- The other two victims are Katherine Kelly Quinones,
25 and Barbara Ann Scott, 29.
Kibbe, who has receding short white hair, is being
held without bail for a court appearance Monday. He spoke briefly and
barely audibly during Friday's arraignment, saying only that he wants an
attorney appointed to represent him.
The Associated Press
Roger Reece Kibbe Is the I-5 Strangler
March 08th, 2008
Stockton, CA -
Sometimes Lady Justice takes her time, but when she
finally arrives, it’s always an entrance worth
writing about. On Friday, a grand jury indicted
Roger Reece Kibbe, 68, for the murders of Lou Ellen
Burleigh, Lora Heedick, Barbara Ann Scott, Stephanie
Brown, Charmaine Sabrah, and Katherine Kelly
Quinones. Burleigh was killed in 1977, the other
women were all dumped near Interstate 5 in
California in 1986. Kibbe was already serving a
prison term for the 1987 murder of Darcie
Frankenpohl, a 17-year-old runaway from Seattle.
Kibbe had long been suspected of
the other murders, but due to California law about
county jurisdiction, it was impossible to try Kibbe
for all the murders in all the counties. After the
laws were changed, the cases were reopened, and a
grand jury spent February hearing evidence in the
serial murders. The San Joaquin County District
Attorney’s Office is prosecuting all of the murders
as one case, but is working with district attorneys
in other counties where the victims were killed.
Kibbe liked to abduct girls and
women, rape them, assault them, do bad things to
them, and then strangle them with their own clothes.
He’d leave most of the bodies thrown out like trash
along I-5, hence the catchy nickname. His victims
are named in the indictment: Lou Ellen Burleigh was
killed around September 15, 1977. Lora Heedick was
killed on or around April 21, 1986. Next murdered
was Barbara Ann Scott on July 3, 1986. Stephanie
Brown was murdered on or about July 15, 1986.
Charmaine Sabrah died at Kibbe’s hand around August
17, 1986, and Katherine Kelly Quinones was killed
around about November 5, 1986.
The murder that got Kibbe put
away was Darcie Frackenpohl. He was convicted in
March 1991 for Darcie’s murder. The pretty blonde
teenager was a prostitute in West Sacramento whose
body was found dumped near Echo Summit, CA, in 1987.
Kibbe got 25 years to life, and was coming up for
parole when the other cases were reopened.
Thing is, it was well known that
Kibbe was probably the guy behind these murders. He
didn’t keep his mouth shut very well, and there were
even books written in the 1990s naming him as the
prime suspect. But the law can be complacent and
have a short memory. With Kibbe behind bars for
Darcie Frankenpohl’s murder, nobody outside the
victims’ families were too worried about him - until
they realized that Kibbe could very soon be up for
If Kibbe is convicted of the
murder charges with special circumstances, he would
be eligible for the death penalty. The special
circumstances are prior conviction for murder, the
alleged commission of multiple murders, and murder
accompanies by rape, kidnapping, and oral copulation.
I-5 Strangler tied to two more Sacramento slayings
By Bill Lindelof - The Sacramento Bee
Friday, March 7, 2008
Roger Reece Kibbe, dubbed by authorities as the I-5
Strangler, was arraigned Friday on six counts of murder in San Joaquin
County, including two Sacramento victims.
Kibbe was convicted in 1991 of strangling a 17-year-old
West Sacramento prostitute and leaving her nude body at Echo Summit. He
was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the 1987 slaying.
In the new San Joaquin County indictment, he is
accused of the murder of Lou Ellen Burleigh in 1977 and the deaths of
Barbara Ann Scott, Stephanie Brown, Charmaine Sabrah, Katherine Kelly
Quinones and Lora Heedrick -- all in 1986.
At the time of his 1991 conviction, authorities
listed the deaths of Heedrick, Brown and Sabrah as-yet-unresolved I-5
Sabrah, 26, of Sacramento was returning to Sacramento
on Aug. 17, 1986, when her car broke down at Peltier Road and I-5.
Leaving her mother with the automobile, Sabrah drove off in a two-seat
sports car with a man who offered to help. The strangled body of the
mother of three was found Nov. 9, 1986, near Highway 124 in Amador
Sacramento resident Brown, 19, was found the morning
of June 15, 1986, in a ditch beside Highway 12 near Terminus Island. She
had been strangled and sexually assaulted. A crumpled map was found
alongside her car near Hood-Franklin Road and I-5.
Heedrick, 21, of Modesto was last seen April 20,
1986, in her hometown, when she got into a car headed toward Highway 99.
Her body was found Sept. 6, 1986, near Highway 12 and Interstate 5.
Kibbe was indicted by a San Joaquin County grand jury.
Because of that, the District Attorney's Office is constrained by law
and is not able to discuss the details of the case or the evidence
underlying the case, according to a press release.
As grand jury secrecy rules permit, the District
Attorney's Office plans to hold a press conference. It is anticipated
that the DA, law enforcement, and victims' family members will be
present to answer questions, according to the release.
Kibbe was convicted in 1991 of first-degree murder in
the killing of 17-year-old Darcie Frackenpohl, a runaway from Seattle,
whose body was found near Echo Summit three weeks after she disappeared
from a West Sacramento "stroll" area frequented by prostitutes.
During the Frackenpohl trial, the judge allowed the
prosecution to present an extraordinary amount of forensic evidence
linking Kibbe to the strangulation slayings of other young women, most
of whose bodies were found along Interstate 5.
Kibbe still faced the possibility of murder charges
in San Joaquin and Sacramento counties after the Frackenpohl conviction.
Fibers and other microscopic evidence developed by
state Department of Justice criminalist Faye Springer linked Kibbe to
the deaths of Heedrick and the two Sacramento women, Brown and Sabrah.
At the time of the sentencing, San Joaquin County,
Deputy District Attorney Eual Blansett said he hoped to one day file
murder charges against Kibbe.
M RACE: W TYPE: N MOTIVE: Sex.
Rape-strangler of females age 17-26
Life term with 18-year minimum on one count, 1991.