Pamela Richards Murder Case
August 10, 1993
Pamela's husband, William, arrived home at around midnight. He noticed that all the lights in their unfinished home were off and no lights in the temporary mobile home were on either. He went to turn the generator and then went to find his wife. On his way to the house, he tripped over Pamela's half naked body. She had been manually strangled, beaten with two fist sized rocks, and her skull had been crushed with a concrete steppingstone, as well as having bite marks on her body.
William called the police and then called twice more in the course of 30 minutes. Police arrived at the scene at 12:32 am, but homicide detectives didn't show up until 3:15 am. Detectives decided not to process the scene until first light, almost 3 hours later. While they waited for the sun to rise, they failed to secure the scene so dogs roamed the property, smudging footprints and blood evidence, contaminated the scene, and partially buried Pamela's body. Police and detectives ran few tests and named William as the killer because no one else could've been there.
In 2001, the California Innocence Project filed a post-conviction DNA testing motion, and the tests showed that the DNA left at the crime scene did not match William. Judge McCarville requested the reversal of William's conviction, but the district attorney petitioned to have the superior court grant a stay of the reversal, pending its appeal. William is now in a county jail, awaiting a hearing from the California Supreme court. And to make matters worse, William has been diagnosed with cancer and is receiving inadequate care while in custody, so he might not survive to see this trial's ending.