Top 10 OC Death Row Inmates

Who knew: roughly eight and a half percent of California’s 3 row inmates are locked behind bars in the Orange County Jail system.


That’s a bigger number than many might expect for an upper-middle class county. But, when you realize the population numbers in the OC placing the County as the third-most populated in the state, perhaps it is to be expected.

Orange County’s Most Notorious Green Mile Inmates

Movies like The Green Mile and Dead Man Walking give us a Hollywood idea of who’s on death row, the realities are probably nauseating.

Here are ten of the Orange County’s worst of the worst. All of these lovely folks are murders.

Alejandro Avila – Murder, kidnapping, rape

On July 15, 2015, a jury found Alejandra Avila guilty in the strangling death of five year-old Samantha Runnion. Court records state that Avila approached the girl while she was playing with friends in her front yard; when she walked toward his car he snatched her and drove away. Her naked body was found the following day in Riverside County. His death sentence was upheld by the CA Supreme Court earlier this year.

Randy Kraft – Serial murder

Randy Kraft was sentenced to death on Nov. 29. 1989 after a jury convicted him on multiple counts of rape and murder. All of his victims were young homosexual males and it’s believed he may have killed 60 different men across three states. Kraft was eventually captured in the summer of 1983 after officers pulled him over for a routine traffic stop. That, according to reports, is when law enforcement officials found a dead Marine in his back seat. Kraft continues to deny his involvement in any of the crimes he’s been convicted of; his sentence was upheld by the California Supreme Court in 2000.

Rodney James Alcala – Rape and serial murder

Rodney James Alcala was sentenced to death in 2010 after he was convicted of killing five women between 1977 and 1979, although authorities think he may have murdered more than 100. Alcala has also been dubbed as the “Dating Game Killer”, as he appeared on the popular television show in the middle of his murder spree. He remains in custody at San Quentin State Prison and continues to maintain he is innocent.

Maria del Rosio “Rosie” Alfaro – Murdering a child

Mario del Rosio Alfaro was arrested when she was just 18 years old after authorities linked her to the brutal stabbing death of a 9 year-old girl. Police said that in June of 1990, Alfario entered an Orange County home to steal electronics with the purpose of selling them to get drug money. When she arrived, she found the school-age girl was at home alone; Alfaro went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and stabbed her more than 50 times. Once the crime was complete, she continued to rob the home. The California Supreme Court upheld the death sentence in August 2007.

Gerald Parker – Serial rape-murder

Gerald Parker, aka “the Bedroom Basher” killed five women between 1978 and 1979. His sixth victim was pregnant at the time of the attack; her unborn child did not survive. That woman’s husband was wrongfully convicted of that crime and served 17 years before DNA evidence exonerated him. Authorities say Parker knocked his victims unconscious and either raped, or attempted to rape them before taking their lives. He is currently appealing the death sentence.

Maurice Steskal – Gunning down an Orange County Sheriff’s Department Deputy

In February 2004, a judge denied Maurice Steskal’s defense attorney’s request to sentence him to life without parole; instead, the judge chose to sentence the defendant to death. Steskal had just been convicted for his role in the 1999 murder of OCSD deputy Brad Riches, who, just before his death, had just pulled his patrol car into a 7-11 parking lot. Investigators learned that Steskal pulled out an AK-47 and opened fire because he hated all members of law enforcement. He is currently appealing the sentence.

John Fitzgerald Kennnedy and Skylar Deleon – Double murder

In November 2004, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Skylar Deleon murdered a Newport Beach couple by tying them to an anchor and throwing them over the side of their yacht; the pair’s intent was to steal the vessel and make off with the couple’s life savings. Another person who was on board at the time was also murdered. Both men were sentenced to death; the judge ruled that the mental anguish and torment that the victims suffered as they were tied, bound and awaiting their fate warranted the death penalty. Both men remain behind bars while they await their execution date.

John Samuel Ghobrial – Murdering, molesting and dismembering a child

In April 2002, John Samuel Ghobrial was sentenced to the death penalty for molesting, killing and dismembering a 12 year-old boy. The judge found that Ghobrial, who was also a trained butcher, carved his victim’s body into pieces in an attempt to hide his crime. The boys remains were placed in concrete cylinders, which he scattered throughout the neighborhood. Ghobrial’s attorneys are appealing the death sentence.

James Marlow – Rape, serial murder

James Marlow, aka “The Folsom Wolf” was convicted of murdering five women between July and Nov. 1986. Prosecutors charged him and his girlfriend with kidnapping, robbing and sodomizing a young State Farm insurance clerk before strangling and burying her. They robbed and murdered a Huntington Beach woman several days later. He and his accomplice were tried together; both were sentenced to death. Both cases have been upheld by the CA Supreme Court; Marlow remains behind bars while he awaits his execution.

Teofilo Medina Jr. – Robbery and murder

Teofilo Medina Jr. was convicted of stealing a gun, robbing several convenience stores and murdering a total of three people in a month-long, multi-county crime spree. Despite his defense attorney’s best efforts to have him proclaimed mentally ill and thus unfit to stand trial, medical experts deemed he was legally sane. He was sentenced to death in 1987; the death sentence has been upheld by the California Supreme Court.


Last Updated:  12/03/2014