||[Oct. 19th, 2009|11:21 am]
Abnormal Stories in the News
Man murders sister & brother-in-law for being "too liberal".|
A man stabbed and bludgeoned his sister and her husband to death in El Cerrito in 2006 because he thought the couple were too liberal, were raising their children wrong and because they hadn't invited him over for Christmas, a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday.
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(10-13) 15:31 PDT EL CERRITO -- A man stabbed and bludgeoned his sister and her husband to death in El Cerrito in 2006 because he thought the couple were too liberal, were raising their children wrong and because they hadn't invited him over for Christmas, a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday.
Edward Wycoff, 40, of the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights coldly planned the slayings, including getting Lasik surgery and using night-vision goggles so he could find his way around the house where Julie Wycoff Rogers, 47, lived with her husband, Paul Rogers, 48, prosecutor Mark Peterson said.
He also purposefully picked the date for the killings - Jan. 31, 2006 - Peterson said in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez. That was 20 years to the day after Wycoff's grandmother, whom he hated, left his home after breaking her hip, the prosecutor said.
Wycoff regarded his grandmother as "evil" and thought his life improved considerably after she left, Peterson said. Because he believed the couple had also been making his life miserable, he chose that date to break into their home on Rifle Range Road overlooking Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, stab them repeatedly with a knife and bludgeon them with a wheelbarrow handle, Peterson said in his opening statement in Wycoff's murder trial.
Although Wycoff was also armed with a gun, he didn't use it because he didn't want to boost the cause of gun-control supporters, the prosecutor said.
Wycoff, who is serving as his own attorney, told jurors that he still hates the couple "a little."
"They owe me a life," he said. "This has ruined my life, and Julie and Paul owe me for that."
Wycoff agreed with the prosecutor that he resented members of Paul Rogers' family for their liberal politics, and that he thought the couple were at times "too easy" when they disciplined their children.
He also said that "it wasn't just Christmas" when he wasn't invited over. It was also Thanksgiving in 2005, the year his and Julie Rogers' father died.
"When someone does that, they hate you - they're out to destroy you," Wycoff said.
Peterson said Wycoff had planned to adopt the couple's three children after he committed the killings.
The prosecutor played for the jury the 911 call made by Eric Rogers, then 17, after the killer broke into the home about 4:30 a.m. The boy's sister, Laurel, then 12, could be heard screaming in the background.
The children tried to help their father, who told them, "I love you all" before dying, the prosecutor said. Eric Rogers brushed his father's hair, telling him, "I love you, papa."
Peterson said Julie Rogers' last words to police were, "Kids OK?"
The children were not harmed. A third child, then 15, was not living at the home at the time.
In an interview from jail after the slayings, Wycoff, who is 6 foot 5 and weighs 300 pounds, said he had tried to disguise himself during the killings by wearing a motorcycle helmet and attaching a ponytail with his late mother's hair.
In a poem, Wycoff wrote, "My sister, I gutted her like a fish," Peterson said.
"And in fact, he did," the prosecutor added, "and he's proud of it."
Wycoff was arrested after he turned up at a hospital in Placer County, seeking treatment for a gash on his leg that he probably sustained while breaking into the home, Peterson said.
Wycoff is charged with two counts of murder along with the special circumstance alleging that he committed more than one murder. Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty if he is convicted.
Wycoff's opening statement indicated he would try to justify the killings to the jury, rather than deny he committed them.
At the close of his remarks, Wycoff told the "few fans" in the gallery to contact his advisory attorney, David Briggs, if they wanted autographs.