Her parents, Don and Marlene Palermo, had split up when Danae was in junior high school, and she had alternated between their separate households, in Pasadena and South Pasadena. Her father owns two sandwich shops in the San Gabriel Valley. At Brookstone, Danae was one of the "cool" crowd, says Adams. "She knew the rock scene. Somebody would be talking about some group that nobody ever heard of, and Danae would say, 'Oh, yeah, they're great.' "
While the other teen-agers at Kathy's house were growing up together in South Pasadena, Cayle Fielder was going to school in El Sereno. He moved in with his grandmother in South Pasadena during his sophomore year, quickly ending up in continuation school. Broad and bulky, with a bullet-shaped head and the thick neck of a defensive lineman, Cayle was an imposing figure. Friends say he was all bluster and good humor. "He was really protective over me, Kathy, Heather and Peggy," says Theresa Biesek. "Like if one of us was having a party, he'd make sure that the people wouldn't make a mess."
But others say Cayle had a sinister side. One girl says she saw him pull out a gun at a gathering at his house and flash it menacingly--"showing off to everybody," the girl says. She never went back. "He showed a side of him that I didn't want to see."
Some said Cayle was a drug source in the school--"he had it or could get it," says Dave's friend Job Carder. In pretrial testimony, Cayle said that he had used, among others, marijuana, cocaine, PCP and LSD.
"If you knew him he was nice," Job says. "Maybe around girls he was nice, like all guys are nice. He'd push on people just like anybody else. Some people were a little intimidated by him because he was a big, fat bald guy."
WAYNE AND DONNA-LEE BOVI lived next door to Kathy Macaulay's house. From their home, they could look down on the neighbors' pool patio. Late at night, they would often hear the crunching backbeat and plangent electric guitars of rock 'n' roll floating up from Kathy's apartment or the slamming of car doors in the driveway.
Around 10 o'clock on March 21 last year, Wayne Bovi, a 44-year-old graphic artist, remarked to his wife that the teen-agers below had been awfully noisy all evening long. "He stood out on the balcony and started to yell down to the kids to be quiet," says Donna-Lee Bovi. "Then he heard somebody yelling, 'OK, dude, bring the gun.' He thought they were yelling taunts to someone across the canyon."
Bovi could see a boy--he doesn't know who--crossing the patio below. "He could tell that the person was falling-down drunk," Donna-Lee Bovi says. "There was no point in getting involved in a conversation with somebody that drunk. Then one of the girls said, 'Shhh.' " Somebody turned the stereo down, and the Bovis went to bed.
Only Dave, Vinny and Cayle know exactly what happened after that. But police and friends' accounts, as well as court documents and testimony at preliminary hearings--principally Vinny's and Cayle's--provide an account of some of the events.
With her mother and stepfather away at a conference in Chicago, Kathy had hastily convened the regulars at her apartment. The stereo was pumping out music, and most of the group was pouring drinks down recklessly, including two cases of beer and a liter of Jack Daniels. "We were just drinking and partying," Cayle testified at one of the preliminary hearings, looking like an overweight Raul Julia in his tight-fitting suit, his bulbous eyes surveying the courtroom. "We smoked a pipeful of marijuana."
There had been no special tension between Kathy and Dave that night, Cayle said, but hostilities between Vinny and the other two girls came boiling to the surface when Kathy, Dave and Cayle drove down the hill to a liquor store for more beer. "When we got back," Cayle testified, "they were talking about a fight Vinny and Heather got into, a skirmish." Vinny later displayed to police deep scratches on his neck and bruises on his arms, saying he had argued with the two girls after he tried to "smooch" with Danae and that Heather had kicked him in the groin.
At this point the sequence of events is blurry. Cayle said he fell asleep next to Danae on the bed. According to Vinny's statement to homicide detectives, Dave directed Vinny to climb through a window into the main house, where Kathy's stepfather kept a shotgun, a 12-gauge Mossberg for pheasant or duck hunting. Then the two marched back into the garage apartment. "He told me he was just going to scare her," Vinny said. Kathy stood up and looked at the two boys in disbelief, Vinny said. "She looked dead at Dave. She thought we were kidding."
Then Dave suddenly "crammed the gun into my hands," Vinny said, and it went off, killing Kathy.
Heather tried to edge out the door, Vinny said, but Dave, taking the gun back, flung her onto the bed. "He walked up to her, put the gun to her head and shot her," Vinny told homicide detectives. "And he walked up to Danae and shot her."