A condemned man on California's death row for murdering five people, including the daughter of blues guitarist Elvin Bishop, is dead in what prison officials say they are investigating as a suicide.
Justin Helzer, 41, was found dead Sunday in his cell, where he was housed alone at San Quentin State Prison, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. His brother, also condemned, is incarcerated at the same prison.
He and his older brother, Glenn Helzer, and roomate Dawn Godman were convicted in 2005 for a robbery and killing rampage that prosecutors said started with an attempt to extort $100,000 from an elderly Concord couple. They were accused of kidnapping and killing the couple and then, in fear of being discovered, killing Glenn Helzer's girlfriend, 22-year-old Selina Bishop, along with her mother and her mother's boyfriend.
Parts of the bodies of three of the victims were found in gym bags in the Sacramento River Delta. The Helzer brothers were condemned to death. Godman was sentenced to nearly 38 years and remains incarcerated in California.