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John Floyd Thomas

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2011 | By Victoria Kim, Andrew Blankstein and Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times
A former insurance claims adjuster who was suspected of terrorizing women in the 1970s as the Westside Rapist has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for seven murders that were committed in two waves of killings and sexual assaults. John Floyd Thomas Jr., 74, sat with his hands manacled to a waist chain and used sheets of paper to shield his face from a photographer as he was sentenced for the killings that took place in a swath stretching from Inglewood to Claremont.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2011 | By Victoria Kim, Andrew Blankstein and Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times
A former insurance claims adjuster who was suspected of terrorizing women in the 1970s as the Westside Rapist has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for seven murders that were committed in two waves of killings and sexual assaults. John Floyd Thomas Jr., 74, sat with his hands manacled to a waist chain and used sheets of paper to shield his face from a photographer as he was sentenced for the killings that took place in a swath stretching from Inglewood to Claremont.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2009 | Andrew Blankstein
Twenty-six years ago, police discovered the partially nude body of 85-year-old Isabel Askew in a vineyard near Ontario International Airport. She had been reported missing from her Claremont apartment more than a week earlier. The cause of death could not be determined because of the condition of her body. But three years later, her daughter, Adrian Askew, was found strangled in the same West Bonita Avenue apartment where she had lived with her mother. The 56-year-old retired school crossing guard was found lying face-up with bedding pulled over her head and she had been sexually assaulted.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 2010 | Andrew Blankstein
The 22-year-old son of the alleged Westside Rapist serial killer was charged Monday with attempted robbery and assault for allegedly using a stun gun to incapacitate a woman and steal her purse on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Authorities are investigating whether David Victor Thomas is connected to two similar Taser attacks in the area and are encouraging anyone with information to contact police. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday and prosecutors have recommended that he be held on $70,000 bail.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 2010 | Andrew Blankstein
The 22-year-old son of the alleged Westside Rapist serial killer was charged Monday with attempted robbery and assault for allegedly using a stun gun to incapacitate a woman and steal her purse on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Authorities are investigating whether David Victor Thomas is connected to two similar Taser attacks in the area and are encouraging anyone with information to contact police. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday and prosecutors have recommended that he be held on $70,000 bail.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 2009 | By Andrew Blankstein and Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
The first wave of slayings haunted Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. The killer slipped mostly unseen through the night, preying on older women who lived alone. He raped them and squeezed their necks until they passed out or died. On the 17 who were killed, he placed pillows or blankets over their faces. The second wave hit a decade later in Claremont -- five older women raped and strangled, faces again covered. Even with at least 20 survivors, police never connected the two homicide-and-rape rampages nor solved either of them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2009 | Joel Rubin
By the time homicide Det. Dennis Kilcoyne met with Diane Webb last fall to discuss the maddening search for a serial killer who has stalked South L.A. for decades, he was wide open to suggestions. Despite more than a year of chasing leads, Kilcoyne and his team of detectives were no closer to catching the man suspected of sexually assaulting and murdering at least 10 young black women.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 2009 | Joel Rubin
John Floyd Thomas, the alleged serial killer who police believe killed dozens of women in the 1970s and '80s, made his first court appearance Wednesday, when a judge granted a lengthy postponement in the legal proceedings. Thomas, a short, 72-year-old insurance claims adjuster, appeared only briefly, standing hunched behind the glass and bars at the far corner of the prisoner detention cell. Because the police investigation into Thomas is ongoing, his attorney requested that Los Angeles County Superior Court Commissioner Kristi Lousteau postpone Thomas' arraignment until Aug. 25. In a barely audible voice, Thomas agreed to the delay.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2009 | Andrew Blankstein
By most available accounts, John Floyd Thomas Jr. spent the last two decades living a relatively quiet life. In 1989, he got a job processing workers' compensation claims for the state. One co-worker described him as friendly and religious, known for sending out e-mails quoting Scriptures. Other sources said he quit smoking soon after landing the job, talked about setting long-term goals and adhering to his Christian faith.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 2009 | Andrew Blankstein and Joe Mozingo
The first wave of slayings haunted Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. The killer slipped mostly unseen through the night, preying on older women who lived alone. He raped them and squeezed their necks until they passed out or died. On the 17 who were killed, he placed pillows or blankets over their faces. The second wave hit a decade later in Claremont -- five older women raped and strangled, faces again covered.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2009 | Andrew Blankstein
Twenty-six years ago, police discovered the partially nude body of 85-year-old Isabel Askew in a vineyard near Ontario International Airport. She had been reported missing from her Claremont apartment more than a week earlier. The cause of death could not be determined because of the condition of her body. But three years later, her daughter, Adrian Askew, was found strangled in the same West Bonita Avenue apartment where she had lived with her mother. The 56-year-old retired school crossing guard was found lying face-up with bedding pulled over her head and she had been sexually assaulted.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2009 | Joel Rubin
By the time homicide Det. Dennis Kilcoyne met with Diane Webb last fall to discuss the maddening search for a serial killer who has stalked South L.A. for decades, he was wide open to suggestions. Despite more than a year of chasing leads, Kilcoyne and his team of detectives were no closer to catching the man suspected of sexually assaulting and murdering at least 10 young black women.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 2009 | By Andrew Blankstein and Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
The first wave of slayings haunted Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. The killer slipped mostly unseen through the night, preying on older women who lived alone. He raped them and squeezed their necks until they passed out or died. On the 17 who were killed, he placed pillows or blankets over their faces. The second wave hit a decade later in Claremont -- five older women raped and strangled, faces again covered. Even with at least 20 survivors, police never connected the two homicide-and-rape rampages nor solved either of them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 2011 | By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
In 2002, two detectives arrived in the musty basement of the Los Angeles County coroner's office looking for any scrap of evidence that would help them crack a string of killings from three decades ago. The killer, they suspected, had raped and choked at least three women as they left bars in the San Pedro area. He would come to be known as the Santa Strangler because the first of his victims was found the day after Christmas in 1972. The detectives had a suspect in mind, a former taxi driver in his 70s with a big, white beard, but they needed biological evidence to prove his guilt.
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