Gerald Armond (July 17, 1946 – July 18, 2002) and Charlene Adelle Gallego (b. October 10, 1956) were considered one of the worst serial killing teams in American history?
Before they were finally caught, the Gallegos killed and sexually assaulted at least 10 people, motstly teenagers, whom they kept as sex slaves before killing them, over a two-year period.
By high school Charlene had began experimenting with drugs, she also drank heavily and bragged about having a black lover. Young Charlene was very promiscuous but her parents were in denial.
Charlene had a brief affair with a married man. He ended the affair after she suggested that they should have sex with his wife. Charlene was devastated and attempted suicide. It was not long after this when Charlene met Gerald.
Gerald Armond Gallego’s criminal pedigree was flawless. He was born in 1946 while his father, whom he would never meet, did time in San Quentin. Upon his parole, the elder Gallego resumed his criminal activity and was returned to prison. When he was next paroled he fled California, eventually landing in Mississippi where he, in two separate incidents, killed two police officers. In 1955, Gerald Albert Gallego received the dubious distinction of being the first man executed in Mississippi’s new gas chamber.
Little Gerald’s mother was no stranger to the lawless life either, having been raised in an extended family that included murderers and child molesters. Lorraine Pullen Bennett Gallego was a prostitute in Sacramento’s skid row, and her boy Gerald served as a runner for various pimps during the 1950s.
Gerald Gallego had failed as a lover and a husband; and, by the age of thirty-two, he'd left numerous women. He had also a daughter, whom he abused sexually. By the time Charlene met Gerald, she had already gone through two marriages and had acquired a hard-drug habit.
Gerald, who had a taste for multiple women in his bed, brought home a 16-year-old runaway who was a dancer, so that he could indulge in a threesome shortly after Charlene moved in with him. However, he became extremely angry when he found out that Charlene and the girl were engaging in sex without him. Enraged, he threw the young dancer out the window and beat Charlene; he also withheld sex from her for a month. It seems he no longer found her attractive as she was no longer sexually dependent on him.
Gerald sodomised his fourteen-year-old daughter and her friend, but it is unclear whether Charlene was in the same room or just in the apartment. With Gerald now unable to become sexually excited, one of the couple suggested kidnapping women to become sex slaves. Sources suggest that Charlene agreed because she saw the man's word as law, but it is more likely that she had strong lesbian desires to satisfy and the need to dominate.
After two months of planning, they abducted their first victims in September 1978:
Rhonda Scheffler and Kippi Vaught
On September 10, 1978, Rhonda Scheffler (age 17) and Kippi Vaught (age 16) were shopping at Country Club Plaza in Sacramento County when Charlene (who was two months pregnant and suffereing from morning sickness) enticed them into their van by asking them if they’d like to smoke some pot, which sounded like just the adventure they were looking for...
Gerald and Charlene raped and further sexually abused the two victims throughout the night in rural Placer County. Evidence showed that Charlene bit the breasts of one victim; and Gerald, the other. The next day, the Gallegos drove back to Sacramento County, where Gerald made Rhonda and Kippi get out of the van and walk across a field to a ditch. He hit the girls with a tire iron and shot them in the head with a 25-caliber pistol. As Gerald was walking back to the van, he saw one of the victims (later revealed to be Kippi Vaught) move; the bullet had only grazed her skull. He returned and shot her three more times in the head, killing her. Charlene would later tell a cellmate how ecstatic she felt during this cruel kidnap-rape.
The couple, now married, waited until the following June before striking again, grabbing two young girls in Reno, Nevada.
|"Natural Born Beauty"|
Pic courtesy of FindaGrave.com
On June 24, 1979, Brenda Judd (age 14) and Sandra Colley (age 13) were lured into the Gallegos' van at the Washoe County, Nevada, Fair with the promise of making some money delivering leaflets. Charlene drove northeast out of Reno on I-80 while, in the back of the van, Gerald repeatedly raped the girls as Charlene watched in the rearview mirror.
Charlene found a place to park in a desolate area known as Humboldt Sink. Gerald took a shovel and pulled Sandra Colley out of the vehicle, marching her toward a dry creek bed. He then stepped behind her and swung the shovel. Charlene would later recall the moment as the sound of "a loud splat like a flat rock hitting mud, and the girl sank to her knees and slowly toppled over on her face." Gerald beat Brenda Judd to death and then dug a deep hole; he folded their naked bodies into it and placed a rock over the grave.
The teenagers were listed as runaways for four years, until Charlene confessed to their murders during the 1982 trial. In November 1999, their remains were discovered by a tractor operator.
The pace of the couple's killings quickened in 1980. In April, they kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered two girls from a mall near Sacramento.
Stacey Ann Redican and Karen Twiggs, both seventeen, were worldly girls, but not wise enough to realize that the offer Charlene made to them of free drugs and a ride in a cool van would lead to their deaths.
On April 24, 1980, the Gallegos kidnapped Stacey Redican and Karen Chipman Twiggs from Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, California. Even as Gerald pointed his .357 Magnum at them and ordered Charlene to drive they seemed more inquisitive than frightened, as if they thought the situation was some sort of grown-up game they should play along with. Presently, though, reality sank in—this was no game.
As with their other victims, Gerald and Charlene sexually abused and killed them.
Linda Aguilar and unborn child
It was June 7, 1980, and Linda Aguilar wasn’t Gerald’s type—she was 21, had dark hair and eyes, and was pregnant. But when he saw her walking beside the highway, he decided he had to have her. He slowed the van and asked Linda if she needed a ride. Linda, on her way home from a local store, accepted. Charlene knew the routine by now—presently Gerry ordered her to drive and began his sexual assault. In a while they stopped, and Charlene wandered about in the woods, killing time until Gerry was ready to go. When he found a spot he felt was suitably isolated, he took Linda away from the van, striking her with a rock, then strangling her.
Gerald was getting bolder and more impatient. It was only a month and a half before he was ready to strike again.
Gallego strangled Virginia and dumped her body outside Clarksburg. The next day Gerald celebrated his thirty-fourth birthday with unseemly glee.
Craig Miller and Mary Elizabeth Sowers
In the early morning hours of November 2, 1980, Gerald saw a young couple, twenty-two-year-old Craig Miller, and his fiancée, twenty-one-year-old Mary Elizabeth Sowers, standing on the side of the street. In his most brazen attempt yet, Gerald got out of the car, walked right up to them, pulled out a .25 caliber Beretta, pointed it in the couples face, and ordered them into the car. Unfortunately for Gerald, friends of the young couple saw them get into the vehicle and wrote down the license plate number. After driving to a secluded area, Gerald commanded Craig out of the car, as the young man turned to walk towards the front of the vehicle, Gerald aimed his pistol and shot the boy at point-blank range in the back of the head while his fiancée looked on in horror. Gerald then fired two more shots into Craig’s head, as he lay lifeless on the ground. Gerald got back into the vehicle and ordered Charlene to drive to their apartment. Once back at the apartment, Gerald took his new sex slave into the bedroom and raped her for hours on end. After he was satisfied, he ordered Charlene to drive to a rural area. Once there, Gerald ordered Mary out of the car. He then shot her three times at point blank range.
A manhunt was instituted. The Gallegos managed to elude authorities for a few months but were finally caught in November in Omaha, Nebraska. While awaiting trial, Charlene agreed to testify to save her own life. Gerald Gallego was tried in both Nevada and California and received death sentences in both states. Charlene was sentenced to 16 years and 8 months in jail and was released in July 1997.
Gerald Gallego died of rectal cancer on July 18, 2002 at the Nevada prison system's medical center
Resource(s): wikipedia, truetv.com, history.com