March 26, 2022

The Alphabet Murders Of Rochester NY

The Alphabet Murders Of Rochester NY

The vibration of tires could be heard traveling along interstate 490 outside of Rochester, NY. Sluggish drivers gripped their steering wheels and with their one track mind, they had their thoughts set on their final destination, home. As they focused their attention on keeping their vehicle between the lines, one might assume that these motorists would have never thought they would become eyewitnesses to a chain of heinous crimes. 

 

Around 5 pm on Thursday November 16, 1971 numerous motorists on I-490 would bear witness to a helpless, partially clothed 10-year old girl fleeing for her life along the shoulder of the road. She frantically waved her arms back and forth above her head desperately trying to flag down anyone who would help. As passerbys drove on a dark-colored Ford Pinto hatchback pursued the y young girl in reverse, until eventually a large man exited the vehicle and drug her back in against her own will. 

 

Why hadn’t anyone stopped to help this child? They must have known something wasn’t right. Crimes like these happen everyday before our very own eyes. Are we not paying attention? Or do we simply not care? This event would be the precursor for those that followed. Events that would shake the community of Rochester, NY for over 3 years. This is Rochester's hometown horror story...

The Mind Of A Killer

People kill everyday for a handful of reasons and most commonly in reaction to an emotionally charged situation. Whether that be due to common motives such as jealousy, revenge, fear or anger, individuals find themselves completely ignoring all rationality for a moment in time, until it's too late. 

 

Serial killers, kill for other means. They are often equipped with an antisocial personality disorder leaving any feelings of empathy towards others off the table. Lacking emotions, they lean to what they consider thrilling and seek out danger to get some sort of emotional response.

 

As defined by the FBI; “The term ‘serial killings’ means a series of three or more killings, not less than one of which was committed within the United States, having common characteristics such as to suggest the reasonable possibility that the crimes were committed by the same actor or actors.”

 

The victims of a serial killer fit a certain profile, they are carefully selected as an ideal candidate. This decision can be made by the killer based on a plethora of qualities or traits, more commonly physical such as race, gender, physical characteristics or a defining quality that links the victims together. Who would have imagined that a defining trait linking the victims in Rochester, NY in the early 1970’s would have been the alphabet. 

 

Details so small and seemingly insignificant but so important to a sick and twisted mind. The community would be shaken as a killer targeted three children whose first and last initials matched, before discarding their lifeless bodies in neighboring towns whose initials matched that of the victim.

 

Carmen Colon

On November 18, 1971 two teenage boys from the quiet community of Churchville, NY, a town at the time that barely surpassed a population of 1000, were enjoying a friendly bike ride through the neighborhood. Because of its small size the residents of Churchville felt safe in this tight knit community from the darkness that the rest of the world might endure. Residents didn’t lock their doors and parents let their children come and go as they pleased, without a second thought. It wouldn’t be until this fateful day when two innocent teenage boys made a gruesome discovery that changed the entire community's outlook. 

 

Not far from I-490 their attention would be caught by what upon first glance resembled a half clothed mannequin faced down in a roadside gully. Upon further inspection their stomachs turned when they learned that this was not a plastic representation of a human body, but in fact the lifeless body of a young girl. Soon after, law enforcement was alerted and an investigation commenced. 

During the initial investigation the victim's coat was discovered a mere 300 feet from her body in a culvert and her pants were later discovered on November 30, 1971 near a service road off of I-490. An autopsy would reveal that the victim’s body was covered in extensive fingernail scratch marks, displayed signs of sexual assault , her skull and one of her vertebrae's had been fractured and she had been manually strangled to death. The victim was later identified as Carmen Colon, a 10-year-old child who had been reported missing from Rochester, NY at 7:50pm on November 16, 1971.

Carmen Colon was originally from Puerto Rico before moving to live with her grandparents in Rochester, NY’s southwestern Bull’s Head neighborhood. At the time of her disappearance she was running an errand for her grandmother, visiting a local pharmacy on West Main St to pick up a prescription. At 4:20pm on November 16, 1971 eyewitnesses remember watching 10-year-old Carmen enter the pharmacy, but depart rather quickly. While inside Carmen visited the front counter and spoke to the store owner, Jack Corbin. Jack Corbin knew Carmen rather well and on this day he recalled that she seemed distracted. After she was informed that there had been a delay in the filling of her requested prescription, she responded rather strangely. Carmen repeatedly stated to Jack Corbin, “I got to go. I got to go.” before b-lining for the storefront’s entrance. 

 

When Carmen’s feet hit the pavement of the sidewalk on West Main St, she approached a car that seemed as if it had been waiting for her. Shortly after, she was witnessed climbing into the vehicle and then it drove off. Hours later Carmen Colon was reported missing to the Rochester Police Department at 7:50 pm. 

 

Prior to her missing persons report being filed, Carmen Colon would be spotted running for her life on Rochester’s Interstate 490. At approximately 5:10pm over 30 people traveling on the interstate witnessed the tragic sight of the half naked 10-year old child frantically waving her arms, begging for her life, attempting to flag down passing vehicles for help as she was pursued by a dark-colored Ford Pinto. Not a single person stopped. Sadly, at least one witness watched as Carmen’s abductor finally caught up to her and against her own will forcibly drug her back to the vehicle. 

Why hadn’t anyone stopped? Why hadn’t anyone tried to help her? A single report of the incident wouldn’t even come until after the discovery of her body on November 18, 1971 by the two teenagers from Churchville. 

 

When reports finally did come in, they all were equipped with the same excuse when questioned “why didn’t you stop?” And Captain Sparacino’s quote about the excuse embodies all of our frustration with the lack of help for Carmen. Captain Sparacino stated “Would you believe it, nobody  stopped, people told us they were going too fast, they were in a hurry to get home.” 

 

This leaves me with the question, “How fast is too fast to save a helpless child’s life..?” 

 

Wanda Walkowicz

17 months later with thoughts of Carmen Colon still fresh in their minds and billboards that read “Do You Know Who Killed Carmen Colon” offering a $6000.00 reward as a constant reminder of the young girl’s fate, the city of Rochester would be sent into panic when another young girl was abducted from the east Rochester area. 11-year-old Wanda Walkowicz disappeared on April 2, 1973 three blocks from her home on Avenue D. 

Much like Carmen Colon, Wanda was running errands at the time of her disappearance just a few short blocks from her home. Around 5pm on that fateful day in April, the 11-year-old red headed girl of Avenue D made her way towards the local deli with a short list of groceries from her mother Joyce. Once Wanda reached the Hillside Delicatessen it didn’t take her long to collect her requested goods, and by 5:15pm she was on her way down Conkey Avenue alone. 

 

An interview conducted by News10NBC with Bill Van Orden, a clerk at the deli, verified this sighting and Bill was one of the last people to see Wanda alive. During the interview he explained his interactions with Wanda on April 2nd, stating that she bought milk, bread, cigarettes, and diapers. After her purchase was complete she left the store immediately. She did not enter or exit with anyone else, and when she made her way down Conkey Avenue she was alone. 

 

Not long after she had left the deli, another witness watched as Wanda struggled to carry her groceries as she passed what was then School number 8 on Conkey Avenue. According to the witness a large brown car trailed Wanda, driving slowly as if it was following her. Within moments when the witness gazed back upon Wanda, she was gone and so was the vehicle. 

 

Many of Wanda’s acquaintances at the time would come forward and express their disbelief that Wanda would enter an unknown vehicle. They believed foul play was at hand. Wanda’s teacher at the time, Joseph Hillman, expressed his thoughts “I don’t think she was the kind of girl to get into the car with a stranger.” “I think she’s much too bright for this.” This would leave many to speculate that Wanda had possibly known her abductor in some way. 

 

Joyce Walkowicz reported her daughter Wanda, missing by 8 pm that same night, on April 2nd. With thoughts of Carmen still fresh in the communities and law enforcement's minds, an intensive search was immediately launched. Nearly 50 detectives searched for Wanda in areas around her home, the local deli, and areas she was known to play at around the Genesee River. But despite the extensive and responsive efforts of those involved, the searches failed to locate the missing child. 

It would not be until around 10:15am the following day that a lone police officer would discover the lifeless body of Wanda Walkowicz. Unlike Carmen before, Wanda was found fully dressed. An autopsy would later indicate that she had been reclothed after death. Wanda’s body was found 7 miles from Rochester, near an access road to State Route 104 in Webster. The position of her body and the location that it was found, at the base of a hillside, led investigators to believe that her lifeless body had been tossed from a moving vehicle.   

 

After an autopsy was performed it was revealed that Wanda had been sexually assualted and displayed several defensive wounds, showing that Wanda had attempted to fight off her attacker. Like Carmen before her, Wanda was strangled to death. But unlike Carmen, the method of strangulation wasn’t manually. Instead, Wanda’s attacker strangled her from behind leaving a ligature mark that is believed to be from a belt. Also found upon Wanda’s clothing were several strands of white cat fur and the Walkowicz family did not own a cat.

 

Like Carmen’s case, law enforcements continued their efforts to seek information in regards to Wanda’s killer, who was still at large. Along with the distribution of hundreds of flyers throughout the Rochester community an anonymous tip line was established and a $10,000 reward was promised for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of her killer. 

From this tip line two defining testimonies would surface. Firstly an eyewitness seeing a young child holding a conversation with the driver of a large brown vehicle, standing outside the passengers side window. Unfortunately the witness was unable to see the driver. Secondly a witness would state that she had observed between 5:30 and 6:30pm on the night of Wanda’s disappearance, a young red headed girl being forced into a light colored Dodge Dart by a man on Conkey Avenue. 

 

Because of discrepancies found between the methods of murder and other case details at the time, police dismissed any possibilities that the two cases were related in the publics eye. Behind the scenes the Rochester Police Department had a different opinion on the mater and a sheriff’s sergeant was reassigned from the Carmen Colon case to help out in the newly introduced task force handling the investigation into the murder of Wanda Walkowicz. 

 

Michelle Maenza: 

November 26, 1973 had already been a frustrating day for 11-year-old Michelle Maenza. A day of harassment and school yard bullying from her peers was a common occurrence, but this didn’t mean that the repetitiveness ever softened the blow. Just days prior Michelle’s mother had misplaced her purse at a local shopping plaza located near the school, and around 3:20pm on November 26 Michelle’s classmates watched as she crossed the street in the direction of the plaza. Michelle had righteous intentions to visit a shop inside the plaza in an attempt to locate her mother’s missing purse, but unfortunately she would not make it that far. Just ten short minutes after her classmates had witnessed her walking alone, she would be stolen from this world forever. 

Michelle Maenza at the time of her disappearance was a student of Rochester’s school #33 and resided with mother on Webster Crescent in Rochester, NY. November 26, 1973 was a day marked with “what ifs?” but no one could have suspected the outcome. This day as stated by Wayne County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Kevin Kuntz “Was the first day she was allowed to walk home by herself.” Also between the time it took for her to depart school #33 and her anticipated arrival at North Goodman Street’s shopping plaza to retrieve her mothers missing purse, she was stopped by her uncle and offered a ride. The quiet young girl politely declined. This was not an unordinary response from Michelle as her father Christopher Maenza later stated to NEWS10NBC “Well, she’s a very sensitive girl and she likes to look for friends.” As you can understand what if’s can quickly fill our minds. What if she never walked home alone? And what if her uncle pleaded a little harder for her to accept his assistance. But as is life, we are unable to predict the outcome. 

By 3:30 pm on November 26 witnesses observed a beige or tan vehicle traveling at high speeds down Ackerman Street. One witness watched on as the vehicle nearly caused a collision. A second witness noticed a distraught young girl crying inside and was able to identify the child as Michelle Maenza. Later the same vehicle was spotted on the roadside with a flat tire at 5:30pm by a passing motorist. The motorist unbeknownst to the situation at hand, stopped to offer help to the needing individuals. The motorist remarked the event was unusual as the driver of the vehicle held a death grip on the young girl's wrist along Route 350 in the town of Walworth as he approached. When he did park his vehicle and expressed his willingness to help, the man grabbed the young girl forcing her back inside while intentionally obscuring the view of the license plate. By these actions combined with the intimidating look on his face, the driver felt compelled to leave right away. 

 

At 10:30 am on November 28th, 1973 the Walworth Volunteer Fire Chief made a horrifying discovery. Laying face down in a ditch neighboring Eddy Road in Macedon, NY was the lifeless body of a fully dressed young girl. A later autopsy would confirm that the body found 15 miles southeast of Rochester, was the missing 11-year-old Michelle Maenza. 

Michelle had suffered extensive blunt force trauma as well as being sexually assaulted. Like Wanda Walkowicz, ligature marks revealed that she had been strangled from behind, possibly by a thin rope. Also like Wanda, white cat hair was discovered on her clothing. Because Michelle was found with one of her hands grasped tightly shut holding leaves that were familiar to the nearby foliage, it is believed that Michelle had been strangled to death at or near the location her body was discovered. 

 

During Michelle’s autopsy the contents of her stomach were examined and its contents on the surface may seem like minute details, but they helped confirm an earlier in question sighting of a girl matching Michelle’s identity as herself and additionally creating a profile of a potential suspect. The analysis showed traces of hamburger meat and onions, which were estimated to be consumed an hour prior to her death. This finding aligned with an earlier sighting at 4:30pm on November 26th at a restaurant in Penfield, NY. 

Michelle was seen at Carrol’s Restaurant in Penfield with a dark haired caucasian man between the ages of 25 and 35. He stood around 6’ in height and weighed approximately 165lbs. At the time of the sighting he wore a dark colored ski-type vest and jeans tucked into a pair of brown cowboy boots with buckles on either side, he also sported a short beard and had long dirty fingernails. The identity of the man seen at Carrol’s Restaurant also matched the identity of the man seen just an hour later at 5:30pm roadside on route 350. Detective at the time Lt. Fantigrossi would make a statement about the suspect saying “I feel there’s no question somebody knows this man. He was seen on two different occasions in the area we were looking.” When the then Rochester Police Captain Andrew Sparracino was question about if he believed that the same man who murdered Michelle Maenza was responsible of the deaths of Carmen Colon and Wanda Walkowicz he responded by saying, “I am not convinced, but I strongly suspect we’re looking for the same person.” 

 

 

 

Discoveries

Rochester’s Holy Sepulcher Cemetery would be the final resting spots for all three of the girls. Carmen’s funeral on November 22, 1971 held a mass of 200 mourners. Wanda’s funeral on April 6, 1973 saw her laid to rest in a small white and gold casket and Michelle’s funeral on December 1, 1973 saw an attendance of numerous mourners and a few of them left with a questionable statement still fresh in their minds. At the end of the funeral Michelle’s father Christopher Maenza left a few of the mourners with his final thoughts stating, “She was a sweet little girl. She didn’t fight much.” Although this statement is noteworthy, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions and make it out to be more than it potentially is. This statement could have met a multitude of things and what we say during moments of considerable grief can often be misconstrued. 

 

Their final resting spot was not the only similarity that Carmen, Wanda and Michelle held. Although many believe that Carmen’s murderer is separate from that of Wanda and Michelle's, the trio’s similarities are alarming and hold weight to the idea that they were all hand selected. 

 

Firstly, all three girls were short in stature, their ages fell between 10 and 11 years and they were seen as social outcasts amongst their peers, who experienced regular bullying and shortcomings in academic performance. All of the girls came from poor Catholic families who called poverty-stricken areas of Rochester, NY home. Though these similarities might not seem striking, it did draw interest into the idea that there may have been a connection within Rochester’s educational system, possibly an employee or social worker who might have used his position to gain the trust of the girls. 

 

Carmen, Wanda and Michelle all disappeared on early afternoons performing some sort of errand, Carmen visiting a local pharmacy for her grandmother, Wanda visiting the grocery store gathering requested items for her mother and Michelle visiting a store within the shopping plaza to retrieve her mothers missing purse. During each of these events there was the presence of an unidentified individual. How did this man know where and when Carmen, Wanda and Michelle were going to be? When Carmen exits the pharmacy on West Main St she approaches a car that had been seemingly waiting for her and climbs inside. Wanda's situation is eerily similar. As Wanda struggles with groceries in hand on Conkey Avenue she is approached by a vehicle and after a short conversation climbs inside. Michelle’s abduction slightly differs because she is witnessed later after she had already entered the vehicle, and she is seen visibly distraught. All these similarities across their abductions does support the idea that they knew their captor in some way, and knew them enough to trust them to enter the vehicle at some point. 

 

The next series of information illustrates the similarities of the girls' cases from the crime scene and autopsy findings. It does highlight differences in Carmen’s case from that of Wanda and Michelle's, though all three cases are alike, Wanda and Michelle’s are more aligned. 

 

One of the first prominent findings linking the cases together are the girls' initials and their relation to the locations that their bodies were discovered at. Carmen Colon, the first victim of the suspected ABC Killer or Double Initial serial killer was found in the town of Churchville. A town 20 minutes southwest of Rochester. At the time, the connection was meaningless or a mere coincidence that all initials aligned but the cases that were yet to come would make it significant. Wanda Walkowicz was found 20 minutes north east in Webster, NY and upon her discovery suspicion arose of a link between the two cases. By the time Michelle Maenza was found in Macedon, NY there was no denying that the initials were meaningful. 

 

The method of murder and the happenings following death is where Carmen’s cases starts to veer from that of Wanda and Michelle's. Wanda Walkowicz and Michelle Maenza were both strangled from behind with ligature marks left upon their necks, indicating the use of a belt like object. After each of their deaths they were reclothed by their murders and white cat hair was found upon each of their clothing. Also during their performed autopsies food was found in their stomachs showing that they were fed by their attackers just an hour before their deaths. Although Carmen Colon’s cause of death was also strangulation it presents a more personal connection. 

 

Carmen Colon suffered a fractured skull, vertebrae and was manually strangled from the front, meaning her murder watched as she struggled until she took her final breath. Manual strangulation is often associated with domestic violence. Following Camren’s death she was partially clothed, there were also no signs that her murderer fed her prior to her death. Like Wanda and Michelle’s deaths subsequent to her own, her body was discarded from a highway access road that was easily traveled by car. All three girls were either thrown from a moving car or carried to their place of discovery. 

 

Suspects

Miguel Colon would be one of the first persons strongly suspected by investigators and solely to Carmen Colon’s murder. Despite no admission of guilt the evidence stacked against him and his actions are compelling enough. Miguel was the brother of Carmen's father Justiniano and following the separation of Carmen’s parents he would form a strong relationship with her mother Guillermina. Following this newly formed relationship Miguel would become known to Carmen as “Uncle Miguel.” 

 

On the day of Carmen’s disappearance she visited the local pharmacy alone, which was an uncommon occurrence. Usually on routine visits, Carmen would be accompanied by her grandfather Felix. But on this occasion after pleading and begging with her grandparents they gave in, and agreed to let Carmen proceed unaccompanied. Depending on how close Miguel was with the family and assuming that he knew of these routine pharmacy visits, this would have been the perfect time to strike. 

 

The dark colored Ford Pinto seen traveling in reverse upon I-490 in pursuit of Carmen Colon was suspiciously similar to a car Miguel purchased only weeks before her abduction and murder. Because of this correlation Miguel’s car would be searched extensively by investigators and their findings were telling. Investigators discovered that his car had been impressively cleaned both inside and out, and the trunk had been thoroughly gone over with a strong cleaning solution. This might not be considered an outstanding finding for a newly purchased car, but after investigators questioned the car dealership of this habit, it was revealed that the trunk was not cleaned with a cleaning solution prior to the sale made by the dealership. This indicated that Miguel or someone he hired had performed the extensive cleaning. Adding to the suspicious cleaning of Miguel's car, a doll belonging to Carmen was found in the backseat. This in itself isn’t too outstanding and relatives would later confirm that Carmen often traveled in Miguel's car and that the doll could have been left behind. The events that follow these findings is what cements Miguel as a prominent suspect. 

 

Four days after the death of his niece, Miguel flees the country relocating from Rochester to Puerto Rico. Just two days after Carmen’s death and prior to leaving her informs a close friend that he had to leave the country because he had “done something wrong in Rochester.” Is this a clear indication that Miguel was directly involved in the death of Carmen? 

 

In March 1972 investigators traveled to San Juan to question Miguel, but they would have their plans disrupted when local newspaper articles would prematurely provide Miguel with details of their intent. This unintentional tip would give Miguel a head start in once again evading authorities, only to eventually be caught on March 26, 1972. Following Miguel’s surrender he was extradited back to Rochester for questioning. When questioned about his whereabouts on the date of his niece’s murder, Miguel failed to provide a credible alibi and his claimed whereabouts could not be ratified by any individual. Though there was strong evidence that could be held against Miguel, there was no damning evidence found that could convict him for the murder of Carmen Colon. 

 

Miguel Colon would live out his remaining days as a free man until 1991. Following a nasty bout of domestic violence in which he left his wife Guillermina and his brother Justiniano riddled with gunshot wounds. Miguel would take his own life. 

 

Dennis Termini a 25-year-old Rochester fire fighter was one of the first strongly suspected as the culprit behind the Alphabet Murders. On January 1, 1974, 5 weeks after the death of Michelle Maenza, Termini would fail to abduct a teenage girl. When the girl refused to enter his vehicle, Termini threatened her at gunpoint, only to see his plan fall through once again. The teenage girl began to scream at the top of her lungs and despite the countless threats belted out by Termini, the girl refused to stop screaming resulting in Termini fleeing the scene. 

 

Unsatisfied, Termini would seek out another potential victim nearby. This time his abduction attempt would result in his pursuit by law enforcement. Police witnessed Termini during his second abduction attempt and tried to apprehend him. Termini was able to briefly evade capture, but ultimately police were able to regain his trail and eventually left him cornered with no place to turn. Upon realizing that his back was against the wall and before police could successfully arrest Termini, he turned his own gun on himself and proceeded to take his own life. 

 

Following Dennis Termini’s short encounter with law enforcement, horrifying truths would be revealed about the 25-year-old Rochester Firefighter. It was revealed that Termini was the “Garage Rapist,” a prolific serial rapist who committed over a dozen attacks targeting teenage girls and young women between 1971 and 1973. Further evidence would be discovered that further promoted the idea that Termini was responsible for the Alphabet Murders. Firstly, Termini owned a beige vehicle that was nearly identical to that observed by multiple witnesses at each of the abductions. Secondly, he was known to live on Bock St which is less than a mile from where Michelle Maenza was last seen and when the police searched his vehicle a map was discovered folded open and marked, to the place Michelle’s body was discovered. Furthermore, Termini owned a white cat, which is defining evidence linking both Wanda Walkowicz and Michelle Maenza’s cases together. 

 

Police would go on to speculate that because of Termini’s public appearance as a firefighter and his uniform on display inside his vehicle, it might have made him appear more trustworthy to his victims. Unfortunately due to the profile of his victims, most of them being between the ages of 18-24, doubt that he was responsible for the Alphabet Murders would arise. In 2007 following the testing of a DNA sample from Termini’s exhumed body compared with that of semen samples found on Wanda Walkowicz body all doubt would be confirmed. The test would provide evidence that Termini was not responsible for Wanda’s death. Although, due to lack of evidence from Carmen Colon and Michelle Maenza bodies an official ruling is unable to be provided. 

 

Kenneth Bianchi was arrested in October of 1979 and identified as one part of the “Hillside Stranglers.” Bianchi along with his cousin Angelo Buono engaged in a terrifying reign of kidnappings, rapes and murders in the Los Angeles area of California. In total the duo, posed as police officers, would claim 10 victims. As if their actions weren’t bad enough, Bianchi and Bouno would take things a step further and inject their victims with a series of household chemicals adding to the unbearable pain. After they were done torturing these poor souls they would discard their victims on hillsides throughout the Glendale Highland Park area earning them the sobriquet of “The Hillside Stranglers.” Why was Kenneth Bianchi suspected as being involved in the Alphabet Murders? Well, prior to 1975 and before moving to Los Angeles Bianchi lived in Rochester, NY. 

Whilst living in Rochester Bianchi worked as an ice cream vendor and was known to have worked in locations near Wanda Walkowicz and Carmen Colon’s murder scenes. Having an interest in being a police officer from a young age, and being a tactic he would later use as “The Hillside Strangler,” could he have used this persona on Carmen, Wanda and Michelle to lure them to their demise. The age range of his future victims would be very close to that of the young girls and while he resided in Rochester his car was fitting to that seen near the abduction sights. 

 

However, despite his background police did not have any compelling evidence that Bianchi performed any murders before moving to Los Angeles. Bianchi has denied responsibility of the murders on multiple occasions and to this day he has never been charged for any involvement. 

 

On August 20, 2013 American serial killer Joseph Naso would be convicted for the murders of Roxene Roggasch (18), Carmen Colon(22), Pamela Parson(38) and Tracy Tafoya(31), California’s own Alphabet Murders. During his trial for the murders he committed between 1977 and 1994, Marin County Judge Andrew Sweet would describe the 79-year-old pin-up photographer as what he was, a monster. Describing him as “evil” and a “ruthless, pathological predator” for his crimes. Upon sentencing Naso to death and making him the oldest convict since California’s reinstatement of capital punishishment in 1977 to arrive at San Quentin State Prison’s death row, he would make a memorable statement. Judge Andrew Sweet stated, "Your being in the world has made this a worse place, and for your atrocious crimes you are going to be sentenced to the ultimate punishment.” 

During the 1970’s the Rochester native was known to have regularly traveled between California and New York, and because of the shocking similarities of his choice of double initial victims, Naso would become a strong person of interest in Rochester’s Alphabet Murders. When questioned about the similarities and meaning behind his victims double initials, Naso would describe the choice as insignificant and meaningless stating, "The double initial thing is just a coincidence.” Naso was also know to offer his unsuspecting victims rides, much like how police believed Rochester's Alphabet Murderer operated. 

 

With this convincing evidence piled against Naso, law enforcement would order for a DNA comparison to be commenced. Naso’s collected DNA was tested against that of semen samples collected from the body of Wanda Walkowicz. Although there was plenty of compelling evidence stacked against Naso, he would be cleared of any involvement when the testing failed to produce a match. 




Conclusion

 

It has been nearly 50 years since the murder of Michelle Maenza, the last known victim of Rochester New York’s Alphabet murderer. Today, law enforcement agencies are still without answers as to who is or was the man behind the persona. Depending on if the three cases are indeed connected and the series of initials are not a mere coincident the Alphabet Murderer may not even be alive today. Adding one more hurdle for investigators in solving the case and further distancing the families of Carmen, Wanda and Michelle from much needed justice and peace of mind. 

 

Guillermina Colon, the mother of Carmen Colon, would accept an interview with Democrat and Chronicle reporter Jack Jones in 1995 marking her first public statement on the matter. In her statement she does as any grieving mother would, cry out for anyone to step forward with information to give the victims families a much needed peace of mind. Guillermina told Jack Jones during the interview, “If I could die knowing who killed my Carmencita, I could die more peacefully than I had lived. It is the only thing I want in my life, to know that this person had to pay for the terrible things he did to my little girl. If the person who did this could have any compassion, he would see the pain and suffering the families of these little girls have gone through for all this time.”


Along with Guillermina’s interview the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper would spark close to two dozen new leads follow its series of article published in 2009 on the Alphabet Murders. Whilst investigators were armed with brand new leads they failed to develop any new persons of interest. Still to this day, the Rochester Police Department continues in its efforts to solve this case, and one day we all hope they do. If you have any information regarding the case or that may lead to the conviction of the perpetrator behind these heinous murders please contact the Rochester Police Department at 585-428-6720.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabet_murders 

https://www.aetv.com/real-crime/double-initial-murders-alphabet-unsolved-child-murders 

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https://philosophyofcrime.com/the-murder-of-carmen-colon/ 

https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/investigations/2009/03/01/double-initial-murders-remain-mystery-after-35-years-police-still/77384622/ 

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https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1lSyt3Wd5Xf2GmeQCQF7BqfRQXvjaPaLI&ll=43.130099434165764%2C-77.70531385000004&z=10 

https://amp.whec.com/articles/double-initial-murders-the-final-victim-5247570.html

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Bianchi

https://amp.whec.com/articles/double-initial-murders-wanda-walkowicz-5238090.html 

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