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L.A. Serial Killer Convicted of 14 Murders After DNA Match in Unrelated Case — 'He's a Remorseless Animal'

Chester D. Turner lived near almost all the women he killed.
Cover Image Source: YouTube/FilmRise True Crime
Cover Image Source: YouTube/FilmRise True Crime

A notorious serial killer was identified after he submitted his DNA in connection with an unrelated case.

In 2005, former Pizza deliveryman, Chester D. Turner, of Los Angeles, was ordered by Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders to stand trial for ten murders that occurred from 1987 to 1998, NBC reported.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Anna Shvets
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Anna Shvets

During that time, Turner was serving an eight-year prison sentence for a rape case. In 2002, Turner submitted his DNA sample to fulfill a condition of his no-contest plea to the rape charge he had been facing.  

 A detective reportedly found that the DNA evidence provided by Turner matched that found in two murder cases, prompting the detective to dig deeper into the connection.

Carl Matthies of the police department’s scientific investigations division stated in 2005 that Turner's DNA matched the sperm cell evidence recovered from all 10 dead bodies.

Matthies did not rule out the possibility that the genetic profile of the evidence might belong to someone other than Turner, but he also noted the chances of that happening was one in one-quintillion, NBC reported.


Amongst the 10 women who were murdered, two were pregnant, NBC reported. 

Defense attorney John Tyre proclaimed his client's innocence and shared that matching DNA does not necessarily mean he had committed the crime, NBC reported. “If it is his DNA it indicates he had sex with these women sometime prior to them dying,” Tyre insisted.

In 2010, Turner was convicted on the murder charges of the 10 victims, KTLA reported. In 2014, he was further convicted on murder charges of four separate women: Elandra Bunn, 33, Deborah Williams, 28, Mary Edwards, 42, and Cynthia Annette Johnson, 30, The Journal reported.


Turner was sentenced to death for the crimes, CBS News reported. In addition, he was given 15 years to life for the death of the viable fetus in the case of one of the pregnant women.

Throughout the trial, Turner's defense argued that their client had a physical relationship with the women but did not kill them. In his first trial, the prosecutors showed grainy footage that featured the assailant killing one of the victims, Paula Vance. The man's features were similar to Turner's.

Turner lived within 30 blocks of each of those ten women, barring one, Los Angeles Daily News reported.

Some of the serial killer's victims were sex workers or drug addicts, while others were snatched from the streets, The Journal reported.


Before the trial in 2014, the prosecution offered Turner a plea deal, but he rejected it. He later asked about the plea deal during trial.

“He’s never taken responsibility for any of these crimes. So what are we going to do, give him four freebies? Those are four lives,” Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman said. “He’s a remorseless animal.”

While being led out from the court, Turner looked at the prosecution and screamed, “I’ll be back,” The Journal reported.

In 2020, Turner's conviction for the harm caused to the unborn fetus was overturned, Los Angeles Daily News reported. The California Supreme Court ruled that the jurors heard from a deputy medical examiner who did not conduct the autopsy.

The examiner recounted “case-specific facts from the (autopsy) report and invited the jury to compare that hearsay to the medically accepted guidelines for determining viability” of Regina Washington’s unborn baby, as per the Supreme Court's ruling, Los Angeles Daily News reported. Therefore, the court overturned his second-degree murder conviction for the fetus’ death. 

Another man David Jones was serving 11 years in prison for three of those killings, The Journal reported. He worked as a Janitor and was allegedly classified as intellectually disabled, the National Registry of Exonerations reported.

Jones was released from prison after Turner's DNA evidence came to light. Prosecutors concluded that police allegedly coerced Jones' confession. 

Turner remains on death row and was recently charged with the murder of another woman in Utah, KTLA reported.

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