Sacto 9-1-1
October 15, 2012
Prosecution rests in Hirschfield murder trial

Prosecutors rested their case today in the Richard Joseph Hirschfield murder trial. Defense attorneys then immediately launched their presentation, questioning a detective who investigated four suspects who previously were cleared in the killings of UC Davis students John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves.

The witness, former Davis police Det. Fred P. Turner, told the Sacramento Superior Court jury how he picked up the cold case seven years after the Dec. 20, 1980, bludgeon and slashing deaths of the two 18-year-old victims. He said he built his case on an informant who "elicited remarkable information" during a taped conversation with one of the four previous suspects in a skid-row hotel in Los Angeles.

Details from informant Ray Gonzales' conversation with the suspect, Richard Thompson, implicating himself or the other purported accomplices never made it onto the tape, however. Turner said he then told Gonzales to record his own recollections onto a new tape.

"He was a trusted informant," Turner said of Gonzales, under questioning from defense attorney Linda Parisi.

On cross-examination from Deputy District Attorney Dawn Bladet, Turner said he only worked six homicide cases in his eight years as a detective in Davis. He confirmed that he did not get a usable recording of anything Thompson told Gonzales, that he did not document his informant's criminal history or use of drugs and alcohol, and that he did not track payments that he may have made to Gonzales.

Bladet was scheduled to continue her cross-examination of Turner later this afternoon. Gonzales is expected to follow Turner to the witness stand.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About Sacto 9-1-1

Sacto 9-1-1 is a blog on crime and emergency services news in the Sacramento region.

Send feedback on Sacto 9-1-1 to Assistant Metro Editor Anthony Sorci at

Subscribe to Breaking News Alerts

Arrest Logs

Sacto 9-1-1 Q&A

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues. QUESTION: A couple of years ago, a Sacramento tax attorney named Roni Deutch was the target of an investigation by the California Department of Justice. She was accused of bilking clients out of millions and defying a court (Read More)

More Questions and Answers
See all the crime Q&As
Submit your question

March 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives

Kim Minugh on Twitter

Follow "Kim_Minugh" on Twitter

Local Agencies on Twitter