Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: Several years ago, a man and a woman picked up a prostitute for the purpose of having the woman experience killing someone. Whatever happened to them?
Submitted by: Harry Banan, Sacramento
ANSWER: You may be thinking of the case of James Daveggio and Michelle Michaud of Sacramento who were sentenced to death in 2002 for the 1997 abduction, rape and murder of a Pleasanton woman.
The victim, 22-year-old Vanessa Lei Samson, was kidnapped as she was walking to her job as a clerk at a Pleasanton insurance office. According to stories in The Bee, Daveggio and Michaud kept her inside their minivan, where they tortured her while driving toward the Sierra.
Samson's body was later discovered on a rural road in Alpine County.
Michaud reportedly worked as a prostitute at a massage parlor and met Daveggio at a bar where he was a bartender.
The day before Samson's body was found, Daveggio and Michaud were arrested in the Lake Tahoe area as suspects in the kidnapping and rape of a Reno student in September of that year. Daveggio was convicted and Michaud pleaded guilty to that crime in 1999.
During the lengthy trial for Samson's slaying, several women testified that they had also been kidnapped and raped by the couple.
Both remain on California's list of death row inmates. Daveggio, 52, is in San Quentin State Prison and Michaud, 54, is in the Central California Women's Facility in Chowcilla.
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