Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Gerald & Charlene Gallego

Kippi & Rhonda

On September 11, 1978 Gerald was ready.  He awoke Charlene (who was two months pregnant and suffering from morning sickness) and told her he had plans that she was to help him execute.  They drove in their 1973 Dodge conversion van (with mountains air-brushed on the sides) to Sacramentos Country Club Plaza shopping center, where Gerald gave Charlene her assignment:  she was to locate two suitable sex slaves and lure them out to the parking lot and into the van.  She was hesitant at first, afraid that shed be unsuccessful, or worse, be caught.  Gerald told her she was taking too long, and if she knew what was good for her shed do what he said.  She redoubled her efforts, and before long had zeroed in on two prime candidates.  Rhonda Scheffler, seventeen, and Kippi Vaught, sixteen, were out for an afternoon of shopping and whatever fun they could scare up.  When Charlene (who looked about their age) approached them asking if theyd like to smoke some pot, it sounded like just the adventure they were looking for.  They followed her eagerly out to the parking lot, where she opened the van.  Inside Gerald waited with a .25 caliber pistol.  The girls were surprised, afraid, and easily subdued.  Gerald bound them with tape and told Charlene to watch them while he drove. 

They headed east on I-80 toward the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  At Baxter, California they left the interstate and Gerald steered them further away from civilization and into the foothills.  After finding a suitable spot, he left the van with the girls, the gun, and a sleeping bag, telling Charlene to wait.  When he returned hours later he told her to take the van into Sacramento and visit friends in order to establish an alibi.  Then she was to drop off the van and return in their Oldsmobile.

Charlene did as she was told, and when she returned to the woods outside Baxter Gerald ordered the girls into the back seat of the Oldsmobile.  He sat with them and directed Charlene, who drove until he said to stop.  Along the way he talked as if he would presently release the captives, but when he finally ordered Charlene to pull over he ordered the girls out, knocked them unconscious with a tire iron, and shot them.



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