Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Gerald & Charlene Gallego

Brenda & Sandra

Gerald and Charlene, having married quickly in Reno, decided to leave California for a while until the heat from the murder investigation diminished.  Rather than see their daughter and their good name disgraced by Gerald's apprehension, Charles and Mercedes Williams stepped in to assist.  They instructed Charlene to steal her cousin's birth certificate, and with that Gerald obtained a driver's license and other documentation in the name of Stephen Robert Feil.  Then Charles Williams used his business pull to get Gerald a job driving a truck for a supermarket in Houston.  The job, however, did not suit Gerald, and he and Charlene were in Reno by the following spring.

For a while things were relatively normal.  Gerald worked for a time as a driver for a meat distributor, while Charlene worked in the office of another distributor.  But by June Gerald had again left his job, and in his restlessness he had begun formulating a new plan.  He wanted new sex slaves, and the best place to get them, he figured, was the Washoe County Fair.

Fourteen-year-old Brenda Judd and thirteen-year-old Sandra Colley were almost out of the fairgrounds and on their way home when Charlene stopped them.  She needed help distributing advertising leaflets in the parking lot, she said, and would they be interested in earning a few extra dollars?  When the girls agreed, Charlene said she needed to get more leaflets from her van and led the way through the lot.  The three got into the van, and Gerald, who had been watching and following Charlene from a distance, arrived a moment later.  Brandishing a gun, Gerald bound the girls and headed for I-80.   On the way to the highway, he stopped at a hardware store, returning to the van with a hammer and a shovel. 

Gerald drove east on I-80 for a while, then headed into the hills toward Mustang.  After a while he told Charlene to drive, while he got into the back of the van and assaulted the girls.  He took his time, and Charlene kept driving further into the Nevada hills.  Eventually, telling Charlene she drove too fast, Gerald took the wheel again. When he stopped, he took the girls away from the van one at a time, using his new tools to kill and bury them.

Charlene cleaned out the van when they returned to Reno the next morning, but Gerald decided to keep his hammer and shovel.  Meanwhile, though Brenda and Sandra had been reported missing, there was some confusion regarding two other girls who had run away to join the carnival company that ran the midway rides for the fair.  Even when that was cleared up, the investigation into their disappearance didn't get far.  Feeling reasonably safe, Gerald and Charlene left Reno to return to Sacramento within a couple of months.


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