Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Serial Killer Andrew Urdiales

Robbin Brandley


Robbin Brandley
Robbin Brandley
When Urdiales made his confession to the detectives, and led them through significant details of each of the killings, he claimed that college student Robbin Brandley was his first murder victim, according to court documents. Stationed at Camp Pendleton near San Diego, Urdiales recounted, he had become upset regarding relationships with some of the people on the base and decided that he wanted to rob someone. He had armed himself with a "big old hunting knife," about 11 inches long, and driven to Saddleback College where he had waited in a darkened parking lot for a victim. He explained that the victim "could have been anybody," and that the victim he had chosen had been "just a random female." The victim had turned out to be Robbin Brandley.

After he had seen her, he had crept up behind her and placed his hand over her mouth, demanding her purse. After she had given it to him, he had begun stabbing her in the back, he said. When she had fallen to the pavement, Urdiales began stabbing her in the chest. At one point the knife had become stuck in her ribs, and, in order for him to remove it, he had had to place his foot on her body to brace it while he struggled to extract the knife. When he had finished, Urdiales said, he had left the young woman there to die.

With blood on his hands, jacket and jeans, Urdiales said, he had known he had to get back on the base undetected. He subsequently rubbed grease from his car's engine on his hands and clothes to conceal the blood, and told military police at the guard station at the base's entrance that his car had broken down and that he'd had to make repairs.

Urdiales told the detectives that he had later picked up a prostitute in Hollywood, with whom he'd had sex, and that he was carrying the same knife that he'd used to kill Brandley. That prostitute, he said, "was lucky."