Serial Killer Andrew Urdiales
The First Known Victim
At approximately 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 18, 1986, a security guard making rounds at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., spotted a figure lying on one of the student parking lots along the campus's western perimeter, according to the Orange County Weekly. It was dark, and at first he thought perhaps it was a mannequin that a student may have left there as a prank—the poorly-lit parking lot made it difficult to tell for sure. At first he simply drove past, but moments later, having second thoughts, he turned around and headed back to the nearly-deserted area where the whitish figure lay.
Getting out of his car, the security guard noticed that the figure was lying on the pavement next to a Chevrolet Citation. As he approached it, however, he saw that it was lying in a pool of blood and suddenly realized that it wasn't a mannequin at all. It was the dead body of a young woman.
Detective Michael Stephany of the Orange County Sheriff's Department was among the first law enforcement officials to arrive at the scene. Stephany observed immediately that Brandley had been stabbed numerous times, mostly in her neck, chest and back. He also noted that she had sustained cuts to her hands, which he theorized were defensive wounds. Other than Brandley's body and her blood, there was little evidence: no other DNA, fingerprints, hair, or clothing fibers were found at the crime scene for Stephany and his colleagues to work with. An autopsy would show that Brandley had been stabbed 41 times, but the brutal murder would remain a mystery for the next 11 years.