Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Case of the Double Initial Murders

Attempt at Normality Gone Awry

In 1998, Naso began dating Mildred Gardner. She was eleven years older than he was, and wealthy. But even though they seemed to have a great relationship in some ways, Gardner said in court documents that Naso "was sneaky."

In the court documents in which Gardner successfully requested a restraining order against Naso, Gardner revealed that Naso had lied to her about money she had lent him. She had given him $10,000 to purchase a van to be used by both of them but later learned he put the title in his name only. And later, when his son was ill, he had wanted to buy a house near the hospital where his son was staying and convinced Gardner to pay $7,000 toward a house they were supposed to share together. Again, she told the court, Naso had duped her and put the title in his name only.

"I gave Mr. Naso $17,000 because I thought he was going to marry me and the house and the van would belong to both of us. He did not tell me that he had been arrested for many crimes, including swindling. He did not tell me he was putting the house and van in his own name. I would not have given him any of this money if I had known the truth."

And Naso's temper began to be revealed. She said that she had become afraid of him. "Mr. Naso started demanding, very angrily, that I get back everything I ever gave anyone. He would not let up. He forced me to give him a .38 caliber snub-nose revolver which he still has."

After becoming more suspicious, she and her family paid for a private investigator to research him and discovered that he had a criminal history. After that, all bets were off. "I am not going to Sacramento to live with him. I'm afraid he will become violent when he finds out."

Embarrassingly, Gardner had been convinced to take part in one of Naso's bondage photo shoots. One of the employees at the senior center where Naso and Gardner had met told the Marin Independent Journal that Naso had shown him a picture of Gardner in bondage gear.

"It didn't seem like something she'd do every day. She was not like that," the worker said. "I was speechless."

Naso was asked not to come back to the center.

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