Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Case of the Double Initial Murders

Crazy Joe


Joseph Naso
Joseph Naso

Joseph Naso does not break from the roll of oddballs and loners who comprise the overwhelming majority of serial killer suspects. Neighbors painted a picture of a paranoid, hot-tempered man who kept to himself and never said hello. Whether Naso is found guilty or not, he was the picture-perfect cliché of a serial killer, a recluse who outdid other recluses.

"He was just a weirdo," one neighbor told the Contra Costa Times. "We kept away from him. He made my hair stand on end."

"I never really seen the guy," a woman named Summer who lived near him in Nevada added. "He'd drive his pickup to his backyard and never would say hi. We know all the neighbors here, except him."

Gwendolyn Friend was a neighbor of Naso's ex-wife Judith. Even though he would frequently visit his ex-wife, the Contra Costa Times wrote, Friend "thought he was odd because he would never look her in the eye when they spoke."

Still, being odd and weird doesn't mean that someone is a murderer, she said. "That was strange, but never in my wildest dreams did I think he would pop up on TV as a serial killer," Friend told the paper.

In San Francisco, he was remembered vividly by his neighbors. "It was in his eyes," Sergio Rangel told the San Francisco Chronicle, who uncovered Naso's alleged stalking of a couple in a building he lived in.

"He was older, his hair had turned white, but you can't forget a guy like him. He was berserk," said Rangel. "He was a very lonely man," Rangel said. "When Joe drank, he became bellicose. I gave him a few dollars every now then, not because I liked him, but because I didn't want him to get mad at me."

His behavior earned him the nickname "Crazy Joe."

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