Who Were Itzcoatl Ocampo’s Victims? How Did He Die?

Investigation Discovery’s ‘Murder by Numbers: Friend of the Devil’ chronicles the story of a Mexican-American presumed serial killer named Itzcoatl Ocampo who preyed on hapless, homeless men. The Marine Corps veteran was believed to have been responsible for at most 6 murders, for which he was convicted. He committed the homicides in California from 2011 through 2012. Are you interested in learning more about the victims, as well as what happened with Itzcoatl? Let’s find out.

Who Were Itzcoatl Ocampo’s Victims?

James McGillivray was 53 years old with long, thick hair, and a scrawny beard. He was a familiar figure in the south Los Angeles homeless community that lived along the Santa Ana River. On December 20, 2011, James was seen loitering at a liquor store before settling down on the sidewalk in front of a strip mall in Placentia, California, for the night. The police would later see in one of the mall’s surveillance footage how James was brutally murdered by being stabbed around 52 times in the head and upper torso with a heavy-gauge Ka-Bar knife.

On December 27, 2011, a registered sex offender named Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was sleeping under the 91 freeway in Anaheim, California. He was a former resident of local shelters, but he failed to locate one that night. Later, he was found with 60 stab wounds and multiple broken ribs. Anaheim police officers performed an autopsy and discovered that Lloyd had died of a deep laceration on his thyroid gland, fractured temporal bone, as well as a deep penetrating cut to his brain.

Paulus Cornelius, 57, had suffered from severe drug addiction for many years. He was made homeless when authorities tagged the house that he lived in as uninhabitable. He would spend his time at Yorba Linda’s public library and ride his bicycle around. His bicycle was missing on December 30, 2011. He was waiting under the library’s stairwell for his daughter to retrieve it. 56 stab wounds were inflicted on his neck, back and head. A knife cut his jugular and cut his heart.

John Berry was both a Vietnam War veteran and an amateur bird watcher. Anaheim police officers approached him to explain the danger posed from a serial killer who was targeting the homeless. The interaction between the 2 men was snapped by a Los Angeles Times photographer and John’s image was featured in an article in the first week of January 2012. John complained to the police numerous times after the publication of the article.

On January 13, 2012, he was attacked behind a fast-food joint in Anaheim. He was knocked to the ground by the hooded attacker who then continued to stab him until he passed away. This time, however, there were many witnesses, who chased the killer and informed the police.

Later on, the police analyzed blood found on the killer’s shoes to incriminate him in the murder of 53-year-old Raquel Estrada, and her son, Juan, 34, as well. Both were killed in a stabbing attack on October 25, 2011. Raquel was stabbed 30 time, while Juan was stabbed about 60 times.

How Did Itzcoatl Ocampo Die?

Anaheim police arrived at the scene and arrested Itzcoatlo Ocampo within just a few hundred metres of the crime scene. He surrendered to officers and was found with the murder weapon, a Ka-Bar knife measuring 7 inches in length. Itzcoatl Misaito Ocampo, a native Mexican man who had moved to Yorba Linda in California with his family was identified as the murderer. He was a Marine Corps veteran for 4 years. In 2008, he was deployed to Iraq for a short time.

Itzcoatl was charged with John’s murder, but also the murders of Lloyd, Paulus, and James. An analysis of the knife revealed that it was the same knife used in those homicides. He was arrested on January 17th 2012 for all four murder charges and could face the death penalty. He was also charged in February 2012 with Raquel’s and Juan’s murders, following forensic evidence linking him to the double-homicide case.

The killer’s family had claimed that combined with the PTSD he suffered from his Iraq tour, his family troubles, and the death of his close friend in Afghanistan, Itzcoatl was mentally unstable, suffering from alcohol abuse with indications of clinical delirium. He was a serial killer and the prosecution denied that. He was to stand trial on January 17, 2014.

Itzcoatl was incarcerated in a prison cell at the Orange County Central Men’s Jail when he was found on November 27, 2013, at approximately 6:35 pm, to be vomiting and shaking. He was immediately taken to Santa Ana’s WMC Hospital, where it was discovered that he was having ingested the lethal amount of Ajax cleaner detergent that he stored for weeks. On November 28, 2013, the doctor declared him dead.

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