Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Addicted to Luxury: The Pampered Killer

Evolution of a Serial Killer

On April 8, 1994, Gray pled innocent to the charges.  She continued to hold to her story that she had found the credit cards and bank book that she had used to enrich herself.  At her preliminary hearing in June, the judge decided there was sufficient evidence to hold Gray for trial.

At a hearing on July 23, Deputy DA Richard Bentley requested the death penalty.  He wanted Gray, if convicted, to die in the gas chamber.  It was the third time in that county where the ultimate penalty had been requested for a female, and only four women altogether had been executed in the state of California, but Gray's callousness, he said, called for it.

Deputy DA Richard Bentley
Deputy DA Richard Bentley

Through her attorney at this time, Gray again admitted to fraudulent use of the cards and theft of the money but denied any part in the murders.  No one believed her, but she pretended she did not understand why the coincidence of her happening upon the property of two recently murdered women was such a stretch for the imagination.  She insisted that her only crime was to exploit her luck rather than turn the cards and bank book in.

From prison, she wrote letters to people she thought might assist her, asking them  judge her "with their hearts," and pointed out that it was an election year so the police were manipulating the facts to win the case against her.  She insisted they were lying about a number of items.  She expected that those who knew her would realize she had not murdered anyone.  "I am very scared and very alone," she said in one letter, stating that the police did not care about her as a person.  She claimed that she had a lot of friends siding with her.

By this time, a detective had learned that Gray was seen wandering around Norma Davis's condo on the day of her murder.  Yard workers had seen her and identified her from a photo.  Still, Bentley did not believe that this was sufficient evidence to use for charging her with killing Davis.

As they all awaited the trial, Sachs engaged the services of several mental health experts to shore up his belief that Gray had been in a state of diminished capacity, due to the circumstances of her life in 1994.  Once a successful registered nurse married to a man she loved, within a few months in 1993, Gray had lost her job, gone into bankruptcy to the tune of $216,418, and suffered a divorce on grounds of irreconcilable differences.  Then she had a miscarriage (supposedly her fourth) and lost her home in the Canyon Lake gated community in a foreclosure. Apparently, all of these events occurring in quick succession had put her under extreme stress, and at one point, she had only $100 in her savings account.  Seeing a doctor, she had been prescribed antidepressants because she had expressed suicidal thoughts. 

In 1995, as Gray's trial was about to begin, her attorney dropped a bombshell.

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